We know when we’re not needed — most of the time, anyway.

Sometimes it’s better if those constantly talking at you — those of us in media, politics or entertainment (to name just a few) — just get out of the way and let you speak.

We give the podium, then, happily to Mike Brown, the man behind the best use of a petition we’ve seen in quite some time.

Brown’s online petition is asking the provincial government to buy the 234-acre Chelsea Estate in the North Okanagan for the public


His petition had more than 12,000 signatures as of Tuesday, and Brown said he hopes it will draw more than 15,000.

The land in question is located at 9747 Cameron Rd. in Vernon, between Predator Ridge golf resort and Ellison provincial park. It includes a long stretch of Okanagan Lake shoreline.

Purchasing the land, Brown says, “will keep the lands in a more natural state, increase B.C. natural resources, and allow for an expansion of the camping, hiking, and mountain bike trail networks of Ellison provincial park,” he writes in the preamble to the petition, at change.org.

The property is currently

listed for sale by Colliers International, but there is no asking price. Its assessed value is more than $16 million.

Vernon city council has already endorsed Brown’s request that the provincial

government buy the site.

Members of Lake Country town council gave a similar resolution, advanced by councillor Blair Ireland, a hearty endorsement at Tuesday night’s meeting.

“This purchase is one of the last opportunities to have a large public space on Okanagan Lake,” reads part of Ireland’s notice of motion.

What’s so special about this piece of land? It’s not just how much of it there is, but just how stunning it could be if we could all enjoy it rather than watch it sold to the highest bidder and turned into multiple mini-mansions.

The shoreline in that area gives off a pinkish hue, a stunning complement to the water.

It also holds a home built in 1912 and carries with it a story of the North Okanagan’s past.

The majority of the land is also within the agricultural land reserve, meaning it would likely face significant roadblocks in development.

We say this knowing full well that First Nations in the area should be involved, also, and we hope that in this time of reconciliation that the valley’s indigenous communities will be included in decision making.

We trust, though, that it would be best managed from a standpoint of the greater good — regardless of who actually takes over in the end — and not sold off for parts.

We encourage you to visit change.org and add your “signature” to this worthwhile and valuable petition.

Let’s not worry about getting to 15,000 signatures, let’s aim higher — much higher — and put pressure on government to make this happen.

— Managing Editor David Trifunov