Vehicle and camper parts, garbage, a mattress, lawn chairs, beer cans and boxes, and even fecal matter and female hygiene products were left behind by campers along Gordon River Road in Port Renfrew on May long weekend. (Photo contributed by Cynthia Carlsen)

Vehicle and camper parts, garbage, a mattress, lawn chairs, beer cans and boxes, and even fecal matter and female hygiene products were left behind by campers along Gordon River Road in Port Renfrew on May long weekend. (Photo contributed by Cynthia Carlsen)

VIDEO: Campers leave big mess at rural Vancouver Island campsite

Vehicle parts, garbage, a mattress, lawn chairs, beer cans, and even fecal matter left in the area

A group of campers left everything behind but the kitchen sink on a Vancouver Island beach last weekend.

“Certain people think coming out to Port Renfrew to camp is a ticket to the wild west,” said Victoria resident Cynthia Carlsen, who lives in Port Renfrew for half of the year.

“In the summer, or any time there is a long weekend or event out here, some people will set up camp in unsupervised areas and suddenly, all things go. They think they can do whatever they want because the likelihood of them being held accountable is realistically pretty slim.”

She described an incident that took place last weekend, where a vehicle and camper parts, garbage, a mattress, lawn chairs, beer cans and boxes, and even fecal matter and female hygiene products were left in an area along Gordon River Road.

“They also tore down a bunch of trees in their path, which is how I assume their bumper got ripped off,” said Carlsen. “It seems like as soon as they got some alcohol in them they went crazy. A campsite shouldn’t be any different than a hotel room in my opinion, you should take out what you bring in.”

Carlsen’s friend found the trashed area and did his best to clean it up. He sent photos of the mess to Carlsen, which she posted on social media.

“I believe if we can maximize exposure to this ongoing problem, plus provide a bit of insight and education as to how exactly their actions harm the environment, then maybe people will smarten up,” said Carlsen.

“Every year this problem is anticipated. It’s been going on forever, but as more people find out about Port Renfrew, and we see higher volumes of campers, the problem seems to get worse,” explained Carlsen, adding that during the summer months is when the garbage issue is most prominent.

Mike Hicks, electoral director for the Juan de Fuca, said the Capital Regional District does its best to discourage people from leaving and dumping their garbage out in the bush, but it’s a constant and ongoing battle.

“If we catch someone, we do everything we can to make sure they are prosecuted,” said Hicks, adding that if someone is caught leaving a mess they can face a $10,000 fine.

“There’s no excuses for it. There’s a transfer station on the side of the road when you’re leaving Port Renfrew, there’s one in Sooke, Langford, all over. It probably costs these people just as much in gas to take it out to the bush as it would to take the garbage to a dump, because I’m sure it’s not the local people doing it.”

Hicks added that the problem is happening all over in rural areas of the CRD, and it’s frustrating for locals who are left to clean up the mess.

“It’s a real plague on society, this type of silly, stupid, irresponsible behaviour,” said Hicks. “There are about 360,000 people in the CRD and I think it’s a very small percentage of them that are ruining it for everyone. I don’t know what the solution is, I think the only way things will change is through social pressure.”

Carlsen agreed, saying: “A picture is worth a thousand words, and the photos we have really show the ignorance of people. I guess all we can do is keep shaming them, and hopefully they will get caught.”

She added that the repetitive devastation left behind in the area has left residents feeling like they are running in circles trying to find a solution.

“We could monitor the areas and try to enforce the law better, but we don’t really want to have to do that,” said Carlsen.

“I know that police come out here on the long weekends, so maybe they could make that part of their routine. They could write down licence plates if they find a group camping in an unsupervised area, and warn them if they leave a mess behind they will be fined.”

Sooke RCMP say they are always monitoring the area over the long weekends, but this weekend in particular was very busy for them.

RELATED: Weekend revellers keep Sooke police busy

Police responded to 68 calls, including a man brandishing a hammer at campers in Port Renfrew, and numerous reports regarding a female being struck by a vehicle on the Pacific Marine Road, near Port Renfrew, who possibly lunged in front of the vehicle.

Over the night of Monday and Tuesday, 10 vehicles were broken into at the parking lot of Sombrio Beach. Vehicle windows were smashed in during the thefts, and locked glove boxes pried open.

Nine of the weekend complaints were traffic related, including a racing motorcycles, erratic driving, excessive speeding, and impaired driving. There were only car crashes reported.

RELATED: Hammer wielding man threatens campers in Port Renfrew



editor@sookenewsmirror.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

VIDEO: Campers leave big mess at rural Vancouver Island campsite

VIDEO: Campers leave big mess at rural Vancouver Island campsite

VIDEO: Campers leave big mess at rural Vancouver Island campsite

Just Posted

Motorists breaking travel rules can be fined $230 for failing to follow instructions or $575 if the reason for travel violates the essential travel health order, at this Highway 3 check area near Manning Park. Photo RCMP
RCMP begin stopping drivers on BC highways – check point at Manning Park

Four check points are set up Thursday May 6 around the province

Rex, an elderly golden Labrador retriever, is surrounded by his rescuers in Golden Ears Provincial Park. (Special to The News)
VIDEO: Dog survives plunge over Gold Creek Lower Falls in Maple Ridge

Fire chief asks for visitors to be more cautious in Golden Ears Provincial Park

Supt. Wendy Mehat is officially announced as the new Ridge Meadows RCMP officer in charge. (Ridge Meadows RCMP photo/ Special to The News)
RCMP leader gets mayoral nods

Supt. Wendy Mehat has been selected as the Maple Ridge - Pitt Meadows new officer in charge

Maple Ridge secondary athletes who are on their way to compete at the collegiate level: Jade Lenton, Kaelyn Van Garderen, Ivy Threatful, Neve Hayes, Grace Hamilton, Gabby Di Girolamo, Soleil Brooks, Adrian Truong, Jack Emley Graham and missing Cassidy MacPherson. (Neil Corbett/The News)
Ramblers athletes recruited by college teams

Maple Ridge secondary has 10 graduates moving up to post secondary athletics

Dr. Biju Mathew visited Bihar twice to in order to gain perspective to write his book.
Maple Ridge doctor worried about family and friends in India

More than 400,000 new COVID-19 cases in 24 hours reported in India on Wednesday, May 5

Protesters attempt to stop clear-cutting of old-growth trees in Fairy Creek near Port Renfrew. (Will O’Connell photo)
VIDEO: Workers, activists clash at site of Vancouver Island logging operation

Forest license holders asking for independent investigation into incident

Surrey RCMP is investigating after a serious three-vehicle crash at the intersection of King George Boulevard and 128th Street Thursday afternoon (May 6, 2021). (Photo: Shane MacKichan)
VIDEO: Serious crash in Surrey sends 1 to hospital

Surrey RCMP say one of the drivers fled on foot, but was later found at an area hospital

Starting Tuesday, May 11, B.C. adults born in 1981 and earlier will be able to register for a vaccine dose. (Haley Ritchie/Black Press Media)
BC adults 40+ eligible to book COVID-19 vaccinations next week

Starting Tuesday, people born in 1981 and earlier will be able to schedule their inoculation against the virus

John Paul Fraser, executive director of the BC Salmon Farmers Association. (Screen shot)
Salmon farmers warn Surrey jobs on line as feds end Discovery Islands operations

344 full-time jobs at risk in Surrey and 1,189 B.C.-wide

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Parks Canada and Tla-o-qui-aht Tribal Parks dig the washed up Princess M out from sand along the south shore of the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve. (Nora O’Malley photo)
Rescue attempt costs man his boat off Pacific Rim National Park Reserve

Coast Guard response questioned after volunteer responder’s speedboat capsizes in heavy swells

Al Kowalko shows off the province’s first electric school bus, running kids to three elementary and two secondary schools on the West Shore. (Zoe Ducklow/News Staff)
B.C.’s first electric school bus making the rounds in Victoria suburbs

No emissions, no fuel costs and less maintenance will offset the $750K upfront expense

The Aquilini Investment Group has agreed to a proposed contract of five years to run the Abbotsford Centre. (File photo)
Proposal to run Abbotsford Centre offered to Canucks ownership group

Planned five-year contract to cost city $750K annually, starting Jan. 1, 2022

Road sign on Highway 1 west of Hope warns drivers of COVID-19 essential travel road checks on the highways into the B.C. Interior. (Jessica Peters/Chilliwack Progress)
B.C. residents want travel checks at Alberta border, MLA says

Police road checks in place at highways out of Vancouver area

Most Read