Back in December, Justice Joel Groves ruled in favour of granting public access to Minnie and Stoney Lakes.
The ruling meant the Douglas Lake Cattle Company had to take down gates blocking access to both lakes.
The Nicola Valley Fish and Game Club was suing the Douglas Lake Cattle Company, alleging the company blocked off public access to Minnie and Stoney lake.
The Douglas Lake Cattle Company were claiming the lakes to be theirs, arguing they were man-made over many years.
Earlier this week, Groves ruled that the Fish and Game Club’s legal expenses will be split between the Cattle Company and the BC Government. The Justice stated that lack of action by the province in protecting the area led to the litigation.
But, as Rick McGowan tells Q101, the legal battles are no where near over.
“I was a little bit concerned that Douglas Lake had hired a surveyor to stake a 3-foot trail up over a hillside and away down the side of the lake. That their intent was going to be that that was going to be the only public access to Minnie Lake,” said McGowan. “Now that I have got the final copy of the document from Angela Davies, the Government Lawyer, that is the case. Douglas Lake and the Government are assuming that that is the access by court order to Minnie Lake, which is a 3-foot trail that nobody would ever use or take a boat or drive on, or anything, which is unacceptable to us. So, we are going to be filing a cross appeal.”
“The total cost of this lawsuit from all parties is upwards of $1.5 million. We’re not accepting that the whole process has taken place and you don’t have public access where a person could take his family and a boat and put it in the lake and go fishing,” said McGowan. “It’s been our intention to save these lakes for the people of British Columbia for ever. It looks like the Government and Douglas Lake are still wiggling around trying to make it so hard for a person to fish there that nobody would actually go there.”
The Fish and Game Club are planning to head out to Stoney Lake on Friday to put some boats in the water.
“We’re going up on Friday. We’re going to put some boats in the water one way or another. I’m not sure if we’re going to get opposition or not, but we’re definitely going to be putting boats in the water and going fishing,” said McGowan.
The club expects to be at the lake around 10am.
On Twitter: @Q101Merritt