The 44 acres between Christina Lake and Highway 3 is a park because my wife and I accepted the challenge from Susan Sandner in the late eighties and took the time to seek support from six city/town Councils in the West Kootenay/Boundary for a park designation.
Ron Walker, the Area C representative, had sought public support for the purchase of private property at the head of Christina Lake and the south end. Ron was forced to square up with the curse of democratic societies; strong compelling argument supporting public interest was discounted in favour of a vicious attack on personalities.
The Gilpin grasslands is another example of how hollow vacant voices that play their game in the shadows have successfully held public interest in contempt!
The councils of Greenwood, Midway, Rossland, Castlegar and Trail were angry at the pathetic public access and all were bitterly disappointed that the Kingsley property had not been purchased by the provincial government. I believe that was the name of the property located due west of the Kool Treat adjacent to Highway 3.
Mayor Sugimoto of Grand Forks smiled at us when we presented the five endorsements to council as we were seeking a park designation. The mayor was well aware that without the five endorsements it was unlikely we would get their support.
The five councils who were quick to support the park designation all knew the site had been a lumber mill and log yard. Nevertheless they all wanted quick easy access for their campers, trailers and motorhomes. Without the park endorsement from all six councils, you would not have a park.
Mike Ladd, a former park supervisor, confirmed that Parks had a different opinion and did not want a site that had plenty of woody debris, notwithstanding the fact there was no other location available that satisfied the premier asset of good business—location. So instead of a provincial park catering to traveling tourists we have a regional park with a management plan contrary to the interests of six councils.
Bigger than the endorsements was the fact that the Social Credit government were great believers in small “d” democracy, a tactic that empowered credible rural British Columbians.