White Lake Cleanup of Hazardous Abandoned Encampment
White Lake residents are thrilled to report completion of a thorough cleanup of a large and environmentally hazardous abandoned encampment at the east end of our beautiful lake. A collaborative effort between White Lake Residents Association (WLRA) volunteers and BC Parks involved an arduous three days removing debris from the Cedar Creek basin of White Lake Provincial Park.
In May 2023, WLRA representatives contacted BC Parks regarding this abandoned encampment and requested action to have it cleaned up. The condition of the trailer in the encampment was obviously uninhabitable and the garbage scattered around the area (including broken glass, metal trash and piles of refuse) created an environmental hazard.
Throughout the summer, delays to this project occurred due to fire season and time needed to organize the necessary funding, personnel and equipment. In November of this year, White Lake residents and BC Parks were ready to begin cleanup of this site.
BC Parks agreed to provide removal services of the debris to the CSRD landfill and to assign two BC Parks rangers to oversee the project for the duration of the cleanup. Ten White Lake residents volunteered for a full three days to clean up the site with rakes and shovels. It is important to note this project would have been impossible to undertake without the support of a local resident, Gerald Miller, who donated three days to spearhead the volunteers and to provide his excavator to clean, pile, and load garbage into the trailer provided by Parks. There were also several burned-out vehicles at the site and due to the generosity of Dave Schwandt from Twisted Auto Recycling, they were hauled away from the site. It is also appreciated that one of the BC Parks rangers volunteered to sleep in his truck both nights to ensure the safety of Gerald’s equipment
This is an outstanding example of community engagement and involvement to keep the White Lake area clean, safe, and respectful of the forest and spawning creek.
The photos provide a snapshot of the “before and after” of the project that was undertaken to restore the area to its natural beauty.
On a related note, we have noted an increase in the dumping of garbage on Forest Service Roads and trails and wish to remind everyone that it is all of our responsibility to ensure we live in “Beautiful BC”. The provincial Litter Act provides significant penalties for dumping of garbage and we would ask that if anyone observes this taking place to take photos if possible and call the Salmon Arm RCMP Detachment.”
In closing, the WLRA would like to thank all the White Lake volunteers that came out to help. It is heartwarming to know our residents are ready to step up to keep our community beautiful and safe.