The Province is providing $1.35 million to the BC Cattlemen's Association (BCCA) as this year's portion of a $10-million, six-year highway and railroad livestock fencing plan, announced Premier Christy Clark.
"We're proud to work with the BC Cattlemen's Association who represent an industry that contributes over $250 million and thousands of rural jobs to our economy," said Premier Clark. "This funding will help the association build much-needed fencing to prevent valuable livestock from straying onto our province's highways and railroads."
The program is a commitment under the Ranching Task Force Report, in partnership with the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure, Ministry of Agriculture and the BCCA.
"The aim of this project is to keep livestock away from highways and rail corridors," said Transportation and Infrastructure Minister Blair Lekstrom. "The priorities are to enhance safety for motorists and livestock and to help producers avoid costs arising from livestock/motor vehicle incidents."
This six-year program began in 2010 with planning and prioritization of projects. Construction will take place through 2015, with a total of about 700 km of fencing built to guard provincial highways and railways from straying cattle.
"Over 4,000 ranches around the province provide jobs and income for thousands of British Columbians," said Agriculture Minister Don McRae. "As we continue to deliver on issues raised by the Ranching Task Force it clearly demonstrates the value of industry and government working together to find constructive solutions to key issues."
"I am glad to see we can now begin putting posts in the ground," said Judy Guichon, BC Cattlemen's Association president and rancher from the Nicola Valley. "These fences help protect public safety and I hope to see this as a fully funded on-going program."
Applications for fencing have been received by the BCCA since early November 2010 and are still being accepted for future construction seasons. The planning and prioritization phase has wrapped up for this year, and tenders are now being let for this construction season.
Administration of the project and tendering of the fence construction contracts will be carried out through BCCA's project delivery corporation.
More information on the livestock fencing program is available on the BC Cattlemen's Association website at http://cattlemen.bc.ca/fencing.htm
Office of the Premier
Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure