A Penticton man, Andrew Drouin, has created a petition to make shotgun shells refundable in hopes that it will motivate people to return the often littered plastic casings. (South Okanagan Trail Alliance / Change.org)

Petition seeks to clean up Okanagan forests ‘carpeted’ with shotgun shells

Penticton man says making shot-gun shells refundable would create cleaner forests

A Penticton man is fed up with finding shotgun shells littered throughout the Okanagan’s wilderness.

Andrew Drouin has been mapping trails in the Okanagan for years. On many trails, Drouin said, one can find countless areas littered with thousands of empty plastic shot-gun shells.

Tired of the eyesore and blatant littering, Drouin launched a petition in an attempt to bring awareness and a government response to a problem that he said is only getting worse.

READ MORE: Eco-friendly bus service seeks to add Kelowna to Osoyoos route

Drouin’s petition urges the provincial government to implement a five cent refundable fee on plastic shotgun shells.

Drouin hopes that making the shells refundable would encourage people to collect them and return them, ultimately leaving less litter in the forest.

“As soon as you start getting out of city limits it becomes sort of a free-for-all zone as far firing off guns,” said Drouin.

He explained that many gun owners will often bring miscellaneous items to the forest to shoot for fun.

“They’re bringing up everything. They’re bringing up old televisions, propane tanks, you name it… Everything you can imagine they’re bringing up to the bush to shoot for fun.”

Drouin said the ground at these “illegal shooting ranges” is constantly carpeted with plastic shot-gun shell casings left behind by gun owners.

As a member of the Carmi Residents Association, Drouin often participate in bush clean-ups. He said they consistently rake up tens of thousands of shells, not just in the Penticton area but all over the valley.

“Year after year it’s the same thing, you can clean up a spot until there isn’t a shell on the ground but if you go back two weeks later it’s covered in shells again,” Drouin explained.

Regardless of whether a refund encourages gun owners to pick up their shells, Drouin said he believes making the shells refundable would encourage other groups, such as Cub Scouts, to clean them up and return them as a fundraising activity while also promoting environmental consciousness

In the Penticton area, Drouin said the forest near Ellis Creek canyon is particularly bad.

The petition has been active for more than two weeks as of May 25, but Drouin said he still hasn’t received any response from the government.

He said if the petition gets good support he will pass it on to local government and ask for the support of a private members bill.

READ MORE: Petition urges City of Kamloops to rename road after victim in Snowbirds crash

@PentictonNews
editor@pentictonwesternnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Environmentguns

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

COVID-19 cases identified in Kelowna, after public gatherings

Those who were downtown or at the waterfront from June 25 to July 6 maybe have been exposed to COVID-19.

COSAR and Kelowna RCMP rescue couple lost at James Lake

The rescue occurred Saturday, July 11

QUIZ: Are you ready for a summer road trip?

How much do you really know about roads, motor vehicles and car culture? Take this quiz to find out.

Islanders want BC Ferries to follow order that lets residents board before tourists

For ferry-dependent communities, ferries are often the sole practical lifeline to work, school or medical appointments.

Okanagan sisters-in-law sleep out successful

Kiley Routley and Heidi Routley raise nearly $2,400 and awareness for youth homelessness

Beverly Hills 90210 star’s family selling Vancouver Island Beach Resort

You can own Jason Priestley’s Terrace Beach Resort in Ucluelet for less than $5 million

Genetic detectives begin work to trace spread of COVID-19 in Canada

The kinds of genetic technology being used for this project did not exist when SARS hit Canada in 2003

Sports fishers protest Fraser River Chinook closures

Public Fishery Alliance wants hatchery fish open for harvest

COVID-19: Homeless to be relocated from temporary Okanagan shelter

Homeless shelters in Vernon have been combined into one site at the curling rink since April

Dozens of fish die at popular lake near Chase

A few natural phenomena are possible causes for their deaths.

Amber Alert for two Quebec girls cancelled after bodies found

Romy Carpentier, 6, Norah Carpentier, 11, and their father, Martin Carpentier, missing since Wednesday

Most Read