It’s not known who attempted to remove the blocks at Kobau Park, but whoever tried left their chains behind after shifting the concrete. The blocks have since been put back into place. (Bob McAtemney photo)

It’s not known who attempted to remove the blocks at Kobau Park, but whoever tried left their chains behind after shifting the concrete. The blocks have since been put back into place. (Bob McAtemney photo)

Concerns over off-road vehicles ripping up Similkameen River in Cawston

Residents living near the Similkameen River around Kobau Park are raising concerns about the amount of off-road vehicles using the ecologically-sensitive area.

On Sunday, June 27, people attempted to remove two of the concrete barriers that are put there to prevent quads, dirt bikes and side-by-sides from accessing the river bed. A chain that was linked through the barriers was moved to create a gap onto the river bottom for easier access.

Although it’s not known exactly when it happened, someone used a set of chains and attempted to remove two of the concrete barriers at the top of the levee area.

The concrete blocks were only partially shifted.

George Bush, the regional district Area G director for Cawston, was contacted and returned the blocks back to their proper place.

For many residents in the area like Bob McAtamney, it’s disappointing to see someone trying to circumvent the protections put in place for preserving the levee and river.

“It’s an ecologically sensitive river bottom; there’s all sorts of plant life, there’s animals and birds and we’d like to bring it to people’s attention,” said McAtemney.

“The Similkameen River offers a wonderful and unique place for people to come and swim, float or just sit back and appreciate its beauty. It is not a place to rip around in an off road vehicle.”

One thing that he’d like to see is better protection for the area, something made more difficult by the fact that the river and the area is Crown land that lacks any protected designations or restrictions on motorized traffic whether land or watercraft.

It’s hoped that by making people more aware of the sensitivity of the area, not only for locals but also people who tube or raft down the river, that they’ll think twice before bringing their off-road vehicles down into the area.

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Environment