LETTER: Public process was missing

Construction of this 20-acre motocross track, with massive displacement of soils, was completed in July.

Dear Editor:

The  Sept. 8 Summerland Review featured Motocross Dreams.

Construction of this 20-acre motocross track, with massive displacement of soils, was completed in July.

This motocross track was built on Agricultural Land Reserve lands.

There has been no public process, no public record and no approvals given  by any level of government.

On July 12 2016, Roza Aywin, the RDOS Bylaw Enforcement Officer, wrote to motocross neighbours “that the Provincial Agricultural Land Commission (ALC) has been contacted and their position is that the construction of this moto cross track is permitted on farm land.”

This claim is not supported by public records. To date, there is no public record of ALC approval, no public record of RDOS approval of any kind. And there is only one mention of this issue in RDOS Minutes, (July 21, 2016).

Last Thursday, Martin Collins (ALC)  publicly stated that the ALC staff “will visit the property between September 12-16”. This will be the first time the Agricultural Land Commission has visited the property.

This dispute involves more than the preservation of agricultural land.

This site was important in First Nations history. The land in question is located along  the Meadow Valley Native Trail. This historic trail linked the Okanagan Valley’s three most important First Nations trails: the Okanagan, Princeton and Nicola Valley trails.

There used to be a lake adjacent to this property (the original Darke Lake) named sn̓kilti knitkʷ.

The property in question was a seasonal fishing site named tk̓ik̓aʔtitkʷ.

This site was described by early Summerland pioneers.

No public process. no public records, no public approvals and no archaeological assessment.

David Gregory

Summerland