Crown land issues in the Kootenays

The issue surrounding what people are doing and leaving behind on Crown land is becoming a more serious issue for those people who work at protecting the areas.

  • May. 17, 2011 5:00 p.m.

The issue surrounding what people are doing and leaving behind on Crown land is becoming a more serious issue for those people who work at protecting the areas.

Illegal dumping on Crown land is becoming increasingly more serious throughout the Province and the East Kootenay is no exception, according to Lise A. Levesque, Compliance Supervisor, Rocky Mountain Field Unit.

“The issue involves dumping everything from household garbage, old furniture, mattresses, appliances, building material waste and yard waste, to abandoning derelict cars and recreational vehicles along our forest roads and on Crown land.  Not only a nuisance and an eyesore, garbage presents risks to wildlife, piled brush and building material waste creates a fire hazard along forest roads, and vehicles are usually vandalized and burnt and release toxins into the environment.  We have even found large amounts of industrial cleaners, oils and other hazardous wastes dumped on Crown land,” Levesque said. “With the increase in the numbers of people using Crown land for recreational purposes, comes increasing pressure on the land.  Irresponsible off-road vehicle use (dirtbikes, ATVs 4x4s) is extensively damaging sensitive grassland and wetland habitats in some areas.”

She went on to explain that people build cabins and other structures on Crown land for personal use.  Structures such as cabins, wharfs, and mountain bike stunts generally do not meet any form of building standards and are seldom maintained, which presents safety risks to the public that may come across them, according to Levesque.

“Every summer people are laying claim to Crown land along Koocanusa Lake by parking recreational vehicles for the summer, even sometimes leaving older ones over the winter to secure the sites the following spring, probably with no intention to ever move them.  Along with this, these people are constructing decks, pit toilets, fire pits, lean-tos, as well as installing waterlines, and in one case, even a zip line. ”

Natural Resource Compliance Officers and Ministry of Environment Conservation Officers are conducting public awareness and education campaigns.  Weekend enforcement patrols are also being organized to try to promote compliance.

Penalties may range from violation tickets to administrative penalties and criminal prosecutions.  Costs of clean-up and restoration can be charged to the violator under the Land Act.

As for why she feels people are leaving garbage or items on Crown land, Levesque said the dumping is probably for convenience.

“Don’t build structures or damage trees, know the fire regulations and use fire responsibly.  Never leave a campfire unattended and always have a hand-tool (shovel or rake) and bucket of water available to extinguish the fire. Pack in your own firewood so that the site can be retained in a natural state. Cabins and other structures built on Crown land without proper authority are illegal.  If found responsible, you will be charged with the removal of the structure at your expense and could face additional administrative penalties.”

If you observe someone littering, dumping garbage or waste, or abusing the land, you can contact Compliance & Enforcement at 250-426-1700 in Cranbrook or call the “Report all Poachers/Polluters” (RAPP) at 1-877-952-7277.

 

Just Posted

The end of an Echo
The end of an Echo

Invermere Valley Echo shuts down operations in Columbia Valley

Creating a new narrative for Canal Flats

Economic development consultant hired, lists vision for next 90 days

Princeton wildfire phots courtesy of Debbie Lyon.
UPDATE: Crews battle as wildfires rage in B.C. Interior

Crews brace for another day on B.C. firelines as no let up is likely

VIDEO: B.C. wildfires by the numbers
VIDEO: B.C. wildfires by the numbers

Wildfires continue to engulf regions of B.C.’s forests and communities.

Aerial view south of Williams Lake Friday afternoon shows dry lightning storm passing over, leaving fire starts behind. Lightning sparked more than 100 new fires Friday. (Black Press)
VIDEO: More than 180 wildfires burning across B.C.

Firefighters from other provinces called in to assist

DTSS Grad March 2017
DTSS Grad March 2017

DTSS Grad March 2017

59 cats seized in Chase
59 cats seized in Chase

59 neglected and injured cats were seized from a property in Chase

(Flickr/Andreas Eldh)
Soundgarden singer Chris Cornell dead at age 52

The singer/songwriter passed away early Thursday morning in Detroit

Paying tribute to a primeval passage
Paying tribute to a primeval passage

Uninterrupted celebrates the Adams River sockeye run in an extraordinary way.

UPDATE: Pemberton Music Festival cancelled, no automatic refunds
UPDATE: Pemberton Music Festival cancelled, no automatic refunds

In the past, the music festival located in Pemberton drew large crowds last year of 180,000 fans

Photo by: WeissPaarz.com
Medical wait times cost B.C. patients $2,300 each

New Fraser Institute report places B.C. at second worst in costs associated with long wait times

UPDATE: 22 killed at Ariana Grande concert
UPDATE: 22 killed at Ariana Grande concert

Witnesses reported hearing two loud bangs coming from near the arena’s bars at about 10:35 p.m.

A university study finds that about nine per cent of Canada’s Grade 11 and 12 students – roughly 66,000 teens – have driven within an hour of drinking and 9.4 per cent drove after using marijuana.                                 Photo: Now-
Leader file
One in three Canadian high school students have rode with drinking drivers, study reveals

Nearly one in five rode with a driver who’d been smoking pot

Top court to hear federal government’s appeal on residential school records
Top court to hear federal government’s appeal on residential school records

A lower court judge ruled to destroy the stories after 15 years unless consent is given to preserve

Most Read