The Conservation Officer Service (COS) will be patrolling recreation sites across the province over the long weekend to ensure compliance with social distancing and day-use-only regulations, May 16, 2020. (COS photo)

The Conservation Officer Service (COS) will be patrolling recreation sites across the province over the long weekend to ensure compliance with social distancing and day-use-only regulations, May 16, 2020. (COS photo)

BC Conservation Officers to patrol recreation sites over long weekend

COs will be monitoring sites for compliance with COVID-19 safety guidelines and day-use-only rule

The BC Conservation Officer Service will be patrolling recreation sites across the province over the long weekend, making sure people are complying with COVID-19 safety measures while enjoying the outdoors.

While provincial campgrounds remain closed, most provincial parks, recreations sites and trails are open for day use only. Officer patrols will aim to ensure people are complying with day-use only rules and not camping overnight.

“Please remember to stay local and stay safe. Enjoy the outdoors responsibly,” the conservation service said in a statement Friday (May 16)

The BC COS urged people to report any suspected violations to the Report All Poachers and Polluters (RAPP) line at 1-877-952-7277.

Ahead of the long weekend the B.C. government reminded people to “avoid all non-essential travel in the province to prevent the spread of COVID-19,” urging that now is not the time to travel for tourism or recreation, or to travel to secondary homes or vacation properties in other communities.

“Though some restrictions are expected to ease next week, it remains vital for everyone to maintain physical distancing and take other important measures to limit the spread of COVID-19,” the province said Thursday.

READ MORE: Visits to vacation homes, boating trips off the table this long weekend

“This includes staying home if you have any symptoms of illness, washing your hands frequently with soap and water, and not touching your face.”

Recreational boaters are also being asked to avoid non-essential trips on the water.

“Each call search-and-rescue specialists respond to puts them at risk of exposure to COVID-19, as well as requiring them to use precious supplies of personal protective equipment,” the province said.

In provincial parks and recreation sites, access to beaches, trails, most picnic areas and washroom facilities, and boat launches is permitted. However, in keeping with public health guidelines around non-essential travel, people are asked to only visit parks and recreation sites close to their home.

READ MORE: Many B.C. parks to reopen, but visitors must adhere to the ‘golden rules’

READ MORE: Use this time to learn more about Canada’s endangered animals


Brendan Shykora
Reporter, Vernon Morning Star
Email me at Brendan.Shykora@vernonmorningstar.com
Follow us: Facebook | Twitter

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