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Tame long weekend at Koocanusa

Increased law enforcement helps keep things quiet at popular camping areas.

The long weekend out at Lake Koocanusa was much more quiet this year after an uproar from an appalling mess left by campers at the same time last year.

However, with stepped up law enforcement and the addition of the new Koocanusa Recreational Transfer Station, the area didn't suffer the same garbage-riddled landscape as last year.

"It went pretty well this year, primarily due to the large enforcement effort there," Staff Sgt. Dave Dubnyk said. "We set up starting Thursday and then worked it pretty hard the whole weekend. I guess part of it is just the campers being more responsible this year."

Dubnyk said they did a lot of road checks, as well as roving patrols in the area.

"Overall it was a really good year this year," he said.

There was still a large amount of garbage that accumulated over the weekend, but it was manageable due to the new transfer station.

According to the RDEK, each of the six bins were pulled three times on Monday as staff and contractors took several truckloads of garbage to another nearby transfer station.

Some of the garbage included items such as 52 folding lawn chairs, four folding tables, numerous tent, several big barrels and even the backseat of a van.

Law enforcement was carried out by the RCMP and Natural Resource Officers (NRO) with the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations.

According to one report from an NRO, there were not many violation tickets issued and most people were respectful and not abusing the land. The most common issue had to do with wildfire regulations and people who didn't have the proper tools or water if their fire was oversized.

In their patrols, the Dorr Rec site and Englishman Bay was only roughly half full while Gold Bay was empty.