SABNES was set up 25 years ago to preserve habitat, educate residents and regulate access to the wildlife sanctuary as well as to advise on all matters concerning the Salmon Arm Bay.
The organization has had its ups and downs. At the moment, with a strong board and a group of enthusiastic volunteer workers, needed projects have been completed mostly on time. The boardwalks have needed repairing, the new bridge on the island has once again given access to the trail across the centre of the island and plans are in the works for enhancing habitat at the Raven end of the trail. After high water, each volunteer routinely brushes back the growth along an allotted 200-metre section of trail. Those who pass as work is being done express their great appreciation.
As the volunteers get older a new group of younger volunteers is needed.
If the area remains a well-protected sanctuary, the enthusiasm will remain among those who wish to see habitat maintained at a high level.
If the upcoming council decision turns the area into a dog park, I believe it will be very hard to maintain the present level of enthusiasm. There are, after all, more than 50 kilometres of trails where dogs are welcome. I hope we can leave these three kilometres for the undisturbed wildlife.
I hope that dog owners will bear this in mind as they communicate with council before or on Nov. 23.