Efforts are being made to restore damaged habitat in the Garnett Valley area, but the recovery will not happen quickly.
Over the past week, illegal trails in the area have been decommissioned and signs have been posted.
In addition, those who use illegal trails in the area can face high fines and penalties if habitat destruction is observed.
The trails have become a problem in recent years as an increasing number of off-road vehicles have been in the area.
Damage from mud-bogging and motorized off-road activity can leave long-lasting damage to the area.
While many of the trails had been created within the last decade, they soon looked as if they had been in place significantly longer.
The present initiatives — signs, decommissioned trails and significant fines and penalties — will help put an end to the destructive behaviour in the area.
Beyond those measures, a little common sense from those using the area would also help.
The Garnett Lake reservoir is a source of Summerland’s drinking and irrigation water. Environmental damage to that area will affect water users who rely on that system.
The area also has value as a habitat for local wildlife and deserves protection for this reason as well.
Wilderness areas, especially in places like the Okanagan, must be respected and treated carefully.
At present, it is still possible for the area to recover from the damage it has experienced, although it will be a slow process.
As the area returns to its original condition, it is important to remember what can happen as a result of careless wilderness activity, so a similar situation does not occur in the future.