Company closing off section of KVR Trail

No Trespassing signs posted on section of KVR Trail off Alder Avenue in Kaleden

A portion of the Kettle Valley Railway trail-bed through Kaleden that is privately owned has been fenced off and posted with “No trespassing” signs.

A former railway siding, the parcel of land was sold to a private company (0893178 BC Ltd.) last December. Company director Debbie McGinn said in a local newsletter, Skaha Matters, that she had been trying to work with the province to keep the trail open in perpetuity through a property exchange agreement, but provincial officials have indicated that such a deal would be very difficult and take a long time to do.

“We want to work with the province so that everyone can enjoy the trail, but allowing continued public use comes with a financial risk we can no longer accept. It will be with great regret that we shut that section of the trail down,” McGinn was quoted.

The property owner has erected a four-foot-high section of wire fence across the entrance to the trail on both sides of Alder Avenue. Another section of fence has been put up across the southern boundary of the property. Trail users now have to detour along Alder Avenue to avoid the section of property. McGinn responded to an interview request by email stating she will be sending out a media release and request to various government agencies and associations asking for support by the end of this week.

Premier Christy Clark said at a town hall meeting in Penticton earlier this month that the KVR is incredibly important, and when she took office there were issues that had been long-standing, this being one of them.

Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations Minister Steve Thomson, also at the town hall meeting, said the trails branch are working on this issue.

“The negotiations are ongoing. We’re meeting with those involved,” said Thomson, in response to a question from the town hall crowd about the property.

The province expressed interest in obtaining an easement through the property for the trail in 2008 but that did not occur before it was purchased by private interests in December 2010. The province originally negotiated two 25-foot easements at the north and south ends of the property to allow trail access to Alder Avenue, however, those agreements were never registered before the property changed hands to the private company.

“There’s not much I can say right now,” said John Hawkings, provincial trails manager. “This matter is somewhat related to a subdivision application before the province. We are not pursuing the land exchange issue until the subdivision process is complete. Our goal is to maintain trail access.”

Hawkings was asked if it would be possible for the province to indemnify the landowners against liability from trail users. He replied that it was possible, but an access agreement had to be in place first.

“We are in the early stages of resolving this matter,” he said. “There are many opportunities for us to consider — there is no need to panic yet.”


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Penticton may soon allow drinking alcohol in some public places

Trying to inconspicuously drink on the beach could become a thing of the past

Dementia intensifies loneliness and loss for seniors in pandemic, says caregiver

Seniors care expert says patience and sharing keys to helping those with dementia cope through virus

No injuries in Penticton Indian Band structure fire

The structure, which sustained significant damage, was boarded up and seemingly vacant

Penticton Farmers Market prepares for return

The weekly market was put on-hold for months due to COVID-19

B.C. legislature coming back June 22 as COVID-19 emergency hits record

Pandemic restrictions now longer than 2017 wildfire emergency

B.C. sees 9 new COVID-19 cases, one death as officials watch for new cases amid Phase Two

Number of confirmed active cases is at 244, with 37 people in hospital

VIDEO: Flowers stolen from Vernon distillery

Okanagan Spirits Craft Distillery captured surveillance footage of the thief in a black car

Unique ‘the Wedge’ development makes way back to Kelowna council

Council initially deferred its decision on the project in March

North and Central Okanagan on flood watch

Kalamalka Lake is close to capacity, and much of North and Central… Continue reading

Nanaimo senior clocked going 50 km/hr over limit says her SUV shouldn’t be impounded

RCMP say they can’t exercise discretion when it comes to excessive speeding tickets

Duck nests at North Okanagan drive-thru

Mother has hatched four ducklings just inches from the steady stream of vehicles

Parks, camping and buildings will open in Princeton June 1

The first day of June will be a big deal for Princeton.… Continue reading

RCMP report woman attacked on side of Shuswap road

Police say suspect identified but not located

Most Read