For the past year, one of the issues Columbia River Revelstoke MLA Doug Clovechok has been working on is what he calls the “alarming mortality rate” of big horn sheep due to traffic on the Radium hill.
Clovechok put together a working group of professionals and experts from a variety of organizations to look at the problem.
“ Since March 2020, our working group has been sharing various forms of data from the highway, and information on the sheep’s behaviour in and around the Village of Radium,” Clovechok wrote in a letter to constituents. “The most concerning highway section is just south of the Village, and our group concluded that a highway overpass south of the Village would give the sheep the best chance at thriving while keeping drivers safe.”
The Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development wildlife biologist was able to secure funding for a study and report. The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure assigned a ten-person design team to assist, and secured $300,000 for the upcoming budget year to move the project forward. The next step will be a geotechnical survey of the hill, creating a concept of the overpass, and research into fencing options.
“Our initial funding success from each of these two Ministries is primarily due to the discussions and data sharing within the working group,” Clovechok said. “Even though we are working through a pandemic, an impressive amount of work has been accomplished within the various levels of government/agencies on this project.
“Despite the dedication and expediency of this group, we are still in the initial stages of the project. I will continue to provide more information as it becomes available. For now, let’s enjoy the win for our iconic Big Horn Sheep, and for Columbia River-Revelstoke.”
Clovechok thanked the following local organizations who continue to stay involved with him in the working group.
• Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations, & Rural Development
• Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure
• Parks Canada
• Village of Radium Hot Springs
• Shuswap Indian Band
• Akisqnuk First Nation
• Regional District of East Kootenay
• Lake Windermere Rod & Gun Club
• Columbia Basin Trust
• B.C. Conservation Officer Service