Trivial offer for lost wetland

There is disappointment over the Transportation Ministry's decision to proceed with its Stickle Road plan, and not just for those who wanted a traffic light at the intersection with Highway 97 north of Vernon.

A major part of the plan to will see 20th Street extended from Stickle to behind the Rona store.

“We are disappointed that the 20th Street extension will go ahead,” said Harold Sellers of the North Okanagan Naturalists Club. “In our minds, it is a bad concept because of the wetland that will be lost and the damage to natural and recreational features.

“It is also an unnecessary road because other roads are being planned to serve the residential developments that are coming soon to the east side of the creek.”

Sellers said he had written to both the ministry and the City of Vernon on Monday, just ahead of the announcement that the road plan would proceed.

“Our request was that lost wetland be replaced by either a restored wetland or a new, constructed wetland in another location. That is wetland for wetland.

“We also pointed out that responses of installing bird and bat houses, shrub plantings and invasive species removal, are not adequate and are in fact trivial gestures. We doubt that there will be anyone to maintain these once they have been installed.”

While the club supports the remediation of the BX Creek channel on the west side of the highway, Sellers insisted it is not enough.

“We hope the ministry will still consider our request to replace lost wetland with new or restored wetland elsewhere,” he said.

“We are willing to consider a contribution of funds, as well as volunteer efforts, towards a project that meets our objectives. At this point I believe we can have further discussions with the ministry.”

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