Mixed reaction to dog rules

Foreshore trail: Topic will return to council in a year

Hearing: Tom Brighouse addresses council during the public hearing on the issue.

City council’s decision on the foreshore trail has been met with sadness from SABNES and satisfaction from citizens in favour of dog walking there.

Although few people could be reached for comment before deadline, a sampling of reaction showed a mixture of disappointment and approval.

Ed Parent, who launched a petition in his Critter’s store gathering names of those in favour of leashed dogs on the trail, is pleased with council’s Dec. 14 decision.

“I think it’s great news for the community. There should be no reason why people can’t walk dogs down there on a leash and be responsible.”

Although the bylaw that was already in place allowed dogs on leash, the Salmon Arm Bay Nature Enhancement Society, which has been the guardian of the area for 25 years, had erected signs stating dogs were prohibited, fearing harm to birds and other wildlife inhabiting the refuge.

The new bylaw, which will be based on a one-year trial, adds stipulations to leashed dogs on the trail. They must be on leashes a maximum of two metres long and are not permitted on the trail from April 15 to June 15 when birds are nesting. Dogs are also not allowed on Christmas Island nor on the two boardwalks leading onto the nature reserve.

Current signage prohibiting dogs will be replaced with city signage at the entrances to and along the foreshore trail, indicating leashed dogs are permitted.

The motion also states that staff work with SABNES to design and install signage that prohibits dogs from the island and boardwalks.

Regarding the stipulations, Parent remarked: “I think it’s a little overkill but unfortunately with some people that don’t follow rules, I think the overkill has to be in place in order for people to abide by the rules.”

SABNES member Tom Brighouse said he doesn’t wish to speak for SABNES, but offered his own view. SABNES president Janet Aitken was not able to provide a comment on behalf of the society before deadline.

Brighouse said he sees the closure of the trail to dogs for two months as the best of a disappointing decision, although he suggested the closure should go a little further into the summer during nesting season. He did, however, offer an accolade.

“I commend council for having a jolly good debate.”

Brighouse also said he feels SABNES was ignored leading up to the decision.

“Whatever the outcome, the SABNES board has a right to feel that courtesies were not in keeping with their verbal appreciation for what SABNES has done for 25 years.”

Peter Robertson, the driving force behind the move to get dogs on the trail, is happy.

“I’m very pleased with the fact that the process gathered the input of numerous interest groups in the community and I’m very pleased with the amount of consideration, time and energy council gave coming to a decision,” he said.

“Obviously the decision was in line with what we were looking for, and the key part is, I hope it forms a foundation from which we can work with all the groups, including SABNES, to make the trail work for everybody.”

He added: “The other aspect to that – I think the decision gives us a good starting point to move constructively forward and I am confident now that all of the parties will work together.”

SABNES member Geoff Benson expressed his displeasure.

“We’re extremely disappointed and saddened  by this. A lot of us have put in a lot of work to try to achieve a wildlife sanctuary. This is a very negative backward step.”

Council also passed another motion. It invites the Shuswap Trail Alliance, which has agreed, to facilitate a short- and longer-term consensus between stakeholders. It will report back to council with an appropriate data-monitoring plan for the trial, and then report the results as well as providing longer-term management proposals.

 

Just Posted

Wildfire sparks near perimeter of devastating 2017 Elephant Hill fire

Ground crews and aircraft are responding to an estimated 50 hectare wildfire approximately 55 kilometers northwest of Kamloops, near the Deadman Vidette Road.

Okanagan Regional Library names new CEO

Don Nettleton, who has been with ORL for 24 years, takes over from Stephanie Hall

Market welcomes talking giraffe

Artists’ animated collaborative work comes to life at Westgate Public Market

Stolen vehicle evades attempt to spike tires near Sicamous

RCMP are looking for a black late 1990s Ford pickup with a suspension lift and no licence plates

CP vote deadline rescheduled for Friday

The deadline for the Teamsters Canada Rail Conference and International Brotherhood of… Continue reading

They came for a good time on Shuswap Lake

Trooper plays for hundreds on Shuswap Lake this past May Long weekend

Olympian to lead Penticton Peach Festival parade

One of the top bobsled pilots in the world will lead the Peters Bros. Grand Parade

Two-year-old found unresponsive in pool

Mission RCMP located toddler after she went missing from a local daycare

Surrey RCMP issue warning after third sexual assault this week

It is the third sexual assault since Sunday

Toronto opening 800 emergency spaces to deal with influx of refugee claimants

Beginning Thursday, Toronto will temporarily house refugee claimants and new arrivals in 400 beds in the city’s east end.

Breaking: Trump cancels summit with North Korea

Trump cancels June 12 summit with North Korea’s Kim, citing ‘tremendous anger and open hostility’ in recent statement

Rivers rising: Floods in B.C., New Brunswick a warning of what’s to come

In B.C., thousands of residents are returning to homes this week marked with red or yellow signs indicating a health inspection is necessary

North Korea demolishes nuke test site with series of blasts

North Korea has carried out what it says is the demolition of its nuclear test site in the presence of foreign journalists.

Penticton homeless campers devastated by park cleanup

Two women, in their 50s and 60s, said they felt like giving up after their only home was cleared out

Most Read