The District of Peachland is opposing a new road development at its watershed and asking the province to pause forestry activities in the area until after a watershed assessment is completed.
During the May 11 meeting, council received a referral letter from Michael Kyler, a planning forester for B.C. Timber Sales, regarding a plan to prepare and develop a new road in the Peachland Creek watershed.
The road, which will be 6.58 kilometres in length, is to accommodate future harvesting within the watershed.
Peachland’s Healthy Watersheds Committee (HWC) recommended that the council oppose the road preparation and development, given the district has also asked for a provincially funded comprehensive watershed assessment that still has not been completed.
The district’s director of operations, Shawn Grundy, said the request for the study has not received a response.
The HWC said the district has “significant concerns regarding the cumulative effects of harvesting, combined with droughts, fires, climate change… and the negative effects these activities have on the water quality and quantity of flow in our watershed.”
In 2018, the district did prepare a watershed assessment when asked by the Forestry Licensees, but the HWC says they haven’t seen any actual considerations of the recommendations made in that report.
The HWC also outlined that based on the 2018 report, Peachland’s watershed should not have a clear-cut area exceeding 30 per cent of the watershed. The report from then showed the Peachland Creek watershed was approaching that threshold.
The committee then recommended that council oppose the new road development and write another letter to the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development asking for harvesting and other forestry activities to be paused in the Peachland Creek watershed.
The district council unanimously agreed and passed the recommendation.