FortisBC crew members set-up a new gate on Mount Kobau Friday, Nov. 6, 2020. The gate will replace concrete blocks that were moved by trespassers. (Contributed)

FortisBC crew members set-up a new gate on Mount Kobau Friday, Nov. 6, 2020. The gate will replace concrete blocks that were moved by trespassers. (Contributed)

Gate built to restrict access to private land on Mount Kobau

A previous blockade was removed by trespassers

The owner of private land on Mount Kobau has built a new barrier to stop trespassing.

A yellow, steel gate has been installed to restrict access after an older blockade was removed by people looking to access the mountain.

The landowner, Shawn Baenziger owner of HB Land Company Ltd., previously said he put up the blockade to protect the land.

“People wrongly assume that the land is public or already a park, posing a great risk to wildfires by trespassing with quads, pickup trucks and motorbikes,” said Baenziger in September.

“It is important that people know the land is private and that we need to protect the old stand of trees and livestock, and we will continue to restrict the access.”

The land is within an area that been proposed to become a national park.

READ MORE: Mystery solved on who put up Mount Kobau blockade

The road blockade was recently removed, prompting Baenziger to team up with FortisBC to build a bright yellow steel gate to stop trespassers.

The new gate on Mount Kobau will restrict access to private land. (Contributed photo)

The new gate will allow necessary access for FortisBC and Forest Services going to Mount Kobau from the Oliver-Cawston road.

“We use this road as access to get to our facilities on Kobau, and we want to make sure we are not trespassing on private property,” said FortisBC South Okanagan area manager Todd Romano.

Romano organized the construction of the gate with Baenziger. “I hope it helps to reduce the number of people that are trespassing on private property but people as they are, might still try to find a way in,” he said.

Further access will be restricted and the gate will be permanently closed during the fire season to protect livestock and old-growth timber on the property.

“No trespassing” signs have been in place for years but were constantly disregarded, said Baenziger. Talks of a proposed national park in the area have apparently increased traffic in this portion of private land.

Baenziger, from Kelowna, hopes people will respect the gate and pay attention to the posted signs.

“An average of 46 per cent wildfires in BC are person-caused and it must be in the interest of landowners, hunters and recreationists alike to be careful when it comes to avoiding wildfires,” said Baenziger.

READ MORE: Parks Canada not responsible for Mount Kobau blockade



jesse.day@pentictonwesternnews.com

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