A pick-up truck that was spotted balancing on a cliff’s edge in a protected park near Kamloops is now resting with a handful of other cars at the base of the cliff.
Travis Bussard discovered the truck on Nov. 25 in the Lac du Bois Grasslands Protected Park and shared the photos on Facebook. It turns out the truck is one of many stolen vehicles which have been dumped in the area.
On Dec. 5, Bussard went back to the area along Tranquille Criss Creek Road where he originally spotted the truck and saw nothing. When he peeked over the cliff’s edge, he saw the truck flipped on its roof, resting near another abandoned vehicle, with more cars in the surrounding area. The vehicles are about 140 feet below the lookout area and road above. He says broken glass, mirrors, and parts of the fender are peppered along the steep slope which the cars sit at the bottom of.
“Where it’s resting right now up against that tree and next to that spring runoff creek, I’m pretty sure all the engine oil, being up on its roof, they have probably spilled all over the ground… come spring it’s probably all going to get into the runoff creek and then the Tranquille River itself,” Bussard says.
Alan Hobler, section head with B.C. Parks, says they see no significant risk to the fish population.
“There is the Tranquille (River) which is quite far away, it’s about 400 metres away at least, so they’re not posing a significant risk to the salmon run, but that is the type of thing we take into consideration,” Hobler says. “Certainly fuel and oil and batteries are a concern.”
He says B.C. Parks is aware of 15 vehicles in the area and notes many of the vehicles are in very difficult to access areas. Hobler says since the responsibility to remove them lies on the owners or ICBC, the vehicles remain where they’ve fallen, some for decades.
“Sometimes we don’t find out and the vehicle sits there for a long time, other times we find out right away in which case we follow up with an investigation. We have to determine whether or not removing is the most viable option, and in some cases, it might not be and we sort of have to balance the conservation values of distributing the area to remove the vehicle versus the values of actually having it removed, and that can be really tricky sometimes,” Hobler says.
He says this isn’t just a problem in Lac du Bois. In parks across the province, hikers, conservation officers, park rangers and the RCMP report abandoned vehicles to B.C. Parks.
Hobler says one of the only possible ways to remove some of these cars in Lac du Bois is with help from above.
“One option that possibly could be used is a helicopter,” Hobler says. “That definitely drives up the cost and drives up the carbon footprint and all that too so we have to be very careful making determinations of where and when we want to remove an abandoned vehicle.”
Hobler says he has never seen a vehicle removed with a helicopter during his time with B.C. Parks.
Although the vehicles remain, he notes some staff from B.C. Parks will hike to a vehicle and remove some of the parts that could cause the biggest environmental impact, such as fuel and fluid tanks.
Hobler says that B.C. Parks does annual checks of the area, in addition to individual investigations. He says they work with the Kamloops Naturalist Club and Kamloops 4x4 Club to remove some of the smaller debris dumped in the area.
“It’s not just vehicles, people dump garbage as well in that area,” Hobler says. “We see a lot of garbage being dumped, but garbage is a little easier to retrieve than vehicles.”
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 click 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.
We welcome your comments and opinions on our stories but play nice. We won't censor or delete comments unless they contain off-topic statements or links, unnecessary vulgarity, false facts, spam or obviously fake profiles. If you have any concerns about what you see in comments, email the editor in the link above.