Those planning on visiting the Lake Koocanusa area this May long weekend will need to be on best behaviour, as there will be an increased law enforcement presence.
Police, conservation services and forestry workers are joining hands following a large number of complaints from resident’s in the area over the last few years.
“Over the last several years, the number of campers visiting the lands surrounding Lake Koocanusa have increased dramatically,” said Cpl. Don Erichsen of the Elk Valley RCMP.
“Police and law enforcement personnel have struggled to keep up with the area’s increased popularity, and local residents have become increasingly concerned with the instances of risky behaviour that has been observed in their backyard. “These residents have voiced their concerns to various government agencies and police detachments responsible for ensuring safety in the area and their voices have been heard.”
Police are planning large road checks to cut down the instances of drinking and driving offences and to ensure the mechanical safety of vehicles and trailers entering the region from May 18 to 21.
This will include ensuring all trailer breakaway devices are fully functional. Police will also be conducting backcountry patrols aimed at reducing the environmental damage being caused by irresponsible use and operation of all terrain vehicles during the weekend.
‘The goal of police presence throughout the opening of 2012 camping season is to ensure those visiting the area will have a safe and quiet recreational experience, without fear of the violent and disorderly conduct that has been witnessed in the past,” said Cpl. Erichsen.
A fire ban will also be in effect in all non-designated camping areas throughout the weekend.