PWPA hosted a town hall meeting on September 28, at the Historic School. The floor was open for a variety of different discussions surrounding forest “management” and the impact of fires on our community. Taryn Skalbania, a founding member, stated the discussion and spoke about the current wildfire situation and showed its connections to current forestry practices. She made the point that “a diversified forest with aspen, birch, and alders among the evergreens, would help slow down wildfires and make them more manageable.”
Randey Brophy, a current Peachland councillor, newly returned from the UBCM, spoke. “One of the resolutions that we passed was to ask the provincial government for increased funding for fire prevention. It is a mater of time, we’ll have a fire here. We need to be prepared.” Discussion followed on the potential nature of a fire break.
Rheanne Krochinsky, PhD Student at UBCO, spoke about governance in community watersheds. “I hope you’ll come to the first UBCO workshop series on November 17. Six research teams studying the Peachland Creek Watershed will make presentations and facilitate discussions with the public.”
Jack Gerow, Chair of PWPA, encouraged people to be involved in the protection of watersheds and the forests. Sheila Kerr, a member also associated with the Okanagan Forest Task Force, spoke about garbage in the forests. PWPA partnered with OKTF in May for a Watershed Cleanup, when 13,000 pounds of garbage was removed. Sheila described the current project of removing garbage from a spot in the woods at the top of Sanderson Road, where they have removed 14,600 pounds of garbage, and are not yet finished. “OKTF does this all through the Okanagan, and that spot is the worst we have ever seen. A big pile of wood remains, and the District of Peachland is going to help by chipping it up and removing it. We can’t leave that amount of flammable debris in place.” She also made the point that “people go up there and dump their yard waste. Besides it being illegal, it helps spread invasive species.”
Alexandra Morrison, award-winning professional photographer, ended the meeting with an invitation to her upcoming iPhone photography clinic on October 22. This is a PWPA fundraiser, as is the current apple campaign, in partnership with Sun-Oka Fruit Farms in Summerland. “You can scan the QR code, order online and when the harvest is ready, they will be delivered to Peachland. Check out PWPA’s website.”
Lively conversations filled the room as people enjoyed home baked treats, buttonholed others for more information and gabbed.