Aftermath of the weekend

Area B Director Heath Slee stands amidst the garbage left by May long weekend parties at Lake Koocanusa.  - Photo submitted
Area B Director Heath Slee stands amidst the garbage left by May long weekend parties at Lake Koocanusa.
— image credit: Photo submitted

Recently, Regional District of East Kootenay Area B Director, Heath Slee, sent in disturbing images of the aftermath of May long weekend partying at Lake Koocanusa.

“This afternoon I took a tour of the Koocanusa shoreline just north of Kikomun bridge,” wrote Slee. “As most folks are aware, Victoria day weekend is the ‘breakout’ weekend of the summer, and I was appalled at the level of disregard for the landscape, and disrespect for local residents.  For a moment I thought I was standing in the middle of central landfill the only difference being, there was no equipment in place to bury the litter.”

Some fingers were immediately pointed to Albertans coming to the area, but RCMP and conservation officers will tell you that this kind of after-party wreckage isn’t limited to people from outside the area. Judging from the amount of empty beer boxes in the pictures, what can be said with assurance is that alcohol was a factor here.

But with conservation officers spread woefully thin in the area and RCMP working to keep the highways and communities safe, what is to be done to prevent this kind of wilderness abuse from happening in the future?

Should we, as residents, take a more active role in policing the backcountry or should we lobby government (and perhaps pay increased taxes) to increase the amount of conservation officers and RCMP in the region during these months?

Feel free to write a letter and express your thoughts on this issue to Let’s start a discussion.

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