Halfway reopens to the public

Reasons for temporary closure included an abandoned vehicle, outhouse damage and extreme amounts of garbage.

Local volunteers gathered at the recreational, public hot springs 26 kilometres north of Nakusp Thursday tasked with the cleanup of record amounts of garbage at the popular back road natural pools.  They spent the day clearing refuse from overuse and abuse this summer.

“It was a very busy and productive day,” said Kootenay Boundary Forest District Recreation Officer Justin Dexter who had been forced to close access to the natural hot springs citing public health concerns in late August.

Reasons for temporary closure included an abandoned vehicle, outhouse damage and extreme amounts of garbage.  Thursday saw all of the issues rectified in a joint effort between the recreation department, Compliance and Enforcement and local members of the community, without which Dexter says the task could not have been completed.

“The site is now open again.  I really want to thank the volunteers for their help,” Dexter added.

The site, which is free and open year-round to the public is only as good as the care its users take to keep things clean.  Dexter says continual access is dependent on the quality of the upkeep.  When complaints come in regarding dumping and disrepair, the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations is responsible for assessment and ultimately decides the future of the site and public access to it.


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