Province stepping up patrols for long weekend

The Province is increasing compliance and enforcement patrols by about 30 per cent over the Victoria Day long weekend.

  • May. 18, 2012 8:00 a.m.

The Province is increasing compliance and enforcement patrols by about 30 per cent over the Victoria Day long weekend to ensure visitors to BC Parks and the backcountry have a safe holiday.

Officials will be out enforcing wildlife and wildfire regulations, patrolling sensitive ecosystems, checking permits and patrolling recreation sites, trails and provincial parks.

Every year provincial officials step up patrols over holiday long weekends beginning in May.

* Compliance and enforcement officers will be patrolling to keep the public safe in the backcountry.

* Conservation officers will be checking permits, enforcing public safety, environmental, and fish and wildlife regulations.

* Park rangers will be patrolling BC Parks enforcing the Park, Conservancy and Recreation Area Regulations to ensure public safety and protect sensitive park ecosystems.

Here is some important information for the long weekend:

Off Road Vehicles:

* Respect the environment when riding off road vehicles. Use trails designated for motorized use.

* Keep vehicles out of sensitive sites that are easily damaged, such as wetlands, grasslands, alpine and subalpine environments.

* Failure to comply could result in a fine of $575 or in more serious cases of damage up to $100,000 and a year in jail.

* 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 from a cellphone *7277.

* The BC Wildlife Federation offers a reward up to $2,000 for information leading to the conviction of persons breaking wildlife laws, vandalizing private property and breaking other property laws.

Campfire safety:

* Campfires cannot be larger than 0.5 metres in height and 0.5 metres in diameter (roughly 11/2 feet by 11/2 feet).

* Where campfires are allowed, bring a shovel or keep eight litres of water nearby. There must be a one metre fireguard around the campfire.

* Make sure the campfire is completely extinguished and the embers are cold before leaving the campsite. Ensure that cigarette butts are properly extinguished in an ashtray and are not tossed away carelessly.

* People may be held accountable for damages and fire suppression costs if their negligence results in a wildfire.

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

Fishing:

* Make sure you have a valid angling permit (April 1, 2012 – March 31, 2013) and are aware of the regulations for angling in the waters in your area, including gear and bait restrictions.

* If you’re operating a small vessel, ensure you have your operator’s license with you and be aware of the safety regulations for operating small vessels.

* For more information, please visit: http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/fw/fish/

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