Legal access to Crown land to-day is a small problem that is on the cusp of a much larger problem, a point made by the example I am presenting to you.
Jeremy McCall and his Outdoor Recreation Council colleagues have outlined their concerns in a recent e-mail directed at restricting or no public recreation to privately held forest lands over the years especially on Vancouver Island.
The outdoor recreation Council is seeking access to private land which I believe is a credible argument but in my world the issue is blatant attempt by landowners to deny public access by locked gates and/or signs.
As I have said in the past the first order of business on an access question is to pay the $50.00 and get a copy of the original land grant. I have done this twice and in both cases the conditions of the land grant made it clear that public access could not be denied.
The issue I am bringing to your attention appeared in a letter in the Grand Forks Gazette May, 2007 in which I explained why the Mehmal family cannot deny access to a quality recreation site in the SE corner of the Grassland Park on the Kettle River immediately adjacent to Highway #3.
Before the minutiae of how to encourage access to the river without trespassing on private property it is important for everyone to remember especially park employees who believe the Mehmals have a right to move the Park Boundary signs, a park with few visitations gets dam little respect from right of center politicians.
In this case I did not obtain a copy of the original land grant but in view of the egregious behavior by the Mehmals who have recently removed two southern boundary markers and the obvious embodiment of their behavior by the bureaucracy; it is time to get a copy of the land grant.
I have asked Parks in the past to identify the irregular southern border by GPS with park boundary signs, after all the family developed the beach site for their own recreation and denied public access so I don’t believe in view of the circumstances that a surveyor is necessary.
The pictures tell the story.
For historical perspective I am sending you a map reduced in size of a 1944 copy of the 15.92 acre land survey.
Notice the irregular southern boundary of the 15.92 acre southern boundary. I asked Barb Collins the CPR public relations gal April 2007 if she could explain the boundary but said she did not have the time to find the answer.
There are seven compass defined locations on the southern boundary that should have a treated post with a park boundary sign facing the railroad bed plus a boundary post to mark the west and east corner of the 15.92 acres.
It is my understanding that the survey was done in 1942 because of access granted to the rancher at the eastern end of the property.
I paid $50.00 for a map that a surveyor would deem legal hence the red color.
Barry Brandow Sr.