• Friday , 27 January 2023

PWPA excited about new avenues to pursue

Dave Gill from WFN Ntityx Resources speaks to a packed house about how traditional ecological knowledge can work with western science to preserve the forests and create jobs.

Peachland Watershed Protection Alliance

It’s a wrap-PWPA’s 2022 AGM finds unity in our community commitment to conserve and secure our watershed!

The end of the calendar year is a time for reflection. Last week the Peachland Watershed Protection Alliance (PWPA) held its final business meeting of 2022, the Annual General Meeting (AGM), our sixth annual, and it was a grass roots gathering of like-minded members, guests, supporters and enthusiasts.

Over 40 participants gathered at the Little School House. An optimistic fun fact is that local government elected representatives and Healthy Watershed Committee members account for about 10 per cent of our guests. Kudos to Mayor Patrick Van Minsel, and Councillors Brophey, Ingram and Condon for showing some community love! 

PWPA’s guest speaker was Dave Gill, general manager of Ntityix Resources since fall 2013. NRLP is a natural resource company owned by Westbank First Nation and ‘title-holder’ of 13 per cent of Peachland’s community watershed by way of a community forest license. Gill spoke of the new forestry harvesting standards used by his crew, including foresters Damon Lawrence and Coulter Roberts, also in attendance. Gill mentioned having to ‘disobey’ the very low standards of B.C.’s forestry acts to do a better job in our watersheds than the minimum requirements of government. 

Reforesting with all native species, not just nursery raised conifers, harvesting for wildfire preventions, not just profits, introducing climate change unknowns and not always harvesting the volumes that the government quotas want (the Allowable Annual Cut) are a few examples of the better Syilx forestry standards now implemented in our source water areas.  

Mayor Patrick Van Minsel welcomes Peachland residents to the PWPA AGM with remarks about Council’s plans for watershed protection. Photos PWPA

Mayor Van Minsel surprised PWPA with his remarks; he announced that the district is actively investigating the expansion of our jurisdiction, control and say in our water supply and backcountry. This is an exciting avenue to pursue and we look forward to hearing more about the legal options researched by council and staff to have more control over something that affects us all so greatly.

It appears, what we all have in common is the love of the land and respect for nature. Whether it is by means of new inventive forestry practices that accesses traditional knowledge and wisdom, or by legal jurisdiction and boundary expansion or by actions including conservation, advocacy, even civil disobedience, there is a massive commitment on the part of Westbank First Nation, the District of Peachland, the PWPA and valley residents for continued watershed ‘C-P-R’: conserve, protect and restore.

PWPA appreciates your volunteerism, enthusiasm and concerns; your donation supports the work happening in communities across our watershed, this Okanagan Valley, and beyond. 

We will be back in meeting mode full swing by mid-January. Until then, you can join us at our ‘’Christmas Cookies, Crafts, Cocoa and Conservation Conversations’’ party at the Little School House on Dec. 18, from 1 p.m. – 4 p.m. 

Have a wonderful festive season, and excellent New Year and PWPA wishes once again to acknowledge our appreciation, thanks for helping create a swimmable, drinkable, fishable future for everyone. 

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