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Outdoor patrols stepped up for long weekend

NEWS — Natural resource officers, park rangers and conservation officers will be busy over the Victoria Day long weekend helping residents and visitors enjoy a safe and peaceful holiday.

ParksProvincial officials step up their patrols in May every year, especially on holiday long weekends.

Natural resource officers, conservation officers and the RCMP will be patrolling Crown land, waterways and recreation sites to protect the environment and ensure public safety. Officials will enforce forest recreation regulations at recreation sites.

Park rangers will patrol B.C. parks and enforce the park, conservancy and recreation area regulation while COs will enforce environment, fish and wildlife regulations.

Most provincial parks and recreation sites are open for the May long weekend. Up-to-date information is available on the B.C. Parks website and the Recreation Sites and Trails B.C. website.

Here’s some important information to bear in mind over the long weekend:

Camping tips:

Gates in provincial parks and some recreation sites are closed at 11 p.m., unless otherwise stated. Only registered campers are allowed in campsites after 11 p.m.

Excessive noise is not permitted.

Liquor consumption is prohibited in parks, with the exception of your own campsite.

To avoid problems with bears, lock your food in your vehicle at night.

Campfire safety:

Always check the Wildfire Management Branch website at www.bcwildfire.ca before heading into the backcountry to find out if any open burning prohibitions are in effect.

If campfires are allowed in your area, bring a shovel or keep at least eight litres of water nearby to properly extinguish your campfire.

Make sure the campfire is completely extinguished.

Campfires cannot be larger than 0.5 metres in height and 0.5 metres in diameter (roughly 1½ feet by 1½ feet).

You must maintain a one-metre fireguard around the campfire. A fireguard is a fuel-free area where all flammable materials (grass, kindling, etc.) have been removed.

You may be held accountable for damages and fire suppression costs if your negligence results in a wildfire.

  • Members of the public can report wildfires or unattended campfires by calling *5555 on a cellphone or by calling 1 800 663-5555 toll-free.

Off-road vehicles

  • Respect the environment when riding off-road vehicles and use trails that are designated for motorized use.
  • Most provincial parks are closed to off-road vehicle use unless posted otherwise.
  • Operators of all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) are reminded that these vehicles must be insured if they’re driven on forest service roads.
  • Keep vehicles out of sensitive sites that are easily damaged, such as wetlands, grasslands, alpine areas and subalpine environments.
  • Failure to comply with regulations could result in a fine of $575 or (in more serious cases involving damage) up to $100,000 and a year in jail.

Fishing

  • Make sure you have a valid angling licence (April 1, 2014 to March 31, 2015) and are aware of angling regulations for the waters in your area, including gear and bait restrictions.
  • If you are operating a small vessel, ensure that you have your operator’s licence with you and be aware of safety regulations for operating small vessels.
  • For more information, please visit: http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/fw/fish/

Pets must be kept on a leash at all times within provincial parks and in some recreation sites. Pets are not allowed inside park buildings.

The B.C. Wildlife Federation offers a reward up to $5,000 for information leading to the conviction of anyone who breaks wildlife laws, vandalizes private property or contravenes other property laws.

Report suspicious activities and environmental damage to the Conservation Officer Service’s toll-free, 24-hour Report All Poachers and Polluters (RAPP) line at 1 877 952-RAPP (7277), or call *7277 on your cellphone.

About Mel Rothenburger (9230 Articles)
ArmchairMayor.ca 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 ArmchairMayor.ca 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.

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