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

Superintendent of the Kelowna RCMP, Kara Triance. (Capital News file)
Non-violent crime, small population contributes to Kelowna’s crime rate spike, says RCMP

Kelowna RCMP is assuring the public the city is a safe place

RCMP cruiser drives through an alley near Rose Avenue. Phil McLachlan, Kelowna Capital News.
Dozens of police take down man by Kelowna General Hospital

RCMP swarmed the area about 4 p.m. Thursday

Rutland Middle School in Kelowna. (File photo)
Replacing Rutland Middle School still a priority: Central Okanagan School District

Further delay to replace aging middle school disappoints Rutland Middle School parent advisory committee

Man experiencing homelessness lying on the bench. (File photo)
CMHA opens fourth supportive housing in Kelowna

Ellis Place will open on the first week of November

Image: Dave Ogilvie.
UPDATE: Man rescued in West Kelowna was injured hunting

The incident happened in the Glenrosa area this morning

A woman wears a face mask and plastic gloves while browsing books as a sticker on the floor indicates a one-way direction of travel between shelves of books at the Vancouver Public Library’s central branch, after it and four other branches reopened with limited services, in Vancouver, on Tuesday, July 14, 2020. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck)
B.C. reports 234 new COVID cases, 1 death of senior who had attended small birthday party

Roughly 5,700 people are isolating due to being exposed to a confirmed case

RCMP. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
Crime up 31 per cent in Vernon in 2019: Statistics Canada

Increase includes a 45 per cent rise in violent Criminal Code violations

A Tuesday Oct. 27, 2020 apartment fire in Penticton killed two and displaced dozens more. (Brennan Phillips - Western News)
Fatal Penticton apartment fire deemed accidental

The blaze gutted an apartment building on Tuesday morning, killing two people and displacing dozens

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A nurse performs a test on a patient at a drive-in COVID-19 clinic in Montreal, on Wednesday, October 21, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
Interior Health reports seven more COVID-19 cases

Eighty-nine cases remain active, none of whom are currently hospitalized

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Burnaby RCMP responded to a dine-and-dash suspect who fell through a ceiling in March 2020. (RCMP handout)
VIDEO: Suspected dine-and-dasher falls through ceiling of Burnaby restaurant

A woman believed to be dashing on her restaurant bill fell through the kitchen ceiling

This Photoshopped version of the crosswalks near the entrance to the Salmon Arm Arts Centre on Hudson Avenue show what is proposed to help create safety for and show inclusivity to the LGBTQ2S+ community. (Salmon Arm Arts Centre image)
Tri-rainbow crosswalk and Progress flag requested to help make Salmon Arm safe

Council will consider budget requests to help make city inclusive to LBGTQ2S+ community

A can of Canada Dry Ginger Ale is shown in Toronto on Thursday Oct. 29, 2020. The maker of Canada Dry Ginger Ale has agreed to pay over $200,000 to settle a class-action lawsuit launched by a B.C. man who alleged he was misled by marketing suggesting the soda had medicinal benefits. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Joseph O’Connal
B.C. man’s lawsuit over marketing of Canada Dry ginger ale settled for $200K

Soda’s maker, Canada Dry Mott’s Inc., denied the allegations and any liability

Most Read