Campers will have more access to Crown land around the Koocanusa area ahead of May long weekend thanks to the updated Recreation Strategy.
The 2021 Koocanusa Recreation Strategy has been updated with the goal of supporting and managing Crown land recreation access and use. The Koocanusa Recreation Steering Committee (KRSC) said the Strategy looks to maintain the ecological integrity, cultural values, recreation experience, and economic value of the Koocanusa area.
Five years of work research and public engagement went into forming the 2021 Strategy, which will be implemented and enforced immediately.
“The strategy itself has various different policies for trying to address recreation areas in the Koocanusa,” said Jeff Zukiwsky Koocanusa Recreation Steering Committee coordinator. “The province of B.C. has also amended their Recreation Order for the Koocanusa, so it allows folks to immediately start using those areas.”
Just ahead of May long weekend, designated recreation sites and undeveloped camping areas will be open to campers for the 2021 season. The strategy will accommodate over 200 camping units and cover about 95 hectares of Crown land.
“The camping restrictions were one of the things that, especially local residents, that people were not very happy about. So, we’ve really addressed that because last summer, folks weren’t allowed to camp outside of the recreation sites at all. We’re opening up 20 additional areas for undeveloped camping,” said Zukiwsky.
The backcountry campsites are user-maintained with no facilities and limited access.
The areas open for undeveloped camping include: Sharptail, Strauss, Linklater, Rocky Road, Colvalli, Rock Creek, Kikomun Creek, Blue Bottom and Fussee.
The camping areas are in addition to more than 300 other public campsites already available at Kikomun Creek Provincial Park, and several recreation sites in the region: Wapiti Lake, North Star Lake, Suzanne Lake, Kikomun Creek, Loon Lake, Edwards Lake, Gold Creek Bay, Gold Creek and Englishman Creek.
According to the KRSC, the 2021 Strategy includes about 530 kilometres of roads that can be used for ATVs, along with a 61 kilometer motorbike trail in the Grasmere area.
More: 2021 Koocanusa Recreation Strategy (Koocanusa Recreation Steering Committee)