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Pandemic outings

As a long time advocate for Parks and Wilderness areas I was upset with the recent decision to close down all BC Parks. In these difficult times, people need places to get outside, breathe fresh air and clear their heads.
pandemic-outings-ross-peck
Beach shelter built by partiers on private property along the Peace River. Submitted

As a long time advocate for Parks and Wilderness areas I was upset with the recent decision to close down all BC Parks. In these difficult times, people need places to get outside, breathe fresh air and clear their heads.

As outdoor opportunities lessen, the closure puts stresses on the rest of the system. However, I understand that managing the masses is a challenge that BC Parks did not feel capable of addressing; but those people still need to get out.

Living on the Peace river, we saw many folks over the past Easter weekend. For the most part they were recreating sensibly, maintaining appropriate social distance and enjoying spring. Over the years we have accepted that sharing our bit of paradise with the public involves putting fires out, picking up garbage and beverage containers, and checking for fish hooks, as our dog rummages the fire pits for leftovers.

With the high fire hazard, campfire smoke alerted us to a recreational party just below the house last night. Although the campfire was adequately contained, they had taken the liberty of cutting down a 50-year-old spruce tree from our private land, and used the branches to construct a beach shelter for their wiener roast. Yes some covid energy dissipated, but this morning they are gone while the eyesore structure remains.

I think I now better understand some of the reasons behind the BC Parks closure. There are very few “wild” areas left along the Peace River as BC Hydro pushes ahead with Site C clearing. The only reason this piece still exists is that BC Hydro hasn’t acquired it yet, so please folks, enjoy it responsibly while you still can.

— Ross Peck, Farrell Creek

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