Alan Price photo Manure is spread on fields in the Hullcar area.

Alan Price photo Manure is spread on fields in the Hullcar area.

Water protection requires partnership, not conjecture

A recent article in the Salmon Arm Observer titled ‘Shuswap organizations want improvements to water protection’ is big on conjecture, and amateur opinion, while being woefully short on the inclusion of any actual research or data. We say enough is enough.

On the subject of protection of the Shuswap rivers and lakes, Shuswap Environmental Action Society spokesperson Jim Cooperman calls for a, “precautionary principle in decision-making and the need for improved monitoring.” We understand your concerns for the sustainability of our regional water sources, Jim. We live here too, and we share the desire to protect our regional water supply. But when considering water sustainability, we call for in-depth science and research as the guiding principles that dictate policy.

In point of fact, the federally funded Watershed Evaluation of Beneficial Management Practices study titled, Managing Our Land and Protecting our Water Through Long-Term Watershed-Scale Research, does not support the assertion of significant levels of agricultural nitrate and phosphorus run-off to regional water sources in Salmon Valley.

Adversaries to regional agriculture oft toss around the term “industrial farming” in reference to our operations. Fact is, the average number of cows on farms in British Columbia is 127. This is a far cry from actual “industrial farming” operations, such as those in the U.S. with herd numbers upwards of 5,000.

Local dairy is made up of family run businesses operating in a sustainable manner. Please invite us to your meetings, and feel free to talk to us about issues that concern you. We’re all part of this community.

Henry Bremer, President

Kamloops Okanagan Dairy Association (KODA)