Volunteers from a number of groups gathered Saturday, May 14, to clean up a popular, but problematic, outdoor spot in the North Okanagan.
RVs, campers and travel trailers often occupy the shaded pullouts along Noble Canyon Forest Service Road in Lavington through the summer. The backcountry area supports a myriad of activities including logging, ranching and numerous outdoor recreation pursuits.
“It’s frustrating that it came to this as we reported the campers to the authorities when they inhabited these sites for a couple of months,” said Randy Meier, Vernon Fish and Game Club president. “We were afraid we’d end up cleaning up the mess and here we are today.”
Meier is referring to three burnt RVs that are being cleaned up by volunteers from the Vernon Fish and Game Club, Vernon Off Road Motorcycle Club and the Vernon ATV Club with support from the Okanagan Forest Task Force, LRM Contracting and ABC Steel Recycling.
“The RVs tried wintering here but this isn’t the city. Once the people found they couldn’t take it they abandoned their campers and someone set them ablaze,” said Meier.
Neal Dunbar’s family was the first to arrive for the cleanup on Saturday morning.
“I thought we’d be here all day cleaning up this mess, but with so many volunteers we were done in under two hours,” said Dunbar.
Blake Plysiuk, a director of the Vernon Off Road Motorcycle Club, helped organize the cleanup with Kane Blake from 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 put the word out to our members. I’m overwhelmed with the support we receive for events like this.”
Thirty volunteer members ranging from six to 80 years in age from the three clubs participated in the cleanup. Six tons of scrap metal and four tons of garbage was removed from the cleanup area.
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