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‘Long Weekend’ Quiet, Say Alberta RCMP

May 23, 2011 by   - () Leave a Comment

Grumbling over fire and liquor bans have not led to widespread violations at southern Alberta campgrounds and off-road areas, which have remained quiet as far as enforcement is concerned during what Canadians call the “May long weekend,” the Calgary Herald reported.

In Kananaskis, some campers were already packing up to leave Sunday.

“It’s been quiet and our campgrounds are barely full,” said Const. Tammy Keller of Kananaskis RCMP. “Lots of people are already leaving. I don’t know if they’re going home to plant flowers or what, but it’s been a fantastic weekend from a policing standpoint.”

Even as late as Friday, forecasters were predicting rain all weekend rather than the sunny and hot temperatures that materialized Saturday.

Keller said the combination of expected cold and wet conditions along with the fire ban may have kept some people away.

“The forecast didn’t change until the last minute,” she said. “Maybe that was a factor.”

A provincewide fire ban was issued last week due in part to the fact so many firefighting resources have been sent north to deal with wildfires raging in and around Slave Lake.

Keller said she was not aware of a single ticket being issued for a violation of the fire ban in Kananaskis.

Cochrane RCMP have had only had minor infractions to deal with such as quad licence and registration violations.

“So far, so good,” said Constable Curtis Peters of the Cochrane detachment. “It is busier than normal, but there’s been nothing significant, nothing out of the ordinary in terms of enforcement.”

About 900 sites were closed this weekend at campgrounds in Yoho, Banff, and Kootenay national parks due to the larger than normal snowpack in the mountains this spring.

Alberta Sustainable Resource Development had looked at closing the forest land use zones of McLean Creek, Ghost, Willow Creek and Castle Special Management Area, where higherthan-average snowpacks and melting made the soil very susceptible to damage.

But with dry and windy weather that improved the conditions of trails, the province decided to allow all-terrain vehicles into the areas.

Some user groups, including the Rocky Mountain Dirt Riders Association, advised members to stay away from the trails anyway.

A liquor ban was also imposed in nine provincial parks over the long weekend.

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