Alberta Campers leave behind piles of trash at Koocanusa campsite

Koocanusa campsite director Heath Slee stand beside a pile of garbage left behind after a May 24 celebration. - Heath Slee
Koocanusa campsite director Heath Slee stand beside a pile of garbage left behind after a May 24 celebration.
— image credit: Heath Slee

Our neighbours to the east left a nearby campsite in disarray, forcing community members to organize a major post May 24 cleanup.


Discarded beer cans, empty food packages and even unattended fires were found littered throughout the Koocanusa campsite.


Campers from Alberta are believed to be the culprit of the mess due to license plates seen in the area.


This type of disrespect and destruction has been an ongoing problem in the area for a number of years, Area B Director Heath Slee says.


He says he suspects there were around 100 young campers from Alberta in the area during the May long weekend.


“A lot of these people are careless,” he said.


“They’re city folks coming in and they don’t know the ways of our proper campfire or back country etiquette.”


In a region where the land tends to be very dry during the summer months, Slee says this type of discarded debris can be cause for concern — mainly forest fires.


“They (campers) need to be educated or take the time to educate themselves and that doesn’t seem to be happening,” he said.


Fortunately Slee was able to get the community involved in an extensive cleanup. The Mayor of Elkford, a Cranbrook councillor and other concerned residents helped clear out five pickup loads of garbage.


“The people out here are very concerned about their environment, you can always call on people to come out and assist when you need a little bit of help,” Slee said.


The director says he hopes the campground will see more natural resource officers out patrolling, educating people and levying fines to anyone who doesn’t follow the rules and proper campground etiquette.




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