The Okanagan Forest Task Force (OFTF) is gearing up for the new year after a productive 2020 amid a global pandemic.
The volunteer group cleans up Central Okanagan backcountry areas where dumping tends to happen most. According to the group’s founder Kane Blake, OFTF assisted in ticketing upwards of 60 individuals for illegally dumping garbage in the backcountry during 2020.
Big White and other donors have helped the group purchase and install trail cameras, which Blake said have helped them pinpoint dumping hotspots.
“Cameras typically get checked once a week, and that’s when investigations are triggered,” Blake said.
“In a single week, some cameras capture upwards of 3,500 photos… all evidence is then turned over to the BC Conservation office for further analysis and possible prosecutions, which can include hefty fines.”
The group also uses drone cameras to locate and photograph dump sites. Despite efforts of cleaning up, spreading the word and asking people not to bring their garbage into the backcountry, illegal dumping instances continue to increase, Blake said.
“We have encountered some scenarios where a single hot spot will have seen three illegal dumping violations in a week.”