Helping out the forest

Penticton Indian Band members were on hand to launch the start of a habitat and cultural enhancement project in the Garnet Valley, north of Summerland, on Monday.

Band members, the provincial Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations, as well as the Okanagan Region of the BC Wildlife Federation are tackling the project due to the need in this area.

Communications co-ordinator for the PIB Dawn Russell said the primary objective is to prevent habitat degradation.

A secondary objective is that traditional practices, indigenous knowledge and ecosystem and fire science are used in harmony to provide the strongest possible results.

The work in this specific area will be completed in the spring of 2017 and then begin in another region.

The work will be ongoing throughout the Okanagan territory to maintain safe and healthy habitats.

The project will:

• Prevent and/or mitigate economic, ecological and cultural impacts of wildfire in the Summerland area

• Improve important wildlife habitat, particularly mule deer winter range

• Provide opportunities to combine FESBC funding with other funding sources

• Provide a platform for relationship building between the province, the PIB, the Summerland and Peachland Sportsman’s Associations and the BC Wildlife Federation.

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