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Postmaster, Please return Undeliverable labels to:


Country Life in BC 36 Dale Road Enderby, BC V0E 1V4


Vol. 104 No.9


CANADA POST


Postage paid Publications Mail 40012122


POSTES CANADA


Port payé Post-Publications


DAIRY CROPS PARK


New entrants face scrutiny, but no wait list Potato trials reflect change in consumer tastes National park reserve consultations to resume


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13 26


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The agricultural news source in British Columbia since 1915


BC faces another summer


of fire More than 13,500 animals at risk


by PETER MITHAM


VICTORIA – The worst wildfire season in BC history hit fast and hit hard last year, with dry lightning sparking fires faster than crews could track and ultimately burning more than three million acres.


This year, the pace has been


slower, but lightning has struck more often and by late August nearly 2.5 million acres had burned. “We thought they burned


everything last year, but now the fires are further west,” Lynda Atkinson said from her ranch at Kersley south of Quesnel. Atkinson and her husband run 30 cow-calf pairs on 600 acres,


See WILDFIRE on next page o Growing more with less water ALR report confirms agenda


by PETER MITHAM VICTORIA – A preliminary


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report from the independent committee charged with recommending ways to revitalize the province’s Agricultural Land Commission and the 11.4 million acres of farmland it oversees supports some of the key pledges the BC NDP made when it came to office last year. BC agriculture minister


Lana Popham has said repeatedly since her appointment a year ago is


that the best way to protect farmland is to farm it, and to that end the advisory committee urges an “agriculture first” emphasis in all ALC decisions. The report includes 17 specific recommendations to flesh out the government’s approach to managing the reserve, including 13 for “immediate legislative and regulatory change” and four steps Victoria could take immediately to protect the land itself. The report reflects 275 written submissions and 2,300 online responses


received over the course of a two-month public consultation last winter. Recommended legislative changes include greater independence for the ALC, a creature of legislation that – like the advisory committee itself – is meant to operate at arm’s length from government. The committee also recommends eliminating the two-zone structure for the ALR introduced in 2014, a step Popham has been frank about pursuing – and


See ALR on next page o SEPTEMBER 2018 | Vol. 104 No. 9


ES Cropconsult staff presented a cake to Heather Meberg (second from left) during the annual BC Potato Variety Trial field day at Rod Swenson Farms on Westham Island, August 23. The cake marked Meberg’s 10th year as “the big boss” of ES as well as her 15th year co-ordinating the potato variety trial. DAVID SCHMIDT PHOTO


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