Imagine a beach: pristine white sand, away from the maddening crowds, remote, and peaceful with clean warm water.
Sounds pretty romantic, right? Think you have to travel far away, maybe to the South Pacific, to find that beach?
Trouble is, years of people going to this beautiful spot have left it in a “not so pristine” condition.
It has, over the years, become a PARTY PIT for many — accessible only by boat — garbage strewn all over it, broken bottles, used diapers, bags and condoms left behind.
Seriously, such a beautiful spot and it has become a garbage pit for thoughtless visitors.
Now Terry Baptiste from the Osoyoos Indian Band wants to clean it up and make it once again beautiful.
Terry has decided to put washrooms there, make a few campsites, have a few rules — “pack it in, pack it out” chief among them.
And there might be a user fee.
The user fee would help pay for the clean-up and adding things for the enjoyment of families and people who want to come to this beautiful spot and start respecting it once again.
Not surprisingly, there are some who cry foul.
“How can they do this? How can they charge for the use of the land?”
Simple, it belongs to them. And, frankly, I hope they do charge that user fee.
It is a privilege to be able to go there and if one of the band members is willing to go to the trouble of cleaning it up and overseeing it, then charging a fee seems more then reasonable.
It is apparent that having no one to oversee this beautiful beach has left it at the mercy of the many users over the years, users who showed absolutely no respect for this piece of private property.
In today’s society, we are quick to level criticism when it interferes with what we think is our inherent right.
But, we are all stewards of this land and to be able to enjoy such a beautiful spot that is on OIB land is a real treasure, one that has not been honoured by many who have gone to this special place.
Perhaps now it will get the respect it deserves.
Editor’s Note: Gaye Horn will be a regular addition to the Osoyoos Daily News, providing commentary on local issues and events with her distinctly unique voice. We know you won’t always agree with what she has to say, but do hope you enjoy it when Gaye Horn Sounds Off.