• Friday , 27 January 2023

Can Peachland reclaim its watershed?

Dear Editor,

After an inspiring AGM of the Peachland Watershed Protection Alliance, it became quite obvious to me that we need to bring our community closer in line with the reality of how essential our watershed is to our wellbeing.
We are encouraged by the presentation from Westbank First Nation (WFN) forest manager, Dave Gill, who is currently involved in the Trepanier Creek watershed which is part of their forest tenure. WFN also holds 15 per cent of Peachland Creek basin in their community forest license.
What we learned from Dave was that WFN is committed to a new paradigm in commercial forestry that values ecological and cultural aspects of the natural forest and balances these with social and economic values.
This aligns very closely with many of the same values that PWPA stands for. Cutting trees in a way that doesn’t destroy the integrity of the forest and protects sensitive and important features such as water, habitat for fish and wildlife, traditional cultural harvesting, esthetic views and trails.
In order to protect and regenerate our watershed, we need to have more input from the community and to accomplish this, I think Peachland must reclaim its watershed and assume full responsibility for its protection and rehabilitation with the financial support of the provincial government and the corporations that have benefitted from it. Of course, this will not be an overnight transition but as our new mayor, Patrick Van Minsel, stated at the meeting, “We have to start somewhere and bringing attention to the need is a good place to start”.
I would like to thank the volunteers at PWPA for their consistent effort on behalf of our community and its watershed and encourage you to support their efforts and lend a hand where you can.

Wishing you all peace and happiness for this coming season.

Joe Klein
Co-founder, Director
Peachland Watershed Protection Alliance

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