The following memorial/obituary written by Samantha Agtarap is taken from the Globe and Mail…as your trip around the Chain takes you to the final campsite at Sandy Lake’s western end, there is a beautifully situated memorial bench placed to face the setting sun and overlooking the lake and Mount Tinsdale.  The bench was placed in memory of Dinty Moore.  Who was this person?  Reading the following will clearly explain just why this memorial couldn’t have been placed in a better location.

Family man, master canoeist, skilled woodworker, explorer. Born June 1, 1921, in Burnaby, B.C.; died Dec. 16, 2013, in Merritt, B.C., of old age, aged 92.

William Moore, the sixth of seven children, was nicknamed Dinty by his older siblings after a can of Dinty Moore beef stew. The name stuck throughout his life, and to many he was known only as Dinty.

He grew up on the shores of Deer Lake in Burnaby, B.C., on a farm in a house that is now known as the Hart House Restaurant. Burnaby was mainly farmland then, and he would tell his grandchildren stories of childhood adventures such as riding his horse, Pal, or hiking up Burnaby Mountain to ski down on planks of wood.

As a young boy, Dinty was attempting to rescue his airplane from a tree when he fell and injured his right eye. He never regained full sight in that eye and his grandchildren knew the perils of running and jumping with sticks.

In 1945, he saw his future wife, Joan Sievenpiper, walking by the house he was roofing; he whistled at her, then walked her home. She was on her way to her family’s summer home on the south side of Deer Lake. That started a cross-lake courtship by canoe. He would joke that you could see the grooves in the lake from his canoe crossing it so often.

Dinty and Joan married in 1946. As a wedding gift, her father gave them a piece of waterfront land on Deer Lake. They built their home themselves and filled it with four adventurous girls. Their door was always open and their home was often filled with friends, relatives – and wild animals rescued by their daughters.

Dinty’s passions included canoeing and building canoes. He and his friends travelled some of the great rivers of British Columbia, including the Peace River before it was dammed. He told stories of encountering moose and bear and of finding dinosaur fossils. He also took his young daughters and nieces around the Bowron Lake circuit many times. Perhaps his coolest adventure, at least to his grandkids, was his role as a stunt double for Oliver Reed in the 1966 movie The Trap, canoeing rapids on the Thompson, Fraser and Chilliwack rivers.

Dinty and Joan were founding members of the Dogwood Canoe Club in Burnaby. He wanted to share his love of canoeing and the outdoors, and taught canoeing basics and safety. He also kept watch over Deer Lake, winter and summer, even performing the occasional rescue.

He taught his grandchildren to paddle a canoe, and where to find the best blueberries, huckleberries and crayfish. He showed us where the beavers lived and how to watch them quietly. He also taught us how to use tools safely, along with slingshots and BB guns.

A talented woodworker, he built canoes and furniture in his spare time. He designed a rowing attachment for the beautiful Chestnut canoes he sold. He made racing oars from yellow cedar. He made many beds, toys and bookcases for his children and grandchildren (one great-granddaughter sleeps in the bed he made for her mother).

Dinty was never ever one to sit still long. After he closed Moore Sales, a canoe and outdoor equipment store, and retired, he put his inventive mind to work for the B.C. Arthritis Society, making gadgets and modifications for everyday items to help people with arthritis.

He enjoyed word puzzles, fires in the fireplace, his workshop, curling and cribbage (he was a cut-throat crib player). He loved life, and nature, and nurtured that love in his children and grandchildren. Every canoe we paddle will carry him with it.

Samantha Agtarap is one of Dinty’s eight grandchildren.



The large campsite at the bottom of Isaac Lake, is a perfectly located spot that paddlers on the Bowron Chain find ideal for rest and regrouping, it is often used for a layover day. Actually two separate camping areas have been established at this location, along with a brand new post and beam cooking shelter, this is also the site of the infamous Isaac River Chute.

Located right in the heart of the Interior Temperate Rainforest that runs north-south through the interior of British Columbia, this campsite is also home to relatively uncommon harlequin ducks that swim and feed in the fast moving waters of the Isaac River. Perhaps the most memorable highlight that this location offers however, is the opportunity on a clear warm summer night, and from your tent pitched with its open front facing down the lake in the direction from which you had probably been paddling all day, to view some of the most spectacular sunsets seen anywhere.

On the night of July 3, 2014, paddlers had an additional thrilling experience, a powerful deluge of rain and a display of thunder and sheet lightening, turned the black sky into daylight, mother nature’s power had every camper awake and filled with awe….as well as fear.

Ron Watteyne and his wife Elaine were paddling with friends, they were completing the circuit in six days. “We were having a great trip, we were still excited when we went to bed because we had seen a grizzly bear on the shore of Isaac Lake earlier in the day and then there was this storm, it was incredible” said Ron. “You could hear excited voices coming from every tent. it was about two o’clock in the morning, everyone was awake, there was a Scout group camped nearby and it was one of them that spotted the fire started after a lightening strike”. Even several days after this event, the excitement in Ron’s voice conveyed just how he had been affected by this unbelievable display. In an attempt to minimize things he added “I wasn’t frightened though, I knew that I had those tent poles and that piece of nylon just above me for protection”.

The fire turned out to be forest fire C10067, dubbed by the B.C. Wildfire Management Branch as the Isaac Lake/Huckey Creek fire. It had been my mistaken understanding (and I don’t know why), that there was a policy to not fight forest fires that occur in Provincial Parks. Upon reflection, this understanding made no sense and so I looked for clarification.

In actual fact, in such a situation, there is a very clearly defined policy in place. When a fire is reported, the Wildfire Management Branch Co-ordination Officer liaises with the appropriate land managers (in this case those officials with BC Parks responsible for the management of Bowron Lake Provincial Park). More specifically it is the Cariboo Region of the Wildfire Management Branch connecting with the BC Parks Cariboo Section, both offices are located in Williams Lake.

Their discussion, which is formally known as a threat analysis, considers the current fire behaviour, the circumstances of the fire occurrence, the suppression capability and finally the values that are at risk. In the case of fire C10067, the blaze was apparently occurring in an area that was prime grizzly bear habitat where there were known to be a number of this year’s cubs. Based on this assessment, particularly of the values at risk, the decision was made to fight the fire which was quickly suppressed and contained to an area of 20.30 hectares.

This is a feel good success story. I was told by friends that it was quite inspiring to see the impressive young fire fighters who were spotted in the area of the Park getting ready to leave once the fire had been very quickly extinguished. Hats off to all of those officials who were responsible for this success, and to the Wildfire Management Branch Cariboo Information Officer who so willingly shared information regarding these details with me. All of this was happening in the midst of intense forest fire activity throughout interior British Columbia. The very helpful Wildfire BC website http://www.bcwildfire.ca is also a source of regularly updated information regarding the current wild fire situation in British Columbia.

Jeffrey Dinsdale
July 24, 2014

Interior Temperate Rainforest

Bowron Lake Provincial Park Interior Temperate Rainforest…A Special Place

British Columbia’s Inland Temperate Rainforest, stretches from the headwaters of the Fraser and Columbia Rivers to the northern extremes of Washington, Idaho, and Montana. This area includes most of Bowron Lake Provincial Park. This rainforest is the only place on earth where temperate rainforests are found so far inland from the sea. Weather systems from the Pacific Ocean collide with the Columbia Mountains to create lush interior forests, habitat for many unique plants and animals.

Anyone completing the whole Circuit will notice the presence of both western hemlock and western red cedar trees along the Isaac River portage route, as well as the luxuriant undergrowth and the dampness of the area….this is the Inland Temperate Rainforest. These conditions occur elsewhere throughout the Chain (there is one delightful grove of cedar trees right on the portage trail from Indianpoint to Isaac Lake, someone has placed a crude bench there, I have always thought that it would be a great place for a wedding)…it’s a matter of hiking in to find them.

From when I first journeyed out to Bowron Lake in the early 1980’s, I remember some of the old (original) log buildings still standing on the Bowron Lake Lodge property on the shore of Bowron Lake. These had no-doubt been built by the original owners of the lodge, Joe and Betty Wendle. It was the shake roofs that stand out in my memory, cedar shakes. I knew that cedar was readily available to the south, along the north arm of Quesnel Lake, I wasn’t aware that in fact the cedar stands were much closer at hand.

In 2013 I had been quite intrigued by photos posted on line by Dave Jorgenson and Cheryl McCarthy, of the cedar trees growing on the north shore to Sandy Lake. About the same time I read in George Gilbert’s memoir “Kicked By A Dead Moose” about the roughly built “shake shelters” that were erected in the 1940’s and 50’s by miners from the Wells Cariboo Gold Quartz Mine on both Unna and Rum Lakes as a place for their families to spend summer weekends. The Pavich cabin built in the 50’s on the bank of the upper Bowron River was also roofed with shakes cut from cedar bolts that came from Sandy Lake. I had to see the source of this cedar.

In May, 2014, a group of friends undertook our annual “May long weekend trip around the Bowron”. Actually in 2014, Isaac Lake was still frozen tighter than a drum so we contented ourselves with a relaxing 5 day trip on the Circuit’s West Side. This was going to offer the time needed to explore Sandy Lake’s north shore in pursuit of the Interior Rain Forest and the giant western red cedars.

On a drizzly May day, two of us paddled to the mouth of a noisy creek flowing into Sandy Lake on it’s north shore. We could tell from the sound of the rushing water that it was coming from somewhere much higher. While we were on the north shore, it might more correctly be called the north-east shore, we were at the east end of the lake. There were no cedars to be seen at the shore line but as we hiked inland (and upwards), soon a few small cedar trees were evident. The predominant growth at this elevation is actually bug-killed lodge pole pine and the ground was moist and spongy. The forest cover was interspersed with some fairly large open marshy areas.

We walked through one of the open spongy wet areas towards a wall of dense forest cover. As if by magic, as soon as we entered the forest, there were the cedars…lots of them and big ones too. There were also large beautiful spruce trees towering above us as well as dead trees laying in every direction. In places we used the downed trees as foot paths in order to negotiate the dense undergrowth. Fortunately it was early in the season so we didn’t have to contend with the Devil’s Club. The terrain became steeper and as we climbed, the trees became larger. This had to be the source of the cedar for those shake shelters and the shake roofs. We had to take a few of the classic tree hugging photos just to show their size but as the drizzle was being very persistent (and wet), we chose to make our way back to the canoe for the short paddle back to our camp and the chairs under the dry tarpaulin.

There is lots of readily available written material about B.C.’s Interior Rain Forest. It is unique in the world, it is very impressive. Anyone who has driven highway #16 from Prince George to McBride has seen the “Ancient Forest” signs. These signs mark the trailhead to an extensive network of hiking trails, some of which have even been made wheelchair accessible and all of them highlighting all that is wonderful about this very unique ecosystem. A quick Google of “B.C.’s Interior Rainforest” will bring up several (very local) websites complete with maps and photos. UNBC seems to have taken a very special interest in this precious ecosystem. Fortunately, it would appear that any destructive logging of these trees in this area has been halted, or at least is carefully monitored. There are trees in the Interior Rain Forest that are over 1000 years old.

Bowron Lake Provincial Park Vegetation Management and Forest Health (quoted from BC Parks brochure)

“The Parks (Bowron Lake and adjacent Cariboo Mountains and Cariboo River Parks) contain variants of the Alpine Tundra (AT), Engelmann Spruce-Subalpine Fir (ESSF, 2 subzone variants), Interior Cedar Hemlock (ICH, 3 subzone variants), and Suboreal Spruce (SBS, 1 subzone variant) biogeoclimatic zones. Except for a few recently burned areas, the forest landscape within the parks is predominately mature and old-growth forest, with some non-forested wetlands and alpine communities.
In the Sub-boreal Spruce (SBS) zone, subalpine fir (Abies lasiocarpa) and hybrid spruce (Picea engelmanni x P. glauca) are the predominant trees in mature ecosystems. Douglas fir (Pseudotsuga menziesi) occurs commonly as large individuals in fire regenerated stands on morainal materials and often occurs with pockets of trembling aspen (Populus tremuloides), and paper birch (Betula papyrifera).

Extensive areas of fire-regenerated forests dominated by young lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta) occur on dry outwash materials adjacent to the Swan-Spectacle lakes area.
The transition to Interior Cedar Hemlock zones (ICH) is marked by the presence of western red-cedar (Thuja plicata) and increasing amounts of western hemlock (Tsuga heterophylla). In many stands, hybrid spruce and subalpine fir are still the dominant trees within the ICH portions of the parks. The Engelmann Spruce-Subalpine Fir (ESSF) zones occur above the Sub-boreal Spruce and Interior Cedar Hemlock. This zone is dominated by subalpine fir and Engelmann spruce is replaced by hybrid spruce. At higher elevations this zone is distinguished by having a discontinuous forest canopy in the form of islands of low, stunted trees interspersed between wet meadows and shrub communities.

Above the ESSF is the Alpine Tundra (AT) zone where trees can no longer grow due to colder temperatures, prolonged snowfall, short growing seasons and severe winter winds. The Alpine Tundra zone occurs above tree line at the highest elevation of the parks and is dominated by a mosaic of herb, sedge and shrub dominated communities. Other non-forested ecosystems occur on avalanche chutes, and in wetland complexes in areas of poor drainage.”