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Vandalism on the KVR

Bollards have gone up in recent weeks blocking motorized vehicle access to a stretch of the Kettle Valley Rail Trail and not everyone is happy with the installation of the posts.

"We have had some vandalism, people removing the bollards and signs, at the access locations," said Justin Shuttleworth, parks and facilities coordinator for the RDOS. "But we are keeping the communication lines open and not getting frustrated. We are just fixing it."

Jim Pearmain, the current chair of Keep Our KVR Accessible To All, KOKATA, said he has heard from a lot of people since the bollards went up.

"I'm not surprised the vandalism has occurred," he said. "The feelings run very strong on this subject in Naramata and people are confused about the current situation and the future plans of the ministry."

"The only other thing I want to say is KOKATA feels it is crucial that the ministry not expand closures beyond the current situation," he added.

The blockage is at intersections along the trail from about 400 metres north of the Little Tunnel to Penticton city limits.

"It has been an ongoing debate with different user groups, and this is what the province decided to go with," said RDOS director Karla Kozakevich.

People still wanting to drive to the Little Tunnel either in their cars or off road vehicles can do so from the Glenfir parking lot. They will be able to get within 400 metres of the tunnel.

The compromise was reached between different user groups, the province and the RDOS in February, after many in the Naramata community expressed concern about the loss of vehicle access.

"The initial plan was to create a non-motorized trail, but after the one big public feedback meeting in Naramata it was scaled back to focus on between the tunnel and Penticton city limits," said Shuttleworth. "And one of the main focuses was to still have a non-motorized trail through Penticton and Naramata, which is highly populated, but still allow access to the tunnel."

Keeping vehicles off this portion also helps preserve new surfacing put on the trail last October, he said

The surfacing is good for hikers and bikers, but will not withstand motor vehicle access.

Crews are still out working on the trail and making improvements.

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