REPORTING · 6th August 2015
Kitimat City Council had an impromptu presentation by Mary Bouzine. She stated the Council has a very demanding job. She was there to present on the topic of Riverbank Camping.
“It’s right back, 20 years ago, it was the same issue. Everybody has the right of choice and this one, I find, people have the right of choice to visit our wonderful community. They come to the riverbank, they employ people in the fishing stores, the grocery stores, the gas, restaurants and yet, Council says they are not getting any money, they pay 10 fold of what they’re paying at Riverlodge,” said Bouzine.
She stated there were claims by Councillor Mary Murphy that the Riverbank is filthy and dirty. Murphy replied that she had not said this.
Bouzine expressed there is a man which Council has hired to look after the riverbank and make sure everyone was following the rules. However, Mayor Phil Germuth reminded her this person could not be on the Riverbank all the time. Murphy stated the person does not monitor this.
Bouzine told Council people camping too close to the River: “hasn’t been a problem, but every year, this issue wastes Council’s time and money. There was 12,500 spent on a survey at one time.”
She informed the people she knows who camp down there keep coming back to Kitimat because it is a wonderful community, with the river and the mountains.
Murphy explained when people call her concerning septic leaking from campers, she goes down and investigates the campers before reporting it to the RCMP.
“We don’t have control over who camps at the river and who doesn’t. I look forward to all these people coming and visiting our community and they do enhance our community. We do have Raddley Park and I know sometimes it gets filled and we are working on expanding Raddley Park,” said Murphy.
She thanked Bouzine for her presentation because Council does not hear there are people who support the Riverbank Camping.
Bouzine mentioned to Council there was supposed to be a meeting with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans today, however, Mayor Phil Germuth stated this was a meeting between the DFO and the Facebook Page, Reclaiming the River. According to the representatives of Reclaiming the River we spoke to, there is no such meeting.
Mayor Phil Germuth, defensive of Reclaiming the River, explained the group is contemplating where the sewage is going from a trailer which has been there for over a month. They want to monitor trailers which have been there for a number of days or talking to the sewage companies who come and pump them out to make sure people follow the rules.
“There have been claims of some people, late at night, of some people going and opening up their thing and emptying out their tank,” said Germuth. “All they are doing, and all we want to do, is make sure the environment is being protected.”
He added, if Kitimat had enough campsites, he would be in favour of not having them there for free, and charging them. He wants people looking after the environment while they are using it, and this is what the group wants as well.
“I would commend a group for getting together and trying to do something like that. They’re not trying to kick everybody off, they’re trying to find a way for making everything work harmoniously,” said Germuth.
“We want people to enjoy the river, everybody to enjoy it and we don’t want sewage in,” said Murphy.
camping is for evry one
Comment by dan marcott on 19th August 2015
I am in seattle and have planed a trip to camp on your river banks and fish - I am disabled and can not afford a guide or motel but I have a camper and love to fish I have not even departed and have spent over 400 usd 320 for flies form cory in smothers and that's just the start - I love to help support your community. but I can only go so far I always but extra fire wood and stack it for some one else and always clean it better then it was when I got there - I read your paper every day - just so I can get the flavor of your committing..please let camp on your river banks