NONC Opposes 20th Street Extension

Mr. Spencer King
Senior Project Manager
Ministry of Transportation & Infrastructure

Re: Stickle Road & Proposal to Connect Frontage Road and 20th Street

Dear Mr. King:

It is our understanding that consideration is being given to extending 20th Street in the City of Vernon. This is apparently a response to the Stickle Road traffic issues and would see 20th Street extended north to link with Frontage Road.

This proposal is adamantly opposed by the North Okanagan Naturalists’ Club, which represents over 110 citizens of the North Okanagan and has been protecting our natural heritage for 60 years.

Following is a quote from the BX Creek Wetlands Enhancement and Interpretation Project, which was completed in this area several years ago.

“The Black Cottonwood – Red Osier Dogwood riparian ecosystem, which was historically a part of the BX Creek floodplain and other areas around Vernon are both
sensitive and threatened. It provides habitat for many species, some of which are at risk. Only 33 percent of the Black Cottonwood – Red Osier Ecosystem remains in the Vernon area and the Black Cottonwood ecosystems of the British Columbia Interior are all considered at risk with only fragments remaining.”

There is very little of this riparian ecosystem left and particularly so in this part of Vernon. On the west side is the existing Highway 97. To the east of BX Creek the land is slated for development. This wetland area is already narrowed to a pinch point north of 58th Avenue. Pushing 20th Street through would essentially eliminate the wetland and its ecosystem.

The loss of the wetland and the trail that was built there would be the loss of an area very popular with citizens who go there for recreation, exercise and relaxation.
What would this say about the priorities of the government of British Columbia? That cars are more important than the environment and the connectivity between people and nature!

We urge the Ministry and this government to protect what the citizens of the North Okanagan have invested their energy and money in to save, and remove a 20th Street extension from consideration.

Sincerely yours,

Harold Sellers