A picnic table tossed into the forest beside the campsite at Marble River Campground. (Zoe Ducklow)

North Island recreation camping site closed due to vandalism

Damage happens every year, forcing site manager to reallocate improvement budget to repairs

A picnic table is hacked up. One had been tossed into the forest. Some are missing altogether.

This was the scene at Marble River Campground after the last weekend in May. The 16-spot recreation site on the north Island is owned by Western Forest Products (WFP) and managed by B.C. Recreation Sites and Trails (RST).

A notice went up on the RST website, saying “the site will remain closed until further notice.”

By Wednesday, June 3, the site was tidy, but damage was still visible. Nearly every picnic table had been damaged, some to the point of being unusable. Some were gone altogether, and one was still upside-down in the forest. It was obvious a large campfire had been built far beyond the iron confines of a camp grate.

Several trees were cut down, although this is part of danger tree removal done by WFP.

The user-maintained campground on the Port Alice Road has a boat launch, day use area and a trailhead that leads into the Marble River Provincial Park to the west.

RST expects to have repairs completed by late June.

Recreation Officer Graham Cameron manages the Discovery Coast region — six million hectares of the north Island, some 400 sites and roughly 1,000 kilometres of trail — with a budget he says isn’t large enough to buy a house. He’s frustrated that vandalism forces him to reallocate that small budget to repairs, when he could be investing it to improve the site for the users.

Marble River gets vandalized every year — including drivers doing donuts in the gravel parking lot and damage to picnic tables — but this year is the worst he’s seen. Cameron had planned to install a common fire pit and picnic shelters in the day area, which gets the most use at Marble River.

“With the same type of damage every year, it leads us to believe it could be the same folks doing it. I don’t want to point fingers, but it seems like it could be people who live in the area doing this.”

RST relies on the public to report wrongdoing. Unlike BC Parks, RST sites mostly do not have wardens on site. Suspicious activity can be reported to the RAPP line: 1-877-952-RAPP (7277).

Do you have something to add to this story or something else we should report on? Email:
zoe.ducklow@blackpress.ca.


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Outdoors and Recreation

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Nine of the damaged picnic tables at Marble River Campground. (Zoe Ducklow)

Just Posted

Construction slows weekend traffic at Millstream overpass

West Shore RCMP recommend Leigh Road exit instead

TRAFFIC: Saanich emergency crews responding to Pat Bay Highway collision

Incident took place at Haliburton Road intersection

Saanich race car driver shifts gears as pandemic cuts U.S. season short

Bill Okell, 65, sets sights on Canadian racing circuit for 2020

Chorus expands online options to in-person rehearsal in Langford, Oak Bay

Free, non-auditioned SingYourJoy recruits those aged 16 to 29

Work on Sidney’s Reay Creek Dam won’t wrap until 2021

Municipality expects the pond to be ‘partially drained’ again in 2021

B.C. records 98 more COVID-19 cases, most in Lower Mainland

One new senior home outbreak, Surrey Memorial outbreak over

POLL: Do you agree with the decision to call a provincial election for Oct. 24?

British Columbians will put their social distancing skills to the test when… Continue reading

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Vancouver Island Tour de Rock riders roll into Parksville Qualicum Beach

Saturday’s schedule includes Port Alberni, Ucluelet and Tofino, followed by Nanaimo on Sunday

97 distressed horses, cats and dogs seized from farm in Princeton

RCMP assisted as BC SPCA executed search warrant

$250K reward offered as investigation continues into Sea to Sky Gondola vandalism

Police also asking for specific footage of Sea to Sky highway around time of incident

Trudeau ‘disappointed’ by RCMP treatment of Sikh officers over mask issue

World Sikh Organization of Canada said taking Sikh officers off the front lines constitutes discrimination

Most Read