Article submitted by Nancy Flood, President of the Kamloops Naturalist Club.
This year, the Kamloops Naturalist Club staged a smaller event for the clean-up of the Dewdrop/Rosseau Creek Wildlife management Area compared to 2018, when we advertised more widely and a number of other groups joined in organizing the clean-up, providing lunch, etc. This year we did it pretty much on our own, with assistance from the Grasslands Conservation Council. About 38 volunteers came out and worked very hard for approximately three hours. We collected (according to the city staff who kept track of what went over the scales), 2,270 kg (= 4994 lbs) of trash, including some large items (a couch and kitchen cabinets dumped in a single location) and thousands of nails and screws (picked up with magnetic sweepers from areas where pallets were burned) —as well as the usual cups, car parts, etc. By comparison, last year, 140 volunteers were involved, and 2780 kg (= 6116 lbs) of trash was collected.
We are very grateful, as always, to the City of Kamloops, which provides a truck and driver to take large items to the landfill, waives the fee for other trucks that take loads as well, and provides a porta-potty, which is integral to the event. We are also thankful for the support of the Grassland Conservation Council, B.C. Parks, the BC Ministry of FLNRO&RD, The Big Little Science Centre, and Shopper’s Drug Mart, which provided much needed snacks and drinks.
Overall, it appears that abuse of natural areas—in this case the Dewdrop/Rosseau Creek Wildlife Management Area—continues unabated. Of particular concern, given the increasingly dry conditions, is the existence of burn pits, which provide evidence of large open fires—and the thousands of cigarette butts thrown out along the road into dry grassland. We’d like to remind everyone that taking care of these areas is our responsibility, and that suspected violations of fisheries, wildlife or environmental protection laws can be reported to the toll-free RAPP line at 1-877-7277, or to https://forms.gov.bc.ca/environment/rapp/ .