Mystery solved on who put up blockade on Okanagan road

Land owner says trespassing with quads and motorcycles threatens wildlife and old growth trees

The mystery of who put up cement barricades on Mount Kobau has been solved, with the property owner coming forward to say he did it.

“People wrongly assume that the land is public or already a park, posing a great risk to wildfires by trespassing with quads, pickup trucks and motorbikes,” said land owner Shawn Baenzger on Monday.

“It is important that people know the land is private and that we need to protect the old stand of trees and livestock, and we will continue to restrict the access.”

In a news release put out by Parks Canada on Friday, (Sept. 25), they said that a road on private property adjacent to the Fairview-Cawston road that connects to Mount Kobau has been blocked.

“While the area in question falls within the working boundary for the proposed National Park Reserve, Parks Canada has no jurisdiction or involvement in this matter,” the release stated.

READ MORE: We didn’t put up blockade, says Parks Canada

“The federal government has no jurisdiction over property rights on privately owned land within or adjacent to national parks.”

The land is within the working boundary for the proposed National Park. The blockade had created a lively discussion in the community and on social media as to why it was put up and by whom.

Unknown persons trespassed, vandalized, dismantled and removed the roadblock only days after it was put up, said Baenzger.

“Over the last couple of years with talks of a national park, there has been much more traffic using the private road,” he added. He’s worried this increases the risk to livestock and old growth of timber.

“With the Testalinden Creek fire in 2015 still fresh in our memories and an average of 46.3 per cent of person-caused wildfires in B.C., I had to do close the private road.”

READ MORE: National Park gets green light to go ahead

Baenziger, from Kelowna, has owned the land for the past 15 years. He recently consulted with the Wildfire Service in Penticton to find ways to mitigate the wildfire risk.

“No Trespassing signs have been in place for years but were but constantly disregarded by people trespassing. When the fire danger rating this summer was hovering between high and extreme, he closed the private road section to Mt. Kobau.

“Unfortunately, the vandalizing of the roadblock will now call for stricter measures,” he added.

To report a typo, email: editor@pentictonwesternnews.com.


 

@PentictonNews
newstips@pentictonwesternnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

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

Just Posted

Sparkling Hill Resort in Vernon, B.C. photo: Sparkling Hill Resort’s Facebook
COVID-19: Sparkling Hill Resort closes after staffer tests positive

Vernon resort closes for 11 days as precautionary measure

A pair of hunters walked away with minor injuries after their vehicle rolled down an embankment Oct. 28. (VSAR photo)
Hunters free themselves from rollover on Westside

Vernon Search and Rescue was called out for a rope rescue, but the pair were already walking down the road

Lumby is proceeding with Halloween fireworks for 2020, but encouraging everyone to stay in their cars or watch from home. (Dale Eurich Photography - 2019)
Halloween fireworks curbed in all but two North Okanagan communities

COVID-19 forces Lake Country, Coldstream, BX, Armstrong to cancel events

Mara Lake is one of the significant water resources across the Okanagan-Shuswap region that will fall under increasing sustainability pressure as the anticipated population growth for the region continues in this century. (File photo)
Okanagan Valley water supply sustainability reaching a critical point: Global expert

Global expert says Okanagan Basin Water Board offers sustainable path forward

H.O.P.E. Outreach volunteers not only spread support, but thanks to donations they offer makeup, jewelry and clothing to sex trade workers in Vernon and Kelowna. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
Warm clothing sought for Okanagan’s most vulnerable

Coat drive at People Place Sunday, Nov. 1 in Vernon and Nov. 7 in Kelowna

Sooke’s Paul Larouche enjoys gold panning along the Sooke River, looking for small treasures. (Aaron Guillen/News Staff)
VIDEO: Island man finds niche audience by gold-panning on YouTube

Paul Larouche, 29, with over 215,000 subscribers, opens up about his journey

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Elijah Beauregard, 16, was stabbed in downtown Kelowna on June 27, 2019. He died of his wounds three days later in hospital. His family is raising money to put a memorial bench at his favourite skatepark in Penticton.
Family of teen fatally stabbed in Kelowna close to getting Christmas wish

A memorial bench in Penticton for Elijah Beauregard is close to meeting its funding goal

The Kimberley Dynamiters' next two exhibition games have been postponed due to an individual testing positive for COVID-19. Paul Rodgers file.
Member of Kimberley Dynamiters tests positive for COVID-19

Exhibition games in Fernie, Creston postponed

Health care employees take extensive precautions when working with people infected or suspected of having COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young
WorkSafeBC disallows majority of COVID-19 job injury claims

Health care, social services employees filing the most claims

Conservative leader Erin O’Toole rises during Question Period in the House of Commons in Ottawa on Wednesday October 28, 2020. (Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press)
Conversion therapy ban gets approval in principle, exposes Conservative divisions

Erin O’Toole himself voted in favour of the bill, as did most Conservative MPs

CBSA. (Black Press Media File)
4 sentenced in B.C. steroid smuggling, distribution ring that spilled into U.S.

Canadian Border Services Agency announced the results of a lengthy investigation it called ‘Project Trajectory’

Search and Rescue Technicians carry a stretcher to the CH149 Cormorant during a 442 Squadron Search and Rescue Exercise in Tofino on February 28. (Photo by: Cpl Joey Beaudin, 19 Wing Imaging, Comox)
Father and son found dead after weeklong search near Pemberton

The father and son had set out for a day of mushroom picking last Thursday

A full moon rises over Mt. Cheam on Saturday, Feb. 8, 2020. (Jenna Hauck/ The Progress)
Rare full moon, Daylight Saving makes for a uniquely spooky Halloween – despite COVID-19

We can’t host costume parties but this weekend is still one for the history books

Most Read