Penticton Western News letters to the editor.

Penticton Western News letters to the editor.

Letter: Willowbrook resident shares thoughts on national park

You are asking that the residents of the South Okanagan as a whole sign a blank check

I am a Willowbrook resident and I am very concerned about the proposed national park.

I do not have or use Facebook so I cannot comment on what is being said there, but there are those who are intent on singling out the residents of Willowbrook with their pro-park agenda; so to that end, here are some of my concerns.

The absolute most disturbing issue is that years ago, when this discussion began, there was a total lack of any specifics and that has still not changed. There are still no set boundaries; there is no proposed agreements or even attempts at public negotiations aimed at specifics on issues like flood mitigation programs, fire response inside park boundaries, mosquito control programs, public health concerns, wildlife encroachments, controls on properties adjacent to park, access to engulfed private properties and cattle grazing, although the last has been mentioned in references to Saskatchewan Grasslands National Parks current grazing programs.

Those are just a few of the literally hundreds of local concerns that must be addressed first. Keep in mind that a national park has never been attempted in an area so densely populated with private lands.

Some park supporters have very colourfully portrayed in the media a picture of Willowbrook residents and indeed any who do not share their opinion as low educated, unwashed hillbillies who leave our meaningless jobs at Swampwater beer works to jump in our monster truck and quads, tearing off into the hills looking for a nest of baby eagles to stomp on.

This was a tribute to your journalist skills, you almost had me hating myself.

The truth is these residents have invested hundreds of thousands of dollars of their own money and dedicated decades of their lives to the protection and maintenance of these lands. Some have built careers, family businesses and legacies that necessitate the proper care of the lands. The proof of their success was in the admissions by Parks Canada biologists and representatives at a public meeting stating that “the husbandry of this area has been outstanding and of the best quality.”

Just maybe if it isn’t broke, we shouldn’t be fixing it.

You are asking that the residents of the South Okanagan as a whole sign a blank check to a federal government that once cashed will end any and all local input into the management of the lands in question where ever those borders may be and no matter how it effects the valley and residents as a whole.

I leave you with one last thought: the most terrifying words a working class Canadian citizen can hear.

I’m from the government and I’m here to help.

Rick Knodel


Just Posted

This photo of the small wildfire burning above Naramata was taken at 8 p.m. on Thursday, June 17, 2021 (Monique Tamminga Western News)
BC Wildfire on scene of small wildfire above Naramata

Black smoke can be seen rising from the mountain

Keremeos’ heritage Grist Mill and Gardens. (Brennan Phillips - Keremeos Review)
Keremeos Grist Mill looking forward to restrictions easing with exclusive concert planned

Juno Award-winning folk artist Valdy is set to take the stage

Letter writer says COVID has created lots of newbie cyclists who don't know rules of cycling. (File photo)
LETTER: Newbie cyclists in Penticton need lessons on rules of the road

Penticton cycling group just received city funding, should give back by offering how-to lessons

No dental coverage for low income Canadians. (File photo)
OPINION: Penticton MP’s proposal for universal dental coverage rejected

One in 3 Canadians have no dental coverage, with COVID making it even worse

The weekly COVID-19 map for June 6 to 12. (BC CDC)
South Okanagan sees only 5 new cases in last week

The Similkameen Valley went a second week without any new cases

Bear wanders Kelowna on June 15. (Michelle Wallace/Facebook)
Bear climbs fence, uses crosswalk in Kelowna

The bear was spotted on Baron Road Wednesday evening

Students in the Grade 10 entrepreneurship program at Summerland Unisus School have completed a cookbook with international recipes. (Contributed)
Summerland students create virtual international cookbook

Entrepreneurship program at Summerland Unisus School uses virtual cookbook as fundraiser

Hundreds of people, young and old, joined the three-day Walking Our Spirits Home procession, honouring residential school survivors, those who never made it home and all those affected by the institutions. Here people walk the third portion on June 13. (Martha Wickett - Salmon Arm Observer)
Walking Our Spirits Home from Kamloops provides path to healing

First Nations in and beyond Secwépemc territory join in to honour residential school survivors

More flames
Lake Country home destroyed in large blaze, 11 dogs rescued

Fire crews are responding to 10839 Hallam Drive

(Facebook/Kelowna Cabs)
Kelowna Cabs reaches tentative agreement with dispatchers union

The tentative agreement could help end the dispute between the taxi company and the dispatchers

FILE – A science class at L.A. Matheson Secondary in Surrey, B.C. on March 12, 2021. (Lauren Collins/Surrey Now Leader)
Teachers’ union wants more COVID transmission data as B.C. prepares for back-to-school

BCTF says that details will be important as province works on plan for September

A boat sharing service is extending to Summerland. The company, Penticton Boat Club and Rentals, is also taking over the boat rentals at Summerland Waterfront Resort. (Photo by Chris Stenberg)
Boat sharing service extended from Penticton to Summerland

Company will also operate boat rentals at Summerland Waterfront Resort

201 First Street West 1980s. Prior revitalization. (Photo from Revelstoke Museum and Archives)
Man who redesigned downtown Revelstoke honoured with lifetime achievement award

Robert Inwood has worked on historical projects across the province

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry outlines B.C.’s COVID-19 restart plan, May 25, 2021, including larger gatherings and a possible easing of mandatory masks on July 1. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. records 120 new COVID-19 cases, second vaccines accelerating

Lower Pfizer deliveries for early July, Moderna shipments up

Most Read