County refuses to open convenient link to the beach

A route locals have been taking to Gull Lake won’t be opened up to all vehicle traffic.

A route locals have been taking to Gull Lake won’t be opened up to all vehicle traffic.

A delegation from Wilson’s Beach requested in March that they be allowed to use the narrow track to the beach to take canoes and kayaks down for launching. The route is designated for use by off-highway vehicles, such as quads, but not road-licensed vehicles.

County staff looked at the options and came back with a recommendation to council not to allow more vehicle use on what is part of the New Saratoga Environmental Reserve. Council agreed and voted against.

Keith Boras, county manager of environmental services, said while local residents saw the route as a convenient link to the beach for those in nearby communities, the county has no power to limit who uses it.

“Unfortunately, once we make it public then everyone can go there,” he told council. “I don’t see a way around it.”

County staff are concerned that once word got out there could be many people trying to drive their four-wheel drive vehicles down the track, which is only usable when it is dry.

Reeve Paula Law said a lot of damage could done.

“Chances are (local residents) aren’t going to go down it on a rainy day, but somebody will.”

The county has been working with area residents to allow limited access at another location by Wilson’s Beach campground. After talking with the New Saratoga Community Association, the county has proposed allowing a bobcat to use the OHV trail there to take docks down to the lake and do cleanup work.

It will be limited to 48-hour windows in the spring and the fall.

Several residents from the area attended the council meeting. Afterward, one said they did not want to comment but accepted council’s decision.

Just Posted

Sunny weather improves farmers’ prospects

A harvester kicking up dust. It’s a picture that will bring a… Continue reading

Rural transit pilot project being considered

Penhold, Innisfail and Red Deer County councils to decide whether to go ahead with project

Red Deer fire station up for sale

Home sweet home at Fire Station 4

Most surveyed Innisfail residents give urban chickens the thumbs up

Town of Innisfail will discuss whether to allow backyard chickens on Monday

‘Mom I’m in trouble:’ Canadian, Brit face 10 years in jail for alleged graffiti

GRANDE PRAIRIE, Alta. — The mother of a Canadian who was arrested… Continue reading

Coyote on the prowl near Penhold

This coyote was out on the prowl in a field just west… Continue reading

Sky’s the limit as Calgary opens testing area for drones and new technologies

CALGARY — The sky’s the limit as the city of Calgary opens… Continue reading

Hi Mickey, ‘Bye Mickey: 6 Disney parks on 2 coasts in 1 day

ORLANDO, Fla. — Heather and Clark Ensminger breathed sighs of relief when… Continue reading

Court weighs ‘Apprentice’ hopeful’s suit versus Trump

NEW YORK — President Donald Trump’s lawyers hope to persuade an appeals… Continue reading

StarKist admits fixing tuna prices, faces $100 million fine

SAN FRANCISCO — StarKist Co. agreed to plead guilty to a felony… Continue reading

Annual pace of inflation slows to 2.2 per cent in September: Statistics Canada

OTTAWA — The annual pace of inflation slowed more than expected in… Continue reading

Jury finds Calgary couple guilty in 2013 death of toddler son

CALGARY — A jury has convicted a Calgary couple in the death… Continue reading

Most Read