Letter: Keep rural Lumby, Cherryville character intact

I am writing to you in the hope that the information shared below will affect conversations and decisions made during the meetings planned between the ALC and RDNO this Thursday, Jan. 31.

As you will be discussing the Agricultural Land Commission within the framework of the Regional Growth Strategy and later with the Agricultural Advisory Committee, we hope you will consider the values, lifestyles and expressed wishes of the citizens of areas D and E (rural Lumby and Cherryville).

Residents of these rural communities have done much over the last 20 years to try and preserve the rural character that is central to their lifestyles, and the environment of their watershed which, according to Claude Labine, chief scientific officer of Campbell Scientific data and resident of Cherryville, “The Shuswap River is the cleanest watershed at this latitude and needs to be maintained.” The Shuswap River Watershed Sustainability Plan developed by the Regional District offers detailed information as to the reasons for protecting this rare watershed.

What does all this have to do with the ALC and agriculture? Six years ago, when GM crops were starting to proliferate replacing traditional farms with factory farms, people of areas D and E held an informal vote as to whether they wanted GM crops or not. They overwhelmingly voted no. Eighteen percent of the voting public chose to vote, which is the norm for this type of volunteer vote, and 97 per cent in Cherryville and 93 per cent in rural Lumby voted no GM crops which translates to no Factory Farming.

Their reasoning was that they wanted to keep small diversified farms that protect our food security and suit rural lifestyles. The fact that a food co-op featuring local organic food has taken root in Lumby subsequent to the vote, and is, to this day, still staffed by local volunteers substantiate this choice.

Today we find ourselves having to oppose a different kind of industry on ALR land: cannabis industries that buy ALR land in rural areas instead of paying to be in the only place that is suitable for industries, the industrial parks.

As you discuss regional growth, please understand that the people of areas D and E do support development, but of a kind different from the one offered by industrial agriculture. We support development that enriches residents’ lifestyles, protects our air, water and soil, allows children to play outside without fear, allows salmon to run and screech owls to survive and does not devalue our properties.

Our areas have much to offer in the health sectors, ecotourism, art tourism and education, environmental education, traditional and organic farming methods, ecological forest management and other growth sectors that complement our OCP and differentiate us from industrial areas. A good model for the type of growth we are working towards is the Methow Valley.

We hope that RDNO’s growth strategy and RDNO’s Agricultural Committee can make room for this type of development.

Huguette Allen, Bee SAFE


@VernonNews
newstips@vernonmorningstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Township open burning winds down

Spallumcheen reminds residents of regulation changes as open burning concludes April 30

Mission to host Easter dinner for homeless

“From the staff, volunteers and guests of the Upper Room Mission, we wish you all a Happy Easter.”

Cuteness overload: duckling thinks dog is its mom

Photographer Fiona Hook shot a cute video after noticing one of her ducklings had taken a special liking to her dog.

Fire near Vernon airport “not a concern”

Vernon firefighters attended the scene and found a resident performing a controlled burn

Keep an eye on this up-and-coming Vernon director

15-year-old Bowen O’Brien celebrates filmmaking successes.

Update: Fire destroys Peachland home on Somerset Avenue

Crews are still on scene pumping water onto the blaze

QUIZ: How much do you know about Easter?

Take this short quiz and put your knowledge to the test

B.C. VIEWS: NDP’s lawyer show is turning into a horror movie

Court actions pile up over pipelines, car insurance, care aides

Global Affairs warns Canadians in Sri Lanka there could be more attacks

A series of bomb blasts killed at least 207 people and injured hundreds more

Waste not: Kootenay brewery leftovers feed the local food chain

Spent grains from the Trail Beer Refinery are donated to local farmers and growers, none go to waste

Summerland student examines effects of sound

Science fair project will go to national competition in New Brunswick

Sons of Anarchy’s Kim Coates stops by Okanagan café

Coates was spotted in West Bank’s Kekuli Café on April 20

B.C. women make 2,200 cabbage rolls for charity

The money raised was donated to former NHL player Aaron Volpatti, who is raising funds for ALS

Deck collapses in Langley during celebration, 35 people injured

Emergency responders rushed to the Langley home

Most Read