Back country abusers warned

Those who abuse wetlands are warned that there will be enforcement of regulations protecting the environment on the long weekend.

Conservation officers and enforcement staff from the Forest, Land and Natural Resource Operations Ministry will be out in force over the long weekend in the back country.

CO Jim Beck says staff will be out patrolling in the Bear Creek area and at recreation sites as well as around wetlands such as in the Grizzly Lake, Chute Lake and Garnet Lake areas.

Those with all-terrain vehicles are warned it is illegal to destroy wetland and riparian areas, with fines of $575 for each offence.

“We’ll be checking out all the mud bogger spots for offenders,” noted Beck.

Staff with FLNRO have been working to clean up all the rustic, back country recreation sites in time for the start of the camping season, reports recreation officer John Glaspie.

There are an estimated 125 recreation sites in the Okanagan District, including about 10 enhanced sites that require a fee for service, but the remainder are user maintained sites where there is no charge for use.

The enhanced sites have camp hosts who collect fees and maintain the sites.

In addition to camping sites, there are about 38 trails separate from those sites, said Glaspie, including the trails in the Bear Creek area and the cross country ski trails such as the Nordic trails in the McCulloch Lake area, which are used in all seasons.

There is still some snow around in shaded areas in the Beaver and Dee Lakes area, as well as other recreation areas at that elevation, but warm weather has dried up much of the mud.

Glaspie warns while campfires are permitted, only fires of 50 centimetres or smaller are allowed.

jsteeves@kelownacapnews.com

 

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