Province’s help needed in fight to protect riverbed

EDITORIAL: There's no need for camping on riverbeds. Provincial help needed.

People shouldn’t camp on the riverbed.

This isn’t a tough one.

This has been a hot button issue for decades but it’s pretty simple – the human race cannot be trusted to live on something as precious as a riverbed without destroying it.

Fifty or more people living down by the river without a washroom or shower isn’t a good idea here or anywhere.

The bathroom issue alone should be enough to make any pro-river bed camper flush the idea.

The whole concept of a riverbed is that the water goes up and down and all the filth and garbage that is left on the banks will more than likely end up washed down the river.

How would you like swimming or fishing from the banks of Cawston or Chopaka and have your foot or fish covered in toilet paper or something much worse?

The garbage left behind every year is astronomical and should upset everyone that lives here.

Basically, each summer people are coming into your backyard and going to the bathroom and then leaving all their garbage for you to clean up after they high tail it out of here because winter is coming.

Rude doesn’t begin to cover it.

Absolutely, there are plenty of hardworking farm workers that live along the banks of the river just outside the village limits. They are clean and tidy and respectful. They love the community just as much as the people who live here full time do. They even stand up to those that destroy, leave garbage and pose a threat to others.

But unfortunately this is one of those cases where the old adage is true ‘it only takes one bad apple to spoil the bunch’ – at least from an image perspective.

And in this case an access perspective.

Mayor Manfred Bauer continues to lead the charge on changing legislation that would make it illegal to camp along active riverbeds anywhere in B.C.

It’s pretty clear Keremeos has done everything it can to dissuade campers but now it’s time for the province to step in.

Hopefully it won’t take three more decades for the powers that be to come to the same conclusion that the village has – that people just shouldn’t camp on the riverbed.

T.B.