This is an open letter to John Hawkings with Trails B.C. on the trails master plan for the Trans Canada Trail (KVR Trail).
In a letter to the board of Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen last year, the Penticton Adventurers Club went on record as being strongly opposed to any form of motorized traffic (including ATV and motor-bike) on the TCT (KVR Trail).
Several members of the Penticton Adventurers Club attended the open house meeting on Sept. 18 in Naramata hosted by yourself. We viewed the proposal for a multi-use plan of the TCT (KVR) from Naramata to Chute Lake and were prepared to listen and present arguments for or against the proposed plan.
We were not expecting to have the meeting taken over by several belligerent individuals who vehemently defended their right to drive any and all motor vehicles on the TCT (KVR Trail) without restriction. The attitude and tone of most speakers was rude, loud and intimidating. Our members decided that there was no dialogue going on and were discouraged from presenting reasoned arguments for a ban on motorized traffic on a hiking/biking trail. Frankly, with so many members of the audience shouting down any opposition to truck and car traffic on the TCT (KVR Trail), we felt vulnerable.
Since the TCT (KVR Trail) is designated as a trail administered by Recreation Sites and Trails B.C. (Ministry of Forests) and not a road administered the Ministry of Highways, we cannot understand why we ever got to a point where car and truck owners feel that they have an inalienable right to drive on it. It makes as much sense as our hiking club demanding the right to walk down the middle of any highway.
The Trans Canada Trail within the Okanagan Valley is a tremendous asset that belongs to all British Columbians and indeed all Canadians.
The Penticton Adventurers Club still is opposed to the concept of motorized vehicles on the Trans Canada Trail. However, if there must be some motorized use of the TCT (KVR), we reluctantly endorse the multi-use plan as presented at the Naramata meeting. Our reasons for this support are:
The current situation, especially near little tunnel is untenable. The plan removes all motorized vehicles from the most utilized section of the trail, from Smethhurst Road to the little tunnel. It removes most cars and trucks from the trail. It encourages ATV and off road bikes to use parallel routes. It clarifies the rules. It results in the upgrade of the surface of the TCT (KVR) for about 25 kilometres of the 30 kilometres, a major benefit for bicycle use.
Sue Mavety, vice-president
Penticton Adventurers Club
(On behalf of the 130 members)