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

The Sicamous Fire Department was able to use their ladder truck to rescue a cat which had been stuck in a tree. (Chelsea Bowman-Facebook)
Sicamous firefighters rescue cat from tree

Rescue also an opportunity to train with ladder truck

Ahead of the provincial election on Oct. 24, Enderby residents put their questions to the Shuswap riding’s three candidates: Greg Kyllo for the BC Liberal Party, Sylvia Lindgren for the BC NDP and Owen Madden for the BC Green Party. The candidates recorded their answers in videos distributed by the Enderby and District Chamber of Commerce. (Salmon Arm Observer image)
B.C. VOTES 2020: Shuswap candidates answer Enderby’s top election questions

The candidates submitted video responses for an all-candidates forum ahead of the Oct. 24 election

Shuswap BC NDP candidate Sylvia Lindgren reports several campaign signs have recently been damaged or removed. (Jim Elliot-Salmon Arm Observer)
Shuswap BC NDP candidate says campaign signs stolen and damaged

Sylvia Lindgren says with pandemic, signs are more important to candidates this election

Curtis Sagmoen
Public warning issued to North Okanagan sex trade workers

RCMP warns workers to stay away from Salmon River Road area

From left, city workers Hugh Bennett, Chris Carr and Teneal Crossman secure the fountain they’ve just removed from McGuire Lake on Oct. 21, 2020 before the ice moves in. (Martha Wickett - Salmon Arm Observer)
Salmon Arm fountain disappears along with summer

No more fountain in McGuire Lake as winter preparations begin

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry presents modelling of COVID-19 spread in B.C., March 25, 2020. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. sets another COVID-19 record with 203 new cases

up to 1,766 active cases in B.C., two more deaths

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Green Party leader Sonia Furstenau is seen as she leaves media event during a campaign stop in West Vancouver, B.C., Tuesday, October 20, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. Green leader hopes voters see value in minority government

The Greens received nearly 17 per cent of the popular vote in 2017 yet received just three seats

Local candidates Pam Alexis, Abbotsford-Mission, and Preet Rai, Abbotsford-West, look on as NDP Leader John Horgan main streets in Abbotsford, B.C., Wednesday, October 21, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. NDP takes snap election risk during pandemic in quest for majority government

Green Leader Sonia Furstenau said the election was unnecessary and irresponsible during the pandemic

Liberal Leader Andrew Wilkinson speaks during a drive-in car rally campaign stop at a tour bus operator, in Delta, B.C., on October 17, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. Liberal Leader maintains confidence as campaign tests party identity

Liberal campaign has been disrupted by controversy

(Kelowna Capital News)
B.C. Labour Board orders Peachland cannabis company to reinstate laid-off employees

The B.C. Labour Relations Board determined the employees were laid off due to their plan to unionize

RCMP. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
British Columbia man dies during ski trip near glacier west of Calgary

Kananaskis Public Safety and Alpine Helicopters responded around 2:30 p.m.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau arrives on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Monday, Oct. 19, 2020, following a week-long break for the House of Commons. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
One crisis after another for Trudeau since last federal election one year ago

It has been a year of unprecedented calamity and crisis

Most Read