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Peachland Water Protection Alliance participated in province-wide rally to protect old growth forests

Rallied to protect forests

The Peachland Watershed Protection Alliance did not let a little rain stop their rally in support of protecting old growth forests.

On Saturday, dozens of supporters joined with similar events held across the province, gathering along Highway 97 on the grass in front of the IGA mall with signage.

Then that evening, the group hosted a town hall, where Taryn Skalbania, a founding member, spoke about the current wildfire situation.

Skalbania argued that “a diversified forest with aspen, birch, and alders among the evergreens, would help slow down wildfires and make them more manageable.”

Randey Brophy, Peachland councillor, was also in attendance, fresh off the Union of British Columbia Municipalities conference in Vancouver.

“One of the resolutions that we passed [at UBCM] was to ask the provincial government for increased funding for fire prevention. It is a mater of time, we’ll have a fire here. We need to be prepared," Brophy said.

Other speakers included researchers on local watersheds, and garbage cleanup from dumping in the local forests.

Sheila Karr with the Okanagan Forest Task Force spoke specifically about the task of removing thousands of pounds of garbage from the top of Sanderson Road. A total of 14,600 pounds has been removed to date, much of it dumped yard waste, and the task is not finished.

"OKTF does this all through the Okanagan, and that spot is the worst we have ever seen. A big pile of wood remains, and the District of Peachland is going to help by chipping it up and removing it. We can’t leave that amount of flammable debris in place," she said.

The next Peachland Water Protection Alliance event is a fundraiser, led by professional photograher Alexandra Morrison on iPhone photography on Oct. 22. They are also currently running an apple fundraiser in partnership with Sun-Oka Fruit Farms in Summerland.

For more information on the group or the fundraisers, click here.

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