Extra taxes welcome to alleviate illegal dumping

Extra taxes welcome to alleviate illegal dumping

Dear Editor,

In response to the article in the Oct.11 Standard over dumping refuse onto back roads, over banks, camping and parking areas and even private lands including First Nation reserves. It is a scourge upon our society that will not go away. Too many people do not care how they impact our community or the environment.

A particularly distasteful, long-time dumping ground is located at the entrance to the original Highway 16 bridge across the Copper River and accessed through the community of Copperside on the east side of the river and off the North Copper Forest Road. This is a historic highway site and one of the few view points on the lower Copper River that should be blocked off to vehicle access by concrete barriers to the old bridge. The remains of the bridge and highway deserve to be cleaned up and designated as a historic transportation site with a metal explanation plaque attached to the original remaining bridge pier.

Two years ago BC Hydro carried out maintenance work on its Copper River Valley transmission line. They blocked off some of their right of ways along the Copper River where the uncaring people had over time dumped large amounts of refuse of every description.

The BC Hydro action only scratches the surface of the problem, so much more has to happen. Fines have to be more severe and everyone who spends time in rural parts of our area, fishing, hiking, hunting, or just site-seeing is urged to pay attention and contribute to solving this blight upon our society.

Strong action is required. As long as abuse of the natural environment continues, tough restrictions and rules are necessary including closing off all side roads off the Copper Forest Road to control camping, parking, vehicle access and partying. The only inconvenience from this action is that those wanting to access the river would have to walk a little further and camping would have to be at designated campsites outside of the river valley.

The same respect, attention and protection is required for all natural and wild places including such other river locations as along the Lakelse River where camping and parking areas have had garbage, derelict and burned up vehicles spoil the aesthetics and cause unsanitary and nasty conditions.

The Kitselas IR # 5 along the lower west and east side of the Copper River has had far too much dumping of everything imaginable on the reserve land for too many years.

Our Conservation Officers are required to carry out important fish and wildlife and environmental regulatory investigation and enforcement and there are not enough of them to respond to all of the responsibilities. Chasing garbage dumpers should only be an occasional part of their duties, not a persistent, never ending function that takes them away from higher priority enforcement duties.

I am very much in agreement with the idea of the Regional District of Kitimat Stikine and Terrace adding what would be a small amount cost to our property taxes or somehow through the Provincial carbon tax to cover off tipping fees so that there would be no charge for disposal of refuse at the Thornhill transfer station encouraging use of the facility.

Jim Culp

Terrace, B.C.