A partnership agreement between the Penticton Indian Band, the provincial Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations and the Okanagan Region of the B.C. Wildlife Federation will enhance the Garnett Valley area north of Summerland.
This area, just outside Summerland’s municipal boundaries, is part of our watershed area and is important for our community.
The agreement will bring together traditional aboriginal practices and ecosystem and fire science.
The band has had a long presence in this region and Aboriginal people have managed and maintained forested areas for many years.
It makes sense to use their expertise in maintaining forests and wildlife habitat areas today.
Considering the scope of wildfires in the B.C. Interior in recent years, it would be wise to work together to reduce the fire risks.
In addition, the restoration and forest maintenance work will benefit wildlife species which live in this area or use it as their winter range.
While the natural benefits are worthwhile, the relational benefits from this agreement are equally important.
The partnership represents an opportunity to build stronger relationships between the Penticton Indian Band and local and provincial organizations.
The band is Summerland’s neighbour and part of the core of our community was once the Penticton Indian Band’s land.
Working together provides opportunities for Summerland and the province to get to know our neighbours.
Strength and progress come from partnerships and strong relationships.
This partnership is a good place for us to begin.