In the season of hot sun and outdoor activities, Buckley Campground’s day use area, southeast of Trail, has been closed due to misuse of the area by a few guests.
BC Hydro owns the campground at the Pend D’Oreille Recreation Area, and Sabrina Locicero, communications and stakeholder engagement officer, says the campground has closed its day use area due to reports and complaints about public safety concerns on the site.
“There were enough [complaints] that we decided it was making the site unsafe,” she said. “As a recreational site, it is designed for family use and also for people to use for recreational purposes. With the reports we were getting, we had to address those concerns immediately.”
Reports and complaints received included threats of violence, excessive alcohol consumption and “other unsafe activities,” said Locicero.
“[The operator] had discussions with folks that were some of our unruly guests who had been there for a while,” she said. “There was some escalation from there and it got to the point where conversations with them weren’t working.”
The concerns were serious enough that BC Hydro came to the decision to close the day use and the boat launch to visitors.
“We had to make the decision to close down the day use area and the boat ramp site,” said Locicero, adding that overnight guests currently camping aren’t getting kicked out of the area. “The campers that are there for now are welcome to stay and they can use the boat ramp site, but in the meantime, the day use is closed as a means of addressing our concerns.”
Locicero says the next step is to take care of current concerns and move forward from there.
“Our hope with this is that we close the site, we address the immediate concerns and following that, we will reassess again,” she said. “We know it is a well-used facility and the majority of the guests are not a concern and we want them to be able to use the facilities and use that beautiful site.”
The Buckley Campground hasn’t been closed for this reason in recent memory says Locicero and BC Hydro hopes to avoid it in the future.
For now, it has added security to the area to keep unwanted behaviour to a minimum.
“We have got some extra people on site and we have staff that are present to observe what is happening and to make sure that the people that are there camping and want to enjoy the area, are able to do so,” she said.
Overnight camping is still open at Buckley Campground, but Locicero it would be best to give her a call to get an update on the current status of the facility. Sabrina Locicero can be reached at 250-365-4565.
The local RCMP detachment wasn’t available for comment at press time.