Victory

Help save the Field Road Trails

This petition made change with 857 supporters!


We, the undersigned, petition the City of Kelowna Mayor and Councillors and Ministry of Forests (FLNRORD) to promptly cancel the ‘Targeted Grazing Pilot Project’ proposed for the City of Kelowna Utility Property and adjacent Crown Lots above Field Road and Gallagher’s Canyon in southeast Kelowna.

Please sign this petition by Monday, May, 10th, and encourage your friends and neighbours to do the same. 

If you walk, hike, run, horseback ride, x-country ski  or cycle in the area above Field Road in Southeast Kelowna, please read this carefully. Access to and use of the trails could be about to change dramatically.

Sign this petition so that we can let the City of Kelowna Mayor and Councillors and the Ministry of Forests know how important these trails are to our community, and what our vision is for this area.  

Those of us who use the area are very concerned about continued safe access to the trails, and about the environmental impact of what is planned.

If you have been in this area recently, you know that there has been extensive timber harvesting, as part of wildfire mitigation efforts. Next steps are to install permanent fencing around the area (partially barbed wire), and cattle guards and gates, in order to bring cattle into the area for a period of time each spring – an experimental wildfire mitigation initiative – ‘targeted grazing’.  
The trails in the area to be fenced include those in the City of Kelowna Utility Property (formerly S.E.K.I.D.) and the two adjacent Crown Lots to the west - trails which connect to KLO Creek Regional Park and Myra-Bellevue Provincial Park.  This is such a crucial link in our wonderful, vast trail system on the South Slopes.

Before the first fence post is installed please let the City of Kelowna and Ministry know that we oppose this ‘targeted grazing’ proposal - for this area – it is the wrong place, at the wrong time. 

Thank you for your support. Share this information with your friends and neighbours. Spread the word to build the momentum. If you can email or phone the City Of Kelowna Mayor and Councillors, and directly express your concerns and opposition it will help emphasize our message. You can find their contact information at https://kelowna.cioc.ca/record/KNA0629

If you have any questions, or would like to see maps of the proposed fencing, please contact fieldroadpetition@gmail.com - we'll get back to you as soon as we can, and within at least 24 hours of your enquiry.  

The following document provides more information about the Targeted Grazing proposal. The City of Kelowna (Urban Forestry Department) is currently undertaking wildfire mitigation on the Utility Property (formerly S.E.K.I.D.) above Field Road and the Gallagher’s Canyon residential community and golf course in SE Kelowna.  As part of this mitigation process, a ‘targeted grazing’ pilot project has been proposed for this area, where cattle would be brought in each spring for a period of time.  This initiative, for which the BC Government has provided funds through the BC Cattlemen’s Assoc., is to investigate the use of grazing livestock to manage fine ground fuels (grasses and other tinder) following the tree harvesting/thinning.   The three other ‘test sites’ for this pilot include Cranbrook, Summerland and Peachland.  (For further details on the targeted grazing pilot please refer to the YouTube webinar: Home on the Range: Wildfire Risk Reduction Pilot. As this webinar describes, this pilot project is still very much in the experimental stage. On the South Slopes of Kelowna, we enjoy a vast trail network, connecting the Mission Creek Greenway, and Scenic Canyon and KLO Creek Regional Parks, to Myra-Bellevue Provincial Park, the KVR and Okanagan Mountain Provincial Park/Naramata.  The trails are shared by hikers, runners, mountain bikers, horse-back riders, dog-walkers – and abundant wildlife. 

The City Utility property and the adjacent Crown land to the west provide an integral link in this trail system. In addition to the myriad of trails, the viewpoints overlooking the Valley and canyons, and the exceptional flora and fauna, the area also provides excellent examples of the historic irrigation flumes and ditches which connect to the syphons and flumes found in KLO Creek Regional Park and on the east side of the Creek – all exceptional educational opportunities. 

We are opposed to targeted grazing for these reasons:
1. Heritage:  We want to preserve this area, for today, and for future generations.  The City’s draft 2040 Official Community Plan stresses the importance of parks and protecting natural areas, how ‘they build community…..and are foundational to social wellbeing’.  We believe that this targeted grazing pilot project is proposed for the wrong place - at the wrong time - more than ever the community needs/seeks access to the trails on the South Slopes of Kelowna – our backyard.  We take ownership of and pride in these trails.
2 Community Acceptance:  The majority of people who recreate in this area are unaware of this proposal; the only public meeting was held in October 2019, was poorly advertised in the community and the concept was not well supported.  Many questions regarding the proposal remain unanswered.
3. Connectivity:  These long-established, very popular, trails afford us access to the surrounding Parks, and maintain an important wildlife corridor.
4. Safety: We want to protect the wildlife; the permanent fencing (with barbed wire) around/near the perimeter of the area is a serious concern, as are the potential conflicts between cows/humans/dogs/horses.
5. Access: We are opposed to spring-loaded gates (difficult for mountain bikers and horseback riders), and cattleguards present other safety concerns and provide access to motorized vehicles which are not allowed on the City property.
Landscape: Compared to the other test sites for the targeted grazing pilot project in BC, which are large areas of relatively flat range/grass land, the terrain here is sloped, the area is small in size, and it is immediately adjacent to a residential area.
6. Forage: Is the native pine grass suitable or adequate feed for livestock?  Also, cows may introduce noxious/invasive weeds into the area.
7. Damage and liability: Cows are notorious for pushing through fences and may find their way into neighbouring private properties and the golf course.

 



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