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

Nanaimo-Ladysmith school district sees about a third of students return to class

Nanaimo Ladysmith Public Schools offers approximate tally during first week of back-to-school

Iconic white raven spotted in area north of Nanaimo

Photographer John Domovich spotted rare bird earlier this week in Whiskey Creek area

South Wellington community association hopes to save old school from demolition

Nanaimo school district staff to report on fate of South Wellington Elementary later this month

Black Lives solidarity demonstration fills Nanaimo park

Anti-racism protest held at Maffeo Sutton Park on Friday afternoon

UPDATE: Missing indigenous youth sought by Nanaimo RCMP located

Family of William Baker worried and said he was in company of people putting him at risk

Black Lives solidarity demonstration fills Nanaimo park

Anti-racism protest held at Maffeo Sutton Park on Friday afternoon

Plan in place for B.C. Ferries to start increasing service levels

Ferry corporation reaches temporary service level agreement with province

Lithium-ion battery fire damages suite in Nanaimo

One man displaced from home after battery for radio-controlled toy bursts into flame while charging

Stz’uminus motivational speaker and musician named ‘emerging cultural leader’ in Nanaimo

Patrick Aleck is among the recipients of the city’s Culture and Heritage Awards

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world in ways that would have… Continue reading

Friends, family mourn Salt Spring Island woman killed in suspected murder-suicide

A GoFundMe campaign has been launched for Jennifer Quesnel’s three sons

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Property tax increase ‘heartless’ in these hard times

Pandemic has cost people their jobs, notes letter writer

‘Like finding a needle in a haystack’: Ancient arrowhead discovered near Williams Lake

The artifact is believed to be from the Nesikip period between 7,500 BP to 6,000 BP

PHOTOS: Anti-racism protesters gather in communities across B.C.

More protests are expected through the weekend

Most Read