Bulkley Valley food producers asked to develop climate change strategy

Registration due Nov. 7 for workshop that will show producers regional climate change projections.

The BC Agriculture & Food Climate Action Initiative (CAI) will hosting a workshop on Nov. 14 just outside of Telkwa at Round Lake Hall to discuss how climate change will affect the agricultural sector in the Bulkley Valley.

CAI was created by the BC Agriculture Council in 2008 to develop strategies for dealing with climate change’s effect on agriculture.

At the workshop local government representatives and food producers will be shown climate change projections for the region and get a chance to share how climate change has affected or could affect them. The workshop is a part of a CAI’s process of developing an agricultural adaptation strategy for the Bulkley-Nechako and Fraser Fort George regions.

CAI project manager for the regional adaptation program in the Bulkley-Nechako/Fraser-Fort George region, Samantha Charlton, said a second workshop expected to occur in late January or early February of next year will discuss potential solutions to issues caused by climate change.

A plan to address the top priorities for the region is expected to be completed in April 2019.

Up to $300,000 in funding will be available from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada and the BC Ministry of Agriculture through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership (CAP) for the implementation of the strategy.

Charlton said CAI has a broad understanding of how climate change is affecting B.C. but wants to hear the specific challenges this region faces.

“We want to get input from the different parts of the region and people who are producing different types of food and different types of farms,” Charlton said. “[We want] to really get more of their personal input of what they’re seeing happen on their land.”

Charlton said CAI has gotten complaints about record low river levels in the region.

They’ve also had cattle producers explain how as a result of warmer temperatures there is more algae, a toxic substance for cattle, in their dugouts.

“So it’s not just the water level themselves but the way the warm summers are affecting the quality of that water,” Charlton said.

Those interested in attending the workshop can register by contacting Charlton at 778-676-7657 or, preferably, by emailing her at samantha@bcagclimateaction.ca.

The deadline to register is Nov. 7. Registration is mandatory in order to attend the workshop.

The workshop is tentatively scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. and end at 3 p.m.

Morning coffee, baked goods and lunch will be provided.

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