Horsefly Round Table discusses Environmental Group Plan

The October meeting of the Horsefly River Roundtable was a sparsely attended event.

The October meeting of the Horsefly River Roundtable was a sparsely attended event.

Miserable weather and other meetings were the main culprits, plus other volunteer work within the community.

The old dumpsite cleanup has been cut back to just the Horsefly River dump up the Black Creek road.

This is a monumental task which will include old vehicle retrieval and disposal as well as many other items of junk detrimental to the environment.

The Environmental Group Plan was discussed, with the bottom line being we need participation from a group of land owners, or it will not happen.

Judy Hillaby has proffered this explanation of the program.

Ardcorp (Agricultural Research and Development Corporation) is a non-government organization in Abbotsford that handles the business aspects of the Environmental Farm Plan.

When you complete an EFP, and you request government funds to help you do a project, such as new fencing to keep livestock out of a waterway, slowing down stream bank erosion, re-building a stream crossing or  moving manure piles, to name a few.

Here in B.C. you are doing business with Ardcorp.

Ardcorp has standard agreements and funding formulas on their website that outline how much money you can get for different kinds of projects, what the ceiling might be, and what your own responsibilities are to see the project through.

In areas that have the potential for significant environmental impacts, such as the Horsefly watershed, EFPs are encouraged for all the agricultural players.

In some cases, the whole is greater than the sum of the parts.

Ardcorp will increase its contribution if you can get your neighbours to do the same thing.

For instance, if everyone along the river can fence their animals out, resulting in improved water quality and fish protection over the long term, then this is a project that is worth a little extra.

Recognizing that there are several areas in the Horsefly watershed that would qualify for this approach, the HRT is sponsoring a project to communicate this to landowners and set up some planning for the next stage.

Stay tuned.

Other topics of discussion included our fall and winter meeting schedule, various activity debriefings, repairs and improvements to the Woodjam, and other local streams going forward, finding someone to take charge of the Streamkeepers kit donated generously by DFO, developing a process to access funds for field projects, as well as our signage projects for the Salmon Walk and the highway for better communication with the public, with a bit of general discussion regarding Mount Polley and Hen — Ingram.

Our last meeting of the year is on Nov. 20,  2014 at 7 p.m. at the Horsefly library.


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