Community wants barricades to stop illegal dumping of vehicles in Lac du Bois Grasslands | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Community wants barricades to stop illegal dumping of vehicles in Lac du Bois Grasslands

This truck was spotted by hiker Travis Bussard on Nov. 25. RCMP confirmed the truck was reported stolen five days before Bussard found it.
Image Credit: FACEBOOK / Travis Bussard
December 03, 2019 - 5:00 PM

A stolen pickup truck was spotted perched atop a cliff in the Lac du Bois Grasslands Protected Area near Kamloops last week, left there in an unsuccessful ditch attempt, and the head of a local community group is frustrated.

Robert Gronberg, president of the Tranquille Valley Community Association, says there are dozens of cars dumped along the stretch of road just outside of Kamloops.

He says the community of nearly 700 people want to see barricades installed along sections of the road which cars can't easily drive over.

“People are coming up here, stripping the cars, and then pushing them over the edge... if you put these barriers up, there’s not going to be any more stolen cars dumped up here anymore," Gronberg says.

The residents who commute along that route are familiar with cars being dumped or abandoned. Gronberg says they have contacted the Ministry of Transportation to put up barricades in hopes of preventing the illegal dumping, but he is left frustrated with the inaction.

The Ministry told them Tranquille Criss Creek Road isn't wide enough for barricades.

“There’s one main area where they dump the cars. There’s a hidden turn, so they dump their cars there... and that’s where I’m trying to get some of the (barricades) put in so they can’t go, ‘Hey, let’s push the car over the edge,’ Probably 80 or 90 per cent of cars in the area are still there.”

This photo shows one of the cars along Tranquille Criss Creek Road that was either dumped or abandoned.
This photo shows one of the cars along Tranquille Criss Creek Road that was either dumped or abandoned.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED / Robert Gronberg

In addition to the issue of criminals frequenting the area to dump stolen items, he is concerned about the environmental impact of the forgotten vehicles. He wants to see the government agencies take responsibility for the dumped vehicles, but he says the government representatives claim the cars, trucks and SUVs are too difficult or costly to remove.

“That’s a salmon-bearing river below that all the oils, acids, antifreeze are leaching into,” Gronberg says.

The Ministry of Environment is aware that there is an issue in this particular area with dumped cars, however, it takes somewhat of a hands-off approach in order to not damage the environment further.

“Abandoned vehicles are one of the many illegal activities that B.C. Parks is challenged with in Lac du Bois Grasslands Protected Area. Non-compliance with park regulations, specifically illegal dumping, is a long-standing issue in the protected area,” a statement from the Ministry of Environment reads. “B.C. Parks has considered options to remove the vehicles from the Protected Area; however, such action must be balanced against the potential to cause further damage to the sensitive ecosystem and cultural values within the protected area.”

For now, Gronberg and his community will continue to advocate for barricades on the road, for their own safety and to prevent criminal activity.

If you see any illegal dumping taking place on the Tranquille Criss Creek Road or elsewhere you can report it to the Report and Poacher or Polluter hotline at 1-877-952-7277, or here to make an online report.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Jenna Wheeler or call (250) 819-6089 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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