MANY REASONS TO BAN LARGE BOATS ON OSOYOOS LAKE
With regard to the recent proposal submitted to council to ban large motorboats from Osoyoos Lake, I wish to put my support totally behind this initiative.
I read with interest the recent presentation by local resident David Yanor to Town of Osoyoos council regarding his recommendation to ban large motorboat engines from Osoyoos Lake within the next three to five years.
His presentation has got a lot of people in this community talking about the future of the lake.
Beginning with the lake as a chief attraction/lifeline for this community, many arguments can be put forth in support of the individual citizen or tourist’s behaviour or values pitched against the rights or needs of the commons.
Of all of these, the weakest argument will always be from the viewpoint of the wildlife, biology and botany that co-exists with us here as they have no voice.
As a community we need to be that voice and, in doing so, hold in balance the precarious needs of all of us in conjunction with our natural environment.
By doing just this in a thoughtful, intelligent manner we have an incredible opportunity to become a community of excellence.
In order to do this we must take personal initiative to put the lake and its health first and central.
The banning of large boats is just one of many streams of personal and community responsibility to this end.
Economically, the loss of large motorboats (less than 10 per cent of tourist traffic) will certainly affect some, but by working together we can more than compensate with the gains in sail craft, human powered and electrical powered watercraft.
This is highlighted by the recent arrival in Kelowna of a large boat company starting to manufacture electric motorboats large enough to hold many passengers.
We can use this as a starting point for a different direction of pleasure craft, more appropriate for the size and vulnerabilities of the Osoyoos Lake ecosystem.
From where I live, last summer, in a period of 30 minutes, I counted 140 different large motorboats, as well as dozens of personal watercraft, which are extremely polluting.
These large and powerful boats cause air, water and noise pollution.
At Christina Lake, I have had millfoil divers tell me how they can spot a personal watercraft trail by its pollution track.
Like many of my fellow Osoyoos citizens , I lived in Alberta before being pulled to this beautiful and warm oasis.
I watched this very scenario unfold over a period of 35 years as lake after lake (at least 25) moved from healthy fishing, broad-based recreation lakes to the arrival of larger and larger boats and the eventual decline and demise of these bodies of water.
As a community let us seriously work toward restoring the health of our lake.
The Town of Osoyoos is nothing with a dead lake.