Community groups in the Columbia Valley are coming together to create regulations for backcountry use.
Wildsight is one of many organizations working on a Recreational Access Management Plan for the valley.
Conservation Coordinator Eddie Petrysehn says this isn’t the first time RAMP has been discussed.
“Its been an ongoing topic for more than 10 years,” Petryshen says. “Discussions last tiime fell apart due to some disagreements, but I think we have a much tighter knit group hopefully and there’s really a need for it in the Columbia Valley.”
First Nations groups have raised concerns about their involvement in the process and the effect it could have on their cultural heritage.
Petryshen says all groups are encouraged to take part, including the Shuswap and the Ktunaxa, when they meet again in October.
“There’s no doubt that any sort of land-use decision in the area needs to come with an engaged First Nations group,” Petryshen says. “We’re still in the early stages. Hopefully in the future, we will have full representation.”
Longtime RDEK Director Gerry Wilkie is also involved in the process.
He helped spearhead the initiative when it was first introduced in the Valley over ten years ago.
(Photo from the Columbia Valley Chamber of Commerce)
– Wildsight’s Conservation Coordinator, Eddie Petryshen