March 20, 2013 - 4:57 PM
By Shannon Quesnel
The east side of Skaha Lake has become the 26th Wildlife Management Area (WMA) in British Columbia.
Minister of Forests Steve Thomson made the announcement on Tuesday at a Penticton press conference. With him was Penticton Indian Band Chief Jonathan Kruger.
The new McTaggart-Cowan WMA comprises 6,375 hectares of Crown land and 116 hectares of land owned by the Nature Trust of B.C. The name was chosen to honour the late zoologist Dr. Ian McTaggart-Cowan. Another part of the name cannot be reproduced here. It is a word in the native Syilx language which means “a gash in the side”. This refers to a portion of the trail used by First Nations.
Thomson said the area is important for protecting species and their habitats, such as the California bighorn sheep, which use the zone for raising young and for foraging.
Kruger was happy for not only having the land become a protected area but also about how it was done.
“It's a good time. Coming together in a good way where we are talking. This is something that indigenous people across the land want. We want to have our grassroots people have some kind of influence with leaders.”
The new management area will still be accessible to the public.
To contact a reporter for this story, email Shannon Quesnel at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 250-488-3065.
News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2013