Kal Park plan harvesting input

Public forum to take place Jan. 18 in Vernon

Public input is now being sought over development of a new Kalamalka Lake Provincial Park management plan.

BC Parks is currently in the initial stages of the management planning process, seeking public and stakeholder input on what values/opportunities they feel are important for the park.

Some of the online comments already received have touched on issues such as parking concerns, dealing with high visitor use, wildfire interface concerns, improved access to popular beach areas, safety for pedestrians on Cosens Bay Road, grassland conservation and ecological values maintenance.

David Karn, spokesman for the BC Ministry of Environment, says a public forum on the planning process will take place Thursday, Jan. 18, 4 to 8 p.m., at the Prestige Vernon (Ellison Salon), 4411-32nd St.

Karn said the park has grown considerably in size since its original establishment in 1975 at 978 hectares, with a further protected area of 2,223 hectares added in 2001.

Related: Parking at Kal Lake a concern

Karn says the park attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors annually and provides for a range of activities with a fragile landscape which contains high species at risk values and is of significant cultural importance to indigenous people.

The park has taken on renewed importance this year for being identified as the northern point of connection for a greenbelt stretching from Okanagan Provincial Park across the valley identified as a natural wildlife habitat corridor still largely in its natural state.

But beyond two previously adopted less descriptive plans, a purpose statement and zoning plan, there is no long-term management strategy to address some of those conflicting park use/landscape issues.

Karn said the feedback collected will considered in developing the draft management plan to be prepared by BC Parks planning staff.

“A final draft plan will be prepared likely by the late spring of 2018, and then posted for public comment and feedback,” Karn said.

“A typical park plan is designed to provide management direction for a time span of 10 to 20 years.”


 


newsroom@vernonmorningstar.com

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