The B.C. government is restricting camping and motorized recreation (including the use of off-road vehicles) throughout the entire Koocanusa Recreation Strategy area this spring and summer.

Camping, motorized recreation banned at Koocanusa

Restrictions in effect immediately for spring and summer

As of 1 p.m., Wednesday, April 8, camping and motorized recreation around Koocanusa has been restricted.

The B.C. government announced Wednesday morning that it is restricting camping and motorized recreation — including the use of off-road vehicles — throughout the entire Koocanusa Recreation Strategy area this spring and summer.

“These restrictions will help prevent environmental damage and ensure orders and guidance from the provincial health officer related to the COVID-19 pandemic are followed,” a press release from the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development. FLNRORD is implementing the restrictions in partnership with the Conservation Officer Service, the RCMP, the Ktunaxa Nation and the Tobacco Plains Indian Band, as well as other local governments in the region.

Although overnight camping will be prohibited in this area, people may still use designated roads and trails on a day-use basis as long as they adhere to physical distancing guidelines and other restrictions that may be in place.

There have been growing concerns in recent years about unauthorized mudbogging (i.e., operating or racing off-road vehicles in wet earth or mud) on Crown land around the Koocanusa reservoir — particularly in the Dorr Road and Umbrella Beach areas — and its associated impacts on the land and the environment.

Specific stewardship concerns due to mudbogging and related activities include:

• water and soil contamination;

• damage to forest and rangeland habitat;

• ack of sanitation and garbage facilities;

• public safety;

• impacts on archeological and cultural resources;

• damage to recreational infrastructure; and

• displacement of wildlife.

The restrictions will be enforced by the Province’s natural resource officers, conservation officers and the RCMP, who will conduct regular patrols and educate the public at access points into the area. People who do not comply with the restrictions may be issued a violation ticket for $115 and told to leave the area.

The restrictions for the Koocanusa Recreation Strategy area align with the decision by Recreation Sites and Trails BC to close its campgrounds and amenities to gatherings and overnight camping in response to COVID-19.

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

Just Posted

Wolf cubs at play in the Cranbrook area

Photographer Linda Botterill and her husband were out in the backcountry recently… Continue reading

Homes evacuated in Fairmont due to localized flooding from heavy rainfall

RDEK has issued a state of local emergency, RCMP going door to door in affected areas

Southeast Kootenay school district set to reopen next week

Individual schools have creative timetables and schedules in order to adhere to public health orders

George Morris turns 99

Friends, family and neighbours gathered outside at Terra Lee Terraces in Cranbrook… Continue reading

Rotarians at work at Fred Scott Villas

Members of the Cranbrook Rotary Club, along with some key community volunteers,… Continue reading

WATCH: Cranbrook Farmer’s Market kicks off 2020 season

The first market of the year took place on Saturday, May 30.

Love flourishes at Peace Arch Park, but COVID-19 concerns loom

South Surrey park becomes only place for international couples to meet

UPDATE: B.C.’s Central Kootenay issues evacuation orders for hundreds of residents due to flooding

An evacuation alert covers all areas except the Cities of Castelgar and Nelson

Introducing the West Coast Traveller: A voyage of the mind

Top armchair travel content for Alaska, Yukon, BC, Alberta, Washington, Oregon and California!

PHOTOS: Thousands gather at Vancouver Art Gallery to protest racism

Rally is in response to the deaths of black Americans and a Toronto woman

Number of students returning is a wild card as B.C. schools reopen Monday

A common model will see other teachers work four days a week in class then the fifth remotely,

Toronto Raptors’ Ujiri says conversations about racism can no longer be avoided

Thousands have protested Floyd’s death and repeated police killings of black men across the United States

Most Read