Damage from mud bogging has been observed on Penticton Indian Band land around three kilometres south of Summerland’s Trout Creek trestle. (Contributed)

Damage from mud bogging has been observed on Penticton Indian Band land around three kilometres south of Summerland’s Trout Creek trestle. (Contributed)

VIDEO: Mud bogging damages Penticton Indian Band land

Band has had ongoing problems with destructive activities on its lands

The landscape along the former Kettle Valley Railway line south of Summerland has been damaged due to mud bogging.

Charley Mayer noticed the damage in late April when he was hiking in the area. The damage was most noticeable around three kilometres south of the railway trestle.

“Enormous damage was done that will take nature decades to regenerate,” he said.

READ ALSO: Controlled burn on Penticton Indian Band ignites concern on social media

READ ALSO: Cameras being set up to catch illegal dumpers in the South Okanagan

For years, the former railway bed has been used as a hiking and mountain biking trail in the area. The trail passes through the Summerland Research and Development Centre immediately south of the trestle. From there, it is on Penticton Indian Band land.

Joan Phillip, lands manager with the Penticton Indian Band, said the band has had ongoing problems with illegal activities on the 18,600-hectare reserve.

Elsewhere on band land, illegal garbage dumping and trespassing have been continuous problems.

The band has erected fencing on parts of the reserve, but the fencing has been damaged. Signage has been set up to advise users they are on band land, but signs have been removed. Security cameras have also been installed, but the cameras have been stolen, Phillip said.

She added that while the railway bed itself is used as a trail, the area off the trail is reserve land and trespassing is prohibited.

The band council is now in the process of developing a trespass bylaw which is needed to help protect the band lands, Phillip said.

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