View of the Nicola Valley near Merritt. (FancyLady/Flickr)

B.C. company fights court order to allow public access to Nicola Valley lakes

Legal battle between fish and game club, cattle firms takes another twist

A legal battle between a British Columbia fish and game club and one of the world’s largest cattle firms has taken another twist as the two sides fight over access to two public lakes.

Nicola Valley Fish and Game Club director Rick McGowan says the Douglas Lake Cattle Company intends to appeal a B.C. Supreme Court ruling that found the company illegally blocked access to Stoney and Minnie lakes east of Merritt.

McGowan says grounds of the appeal aren’t yet clear and he expects it could be a month or two before the club receives any paperwork.

Fish and game club members are disappointed because McGowan says the club has already spent more than $270,000 fighting in court for access to the lakes.

READ MORE: Judge rules private landowners can’t block public access to B.C. lake

The dispute began nearly three decades ago when Douglas Lake Cattle locked out members of the club by decommissioning and gating a road over its land, even though that was the only route to the lakes.

In a ruling issued in December, Justice Joel Groves found the provincial government retains rights to the lakes, that the fish are public property and public access is required.

The judge chided the province in the decision for failing to protect the interests of British Columbians, writing “it is most unfortunate that all governments holding the obligation of the public trust have failed to take any actions to prohibit what was an illegal obstruction of a public road by a corporate entity, for its own benefit.”

A spokesman for the Douglas Lake Cattle Company confirmed an appeal of the ruling had been filed, but said he could not comment further. (CHNL, The Canadian Press)

The Canadian Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Okanagan team leads animal rescue efforts in Australia

Brad Pattison’s team arrived in Sydney on Monday

Pedestrian struck in front of West Kelowna Walmart

Paramedics and emergency crews responded to the call around 1:30 p.m. Friday

Kelowna grandmother scammed of $14,000 in phone scam

RCMP warn of Granparent Scam in the Okanagan after December incident

Rockets return home aiming to snap 6-game losing streak

Kelowns starts a three-game weekend against the Seattle Thunderbirds Friday night

City of Kelowna seeking company to construct Highway 97 pedestrian overpass

The city budgeted $500,000 for the bridge’s design in its 2020 provisional budget

Environmental rally held in front of Kelowna City Hall

Extinction Rebellion holds protests every Friday to push the city to do more to fight climate change

Diners’ health tax not catching on in B.C., restaurant group says

Small businesses look for options to cover employer health tax

Avalanche danger closes Highway 1 near Chase

The highway is closed in both directions east of Chase

B.C. comic wins judgment after club owner slaps cellphone out of his hands

Incident happened last summer when Garrett Clark was performing in Abbotsford

Melted snow uncovers problematic potholes in Vernon

Temperature swings, precipitation behind cracked pavement, city says

Alumni trumpet band strikes emotional chord for Vernon girls

Vernon Girls Trumpet Band will be tooting their horn for the 60th Winter Carnival parade

Mayors call for ‘calmness’ as highway rockslide cuts Tofino, Ucluelet off from supplies

Ministry of transportation expects to open road for “essential travel only” from noon-8 p.m. Friday.

Albas to speak at Summerland Chamber luncheon

Event will be held at Summerland Arena Banquet Room on Tuesday, Feb. 11

Campfires no longer permitted at Kelowna scout camp

City of Kelowna said they rejected Camp Dunlop’s fire permit due to stricter bylaws

Most Read