Plans for Shuswap River boat ban going public

ntentious plans to ban boats on part of the Shuswap River will go before the public soon.

Contentious plans to ban boats on part of the Shuswap River will go before the public soon.

The Regional District of North Okanagan is putting out tenders for a consultant to work with residents to consider options that may create consensus.

RDNO has been considering motorized vessel restrictions on three parts of the river because of environmental and safety concerns. But the process stalled after considerable criticism arose from boaters.

A survey indicated a range of 45 to 46 per cent in favour of regulations and a range of 42 to 52 per cent opposed.

RDNO has been proposing restrictions on motorized vessels from south Mabel Lake upstream to Shuswap Falls and from Trinity Valley Road upstream to the eastern end of Skookumchuck Rapids Park. It was suggested there be a vessel engine size limit of 10 horsepower from Mara Lake upstream to Trinity Valley Road.

“I’m hoping that whoever takes this on as a consultant, looks at the past history and where we’re at,” said director Herman Halvorson. “I hope they come up with recommendations that make sense.”

Some residents had suggested the RDNO process was biased, so elected officials decided to turn to an independent consultant.

However, Halvorson admits the involvement of a consultant may still not satisfy everyone.

“Some people will have their bias one way or the other. You can’t please everyone in politics,” he said, adding that he urges residents to be actively involved with the consultant.

“Everyone’s opinion is 100 per cent welcome.”

The goal is for a consultant’s report to be before the RDNO board for consideration in the spring.