Province Working with Wildfire Impacted Ranchers
Prince George, B.C.- This week, some ranchers in the Clinton area have called for compensation from the Province for the loss of cattle and ranchland because of a controlled burn that went out of control.
There will be an “agri-recovery program” for ranchers, but there is no word on when compensation will be available. Brent Barclay, Manager of Regional Development for the Ministry of Agriculture says the Province is working on it “The Province is in discussion with the Government of Canada around an agri-recovery program and developing a framework for that, I do not know when that will be completed, but that is one of the first steps in order to receive funding and that was initiated several weeks ago, so we were actively looking at compensation and a recovery program a while ago.”
Barclay says there are a number of supports available to ranchers, including the $6 million dollar fence rebuilding program recently announced by the Province. “Emergency Management BC Commercial Livestock relocation program provides resources to producers to evacuate and relocate their livestock.” He says emergency feed for livestock is also available to those who have lost grazing areas as a result of the wildfires. Barclay adds the BC Cattlemens Association is working with the Ministry of Forests and Range to locate suitable crown lands, or private areas for grazing.
According to Barclay, 350 Cariboo ranchers and a further 100 in the Kamloops region have received some form of support including access to emergency feed, relocating livestock, or gaining re-entry permits to evacuation order properties to feed their livestock.
It estimated there are 30 thousand ranch animals impacted by the wildfires in the Cariboo-Chilcotin, but Barclay says there are no firm numbers yet on the number of animals that may have been lost or injured.