Determining how many trees can be logged

There is an important public consultation underway about our region’s forests that few people know about and even fewer people will participate in and for those that do, it is unlikely their input will make any difference to the decision. At stake is the amount of timber that forest companies will be able to log over the next ten years in the Okanagan Timber Supply Area (TSA), which includes most of the Shuswap watershed. Continue reading

Understanding the Secwepemc world – a book review

A better understanding of Indigenous peoples is now possible, thanks to the recent publication of Secwepemc People, Land and Laws by Marianne Ignace and Chief Ronald E. Ignace, with contributions from archeologist Mike Rousseau, ethnobotanist Nancy Turner and geographer Ken Favrholdt.  Ancient stories, archeological evidence, archival records, ethnographic studies, linguistic research and first-hand knowledge have been masterfully woven together to create this comprehensive examination of the Secwepemc peoples’ ancient connection to the land and the injustices they have endured for over 200 years.

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Everything Shuswap featured in popular online magazine

The Tyee is an independent online magazine that has won many journalism awards for its lively, informative news and views. In mid-December, it published a feature about my book Everything Shuswap, with an interview and excerpts from chapter four. Tyee editor, Barry Link, prefaced the interview by noting, “It is colourful and accessible and reveals the Shuswap has much of what Tyee readers adore: clean lakes, green forests, farmers markets and folk music.” Below are some excerpts from the interview.

[Read the entire feature here: A Love Letter to the Shuswap]
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The close-knit community of Cherryville

Cherryville Community Hall

Nestled beneath the foothills of the Monashee Mountains in the southeast corner of the Shuswap is the close-knit, rural community of Cherryville, a hub for adventure tourism. With a population of just 1,010 residents and only two stores, the community relies upon its strength of cooperation and sharing, given its isolation and distance from major population centres.

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The benefits of outdoor learning

The initiative to re-open the South Canoe School as an outdoor learning school is attracting significant support from parents and the local community, with over 110 “intent to register” forms completed. It is an opportune time, as Salmon Arm schools are bursting at the seams with students due to increased enrollment and the court decision mandating smaller class sizes. Interest in outdoor learning is skyrocketing, due in part to technological and social changes that have resulted in a growing disconnect between young people and the natural world.

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Lumby – where small is beautiful

 Lumby Days Mural, photo by Dale Eurich

E.F. Schumacher’s book, “Small is beautiful – A Study of Economics as if People Mattered” certainly applies to the Village of Lumby. With 1,833 residents, Lumby is indeed the smallest municipality in the Shuswap, but it may also be one of the friendliest. It is a close knit, outdoors oriented community that has many of the services available in larger centres, including an impressive parks and recreation program.
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Back to the land in the 21st century

There is a slowly growing movement back to the land, as more twenty and thirty year-olds move to the country and take up farming. I recently visited Spotted Moose Farm in the hills above Celista, where youthful energies are achieving success using alternative permaculture techniques instead of the traditional tillage system. The owners, Chris Pisesky and Sandy Whitstone, envision far more than just growing food, as they hope to create a school and inspire others to follow in their footsteps.
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Where farming is a way of life

The cozy, unincorporated communities of Mara and Grindrod are nestled into the picturesque lower Shuswap River Valley, where the meandering placid river, green pastures and fields of corn and alfalfa dominate the landscape. Although most of the agricultural income in the valley comes from dairy farming, the diversity is increasing yearly as new crops are being grown in the rich soil, including organic vegetables, blueberries and grapes.

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Hullcar aquifer review good news for Shuswap Lake


Spraying manure in Hullcar, photo by Alan Price

One of the first announcements from the new government in Victoria is that there will be a review of the Hullcar aquifer, which has been contaminated by elevated levels of nitrates likely from agricultural wastes. A significant goal for the review is to provide recommendations to improve regulations for agricultural practices province-wide in order to better safeguard drinking water quality. This process should thus assist local efforts to protect Shuswap and Mara Lake water quality.

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Everything Shuswap CBC interview

 

Click here to listen: CBC interview