Protection eyed for Shuswap sites

Efforts are underway to protect sensitive habitat in rural Lumby and Cherryville.

B.C. Hydro will be asked by the Regional District of North Okanagan and the North Okanagan Parks and Natural Areas Trust to establish a conservation covenant on sites between Wilsey dam and the Shuswap River picnic area.

“They are a way of protecting areas of ecological significance,” said Tannis Nelson, RDNO’s community development co-ordinator.

“The area is identified as high-value screech owl habitat and habitat for other threatened species.”

The sites would continue to be owned by B.C. Hydro but activity that negatively impacts the environment would be restricted.

Terms of an agreement can range from limiting development to controlling noxious weeds.

The covenant would be monitored to ensure it is being followed.

“The regional district would be a secondary partner with NOPNAT being a primary partner,” said Nelson.

Hydro would not receive anything from RDNO for agreeing to sign the contract and any future risk would be the responsibility of the Crown corporation.

It’s not known if conservation covenants will actually occur along the Shuswap River.

“We will approach Hydro and see what they think,” said Nelson.


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