West Bench, Faulder, Okanagan Lake West
Michael and all: I am posting this comment because of the reference to the Trail of the Okanagans bike trail initiative. Most people think that bikes are environmentally friendly -- and mostly they are -- until they stray into the wrong places!
I like cycling but absolutely no way a through route bike trail should ever be established on the west side of Vaseux Lake. This is an extremely important wildlife area and is one of only handful of places in this valley that wildlife have easy access to lakeshore riparian areas. That particular stretch of trail is a wildlife haven -- it runs through a National Wildlife Area and Vaseux Lake is one of the oldest bird sanctuaries in Canada. The warmth of the old rail bed there is an attractant to snakes of all kinds -- and there are many that use it. There is no way to mitigate the conflict, injury and damage that increased human presence would cause on the west side of Vaseux Lake. Please leave this area for the animals! Keep the human use infrastructure to the east side of Vaseux Lake by crossing over the channel to the north of the wildlife area --- views from the east side are still beautiful, there are wineries, a campground and wildlife interpretation sites all on that side. Keeping bikes and other traffic to the east past Vaseux Lake is a small price to pay to allow at least some wildlife populations in the valley peaceful persistence. Al Peatt, RPBio, Penticton
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