West Bench

Horse update: February 2010

This seems to be shaping up to be a light year for horses on the West Bench.  Unfortunately, a herd is now vandalizing Red Wing (thanks to Don Kelly for the photo below).  This is a problem because the horses are using Highway 97 to get there (witness the droppings along the highway). The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure (contact info) has been notified about this serious highway hazard.  I am not sure what they will do about it.

 

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Reacquisition of the KVR by the Penticton Indian Band

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[Update 22 March, 2010: I have posted a more detailed summary of this issue here]

The Penticton Indian Band (PIB) has recently made a request to the federal government (Indian and Northern Affairs Canada—INAC) to reacquire the rail bed granted to the Kettle Valley Railroad (and subsequently the Canadian Pacific Railroad).  As you are no doubt aware, this land runs through Sage Mesa and the West Bench.

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Veterans tribute

Kick-off meeting

We had a very productive kick-off meeting at the West Bench School library on Monday, December 14th (the meeting annoucement).  About a dozen local residents attended.

The primary purpose of the meeting was to identify some high-level objectives for the West Bench veterans tribute project. Based on the group discussion, the following objectives were identified.  We did not vote on these objectives but we did identify the veteran aspect as the most important.

West Bench family donates part of property for parkland

ImageJOHN MOORHOUSE 11/23/2009 (link to story)

[Click on picture for a larger version] For almost 50 years Walter Bonin has owned a scenic, natural piece of the West Bench next to the KVR right-of-way.

Now Bonin and his family want to preserve most of their four-hectare property as a park by donating it to the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen.

“I look at that piece of property and I see a beautiful park could be made out of that -- there‘s so many possibilities there,” he said. “As long as it‘s designated parkland, I‘m happy to donate it.”

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The risk of extraterritorial water service

The recent conflict between the City of Vernon, Coldstream, and two neighboring electoral areas of the North Okanagan Regional District should be of interest as ratepayers in the West Bench irrigation district consider an extraterritorial service provided by the City of Penticton.  The basic issue in Vernon is that the shared utility, Greater Vernon Water, is responsible for both supply and distribution of treated water to all four political entities.  However, the whole arrangement is on the verge of unraveling due to differences in opinion regarding distribution in the rural and non-rural areas.  Central supply seems to be okay with everyone.  See the news stories here and here.

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Survey reins in opinions on area’s feral horses problem

By Kristi Patton - Penticton Western News April 28, 2009 (link to story)

A long-term sustainable solution is what residents in West Bench want in solving the roaming horse issues.

“This is a complex problem and we want residents to know that we are making progress,” said Michael Brydon, director of RDOS electoral area F. “We want a long-term, sustainable solution and now we know from our survey that our citizens value that as their highest priority.”

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