Photo by Whitehorse Star
It’s no secret the territorial campgrounds and parks have been busy and full for the most part since opening June 4, particularly those within two hours of Whitehorse.
Information officer Scott Cameron of Environment Yukon said this morning campgrounds close to Whitehorse are typically quite busy on weekends during the summer.
Since opening, park staff are reporting campgrounds are seeing a lot of use during the week as well, he said.
While it’s tough to quantify the reason, he said, it seems reasonable that the increase in use during the week is linked to the COVID-19 pandemic and the associated restrictions.
Yukoners generally like to get out and enjoy the outdoors, but it seems now there is even more interest in getting out and enjoying the outdoors and open spaces, he said.
Cameron said they’ve heard reports of what’s referred to as drag-and-drop – the practice of setting up a tent or camper during the week to hold a campground site but not being there until the weekend.
Under regulation, campers cannot leave their camp site vacant for more than 24 hours, he explained.
He said it’s also against regulations to register and hold a campsite for others.
Park staff and park officers on patrol do monitor activity at campgrounds but it can be difficult when you consider there are 42 parks and campgrounds with 1,000 campsites, he said.
Cameron said the park’s branch welcomes assistance from other campers who see anything untoward happening at campgrounds. They can call 867-456-3974 if they have concerns, he said.
Cameron emphasized campground use is not just for Yukoners but rather anyone who has travelled into the Yukon and is legally permitted to be here.
Residents may have family who are visiting from outside the Yukon but have completed the required 14-day isolation, he pointed out.
He reiterated campgrounds are open to anybody who is legally permitted to be there.
Just because a vehicle has a licence plate from outside the territory does not mean the occupants are there illegally, he emphasized.
“If you’ve met the conditions for entry into the Yukon, then you are welcome to use the territorial parks and campgrounds.”
Cameron said visitors, however, are not permitted to complete their 14 days of self-isolation at campgrounds.
Those travelling through the territory to or from Alaska are told upon entry to the Yukon they have 24 hours to travel across the territory, and they’re not allowed to stop at campgrounds, he said.
Once the Yukon-B.C. border is opened to B.C. residents on Wednesday, Canada Day, visiting B.C. residents will no longer be required to self- isolate and are welcome to use the parks and campground facilities, he said.
Cameron said they want to emphasize the parks are there for Yukoners and people who have met the entry conditions.
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