A gate has been placed restricting access to a well-used dirt path near Mount Ida Cemetery on Monday, Dec. 2, 2019. (Jim Elliot/Salmon Arm Observer)

Gate blocks well-used access to Salmon Arm’s Mount Ida

Province aware of the situation, working with involved parties on a solution

A gate now restricts access to a dirt path used by outdoors enthusiasts exploring Salmon Arm’s Mount Ida.

A stretch of black chainlink, fitted with a hinged gate and several no trespassing signs span, was installed on the dirt road off Foothill Road.

Near the bottom of the dirt road, which serves as a residential driveway, is the dirt path that runs parallel to Mount Ida Cemetery toward the north slope of Mount Ida. The road and path have been an access point for motorized and non-motorized recreation on the trails and disused logging roads on the mountain.

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Foothill Road resident Peter Grainger said the now gated route was used often by people hiking or in off-road vehicles. He first noticed the gate in mid November.

A spokesperson for the B.C. Ministry of Forests Lands Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development said it is aware the owner of the property installed a gate and understands the road is a popular access point for the roads and trails on the mountain above.

The spokesperson told the Observer ministry staff are in discussion with all parties involved in hopes of achieving a resolution.

The Observer attempted to contact the property’s owner, but has yet to receive a reply.

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The City of Salmon Arm council discussed the gate at its Nov. 12 meeting, during which the city director of engineering and public works, Rob Niewenhuizen, noted the city doesn’t have any right to interfere in the matter—it is something to be worked out between the property owner and the ministry.

There is an alternative access to the summit of Mount Ida from the Deep Creek Road area.

According to the Shuswap Trail Alliance’s directions, those looking to access the summit can turn off the paved road onto the Forest Service Road that runs up the east slope of the mountain in the vicinity of 496 Deep Creek Road. The road runs to the start of a non-motorized use trail that accesses the mountain’s east peak. Some routes up the mountain are only suitable for lifted 4x4s.

—with files from MarthaWickett

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