Letter: Show your support for Okanagan Rail Trail initiative
I am working with the Okanagan Rail Trail Initiative, mounting a campaign to save the rail bed of the CNR for a hiking and biking trail when the line becomes available for purposes other than an operating railway. There is a clear danger that developers will acquire portions of the rail bed, severing the corridor from Vernon to Kelowna.
The decision for the three levels of government to cooperate and purchase the land when it becomes available will be a political one. Government action will depend on whether or not the public overwhelmingly demands its retention as a public recreation corridor for the use of generations to come. Without such a public demand, the easiest approach for cash-strapped, short-sighted and development-oriented governments is to do nothing. In that case, the CNR will be free to sell the land to private owners. We cannot let that happen.
The Okanagan Rail Trail Initiative has commissioned a Benefit Study to identify and, where possible, quantify the economic and social benefits of retaining the trail as a linear recreation corridor. We are also building a database of supporters so that when a public campaign begins in earnest, we will have thousands of committed people ready to make their voices heard.
Please go to the Okanagan Rail Trail Initiative website, make yourself knowledgeable about the initiative, join us, and enlist as many as you can of your friends and neighbours who are likely to be supportive. And ask them to enlist others.
We all know folks who live in the Okanagan or visit the Okanagan who will be enthusiastic about the prospect of a Vernon to Kelowna trail running along the shores of Kalamalka, Wood and Duck lakes.
Please show your support by going to the Rails to Trails website and click on "Show your Support"
Thanks for considering supporting Okanagan Rails to Trails.