With many experiencing quarantine fatigue and impatience to get out and do things, it’s not a surprise BC Parks is suddenly overwhelmed by people - and issues.
Articles like 10-year-old Girl Bitten By Bear and Cypress and Mount Seymour Parks To Require Passes make it easy to blame wildlife, parks administration, and COVID-19 for our outdoor access frustrations. I want to point out that users ourselves are not without responsibility.
Today while kayaking in Indian Arm, I came across a shocking display of selfishness by park users. Piles of food and camping garbage were abandoned on an island, including bags of pop cans, take-away containers and a broken chair. Signs clearly state to “pack it in, pack it out.”
Who did the litter louts think would clean up after them, in the middle of the ocean? Squirrels, raccoons and crows will soon delve in, leaving debris everywhere - and a horrible task for BC Parks staff, who I have emailed. ( It was so much garbage that I couldn’t take it in my kayak.)
We are fortunate to have access to wilderness parks. Park passes to limit overuse is nothing new. We know that food waste puts wildlife and ourselves at risk. As more of us take much needed refuge in nature, let’s not take it for granted, but try a little harder to leave the parks the way we found them, and graciously and respectfully share the areas with wildlife and other users.