Southern Interior Regional Meeting Report

si hike
Meeting participants enjoyed an afternoon hike on the Spion Kop Trails in Lake Country.

The FMCBC hosted a Southern Interior Regional Meeting on Saturday, October 17th at the UBC Okanagan Campus in Kelowna. We had a great turn out with all of our Southern Interior clubs being represented either in person or by conference call.

Our meeting started off with a presentation by Doreen Olson of the South Okanagan Similkameen National Park Network (SOSNPN). Doreen explained her organization’s position on the BC Government’s Intentions Paper regarding the proposed National Park Reserve. The FMCBC has written a letter of support for developing a National Park Reserve in the region. In our letter we have also urged the BC Government to consider including Area 2, the area east of Vaseux Lake and the South Okanagan Grasslands Protected Areas in the proposed National Park Reserve. Our Southern Interior representatives agree that including these areas would ensure much stronger protection for this unique and diverse ecosystem and its endangered species than the currently proposed plan. If you would like to show your support for a National Park Reserve in the South Okanagan-Similkameen visit our campaign page for more information.

Our second presentation was by Ken Wiklund of the Central Okanagan Trails Alliance (COTA). COTA is working to build a network of trails through their region to meet the needs of a variety of users including hikers, snowmobilers, ATVers, Nordic skiers, horseback riders and mountain bikers. COTA will be approaching the Central Okanagan Regional District in November to discuss a proposed funding plan which will allow them to implement their trail network project. We are looking forward to learning the results of this discussion because, if successful, a similar funding structure might be feasible for other regions of the province.

After lunch the representatives discussed the purpose of holding regional meetings and agreed upon their frequency and location. The representatives also discussed that there are a number of other outdoor recreation clubs in the region and suggested inviting them to the next meeting.

Other topics including the proposed National Park Reserve were discussed. After the meeting some of the representatives went for a hike on the Spion Kop Trails in Lake Country and then had a bite to eat at the Turtle Bay Pub. It was a successful meeting and we look forward to getting together again in the spring.

Thank you to Craig Nichol and Lina Gomez from the Varsity Outdoor Club Okanagan for assisting us with the logistics associated with hosting the meeting in Kelowna.

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