Hello residents of Campbell River and surrounding area.
Imagine you have traveled to a wonderful resort that cost plenty of money. You settle into your holiday, relaxing on the grounds of the resort, poolside, etc. Suddenly you find you are sharing the resort facilities with a family that lives down the street, the kids are running around yelling and screaming, splashing in the pool, the parents are using resort facilities and amenities. When confronted about their presence, they state they live there so they have a right to use the resort for free; meanwhile you and the other guests are paying for the amenities and services.
You would be a little, probably a lot, PO’d.
Well, the same is how we feel when we travel up-Island for our yearly camping vacation at Loveland Provincial Park. There are signs, as soon as you leave the pavement and at the entrance to the park, that state registered campers only, no day use. Yet many of you feel it is your right as taxpayers or local residents to use the park. This not an assumption, I have confronted the odd outside visitor and this was the response I got.
Well. I’m a taxpayer too, but I also pay to camp (which isn’t a cheap endeavour any more); pay the reservation fee to ensure my spot, which all goes to the operation and maintenance of the park. We also shop at local stores during our visit.
During our two-week stay we saw locals come in and use the boat launch, obviously the couple running park have given in to the pressure and let this happen. I’m not sure whether they are charging some user fee or not but that is besides the point. The signs say no day use and they should be enforcing this, which would not be a problem if the signs were respected in the first place.
Others park along the road and come in via the trail or the little canal at the end, all within the park boundary signs. There was a sign at the trail, that stated no lake access but it has been long removed, I assume by those that feel guilty and need to remove it so it makes it “okay.” Over the years I have found the sign lakeside, thrown into the bush.
This trail has also been made to be impassable but that hasn’t worked. We even saw some idiots tearing up the beach along this little bay with ATVs, which, by the way, are also not allowed in most B.C. parks.
I understand that the water is open to everyone, but there also many other places to access the lake, plus other lakes in the area. Also the boaters that seem to feel the need to check out the campground or just come into the bay to tube or basically tear around making noise and waves; there are many other places that you could go.
Please, all I’m asking is that during the camping season, mid-May to September that you respect the park boundary and the campers that pay to be there and find another place to access the lake. And please, don’t try and tell me that this bay is the only place in the lake that holds fish – we both know better.