A look back at land use planning
The then proposed Anstey Arm/Hunakwa Lake Provincial Park, photo by Myron Kozak
The 1990s was a unique decade in British Columbia, when environmental conflicts made headlines and the provincial government responded with environmental legislation and policies, along with intense land use planning processes throughout the province. The dichotomy of jobs versus the environment and parks versus logging were as much a part of the debate in the Shuswap as elsewhere. When the government led process in the form of the Okanagan Shuswap land and Resource Management Planning process (LRMP) began here in 1996, the Shuswap Environmental Action Society (SEAS) was ready.
A section of the proposed rail trail along Mara Lake – photo map courtesy of the Shuswap Trail Alliance
Up until recently, the Shuswap has missed out on the tourism and recreational opportunities that arise from the development of long distance corridor trails constructed on former railway right-of-ways. However, the prospect now exists for a scenic, nearly level cycling and hiking trail along the west side of Mara Lake from Sicamous to Armstrong, which could then connect via side roads farther south. The route is the former Shuswap and Okanagan Railway, built as a spur line to the C.P.R. in 1892, used until 2009 and now undergoing salvage operations.