A grand opening for the Enderby to Splatsin section of the Shuswap North Okanagan Rail Trail is tomorrow, May 10, but not everyone going is there to celebrate.

A number of farmers are planning a protest at the event to bring attention to the fact there’s still more work to do.

They say construction of the rail trail should have never even begun until the regional districts of the North Okanagan and Columbia Shuswap satisfied promises to the Agricultural Land Commission to ensure farmers had access across the rail trail for their own properties.

“All we hear and read about is how wonderful the trail is but people don’t hear about the stress and bullying and how the (regional districts) are being unreasonable,” says Jeanette Netzel.

Her family grows corn and forage crops on their farm roughly 1 km north of Enderby. To access their land from the highway, they have to cross the rail trail. She and dozens of other farmers want to ensure that access is permanent through a registered easement on title.

So far, the regional districts have offered two different forms of contracts and permits, all of which have out-clauses for the regional districts. That’s not good enough for farmers.

“Anyone who owns land needs 100 per cent security to access that land.”

When the regional districts acquired the land for the rail trail, the land commission asked for assurance that they would “resolve issues of concern or conflict” with farmers.

Netzel said they have been trying for years to get those assurances but they remain at an impasse. The regional districts were not immediately available for comment.

She says they plan to hand out flyers tomorrow and carrying signs saying ‘No rail trail without easements to farmers’ land.

“We are going to be there with information to inform the public,” she said. “We’re not planning to be controversial, it’s about informing the public and letting them know that theres a lot of people who have unresolved conflict with the trail.”

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