Climbing in Bugaboo Provincial Park in 2019 (File) British Columbia.

Only British Columbians allowed to camp in provincial parks this summer amid COVID-19

The residency restriction matches similar initiatives by Alta. and Sask.

Camping in provincial parks will be open to only B.C residents this summer, the provincial ministry of environment has announced.

People with previous bookings received an email this morning, informing them that non-B.C. residents with existing reservations should call before June 15 to cancel and get a refund. The email stated that any new reservations made after May 25 by non-B.C. residents will be subject to immediate cancellation without a refund.

This move aligns B.C. with other provinces.

In May, the Alberta government said it would reopen provincial park campsites in June; however, they would be for Alberta residents only, and existing reservations made by out-of-province campers would be cancelled. Occupancy would also be reduced by 50 per cent and no campfires would be permitted.

Saskatchewan also instituted a similar policy, opening provincial campgrounds to local residents only.

MLA Tom Shypitka for Kootenay East praised the move.

“Hard work and persistence have paid off,” he posted on Facebook, indicating he has been lobbying for B.C. Parks to open to provincial residents only.

“I am happy to share the news that your voices have been heard!” he wrote.

In a press conference on Thursday (May 21) B.C.’s provincial health officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry, was unaware of the ban. However, Minister of Health Adrian Dix said the move was made to control overnight travel.

B.C. Recreation Sites and Trails opened all rec sites across the province on May 14 for day use. Camping will be permitted starting June 1, but subject to COVID-19 health and safety measures.

ALSO READ: From BBQs to camping trips, here’s how to keep food safe in the summer heat

The federal government announced on May 14 that Parks Canada will take a phased approach to opening national parks and heritage sites.

Some trails, day use areas, green spaces and recreational boating will be permitted after June 1. But the federal government said camping in national parks will not be allowed until at least June 21.

For B.C. parks, group sites will be closed until December.

The Discover Camping website and call centre will reopen on May 25 at 7 a.m. to accept campground reservations for the summer. Provincial campsites will begin to open June 1.


 

@pointypeak701
liam.harrap@revelstokereview.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

CampingCoronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Morning start: This famous singer is from the West Kootenays

Here is your Kootenays’ morning start for Tuesday, May 26

RDCK recycling depots to join RecycleBC program

Some depots open, others close, and different materials will be accepted

West Kootenay SAR crews rescue injured mountain biker near Rossland

Crews were called in to help after the biker seriously injured himself at around noon Saturday

Suspected fentanyl and cocaine seized during RCMP search in Castlegar

Two men were taken into police custody during the search warrant

Truck thief runs out of gas, Nakusp man facing charges

Pickup stolen from Coldstream, found not far away

‘Paralyzed by fear’: B.C. woman details anxiety, grief at Italian relief hospital

Sheila Vicic spent two months in Italy as the country grappled with COVID-19

Dr. Bonnie Henry given new name in B.C. First Nation ceremony: ‘one who is calm among us’

The provincial health officer was honoured in a May 22 ceremony at elementary school in Hazelton

CAMH survey looks at binge-drinking, financial anxiety during COVID

Alcohol may be used as a coping mechanism for those whose careers may have been sidelined due to the pandemic

Half of Canadians say governments are hiding something about COVID-19: poll

More than a third of people believe the virus was created in a lab

Kelowna man charged with harming a hamster

The 20-year-old Kelowna man faces several animal cruelty charges

High tech fish transport system set up to ‘whoosh’ salmon past Big Bar landslide

Fish will spend roughly 20 seconds inside the system, moving at roughly 20 metres per second

Trudeau to seek 10 days of paid sick leave for Canadian workers, says talks are ongoing

Paid sick leave is key to keeping COVID-19 spread under control, prime minister says

Snowbirds jets will not be leaving Kamloops, just yet

The Snowbirds have been in Kamloops since May 17 when a plane crashed killing Capt. Jennifer Casey

Most Read