The Friends of Kalamalka Lake Provincial Park (FKLPP) is an organization founded to preserve the environmental integrity of Kalamalka Lake Provincial Park in perpetuity for the benefit of the general public.
Our mandate is to protect the park’s rare and endangered grassland, which is home to many protected and endangered species. That was the reason the park was founded in the 1970s. That is the park’s history and its legacy.
FKLPP now has about 2,000 signatures from the public who use the park, telling the Ministry of Transportation (MoT) not to remove land from the park, which would split the park in two. MoT is asking for a 30-metre wide right-of-way along Cosens Bay Road.
That would be about 15 hectares taken out of our park.
We are not interested in rehashing a 20-year-old court case. Yes, the justice at the time deemed it a public road, but it still belongs to B.C. Parks. This statement comes from B.C. Parks itself. Yes, MoT maintains the road, but they do not own it.
We have nothing against road improvements being done for safety reasons, but they can be done within a few months via a park use permit.
This still allows B.C. Parks to maintain ownership of the park.
MoT has asked for a park boundary adjustment. This process, if it was successful, will take at least two years and likely much more, as it must go to the minister, the cabinet and then the Legislature. That’s a very slow way to address safety issues.
At the Aug. 27 open house, MoT was directly queried many times about utilities (e.g. hydro line) being asked for in the proposed road right of way.
They answered that they only wanted to improve the road for maintenance and safety purposes.
Since then the stage one proposal by MoT, written in October 2013, has been made public. It can be read on the websites of B.C. Parks, MoT and FKLPP.
In that proposal it is stated, in the first paragraph, second sentence, ”to accommodate improvements to the road as well as provision for utilities.”
B.C. Parks has no need for utilities and MoT doesn’t need them. So who is asking?
In 2003, the Regional District of the North Okanagan (RDNO) helped question cabin owners about the issues and found “the majority of the cabin owners wish to maintain the status quo.” Those 63 cabin owners are zoned seasonal use only.
A handful of estate homes inside the gated Kalamalka Park Estates, at the far end of Cosens Bay Road, are used year-round. They are zoned commercial recreation. Lots are for sale here.
If the real issue is road safety and maintenance, MoT can address this quickly and get the work done in months. A 30-metre right-of-way removed from the park is not needed.
Please sign our petition to stop MoT from removing land from our public park. Go to www.kalamalkapark.ca. Also write to your local and provincial elected officials.
Valerie Buchanan, President
Friends of Kalamalka Lake