Grassland group: Members of the Kootenay Livestock Association hosted B.C. Minister of Agriculture Norm Letnick (far right) on a field tour of grasslands and open forests on Wednesday

Grassland group: Members of the Kootenay Livestock Association hosted B.C. Minister of Agriculture Norm Letnick (far right) on a field tour of grasslands and open forests on Wednesday

Local ranchers meet with Agriculture Minister

Group tours sites in the Agricultural Land Reserve, including an ecosystem restoration treatment area near Cranbrook.

  • Aug. 14, 2014 5:00 a.m.

Trish Barnes/For The Townsman

The Kootenay Livestock Association hosted Minister of Agriculture Norm Letnick on a field tour on Wednesday, Aug. 6. The group toured sites in the Agricultural Land Reserve, which included an ecosystem restoration treatment area near Cranbrook.

Letnick was in town as part of his Summer Farm Tour.

“I want public input on Bill 24,” he said. “I’m encouraging people to learn about it and comment on it via our website.”  Bill 24 proposes some changes the B.C. Agricultural Land Commission Act.

Deadline for comment is August 22, 2014 at engage.gov.bc.ca/landreserve.

Letnick also announced his Ministry’s goal to help B.C. farmers, ranchers and food producers increase overall revenue to $14 billion per year by 2017. (Revenue is just under $12 billion per year currently.)

“I’m asking ranchers and farmers how we can do that,” Letnick said.

Kootenay Livestock president Randy Reay, along with past president Jordy Thibeault shared ideas with the minister, as did representatives from the Trench ER Program and the East Kootenay Invasive Plant Council.

Dan Murphy, representing the Trench ER Program, told the minister it is cheaper to maintain restored grasslands than to re-thin sites that have grown in again.

“If we treat only our core grassland areas, we’ll need to maintain 63,000 hectares over the long term,” Murphy said.  “To do that, we’d need about half a million dollars per year.

“About 50 per cent, we hope to maintain with spring and fall prescribed burns, the other 50 per cent would be by slashing

“If we do not maintain some of these areas, we’ll have to start over again on re-treating areas—at a cost of between two and a quarter to three and three-quarter million dollars per year.”

Both livestock and wildlife in the Trench rely on grasslands and open forests to thrive.

Letnick is continuing his tour of the province. “I’m meeting with people in coffee shops, around farmhouse tables and on field trips from Cranbrook to Fort St. John,” he said.

KLA president Randy Reay said “We’re glad Minister Letnick came out to hear the concerns of East Kootenay ranchers. We hope to work more closely with him in the future.”

Just Posted

The Kimberley Aquatic Centre is set to reopen its doors to the public on July 6, after being shut down due to the pandemic in March, 2020. The Centre will be initially operating with reduced occupancy and limited program offerings. Bulletin file.
Kimberley Aquatic Centre set to re-open July 6

New safety infrastructure, limited guests and programming allow facility to open again

Interior Health is reporting a COVID-19 exposure at Selkirk Secondary in Kimberley. Bulletin file.
COVID-19 case identified at Selkirk Secondary in Kimberley

Interior Health is conducting contact tracing

The Kootenay International Junior Hockey League met for their AGM and announced a number of new initiatives, new awards and changes in their executive committee, as well as the starting date for the 2021-22 season. Paul Rodgers file.
KIJHL announces start dates for 2021-22 season

Season set to begin Oct. 1 with league still following all health guidelines

Calvin Dickson photo.
Severe thunderstorm watch in effect for East Kootenay

Conditions favourable for the development of thunderstorms, hail and heavy rain

The Independent Investigations Office of BC is looking into a Castlegar incident. File photo
Police watchdog investigating Castlegar incident

IIO: Woman sustained a reportedly self-inflicted injury

People watch a car burn during a riot following game 7 of the NHL Stanley Cup final in downtown Vancouver, B.C., in this June 15, 2011 photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Geoff Howe
10 years ago: Where were you during the 2011 Vancouver Stanley Cup Riots?

Smashed-in storefronts, looting, garbage can fires and overturned cars some of the damage remembered today

A health-care worker holds up a sign signalling she needs more COVID-19 vaccines at the ‘hockey hub’ mass vaccination facility at the CAA Centre during the COVID-19 pandemic in Brampton, Ont., on Friday, June 4, 2021. This NHL-sized hockey rink is one of CanadaÕs largest vaccination centres. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
‘Vaxxed to the max’: Feds launch Ask an Expert campaign to encourage COVID shots

Survey shows that confidence in vaccines has risen this spring

Port Alberni court house (Alberni Valley News)
Inquest set into 2016 death of B.C. teen after a day spent in police custody

18-year-old Jocelyn George died of heart failure in hospital after spending time in jail cell

Children’s shoes and flowers are shown after being placed outside the Ontario legislature in Toronto on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
Ontario commits $10 million to investigate burial sites at residential schools

Truth and Reconciliation Commission identified 12 locations of unmarked burial sites in Ontario

Singer-songwriter Jann Arden is pictured with a draft horse. (Canadian Horse Defence Coalition)
Jann Arden backs petition to stop ‘appalling’ live horse export, slaughter

June 14 is the International Day to End Live Export of Animals

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Two hundred and fifteen lights are placed on the lawn outside the Residential School in Kamloops, B.C., Saturday, June, 13, 2021. The remains of 215 children were discovered buried near the former Kamloops Indian Residential School earlier this month. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Days after Kamloops remains discovery, Tk’emlups families gather to unite, move ahead

‘We have to work together because this is going to be setting a precedent for the rest of the country’

In this Saturday, May 29, 2021, file photo, people crowd the Santa Monica Pier in Santa Monica, Calif. California, the first state in America to put in place a coronavirus lockdown, is now turning a page on the pandemic. Most of California’s coronavirus restrictions will disappear Tuesday, June 15, 2021. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes, File)
With COVID tamed, it’s a ‘grand reopening’ in California

No more state rules on social distancing, no more limits on capacity, no more mandatory masks

x
It’s hard out there for a billionaire

I’m sure you’ll be happy to know that while many, many people… Continue reading

Most Read