Peachland Watershed Protection Alliance

Here’s what’s new from the Peachland Watershed Protection Alliance:

The PWPA announced one of its own has been appointed to the District of Peachland’s Healthy Watersheds Committee (HWC). Here’s a press release from PWPA communications chair Alex Morrison:

“Taryn brings deep subject matter knowledge to the HWC. Her connections to the grassroots watershed protection community in BC, coupled with experience working with logging licensees, Indigenous communities and provincial government representatives, make her the clear choice to represent PWPA as an advocate for Peachland’s watershed.

The HWC mission is to provide advice and support to Council and staff on matters affecting the water quality and quantity in the Peachland Creek and Trepanier Creek watersheds. It is an important mandate, as Peachland watersheds are recognized across in the Okanagan Valley and beyond as being highly impacted by industrial and commercial activities such as clear-cut logging, mining, and range cattle. PWPA welcomes the District’s initiative in striking this committee. PWPA values its new role as an advisor and supporter of the District’s water protection mandate.

“I am honoured to represent PWPA at our District’s watershed table,” says Taryn Skalbania. ”As a grass roots organization, our momentum comes from the people in our community. Now with our participation on the HWC, the voice of the District of Peachland will be amplified by the additional support of our members and provincial networks in protecting our watersheds.”

“Our watershed is a life-sustaining foundation for this community,” says Jack Gerow, PWPA Chair. “Without safe and sufficient water there would be no Peachland. But it’s not just water quality that’s affected. It is also the amount of water available and the timing of the flow to replenish the reservoirs for drinking water, as well as irrigation for our orchards, vineyards and farms. An informed and active HWC is a vital component in the struggle to protect our watersheds.”

Peachland Watershed Protection Alliance (PWPA) is a non-profit grassroots community organization with a mission to protect Peachland’s watersheds. Organized in 2016 by a group of Peachland residents who were dismayed by the repeated boil water advisories, loss of forest habitat and recreational opportunities caused by extractive industries in the watershed. PWPA has grown as water impacts have increased, and the community bears the costs of mitigating the effects of industrial and commercial degradation of the land.”



There was a scavenger hunt and there was bingo, but first there was the business of the PWPA’s annual AGM and it was a productive one. 2020 wasn’t the most active year, but all 21 attendees at the Jan 28 Zoom meeting agreed on the importance of keeping everyone engaged. Thanks to Alison Moore for running such a well-organized meeting. The 2021 budget was passed and members also voted in a new board of directors. Here they are!

Chairperson: Jack Gerow

Treasurer: Val McGillivray

Secretary: Virginia Schmidt

Other board members are Patricia Dunn, Lee Humphries, Alex Morrison, Taryn Skalbania, Dora Stewart and Cory Sutton.




A couple upcoming events..

On Feb 25, Michelle Connolly, a scientist from Conservation North will host a free online presentation on mapping technology. What does this mean for the watershed? She has a background in communicating conservation policy, so it should be an informative session!

Did you know March 21 is the International Day of Forests? Stay tuned for more info on that. You can also check out the PWPA website or email


A little more about the PWPA:

From clean-up activities and watershed field trips, educational opportunities and advocacy, the Peachland Watershed Protection Alliance is a volunteer-driven group concerned about logging, unregulated recreation activities and other threats to the environment that’s home to our drinking water. One of their aims is to bring more attention to the lack of influence smaller communities have over those activities in their surrounding watersheds.  

According to their website, the alliance “encourages the adaption of site sensitive, ecologically-based forestry practices in the public forests located in Peachland’s watersheds.”

There’s resources and other info on the PWPA website, or you can check them out on Facebook or Instagram

Related stories:

Peachland’s water treatment plant – a series: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3

Written by Kristen Friesen

January 20, 2021

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