A consultant will be hired to work with First Nations and community and local groups to try and reach consensus on proposed Shuswap River vessel operating restriction regulations.

A consultant will be hired to work with First Nations and community and local groups to try and reach consensus on proposed Shuswap River vessel operating restriction regulations.

Consultant to examine Shuswap River options

A consultant will work to foster greater consensus with regard to proposed Shuswap River vessel operating restriction regulations

A consultant will work to foster greater consensus with regard to proposed Shuswap River vessel operating restriction regulations.

Regional District of North Okanagan electoral area directors voted unanimously with an Electoral Area Advisory Committee recommendation to hire a consultant to work with community and local groups, including First Nations, to review options for the entire Shuswap River.

“I made the motion because many people were part of the Shuswap River Watershed Sustainability Plan that volunteered many hours of work, including Splatsin and Okanagan Indian Band members,” said Herman Halvorson, rural Enderby director.

“It would be unfair if we did not pursue this situation and bring it to a conclusion.”

Halvorson and the EAAC committee came under fire from a large crowd at a meeting July 7 over the lengthy process that looked at restricting motorized vessels on sections of the river in rural Enderby.

Survey results showed nearly a 50-50 split among residents over the proposed restrictions.

RDNO had been looking at implementing bans on motorized vessels from south Mabel Lake upstream to Shuswap Falls, and from Trinity Valley Road upstream to the eastern end of Skookumchuk Rapids Park.

It was suggested that an engine size limit of 10 horsepower from Mara Lake upstream to Trinity Valley Road also be considered.

Safety and bank erosion were a couple of the reasons given for the restriction proposal, which didn’t sit well with a lot of residents.

EAAC chairperson Bob Fleming said with the process moving ahead, it will hopefully lead to a solution, such as a speed zone or more conservation officers to patrol the river, that residents can accept.