Fence to protect water reservoir

Grazing cattle soon won’t be able to wander into a water source for one North Okanagan community.

The Electoral Area Advisory Committee has agreed to spend $12,000 from the federal gas tax fund on a fence to keep cattle out of the open water reservoirs at Silver Star.

“It’s intended to protect our reservoir,” said Arnold Badke, engineering general manager.

There is a 2.5-kilometre breach in the existing cattle fence between Crown land and the Silver Star controlled recreation area. That has led to some concern about cattle being able to access the areas of the Vance and Paradise reservoirs, and the animals possibly contaminating the water and putting people at risk.

“Anyone that goes up to Silver Star must feel secure about the water,” said Mike Macnabb, BX-Silver Star director.

In a written report, staff indicated that there is a need to proceed with the project because of the regional significance of Silver Star.

“Many residents of Vernon, Coldstream and other areas work and recreate at Silver Star resort,” said Zee Marcolin, utilities engineer.

“Silver Star also provides economic benefits to the area from tourism.”

Of the $12,000, $6,000 each will come from the BX-Silver Star and rural Lumby electoral areas.

The total project cost is $29,000 and other partners include the Ministry of Forests, B.C. Timber Sales and Silver Star Mountain Resort.

“Coldstream Ranch will be responsible for maintenance of the fencing under an agreement with the ministry,” said Badke.

The expenditure of $12,000 must still be approved by the North Okanagan Regional District board.

In other water-related matters, the Electoral Area Advisory Committee is recommending that NORD hire a consultant for $56,467 to conduct a technical assessment of the Shuswap River watershed.

Among the issues that will be considered during the review are water quality, water quantity and riparian areas for wildlife.

“This will give us the scientific baseline we require,” said Herman Halvorson, rural Enderby director.