Plan flows forward for Shuswap

The Regional District of North Okanagan board has received an update on the Shuswap River watershed sustainability plan.

Effort continues to ensure the Shuswap River remains a vital resource for local communities.

The Regional District of North Okanagan board has received an update on the Shuswap River watershed sustainability plan.

“It offers some opportunities to look after it (river) and provide economic opportunities for the people who use the watershed,” said director Mike Macnabb.

The planning process is nearing completion of phase two and a set of goals, objectives and strategies have been developed.

The primary focus has been land use and the natural environment, recreation and interagency roles and responsibilities.

As part of the process, a study was done on river bank erosion and boat wakes.

“The final project report provides valuable information on the level of river-based recreational activity, such as counts on speed boats, personal watercraft and pontoon boats, as well as discussion around the factors contributing to river bank erosion on the lower Shuswap River,” said Laura Frank, sustainability co-ordinator.

Community input helped direct the content of the sustainability plan, and feedback from First Nations has now been received.

“The feedback received to date from both the Okanagan Indian Band and the Splatsin First Nation will provide significant detail on the values, concerns and cultural benefits the watershed provides to their communities and will be of great value to the plan,” said Frank.

The plan will soon be referred to government agencies for review.

“It’s good work by our staff and credit goes to my predecessor for the foresight to do this,” said director Jackie Pearase of former rural Enderby director Herman Halvorson.