A land dispute at the north end of Mabel Lake has been resolved but it also means parking fees.
The Splatsin First Nation and the provincial government have reached an agreement that will allow the parking lot at Mabel Lake to reopen after the Indian band fenced the nine-acre site off in November.
The agreement gives the Splatsin a 10-year licence of occupation over the upper parking lot, trail and playing field, about four-fifths of one hectare, and allows the band community to charge parking fees.
A provincial government release states, “this arrangement will provide certainty for visitors who use the parking area to access fishing and recreational boating opportunities on Mabel Lake.”
A management agreement limits parking rates to $5 a day for a vehicle and $10 a day for a vehicle and trailer. Long-term parking rates, from May 15 to Sept. 15, will be $400 for a single vehicle or trailer, and $700 for trailer and vehicle. Any changes to this fee structure will require provincial consent.
The site has been used for community parking for years and the Regional District of North Okanagan had been seeking provincial approval to use the site for permanent parking.
The Splatsin claim the Mabel Lake area has historical and spiritual significance and the band has never ceded ownership of the land.
Look for more details in Wednesday’s Morning Star and at www.vernonmorningstar.com.