To the Editor,
I am responding to one of the comments in a letter to the editor published in the Review on June 13, 2013. Crown land is land that is owned by the Province of British Columbia. The province is the steward of the land and can lease, license and sell Crown land for a variety of purposes including residential, commercial, industrial, agricultural, tourism and recreational purposes.
Contrary to the belief that crown land is not for sale, one only needs to do a search on the web using the words “Crown land for sale in B.C.”. Many sites will appear. One government site http://archive.ilmb.gov.bc.ca/link_land.html explains how to apply to use or buy crown land.
The national park reserve concept contains both Crown and private land.
Proponents are concerned that these rare grasslands will be sold some time now or in the future. These large parcels of land could then be subdivided into smaller parcels. This would cause fragmentation of the landscape causing loss of use for not only the plants and animals that need those lands to survive but also for recreational use by the public.
The future is not clear, but in the past 10 years in the Okanogan County just south of us, over 40 per cent of the ranchland has been sold and at least 50 per cent of that has been sold for non-ranching purposes mainly development and offshore interests.
Locally, we have been very fortunate having good stewards of our South Okanagan-Similkameen private and crown lands, but times are changing. Several parcels of private land have been sold to new owners. What is their intention for the land? Will they allow trespass? A national park reserve, while not a perfect solution for everyone, will protect the landscape as a whole and work with current tenure holders, allow public access and create economic stability to our communities.
Doreen Olson, Kaleden