They’ve had a hand in shaping it.
Now the Regional District of North Okanagan believes the federal and provincial governments should play a part in fixing the Kingfisher Interpretive Centre near Enderby.
The centre, which has promoted environmental awareness and healthy salmon stocks since 1981, sustained significant damage when Cooke Creek burst, causing flooding and a landslide, May 2.
A “no occupancy” sign has been put on-site due to the danger of the slide and the possibility more debris may come tumbling down.
Rural Enderby director Jackie Pearase has first requested assistance from the province with mitigated works to Cooke Creek to help protect the centre, due to its importance in the community as a provincial and federal resource for B.C.’s recreational fishery.
“The province and the feds don’t seem to be taking any responsibility despite the fact the centre is on provincial property which the Kingfisher Interpretive Centre leases,” said Pearase.
She pointed out that volunteer labour has helped do fishery work in the 30-plus years the centre has operated for both the provincial and federal governments.
“DFO (Department of Fisheries and Oceans) had a hand in the centre as they helped design the intake,” added Pearase. “They occupy that centre on an annual basis in the fall to do their fish count. They hold their equipment there.”
BX-Silver Star director Mike Macnabb wondered what would happen if the province came back and said they don’t want to put any money into the Kingfisher site because of the potential for another debris flow.
“If they say no to the creek, the other option is to move the centre,” said Pearase. “It would behoove them to do that for the same reasons, they have a stake in it.”
Pearase’s motion to send a letter to B.C. premier Christy Clark was unanimously supported by the RDNO board, though Vernon director Mary-Jo O’Keefe felt more offices like the DFO, ministry of tourism and Shuswap MLA Greg Kyllo should be added to the list.
“It’s a pretty significant attraction,” said O’Keefe of the centre. “I don’t think it hurts to broad-base the request for support, and I don’t think it detracts from it.”