Pushback on Carmi Trails

Plans for a community forest protecting the Carmi Recreation Trails from logging are getting pushback from the Penticton Indian Band, who object to the Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen's support of the proposition. 

The RDOS voted to send a letter of support for the plan in April, at which time the City of Penticton had also expressed support. But the PIB had yet to formally weigh in, and now they have, with a letter to the district up for the board's consideration at Thursday's meeting. 

"We were disappointed to learn that your council also engaged with local stakeholder groups with respect to a series of recreational trails within the vicinity of proposed harvest area K713 and K714. It is our understanding that your council voted in unanimous favour to move forward with the development of a long-term management regime for this area," reads the letter.

"While this is in line with PIB interests, the RDOS has not reached out to the Penticton Indian Band to discuss this process; an unfortunate oversight that is not in line with our commitment to further relations between our two governments."

The PIB holds title rights to traditional territory on Carmi Mountain. In their letter, they invite the RDOS to work with them on a long-term management plan for the area, which could include some timber interests. 

"Allocations of unceded territorial resources by the RDOS or providing support to others who seek to utilize syilx resources is not acceptable," reads the letter. 

The RDOS board will discuss how to respond to the letter at Thursday's meeting. 

"The RDOS is on record supporting the conversion of the Upper Carmi Intensive Recreation area to a Community Forest, which seems to be within the area the Penticton Indian Bands proposed harvest area," reads an analytical report from staff. 

Chelsea Powrie

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