An active logging site in Oyama has raised concern for residents. - Douglas Farrow

Lake Country residents concerned for wildlife after trees cut down for cannabis

The property once housed wildlife, now the owners are making room for cannabis

Oyama residents are greatly concerned about the wildlife and the state of Oyama Creek after a medicinal cannabis company has started building in the area.

At a property on Sawmill Road, resident Sarah Thompson said she could see hawks and eagles nested in the trees, but then the trees were cut down about two weeks ago.

Oyama Creek, which runs through the property, has also been diverted, she said.

Bald eagles and ospreys are protected under the B.C. Wildlife Act. “Osprey and eagle nests are protected year-round, whether or not the nest is in use. Permission and a written permit from the province are required to remove or modify a tree or snag containing an active nest of these species,” according to a government website.

The property will house 640,000 square feet of greenhouses and 100,000 square feet of space for indoor production, according to a district report. The project costs $200 million and will be operated by Cannaworks.

Thompson said the residents don’t mind that it’s a marijuana facility, but would have liked to have been contacted about what’s happening in the area.

The report presented to the district also outline another resident’s concern and after Thompson made a post on Facebook, showing before the trees were cut and after, it gathered more than 130 comments.

“A member of the family who sold the Sawmill Road property to Cannaworks expressed concerns about the work being done on the property and its environmental impacts. He would like the work to stop and for something to be done about it,” the report said.

Mark Koch, director of community services, said the residents’ concerns have been heard by the district and have been directed to the province, but it’s not in the district’s jurisdiction. The property also lies within the Agricultural Land Reserve.

Natural resource officers are investigating the incidents, according to the province’s public affairs officer Dawn Makarowski.

Citizens who suspect illegal activities are taking place should report to the should contact the Natural Resource Violation reporting line by completing the online form or by calling call 1-877-952-7277.

@carliberry_
carli.berry@kelownacapnews.com

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