Kalamalka Lake Provincial Park is having its ingrowth cleared out as Phase 1 of B.C. Park's management plan for maintaining the park's grasslands. (Ministry of Climate Change Strategy Kootenay/Okanagan photo)

Kal Lake Park gets early spring cleaning

B.C. Parks ecosystem maintenance and wildfire mitigation project on now until end of March

  • Feb. 27, 2020 12:00 a.m.

Kalamalka Lake Provincial Park is being relieved of its excess conifers, with the purpose of maintaining its ecosystems and lowering the risk of wildfires before summer hits.

On now until the end of March, the ecosystem maintenance and wildfire mitigation project focuses on removing forest ingrowth in the park, which has historically been an open grassland relying on frequent but low-intensity wildfires to maintain healthy flora and fauna.

Given the park’s proximity to urban life, natural fires are no longer a regular occurrence. That means human crews need to get their hands dirty clearing out the extra growth.

The project is run by B.C. Parks in partnership with the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and

Rural Development, the Okanagan Indian Band and the District of Coldstream. Two treatment units have been set up in the Red Gate and Twin Bays areas of the park, totalling five hectares of land.

Most of the clearing will be done by hand, with crews cutting and removing small conifers and pruning larger trees. Slash and debris will be sent through wood chippers and taken off site.

The multi-year project is in its first phase, and other treatment units and project plans will be developed in the spring and summer of 2020, to be potentially carried out next winter. More information will be made available once those projects have been developed.

Temporary trail and area closures can be expected due to the work.

Any questions or comments regarding the project can be directed to BC Parks at 250-490-8250 or emailed to ryan.elphick@gov.bc.ca.

To read B.C. Parks’ Kalamalka Lake Park Management Plan, click here.

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Brendan Shykora

Reporter, Vernon Morning Star

Email me at Brendan.Shykora@vernonmorningstar.com

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