An 'Open Letter' (Re; Campbell Mt.)

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An 'Open Letter' (Re; Campbell Mt.)

Post  Admin on Thu Dec 09, 2010 3:29 am

Today, a friend incredulously inquired about PACA's support for abolishing the proposed 'wooden stairway solution' on Campbell Mt. Here was my reply; I thought that some others might be interested in the answer I provided.

Ya’, a lot of people were surprised by PACA supporting the developer’s application. We did so because:

We the people; in this case represented by the elected members of city council, enacted through the Penticton Parks & Recreation board, are responsible for ensuring that provisions are in place for public access to city and Crown lands - not developers.

A large, steep wooden stairway up the side of the embankment would be an eyesore for the community located immediately across Penticton Ave., and pose an insurmountable obstacle for members of the public with many types of physical disabilities.

Even if the developer had been forced to implement the stairway, it would only lead to a steep, eroded and non bike friendly access route at its terminus. Hike-only access to the southeast face of Campbell Mt. is not our goal. We seek a rideable route both up and down.

A positive relationship with major developers in the valley comes in handy in the future when land access truly becomes a glaring issue; and believe me, it will. Plans exist for development of Wiltse Highlands, upper and lower Carmi, as well as areas between the dump and Naramata. We are going to look back and reflect on the Campbell Mt. process as groundwork well-laid for club-developer negotiations.

We'd like to see the existing city developed trail which passes behind the water treatment plant 'go somewhere' besides a dead-end fence. All its doing now is tempting kids to climb said fence in order to get to the waterfall which is visually obvious at that point.

I am confident that we will see a bridge-based extension of the aforementioned ‘trail behind the water treatment plant’. It may not come ‘tomorrow’, but good things come to those who wait (perhaps better described as “the squeaky wheel gets the oil…”).

In a valley where we have more or less just ridden wherever we wanted; trespassing be damned - riders wondered aloud what we were doing by entering the club into negotiated agreements with BC Parks in 2009 and the Department of Tourism, Culture and the Arts in 2010.

Upon reflection however, it netted us legal access to the Land Conservancy and Nature Trust protected areas in the first case, followed by legal land use agreements for beginner riding areas up Carmi in the second. We intend on using the Carmi land use agreement as the foundation for the valley’s first legally built rural trail in 2011 / 2012.

As a spinoff of responsible, cooperative negotiations with 'the powers that be', PACA has recently been approached by BC Parks, inquiring about PACA assistance in Okanagan Mt. Prov. Park; a potential partnership which may gain us access to trails that we were previously banned from riding.

Honest give and take relationships with property owners and management teams; be they private, corporate / provincial or federal, are important pieces of the pie that we need in place for ongoing and future access to lands surrounding our city.

Andrew D.


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