I am writing on an urgent environmental issue as a neighbour to the south of the Sickle Point marsh on Skaha Lake. The Sickle Point marsh is the only true marsh
remaining on Skaha Lake and is designated as a red-listed sensitive environmental area by the Ministry of Environment.
Reum Holdings Ltd. placed fill in the lake through the marsh 20 years ago as an attempt to create a legal road access to Sickle Point. The province later denied application by Reum for a license to use the road as "there is private land owned between the north end of Alder Avenue and the portion of the former railway right-of-way. Any approval would infringe on the riparian right of the private landowner. As well, there are
significant environmental concerns associated with the filling that was done to create the access."
The marsh road was then not used and completely re-vegetated with native trees, until 2007 when Reum Holdings Ltd. was sold. Shortly after, the developer, Mel Reeves, bulldozed the marsh road, along with Sickle Point and applied to place more fill out into the lake around the private property.
The Ministry of Environment wrote Reum Holdings Ltd. to cease and desist in July 2007 and again in July 2008 stating, "There is not to be further use or maintenance of the access road on Crown land. This is the road that is east of the KVR right-of-way."
In 2010, my husband and I, 15-year residents of Kaleden, bought the former CPR property adjacent to Alder Avenue and part way along the Sickle Point marsh. Our two main objectives with purchasing this property, along with building our new home, was to negotiate a KVR trail connection with the province and to help effect the rehabilitation of Sickle Point marsh.
We realized that through our
negotiations with the province we could also provide a wide enough corridor that would also enable Sickle Point to have access further away from Skaha Lake, so that the marsh could be restored and
protected as wildlife habitat.
We are negotiating with the province in this respect; however, we have nothing yet in writing. We opened a temporary KVR connection in March 2012 as a goodwill gesture on the province's assurance that they would complete negotiations by May 2012.
We still await the province.
Reum Holdings Ltd. (Mel Reeves) has proposed a five-lot subdivision for Sickle Point, and has also listed it for sale for $7.8-million. Reeves has now made another
application to the province for permanent tenure of the roadway through the Sickle Point marsh, and public notice was circulated in local newspapers on Nov. 9.
To enable restoration of this critical wildlife habitat area, please voice your opinion on the future of the Sickle Point marsh prior to the December 15t deadline, thru the Provincial web link. Provincial documents related to access to Sickle Point may be viewed at www.sicklepoint.ca.