Tolko provides park as part of getting land removed from forestry licence
A chunk of park is being created on the west side of Okanagan Lake.
The Ministry of Forests has approved the removal of 116 hectares of private land from Tolko Industries’ tree farm licence. Of that 30 hectares is being donated to the Regional District of Centreal Okanagan for park.
“We believe that access to additional parkland will enhance the quality of life of people in the region while providing the opportunity to address ongoing road safety concerns of local residents,” said Brad Thorlakson, Tolko president.
RDCO welcomes the 30 hectares for park.
“This land contains important habitat for ungulates including California bighorn sheep,” said Robert Hobson, district chairperson.
The deletion of the 116 hectares also allows the Ministry of Transportation to work with Tolko on safety improvements to Westside Road, including land for a vehicle safety pull-out.
Tolko will be able to develop the remaining land in accordance with local zoning and and provincial statutes and regulations that govern land use.
The government’s decision to remove the 116 hectares came after consultation with local First Nations and RDCO.
Forest management issues such as old growth management areas, wildlife habitat, recreational access, road access, water users and others also were considered.
“It’s a win-win situation where non-commercial forest land is put to better use,” said Steve Thomson, forests minister.
“The public will benefit from increased road safety and access to land with, recreational and ecological significance. At the same time, there will be no impact to Tolko’s allowable annual cut.”