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<p>Yes, this is an important issue that came up in the <a href="/cms/node/38" target="_blank">“Goals and Objectives” survey</a> we ran last year.&nbsp; The important thing to keep in mind here is that the RDOS cannot solve <em>The Horse Problem</em>.&nbsp; We can, however, solve <em>The Fence Problem</em>.</p><p>Recall Section 3 of the Trespass Act (see <a href="/cms/horses" target="_blank"></a> for a link):</p><blockquote><p>Owners in rural area responsible for lawful fence<br>3&nbsp; (1) Unless otherwise agreed, the owners of adjoining land in a rural area must make, keep up and repair the lawful fence and any natural boundary between their respective land.<br>(2) Each of the owners is liable to the other for 1/2 of any cost reasonably incurred for the purposes of subsection (1).<br>(3) This section is not binding on the government.<br>(4) This section does not apply on treaty lands.</p></blockquote><p>Realistically, we can do little to change provincial acts or impose our will on the Penticton Indian Band (PIB).&nbsp; However, provincial law does give us the right (indeed the obligation) to build fences to separate our land from range land.&nbsp; Since the range land in this case is owned by governments (either Crown or First Nations), the cost-sharing provision in Section 3.2 seems not to apply.&nbsp; Instead, Sections 3.3 and 3.4 appear leave residents on the hook for the full cost of these fences.</p><p>So the question is the following: <strong>Does it make sense for each household adjacent to the PIB range to erect its own fence?</strong>&nbsp; In the case of the large rural holdings in and around Faulder, the answer is probably yes.&nbsp; As Sandy notes, the fences are there already in many cases.&nbsp; In West Bench, higher density makes the economics quite different: The RDOS can likely build a “community fence” much cheaper than 600 or so households can build individual fences around their yards.&nbsp; Indeed, the economies of scale are significant—I estimate a household’s share of a community fence around the West Bench neighborhoods to be about <a href="/cms/node/86" target="_blank">$60 per year</a>.&nbsp; I don’t know about you, but I already spend more than this each year on sprinkler and turf repair.&nbsp; In addition, the PIB has agreed to let us locate the community fence way back on PIB lands where it is less likely to be encountered and damaged by recreational users (<a href="/cms/node/67" target="_blank">map</a>).</p><p>Of course, as Sandy points out, a community fence around the west side of Penticton does not solve two related problems:</p><ol><li>It does not prevent the horses from moving north to rural Summerland.</li><li>It increases the risk of a horse being on a rural Summerland road (given that many rural Summerland properties are already fenced)</li></ol><p>The provincial Ministry of Transportation has so far shown little interest in the problem of horses on roads, even down on Highway 97 by Red Wing. They have erected some yellow signs with horses on them, but that is about it.&nbsp; Fair enough: they have other priorities.&nbsp; As a result, the only practical remedy I see to the rural Summerland problem is herd reduction.&nbsp; It is for this reason that our <a href="/cms/node/50" target="_blank">proposed horse control strategy</a> is two-pronged: The fence is only half the solution; the other half is range management (which, in this case, boils down to herd reduction).&nbsp; The Band has certainly recognized this and has already taken steps in 2009 to better match the size of the herd with the carrying capacity of its range land.&nbsp; We are encouraging the Federal Government to help the PIB develop a more formal range management plan and to reestablish traditional range management practices.&nbsp; You may want to <a href="" target="_blank">encourage Mr. Day</a> along these lines if you see him...<br><br></p>

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