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HomeNewsQuesnelCRD Unlikely To Pay For Fire Mitigation On Crown Land

CRD Unlikely To Pay For Fire Mitigation On Crown Land

CRD Chair Margo Wagner says she understands the City of Quesnel’s frustration with having to pay to mitigate the fire danger on crown land.

“It is crown land. The CRD runs it’s day to day operations solely on property tax revenue so we get no revenue from crown land what-so-ever. We don’t get revenue from natural resources or anything like that so i can appreciate Quesnel’s frustration because we agree too that it is the province’s responsibility.”

But as far as the frustration that the Cariboo Regional District isn’t helping to pay, Wagner says they haven’t asked…

-I can tell you that the city of Quesnel has not talked to the CRD about sharing the cost. We haven’t had that conversation. So i understand that they’re a little annoyed that we’re not chipping in but we haven’t been asked. I’m not saying that we would if we were, that’s up to a Board decision, not me. But we haven’t been asked.”

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As for creating a new wildfire mitigation function, Wagner says that would be a very far reaching option…

“For us to implement another service means that we have to go to referendum, which is costly. It needs a lot of public education and to be honest with you, while i am not certainly minimizing doing the mitigation to prevent fires , in the crown land when those fires get going as we saw last summer, with a bit of wind behind them they spot two kilometers ahead at the front. So i am not saying that the mitigation is a waste of time by any stretch of the imagination because i don’t think it is, but to put it in as a tax service, it would be extremely costly because right now to clear that land of dead and fallen trees, is a huge undertaking.”

Quesnel City Council has agreed to pay 34 thousand dollars in cash and in-kind donations to fund the development of some wildfire prescription treatments for an area on Marsh Road and another along the Nazko Highway.

These two areas are only a fraction of the area that needs wildfire mitigation in the North Cariboo.

A motion will be going to the Union of BC Municipalities Convention asking the province to foot 100 percent of the bill fore fire mitigation on crown land.

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