Volunteers from a number of groups gathered Saturday, May 14 to clean up a popular but troubled outdoor spot in the northern Okanagan.
Motorhomes, RVs, and trailers often occupy the shady rest stops along Noble Canyon Forest Service Road in Lavington during the summer. The backcountry supports a variety of activities, including logging, ranching, and numerous outdoor recreation activities.
“It’s frustrating that when we reported the campers to the authorities when they were staying in these places for a few months, this came up,” said Randy Meier, president of Vernon Fish and Game Club. “We were afraid that we would end up cleaning up the mess and here we are today.”
Meier is referring to three burnt RVs being cleaned by volunteers from the Vernon Fish and Game Club, Vernon Off Road Motorcycle Club and Vernon ATV Club with support from the Okanagan Forest Task Force, LRM Contracting and ABC Steel Recycling.
“The RVs tried to winter here, but this isn’t the city. When people found they couldn’t take it, they abandoned their RVs and someone set them on fire,” Meier said.
Neal Dunbar’s family were the first to arrive for the cleanup on Saturday morning.
“I thought we were going to be here all day to clean up this mess, but with so many volunteers we were done in less than two hours,” Dunbar said.
Blake Plysiuk, a director of the Vernon Off Road Motorcycle Club, helped organize the cleanup with Kane Blake of the Okanagan Forest Task Force.
“Every time we come to enjoy the backcountry, we see this mess,” says Plysiuk. “OFTF organized the steel removal and we informed our members about it. I am overwhelmed by the support we receive for events like this.”
Thirty volunteer members, ages six to 80, from the three clubs participated in the cleanup. Six tons of scrap metal and four tons of trash were removed from the sanitation area.
READ MORE: ‘I have to go back with a chisel’: huge mess at abandoned homeless camp near Big White
READ MORE: Okanagan Forest Task Force to remove burned trailer from Noble Canyon
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