SLIPP – Regional district representatives want to keep working together on Shuswap water quality and safety

SLIPP MEDIA RELEASE

For Immediate Release June 12, 2013

Regional district representatives want to keep working together on Shuswap water quality and safety

 Regional district representatives on the Shuswap Lake Integrated Planning Process (SLIPP) Steering Committee have agreed in principle to recommend that the Thompson-Nicola, Columbia Shuswap and North Okanagan Regional Districts continue to work together on water quality and safety issues in the Shuswap watershed in 2014 and beyond. One pressing reason for the collaborative effort is the need to protect the source of drinking water for thousands of people in the Shuswap and Mara Lakes.

Their recommendation is subject to completion of a revised governance model. SLIPP is in its third year of a three-year pilot project, and the agreement in principle allows for detailed discussions on cost-sharing, funding approvals and a detailed work plan later this year.

At the June 10 meeting, Paul Demenok, Electoral Area C Director for Columbia Shuswap Regional District, was appointed Chair of the Steering Committee. “I’m very pleased to be the new Chair of SLIPP and I look forward to collaborating with all members of the Steering Committee in a constructive and positive manner. It was very encouraging to see the clear consensus amongst members to see a version of SLIPP continue beyond the pilot program,” said Demenok. Nancy Cooper, Mayor of Salmon Arm, continues as Vice Chair.

Other Highlights of the June 10 Meeting

  The Steering Committee discussed the draft Recreation Management Plan. The draft plan is available for download and public feedback through an online survey until September 15 on the SLIPP website at www.slippbc.com/draft-rmp-ready-for-public- review.

 Nelson Jatel, Water Stewardship Director at the Okanagan Basin Water Board (OBWB), presented an overview of the OBWB mandate, governance structure and funding model.

 The Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations confirmed that enforcement of legislation on docks (in the Shuswap and across the province) is within the Ministry’s mandate and is unconnected to the work of SLIPP. The Ministry has advised that approximately 150 docks are owned by semi-waterfront property owners that front property owned by the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure. Without permission from the upland owner, these docks may have to be removed. The removal of approximately 20 structures is planned for 2013. Enforcement of legislation respecting docks is taking place on lakes throughout the province, not only in the Shuswap. Tenure for docks and structures on the Crown foreshore can be applied for through FrontCounter BC. Once tenure is in place, maintenance or repair of docks can be done under the tenure.

 Summer open houses to present information on SLIPP will be held in early August in Sicamous, Scotch Creek and the South Shuswap (location to be determined).

SLIPP Background: The Shuswap Lake Integrated Planning Process brings together communities, First Nations, and public agencies to ensure that the Shuswap watershed remains a great place to live, work and play. Working in partnership on innovative approaches and projects, SLIPP aims to increase public safety on the water, ensure a healthy environment, and support a diversity of recreational experiences and economic opportunities that can be enjoyed by all.

In 2011, local governments (Columbia Shuswap Regional District, Thompson-Nicola Regional District, City of Salmon Arm and District of Sicamous) pledged $1 million to a SLIPP pilot project, which is additional to an estimated $1.5 million of in-kind contributions from SLIPP agency partners.

For more information on SLIPP, its partners and programs, please visit www.slippbc.com.

Contact: For more information, please contact Tracy Thomas or Mike Simpson at 250-314- 9660

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