Fees are coming to formerly free campsites near Nakusp.

Fees coming to Box Lake campground

Visitors to the Box Lake Campground next year will be paying $12 a night for the privilege of staying at the picturesque site.

Visitors to the Box Lake Campground next year will be paying $12 a night for the privilege of staying at the picturesque site. The fees come in response to mounting complaints: abandoned campfires, debris, stolen signs, damaged – and stolen – picnic tables, and semi-permanent settlements.

Recreation Officer Justin Dexter said it had become too much to handle the heavily-used and sometimes abused recreation site under his maintenance contract. As rec. officer for the Kootenay-Boundary area, Dexter is responsible for maintenance of 300 sites from Big White to Cranbrook, and when dealing with the damage at Box Lake became onerous, another solution needed to be found. At last, the option to pay someone to look after the site locally and collect fees was put into place.

“The purpose of having someone there is to have eyes and ears out there,” said Dexter, “to enhance the public’s experience.” The rec. officer said visitors should find the site cleaner, and with the extra help, looking at expansion could become possible in the future.

And at $12 a night, camping at Box Lake is still one of the cheapest outdoor stays around, in a lovely spot.

“It’s a beautiful spot,” said Dexter, “I’ll take my family there for $12 a night.”

Sites at Richy and Steven’s Creek at Whatshan will also have fees in 2013.