EDITORIAL – Nature park still the best use for McArthur Island golf property

(Image: Mel Rothenburger)

An editorial by Mel Rothenburger.

ONE ISSUE THAT will help separate the bold from the timid in the Kamloops civic election has already come up — what to do with the old McArthur Island golf course property.

The question was asked at last weekend’s Farmers Market election forum and it will almost certainly be raised again in other candidates’ forums or in the seemingly endless questionnaires that shower beleaguered candidates during these campaigns.

According to a CFJC news story, a report on the golf course land might come before council next month, possibly before the election, but in time for debate during the campaign. And, of course, councils have a way of postponing decisions on controversial issues until after election day.

The question of whether the Kamloops Naturalist Club and the Kamloops Disc Golf Club can live happily together on McArthur Island has been thrashed out over the summer.

The upshot is that it doesn’t look like they can. The Naturalists sound as though they aren’t crazy about having a new disc golf course cheek by jowl with their plan for a nature park, and it looks like they’ve got the upper hand.

The property is perfect for a low-cost, low-maintenance nature park. And that was the public’s first pick during a consultation process.

As I said back in May, a passive, natural park would provide the broadest use for the most people.

Politically, it will be a tough one, but not all that tough. I’ll wager that a lot more people would be upset if both disc golf and a nature park are combined on the site than would be if disc golf is sent elsewhere. And, of course, the disc golf club and City can still work together to find another location.

Meanwhile, it’ll be interesting to see who among the candidates for council has the stones to take a clear stand on this issue. It might well be an indication of how willing they are to be decisive, rather than evasive, on other issues as well.

Mel Rothenburger’s Armchair Mayor editorials appear Mondays through Thursdays on CFJC- TV. His Armchair Mayor column is published Saturdays on and CFJC Today. Contact him at

About Mel Rothenburger (7563 Articles) is a forum about Kamloops and the world. It has more than one million views. Mel Rothenburger is the former Editor of The Daily News in Kamloops, B.C. (retiring in 2012), and past mayor of Kamloops (1999-2005). At he is the publisher, editor, news editor, city editor, reporter, webmaster, and just about anything else you can think of. He is grateful for the contributions of several local columnists. This blog doesn't require a subscription but gratefully accepts donations to help defray costs.

3 Comments on EDITORIAL – Nature park still the best use for McArthur Island golf property

  1. Cindy Ross Friedman // September 25, 2018 at 4:21 PM // Reply

    This is a case where leaders should lead — make a bold decision. Do the Nature Park, and take the heat from those who don’t want it. It is simply the right thing to do. And ideally provide some disc golf space somewhere – the island cannot be the only City-owned space?

  2. High activity programs are not compatable with wildlife .I had a perfect example of that lasrt week when I was visiting the west end of the island.There were two beautiful mule deer bucks with amazing racks and beautiful coats.just munching on twigs of a nearby tree (Willow ???) when a youngster came barreling along on his skate board and startled the deer.They both panicked and fled.Fortunatley for the boy he was not in the way but the chainlink fence was and one deer ran directly into it.Again fortunatley he did not get his horns caught in the fence.but he was stunned and wandered of wobbly .With a disc golf course on that land the problem wouldf be solved NO DEER AT ALL or any other wildlife.
    With nearly 100% of Mac Arther island dedicated to sport of some some sort oe another it makes me wonder just how much of the park system we have to give up? There are many other locations for disc golf and far fewer locations where we can share our afternoon with the local wildlife.

  3. Perhaps in a truly inclusive way of thinking there must be room for both.
    Various human activities take place relatively harmoniously in Kenna Cartwright park for example.

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