The Agricultural Land Commission has given the go-ahead for a rail trail between Sicamous and Armstrong. (The Shuswap Trail Alliance photo)

The Agricultural Land Commission has given the go-ahead for a rail trail between Sicamous and Armstrong. (The Shuswap Trail Alliance photo)

Sicamous to Armstrong rail trail crosses agricultural hurdle

Trail partners seek to establish crossing agreements with owners of farm properties along route

B.C.’s Agricultural Land Commission is on board with a rail trail project underway in the North Okanagan-Shuswap.

On Monday morning, March 29, the Shuswap Trail Alliance issued a statement from the local government partners behind the Sicamous to Armstrong rail trail project explaining the land commission was satisfied with measures proposed to mitigate agricultural and trail conflicts that could negatively impact adjacent agricultural operations.

“It is another important milestone in the development of the Shuswap North Okanagan Rail Trail corridor between Sicamous and Armstrong within Splatsin territory of the Secwépemc Nation,” reads the release by the Splatsin, the Regional District of North Okanagan, and the Columbia Shuswap Regional District.

According to the release, the rail trail runs along 46 agricultural properties. The rail trail review process included an assessment of each of the properties by a professional agrologist, letters and open house consultations, feedback through the Agricultural Land Commission, and on-site visits. From that, a plan was developed in response to concerns that might affect adjacent agricultural activities including trespass and vandalism, management of invasive weeds, fencing, ensuring farm equipment is able to cross between fields and policies for trail users with dogs.

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“It has been a particularly rewarding opportunity to meet with so many of the region’s agricultural community,” said Phil McIntyre-Paul with the Shuswap Trail Alliance, who helped co-ordinate the agricultural consultation and planning process. “The rail trail presents a very unique opportunity to strengthen awareness and support of our local farming families, and connect people more closely to the importance of local food production.”

The next step for the rail trail owners is to establish formal crossing agreements with adjacent property owners who cross over the rail trail property with farm vehicles, or have waterlines that run underneath it. Those affected should contact Sharen Berger at sberger@csrd.bc.ca or phone 250-832-8194 ex 6013.

For more information visit www.ShuswapNorthOkanaganRailTrail.ca.


lachlan@saobserver.net
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For more information visit www.ShuswapNorthOkanaganRailTrail.ca.

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