Island’s west coast rising patrols to crack down on unlawful tenting

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(Pexel)

With summer on the horizon, campers flocking to Vancouver Island’s popular west coast are being urged to plan ahead as area authorities seek to curb illegal overnight stays and backroad camping.

Tofino and Ucluelet counties, the Pacific Rim National Park Reservation and local First Nations say they are taking action to address these “disrespectful behaviors,” which have been “unacceptably high” for the past two summers.

A joint statement highlights the negative impact on tribal lands, noting that illegal camping with vehicles and tents adds fuel to potential wildfires and “endangers much-needed first responders”.

“To limit the impact on this region, increased patrols and enforcement in 2022 will target scattered and unauthorized camping in the Clayoquot Arm areas along the Kennedy Lake watershed in Tla-o-qui-aht, Yuułuʔiłʔath and Toquaht Traditionally targeting territories, on municipal roads/lots and within BC Parks and the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve,” the statement said.

They say local patrols will communicate regulations and respectful camping practices, and will issue tickets or fines if necessary.

“The environmentally friendly and responsible way to camp in the area is to make a reservation at one of the many authorized campgrounds in the area,” said Daniel Sailland of the Alberni Clayoquot Regional District.

Sailland says there are no serviced campgrounds on back roads along Kennedy Lake or freeway exits, with zero tolerance for unauthorized camping and overnight parking in all communities.

Since campgrounds on the west coast are notoriously full quickly, campers should make alternative arrangements if they do not already have a reservation at an authorized campground, e.g. B. book a hotel room or postpone your trip altogether.

“I am proud that the West Coast communities have come together as a united group to stop unauthorized and destructive behavior in the upstate,” added Tofino Mayor Dan Law.

“Our region’s natural assets are a precious shared resource⁠ – misuse will no longer be tolerated.”