At the City of Penticton Council meeting Monday June 20th, Penticton Council vote unanimously to join in to participate in a Regional Conservation Fund for the South Okanagan that will raise and allocate dedicated funding for conservation projects. “Environmental and conservation issues know no political boundaries” was one of the compelling reasons Council re-considered their decision to go forward with a stand-alone fund for Penticton and join a regional initiative that would have rural electoral areas and municipalities cooperating towards clean air, water, wildlife and open spaces. The benefits of such a fund will be felt throughout the region and across generations. The regional service bylaw comes back for reading to the RDOS Board on July 7th, 2016. The Board intends to garner public assent through the Alternate Approval Process which is the most cost effective option as opposed to a referendum outside of a regular local government election cycle. SOSCP is sharing information and success stories from the Kootenay Conservation Program’s success in this realm. The KCP established the first conservation fund of its kind in Canada first in the Columbia Valley in 2008, then in the Kootenay Lake area in 2014. Over the past 7 years more than 1.5 million has been granted to local organizations in support of 70+ conservation projects. The South Okanagan Regional Conservation Fund is poised to raise $450,000 per year every year for the next five years.
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