Illegal Garbage Dumping Hits Epic Proportions on Vedder Mountains West Side.
Monday, 18 February 2013 16:43
Effects of Illegal Garbage Dumping on Majuba Hill Staggering
Vedder Mountain has for decades been different things to different people. For some, it is a year-round escape; minutes from where we live and work and an absolute jewel with an expansive trail network where we can recreate whether on foot with a dog, on a horse, aboard a mountain bike or a motorized ATV or dirtbike.
For others it is a “thing” to be used, abused, chewed up and spat out. This is evidenced by the perennial presence of the effects of illegal garbage dumping that ranges over the majority of the mountain but most notably at the two polar extremes; the east side close to Cultus Lake village, and the west side on the north facing slopes above Majuba Hill Road. While for 13 years the Vedder Mountain Trails Association has held an annual garbage cleanup event that ranges over a large portion of the mountain, we have not been able to address the unbelievable illegal dumping situation on the west side. Much of this dumping seems to be associated with those who are getting rid of household garbage illegally. A growing problem involves garbage associated with discharging of firearms. One discrete area affected, the so-called “shooting range” is an absolute unmitigated abomination of spent rifle and shotgun shells and various other household garbage. This smacks of the so-called “Broken Window” Syndrome;
- The broken windows theory was first introduced by social scientists James Q. Wilson and George L. Kelling, in an article titled "Broken Windows" and which appeared in the March 1982 edition of The Atlantic Monthly. The title comes from the following example: Consider a building with a few broken windows. If the windows are not repaired, the tendency is for vandals to break a few more windows. Eventually, they may even break into the building, and if it's unoccupied, perhaps become squatters or light fires inside. Or consider a sidewalk. Some litter accumulates. Soon, more litter accumulates. Eventually, people even start leaving bags of trash from take-out restaurants there or even break into cars.
I am confident that most of the individuals who come to this spot likely do so because they think it a good spot to sight in a hunting rifle or simply work on their reflexes for duck hunting season. When they arrive and see that others have left some trash or haven’t picked up their shell casings, this is de facto permission to do the same or worse. Not long after, a veritable garbage dump is created and even some of those who may have initially contributed would be so repulsed as to no longer frequent this area.
This dumping is illegal. There is a consequence and that may be limited access to this area with permanently gated roads which can affect even those of us who legitimately use this area for recreation. Another consequence could be legal sanctions. Garbage dumping on crown land is illegal.... the BC Land Act states clearly:
- Garbage on Crown land prohibited
- 67 (1) A person must not throw, deposit, dump or in any way cause to be placed on Crown land any glass, metal, garbage, soil or other substance without the authority of the minister. (2) A person who contravenes this section commits an offence. (3) A member of the Provincial police force or a municipal police department may arrest, without warrant, a person whom the member finds committing an offence under this section, and may detain the person until the person can be brought before a justice to be dealt with according to law.
- 68 Every person who is convicted of an offence against this Act for which no penalty is provided is liable on conviction to a fine of not more than $20 000 or to imprisonment for a term not longer than 60 days, or to both the fine and imprisonment.
VMTA and the vast majority of civilized society find this behaviour reprehensible and inexcusable. VMTA will continue our tireless efforts to make this recreational wonderland as good as it can be and we encourage everyone to act as the eyes and ears of civilized society by recording illegal dumping behaviour by taking photos or video, recording license plate numbers and reporting this information to the RCMP (604)-792-4611. Together we will “Make Vedder Trails Better”.
Mark Steinebach, President