British Columbia’s natural resource officers, park rangers and conservation officers will be busy over the Victoria Day long weekend helping residents and visitors enjoy a safe and peaceful holiday.
Provincial officials step up their patrols in May every year, especially on holiday long weekends.
- Natural resource officers, conservation officers and the RCMP will be patrolling Crown land, waterways and recreation sites to protect the environment and ensure public safety. Officials will enforce forest recreation regulations to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience for all campers at recreation sites.
- Park rangers will be patrolling BC Parks and enforcing the park, conservancy and recreation area regulation to enhance public safety and protect sensitive ecosystems.
- Conservation officers will be protecting public safety and will enforce environment, fish and wildlife regulations.
Most provincial parks and recreation sites are open for the May long weekend. Up-to-date information is available on the BC Parks website and the Recreation Sites and Trails BC website.
- BC Parks: http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/bcparks/
- Recreation Sites and Trails BC: http://www.sitesandtrailsbc.ca/
Here’s some important information to bear in mind over the long weekend:
- Many campgrounds have specified rules and guidelines. Visitors are asked to comply with the posted rules.
- Gates in provincial parks and some recreation sites are closed at 11 p.m., unless otherwise stated. Only registered campers are allowed in campsites after 11 p.m.
- Excessive noise is not permitted. Please remember that sound can travel far in the open air, especially music and loud talking.
- Liquor consumption is prohibited in parks, with the exception of your own campsite.
- Barbecues must be used on the ground unless barbecue attachments are provided on picnic tables.
- To avoid problems with bears, lock your food in your vehicle at night. Use the garbage containers provided and maintain a clean campsite. Never feed or approach bears.
- Designated swimming areas within marker buoys are intended to protect swimmers. All watercraft and water-skiers must stay outside the markers. Lifeguards are not on duty in BC Parks or recreation sites.
- Visitors can use trails to safely travel through the most interesting and beautiful parts of BC Parks and recreation sites, without damaging sensitive plant and wildlife habitats. Please stay on the trails.
- Always check the Wildfire Management Branch website at www.bcwildfire.ca before heading into the backcountry to find out if any open burning prohibitions are in effect.
- If campfires are allowed in your area, bring a shovel or keep at least eight litres of water nearby to properly extinguish your campfire.
- Make sure the campfire is completely extinguished and the ashes are cold to the touch before leaving it unattended for any period of time. Ensure that cigarette butts are properly extinguished in an ashtray and are not tossed away carelessly.
- Campfires cannot be larger than 0.5 metres in height and 0.5 metres in diameter (roughly 1½ feet by 1½ feet).
- You must maintain a one-metre fireguard around the campfire. A fireguard is a fuel-free area where all flammable materials (grass, kindling, etc.) have been removed.
- You may be held accountable for damages and fire suppression costs if your negligence results in a wildfire.
- Members of the public can report wildfires or unattended campfires by calling *5555 on a cellphone or by calling 1 800 663-5555 toll-free.
- Respect the environment when riding off-road vehicles and use trails that are designated for motorized use.
- Most provincial parks are closed to off-road vehicle use unless posted otherwise.
- Operators of all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) are reminded that these vehicles must be insured if they’re driven on forest service roads.
- Keep vehicles out of sensitive sites that are easily damaged, such as wetlands, grasslands, alpine areas and subalpine environments.
- Failure to comply with regulations could result in a fine of $575 or (in more serious cases involving damage) up to $100,000 and a year in jail.
- Make sure you have a valid angling licence (April 1, 2014 to March 31, 2015) and are aware of angling regulations for the waters in your area, including gear and bait restrictions.
- If you are operating a small vessel, ensure that you have your operator’s licence with you and be aware of safety regulations for operating small vessels.
- For more information, please visit: http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/fw/fish/
Pets must be kept on a leash at all times within provincial parks and in some recreation sites. Pets are not allowed inside park buildings.
The B.C. Wildlife Federation offers a reward up to $5,000 for information leading to the conviction of anyone who breaks wildlife laws, vandalizes private property or contravenes other property laws.
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 call *7277 on your cellphone.
BC Parks: http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/bcparks/
Discover Camping: https://secure.camis.com/Discovercamping/
Recreation Sites and Trails BC: http://www.sitesandtrailsbc.ca
Wildfire Management Branch: http://bcwildfire.ca
Fire restrictions and bans: http://bcwildfire.ca/hprScripts/WildfireNews/Bans.asp
Hunting and fishing regulations: http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/fw/
Public Affairs Officer
Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations
Ministry of Environment