B.C. cattle ranchers left waiting for federal assistance to fix wildfire-damaged fences
Roughly 90 per cent of summer feed for B.C. cattle comes from grazing on crown land
Cole Schisler, Summerland Review (BC, Canada)
Oct. 11, 2021
It was a difficult summer for cattle ranchers in B.C. as wildfires scorched ranch lands, damaged structures and threatened cattle. Now that the fires have been put out, cattle ranchers are still waiting for federal assistance to fixed damaged fences that sit on crown land.
Crown fences are an asset owned and managed by the federal government that prevents wildlife and livestock from getting loose and potentially wandering across roadways. Roughly 90 per cent of summer feed for B.C. cattle is on Crown land.
ďThe fencing is extremely important for us in that we donít want our cattle in areas that are sensitive or not conducive to cattle grazing,Ē said Kevin Boon, general manager of the B.C. Cattlemenís Association. ďIf we donít have that, then we lose the use of that land until we have fences in place.Ē
Cattle ranchers in B.C. can apply for funding to fix the fences under the Disaster Financial Assistance Arrangements program, but Boon said that federal assistance has been slow to materialize. Since the fencing is a Crown asset, itís not the responsibility of ranchers to fix and itís not a cost they could afford.
ďItís always been covered by the federal disaster assistance program and we have no reason to believe it wonít be. Itís a matter of timing and itís been applied for,Ē Boon said.
Discussions are taking place...