The City of Kimberley will be entering into a five year memorandum of understanding (MOU) with BC Timber Sales to oversee forestry operations in the Mark Creek Watershed.
According to a report to council from Operations Manager Chris Mummery, the reason for the MOU is that city officials and residents are concerned about the effects of logging on drinking water quality in the watershed.
“Of particular concern is the quantity and quality of the water and the possibility that logging in the watershed may cause some negative affects, which could lead to significant expenses on the part of the community,” wrote Mummery.
He adds that the MOU represents a commitment on the part of BCTS and the city to improve communications and strengthen their working relationship, building on issues of common interest within the watershed.
The costs of the water monitoring program for Mark Creek will be shared between the city and BCTS. BCTS’ portion of the commitment is $10,000 per year for five years.
The MOU was approved at a regular council meeting on Monday, where Councillor Darryl Oakley said both of Kimberley’s watershed are under tremendous pressure ecologically.
“This MOU does nothing to tackle the cumulative effect. I think it’s important we try to get an ecological plan going forward [to achieve] ecological integrity,” he said. “There needs to be a collective push between [both] council and city staff.”
The MOU includes the ongoing establishment of the Implementation and Monitoring Committee to oversee and make recommendations with respect to forestry operations.