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

Summerland man rescued following ATV accident

Helicopters used to transport injured man to Kelowna for treatment

South Okanagan playgrounds now open

Once caution tape is removed, playgrounds are officially open for public use

Significant flooding not expected in Summerland

Okanagan Lake now slightly higher than full pool level

Moog and Friends Hospice hopes to raise $30,000 this month

Donations give hospice a chance to win an additional cash prize of $20,000

Detour in place for construction on Summerland road

Crews working on sewer along portion of Victoria Road North

VIDEO: A Vancouver Island black bear takes weekend nap in eagle tree

Videos captured by Terry Eissfeldt shows the bear arriving Saturday night and sleeping in on Sunday

High water levels on Shuswap Lake may close popular Canoe Beach

Rain forecast could flood entrance tunnel, city staff to evaluate

189 homes in Grand Forks area given evacuation orders

Homes are in the Nursery, Grand Forks Airport, Gilpin Rd., Johnson Flats and Granby Rd. areas

Mother bear and two cubs spotted in West Kelowna

Residents of Shannon Lake are urged to be on the look out for three bears in the area

Social justice advocate yells at Kelowna council, demands presence at Black Lives Matter rally

Heather Friesen has again taken to council chambers to make her opinion heard

Youth filmmakers tackle technology addiction, relationships, cyber-bullying

The Kelowna couple won a grant from Telus STORYHIVE

Vernon videographer captures thunderstorm

See the ‘best bits’ of Saturday’s storm

Dyer: I left my heart in the desert

Kristy Dyer is a columnist for Black Press Media who writes about the environment

Most Read