Aserious local environmental issue has been brought to Sierra Club Okanagan’s attention.
There is an application in at the Regional District of North Okanagan for a gravel pit licence for a property on Brentwood Road on the banks of upper BX Creek. Sierra Club Okanagan strongly objects to any commercial or industrial activities within the riparian and supporting banks and vegetative ground water filtration zone.
In other words, all land bordering a water course (stream, creek or river) all the way to the top of the banks or rim of a ravine and beyond to stable soil.
Vernon and area, being one of the oldest settled areas in B.C., has promoted its scenic beauty with its lakes, grassland hillsides, pine forests and mountains, as well as its recreational activities, fruit orchards and ranches.
Locals and tourists have appreciated these natural assets, so now it’s time to make protecting these natural assets our top priority.
We need to stop all detrimental development and activities in this area’s watersheds (lakes, ponds, wetlands, streams, creeks and rivers), as well as restore previously damaged and corrupted habitats.
Upper BX Creek is a very important and unique corridor.
This creek provides mountain-fresh and cold water from the snowpack of Silver Star Mountain to Swan Lake and Okanagan Lake, providing nutrients and fish habitat. The surrounding ravine provides excellent habitat for many species (birds, bear, deer, fish, etc.) ,including the endangered screech owl.
Upper BX Creek creates a micro-climate of cool moist conditions in an otherwise very dry region, with a canopy of tall cedar trees, Douglas firs and black cottonwoods and has unique features uncommon in the now urban developed Vernon area such as moss, small bogs and wetlands.
The upper BX Creek is such a special and unique area, that local governments have the entire creek and bordering lands mapped out in their future plans to protect as park.
Sierra Club Okanagan applauds this responsible far sighted initiative.
But the government needs to act now to assure that this sensitive habitat is not harmed, by stopping any plans to disturb or develop any of the land along this creek.
Brad Foster, director
Sierra Club Okanagan