I support the Penticton Chamber of Commerce’s decision not to re-engage in any further South Okanagan Similkameen area national park designation and leave this area open to local regional public management. Public management of activities should be left to outdoor associations for activities such as ski/snowboarding, hiking, cycling, ATV (quads/snowmobiles), horseback riding, trail bikers, hunters, recreational shooters/archers, fishing and bird watching, etc. Businesses such as ranching, mining, log harvesting/reforestation, outdoor guiding (cycling, ATV, hunting, hiking), etc. should also have a say. Many of these activities are not allowed in national parks without very restrictive permits, guidelines and controls.
Yes, I agree that national parks allow for business as mentioned in Doreen Olson’s letter. However, she did not mention that these same opportunities are in place now. I must point out that as far as I can understand, she mentioned benefits of significant economic, job development and tourism, which are presently there now, along with vast openness to general public access and enjoyment without park designation and national management control. I believe this area is effectively managed throughout with provincial/local elected government offices, specific interest groups and activity associations.
I fear that should any more of our public land be specifically designated it becomes the sole use of that special interest group and its control. This restricts area access to other taxpayers and is no longer open for all general public activities.
I believe the present process is working, however, it may not be as well or as fast as some think it should be. At the end of the day, however, everyone should have access and it should benefit the majority.
The point that I am trying to make is: I can drive onto any of many public lands in the South Okanagan Similkameen with minimal restrictions to small localized areas. Abiding with area sport activity protocol and area-applicable laws, there are a wealth of activities my family may enjoy without fear of consequences from the law officers or specialized interest group enforcers.
Let the system continue and work as is.