The Cariboo Regional District is joining forces with its northern counterparts to get the province to act on a range of issues – from emergency management to feral hogs.
CRD Chair Margo Wagner and the chairs of the Thompson-Nicola, Bulkley-Nechako and Fraser-Fort George met last week to discuss common problems and how to get the ear of the B.C. government. Unmaintained forestry service roads, agriculture and broadband connectivity were among the hot issues facing the four regions, along with invasive species, such as algae blooms, noxious weeds and feral pigs.
“We have them here apparently – they’re quite common,” she said, adding she was surprised to hear of their presence in the Cariboo. “They can be nasty if you corner them and apparently it’s becoming an issue.”
Feral hogs are considered environmental and agricultural pests, which can cause damage to the environment through wallowing, rooting for food and selective feeding. They can also destroy crops and pasture, as well as habitat for native plants and animals.
Wagner didn’t have specific numbers on how many hogs were in the Cariboo but said the issue will be included as part of an agenda the regional districts plan to take to B.C. ministers in Victoria. Wagner noted it makes sense to have all four regions addressing the province directly on common issues, as they previously found out at past Union of B.C. Municipalities conventions.
“It’s beneficial because we all have the same issues and there are times when one ministry says ‘we will do X, Z’ and not offer it to adjoining jurisdictions,” she said. “It’s hard for people based in the Lower Mainland or Vancouver Island to really understand what goes on up here. Just the very presence of us there is impactful.”
The four regional districts plan to meet on an ongoing basis.