Whitehorse Daily Star

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Photo by Vince Fedoroff

UNFAIR TREATMENT? – Tom Wood, seen this morning in Whitehorse, was fined $115 and given a suspension from Yukon campgrounds for 72 hours for leaving his cooler unattended for a brief time. Wood is recommending that campers consider taking their coolers with them to the outhouse when the need arises.

Yukoner livid over fine for unattended cooler

A Yukon man was fined after finding his cooler – which contained his vital medication – relocated to a bear-proof bin after he left it unattended at his campsite.

By Gord Fortin on August 7, 2018

A Yukon man was fined after finding his cooler – which contained his vital medication – relocated to a bear-proof bin after he left it unattended at his campsite.

Tom “Ace” Wood rented a campsite at the Kusawa Lake Campground, between Whitehorse and Haines Junction. His cooler was taken at 8:30 p.m. last Wednesday by park staff, after having been at the campground for a number of days.

Wood had brought both a camper and a boat to the site. It was windy that evening, and he left the campsite to go tie down his boat. He then stopped at an outhouse on the way back.

Wood did not put the cooler in his truck or camper before leaving. He estimated he left his site for up to 30 minutes.

When he returned, his cooler was gone. This troubled him because all his food and his medication were in it.

Wood said he is a senior with both high blood pressure and heart problems.

“All my pills and everything was gone,” he told the Star.

He explained he has to take his medication twice per day, and usually takes his pills once in the morning and again in the evening.

He said park staff left a note at the site saying he had left a wildlife attractant unattended and that the cooler had been taken to the campground’s wildlife protection container by the cookhouse.

Wood said he went to the cookhouse – but did not see the container.

This forced him to have to drive two hours to his home at Golden Horn, where he was grateful he had more medication.

He said he called to collect his cooler the next day and was told it had been taken by staff because it had been left unattended.

He said he was informed he cannot leave a cooler out in the open unattended, as it could lure wildlife.

“I’m not trying to attract wildlife,” Wood said.

When he got his cooler back, he was issued a $115 fine and was banned from all Yukon campgrounds for 72 hours. He said the food was rotten, but his medication was fine.

He said this incident ruined his holidays, as he had planning to take his grandkids boating.

He is furious over it, and feels his cooler was stolen by park staff.

“I was just livid,” Wood said.

He continued that he has not experienced anything like this in his 48 years in the territory, and said the park staff could benefit from training on customer service techniques.

Wood said he saw no signs informing him about the rules – he thinks information should be posted clearly for people to see.

He understands there needs to be rules for campground use but feels he did nothing wrong, adding that he is not a troublemaker.

“I thought I was complying with all regulations,” he said.

Pamela Brown, the Park Officer Program supervisor for the Department of Environment, said park staff will go out on patrol.

If a staff member sees a cooler left out in the open, Brown said, he or she will enter the campsite to see if there is anyone there.

If no one is on the campsite, the cooler will be secured, and the camper will be left a note of where to collect their cooler.

Brown said staff will take a graduated approach and use enforcement as necessary to gain compliance.

Brown explained this rule is in place to ensure both public and wildlife safety.

“We want to reduce any possibilities for wildlife conflict and remind everyone to please store your wildlife attractants,” she said.

Brown added that this means putting them in their campers, vehicles or the wildlife-resistant lockers in the campgrounds, though she did acknowledge that not all campgrounds have these lockers.

She suggested that if there are no lockers, vehicles or campers to store the wildlife attractant, campground users should become friendly with other users to see if they can help.

She added that the back of the garbage bins are bear-proof, and items can be stored there as long as the back door is closed properly.

Brown said animal attractants can include pet food, recyclables, all food, dirty dishes, frying pans, beverages, toiletries and any substance with an odour.

She continued that many animals can be attracted to the campground by the odour left from these items.

This includes bears, foxes and squirrels, and these animals will get used to finding food in the area and will stick around.

“It’s encouraging wildlife to come to a campground.”

She recalled seeing a squirrel earlier eating some pet food left on a site, and drove up to the site in her truck but the squirrel was not scared off.

Brown said this information is posted in all campgrounds. There is signage and some advisories on the backs of the registration tags that unattended wildlife attractants may be removed, she pointed out.

Wood indicated he has no intention of paying the fine, and is seeking legal advice.

He also intends to contact Premier Sandy Silver and Environment Minister Pauline Frost on the matter.

Comments (61)

Up 0 Down 0

Geoffrey on Sep 18, 2018 at 1:01 pm

Imagine if Tom had of thrown a steak on the grill ! Compare that smell to a cooler .

Up 7 Down 0

Ilove Parks on Aug 13, 2018 at 6:54 pm

If all the indignation and comments were not enough, now there is another news article about this senior going to jail rather than paying the fine.
What is the world coming to when overreaching principles and misguided indignation overrides the rule of law.

Some people in the horse are so messed up, this town has more substantive issues that should be championed.

Up 14 Down 7

Seriously? on Aug 13, 2018 at 4:13 pm

There are so many YGers who let power go to their heads. It's a common phenomenon and one that is not only condoned but rewarded. Ms. Brown is getting in line for ADM or maybe DM based on her power-tripping.
Just look at the Director of HPW...now Acting Assistant DM in PSC. She failed to do her duty so many times at HPW; can we count how many employees she sold out and now look. She will be the next PSC Commissioner, mark my words. Puke. The Yukon will be in serious trouble then. Say goodbye to what little residual fairness may still exist at YG forever.

Up 7 Down 7

BEVERLY BARCLAY on Aug 13, 2018 at 1:52 pm

I am just wondering if a bear smells something in a closed cooler and it wants what it smells, is it going to make a difference if there is someone at the campsite of not, Is a bear going to turn around and leave if there is say, an adult in a tent and a child playing outside when there is a thawed out fantastic smelling salmon in a cooler sitting on the table beside where the child is colouring. I somehow doubt it. Do we all just stay home, with our coolers in our basements?

Up 2 Down 8

Doug Ryder on Aug 11, 2018 at 11:36 pm

@ Politico - Thanks. Humorous. But we do have to be mindful of the seriousness of potential dangers of other woodland creatures.
The Russians, probably the Russians, trained a rabbit to assassinate former president Jimmy Carter:


Up 6 Down 11

north_of_60 on Aug 11, 2018 at 6:43 pm

@Elizabeth Spenzer, bear-proof lockers at every campsite are unnecessary, expensive, and impractical. Walk through any Territorial campground; just about every camper came in a vehicle, so most have a secure place to put their food and coolers. Every campground shelter has at least one set of lockers for people who don't have a vehicle. The problem isn't lack of lockers, it's laziness and lack of common sense; it's too bad we need regulations for those people.

Up 20 Down 9

Jen Standingready on Aug 11, 2018 at 3:59 pm

Hameed let's not forget that those who lie seem to keep their jobs at YG which says something about the climate YG wants to maintain. YG need to watch some Sesame Street to remind themselves of what truth and lying mean and which one is the good one.

Up 5 Down 13

Elizabeth Spenzer on Aug 11, 2018 at 12:11 pm

So let's make it easy - perhaps expensive to start but may protect campers and wildlife in the long run. Bear proof lockers at every campsite - if campers don't use them, regardless of how long they are going to be away from their site, then a fine and 72 hour banishment from camping in YT campgrounds would be justified for a first offence.

Up 13 Down 9

TrumpJr on Aug 10, 2018 at 10:27 pm

Pay the fine, look after your belongings.

On another note, anyone care to comment on Junior hunting in the Yukon...? Yep left on his private jet this afternoon.

Up 3 Down 2

Politico on Aug 10, 2018 at 6:26 pm

@Doug Ryder Squirrels can be dangerous. https://www.msn.com/en-ca/news/world/police-in-germany-rescue-man-being-chased-by-baby-squirrel/ar-BBLLrKy?ocid=spartanntp

Up 11 Down 1

Charly MaHaffy on Aug 10, 2018 at 5:07 pm

Ace usually had the upper hand but this time he needed to draw a card that wasn't in the deck. His "Get away from Bureaucracy Free Card".

Up 35 Down 13

Hameed Koosh on Aug 10, 2018 at 1:38 pm

YES what IS happening at HSS Pat? What of the fact that letters were read out into the House last sitting stating how ADM Brenda Lee Doyle has such terrible leadership and that there is a long list of staff complaining to Respectful workplace about her in particular. What of Director Geraldine MacDonald's refusal to care for first nations kids? What of MacDonald's shouting and bullying staff? Bates was a well respected leader who was advocating for youth and staff - the message is clear that YG wants silence from staff and youth. Minister Mostyn told people to come forward and they would be believed and supported - only retribution and lack of transparency has been seen. Hey, did the Liberals not win on accountability and transparency? Well so much for that!

Up 12 Down 8

Bandit on Aug 10, 2018 at 1:02 pm

@ Iloveparks
I have read your posts on this and other articles, the one common denominator is that you seem to have an issue with seniors. Maybe go and volunteer at a seniors home or at an Elder Active event.

Up 11 Down 11

Linda Linton on Aug 10, 2018 at 11:20 am

I guess you pretty much have to set your tent in your own backyard. You would think putting your cooler in a tent while on a walk is allowed. Vehicles get very hot and to put your cooler in the vehicle for an hour or two? Do we all have to have campers to get out and enjoy the wilderness? Campers should not have dogs running free, and for that matter letting your kids run wild and invade other peoples property. So campers now have to either have locks on their cooler and their tent.....

Up 19 Down 17

Ilove Parks on Aug 9, 2018 at 7:41 pm

Parks Yukon needs to step up their campaign to deal with compliance of parks regulations.
If a senior gets caught they should be fined like everyone else. They Aced this one

They dealt with this pesky senior properly.
Next please deal with all the noisy drunks during the long weekend drinking and yelling fests that occur in parks like Snafu.

Please do not blame rules on people from Ontario. They are needed to keep entitled seniors in line

Up 12 Down 9

Doug Ryder on Aug 9, 2018 at 5:41 pm

Gulf, Foxtrot, Yankee Jean? Wednesday, Thursday, Friday! It does not matter if you believe you have earned certain rights or not. You, nor anyone else, has the right to jeopardize the actual health and safety of someone for the perceived health and safety of others.

It is insanity to assert otherwise.
Society has become overrun with the stupidity of perceived health and safety. And the squirrel eating dog food in a campsite? Give Me An Effing Break!
Every Yukoner with a dog, cat or shed should just pay up now. The Canada Game Centre - paid for, now - boom, done.

Pamela Brown and company should be sanctioned for endangering the life of another human being - Truck the squirrels and the potential bear that never arrived.
It is absolutely disgusting what people actually believe is responsible thought/action.

The responsible thing to do would have been to place the cooler inside his vehicle and leave a note or pamphlet. Sounds like someone was out to make a point which is the wrong enforcement perspective. Most people do not intentionally set out to violate the rules.
Acting punitively is a self-serving ego driven behaviour. You should all be ashamed of yourselves!

@ Jean - Deserve has nothing to do with your perceived entitlement. Next time you post it may be more appropriate to go by the moniker - Mean Jean?

Up 27 Down 4

Juniper Jackson on Aug 9, 2018 at 4:01 pm

I am a senior.. and being a senior has nothing to do with this.. food in a cooler, unattended at a campsite. It was removed to safety as per the rules and he was fined accordingly. It doesn't matter if the person was 30 or 130.. There are a lot of bears in the Yukon and bear warnings all over the place. Just do it. I was in Haines Landing at the Chilkat Park campground when an eagle came in and picked up the next stall's little dog.. My point is, you just never know when *hit is going to hit the fan..

To: Tired of whining seniors: the good news is, if you're lucky you'll live long enough to enjoy the fruits of the "whining seniors" labor. Not everyone gets to live to be a senior.

To: Seniors Action Group: is there such a thing in the Yukon? I hear ya' I had to go back to work to pay for the meds the specialist prescribed for me..but I am happy to do that..the formula YTG uses is 50 years out of date, drugs are old and are what we send to 3rd world countries...the meds the specialist put me on are so good I feel 70 again!!!

Up 20 Down 16

Ken Eby on Aug 9, 2018 at 3:40 pm

Incredibly heavy handed, poorly thought out, asinine.
Ace has been an aircraft engineer and business man for many years, if the note left explaining where they stored the stolen goods was not clear enough for him it was not clear at all.
On top of the rest of the military action he is given a 72 hour suspension from all Territorial campgrounds, really YG?
Have a moments thought about the hardship that would create for a senior out on a camping holiday with his grandchildren, if your not to busy camping at Kusawa that is...

Up 22 Down 13

Bandit on Aug 9, 2018 at 3:36 pm

@ Iloveparks
your concern re: dogs getting into the medication and getting sick? Keep your dog tied up and it won't get into peoples medications.
your concerns re: children getting into the cooler and eating meds thinking it was candy? Teach your kids to leave other peoples sh#t alone and stay out of my campsite unless you are invited.
I could pull a Doug Ryder and pick apart a lot of these comments but I actually agree with most of what Doug Ryder is saying this time.
For the rest of you I have spared this time, I am a long time Yukoner and have known "Ace" for a number of years. He is not a whiner, he is far from irresponsible and he should be shown a bit of compassion here. It is because of our SENIORS that the Yukon is here. I don't recognize the Yukon we live in anymore. I think after reading the posts here we've gone to he!! in a handbasket. I was brought up to respect my elders and I am almost a pensioner but to this day I still greet my elders with Mr. or Mrs. I can see in the not too distant future giving up our Territorial status and becoming a province. Yukontario maybe a good name?

Up 59 Down 8

Pat Golon on Aug 9, 2018 at 1:49 pm

More reaction here than over the fact that YG has put kids that are permanent wards of the Yukon out on the streets. Minister Frost told us we would hear back from her in weeks but it's been months and we have no clue what is going on. Jane Bates was fired last week for doing her job and speaking out about wrong doing.

Up 18 Down 12

jean on Aug 9, 2018 at 1:23 pm

@Doug Ryder I'm older than this gentleman and have earned the right to speak my opinion. He made a mistake and should own up to it, not complain about park staff doing their job. Golf Foxtrot Yankee, and have a nice day.

Up 12 Down 22

Mamabear on Aug 9, 2018 at 7:05 am

Not so worried about an animal getting into your cooler ....but what if a child comes along gets into your cooler takes your med thinking it was candy .... Everyone knows the ending to that story. Pay the fine...learn your lesson get on with life.

Up 13 Down 9

Doug Ryder on Aug 8, 2018 at 10:38 pm

@ Don McKenzie - If she did look to be a potential meal for the ravenous squirrel does she write the ticket to herself for providing or being an attractant?
That squirrel should have been tasered!?

The subject and drama of the story itself is “nutty”. What next? Hopefully they don’t catch onto the mosquito thing... Fines for attracting mosquitos - now there’s a money maker!

Up 9 Down 6

Doug Ryder on Aug 8, 2018 at 10:27 pm

@ Jonathan Bancroft- Snell - You have no way of knowing that the child was not the attractant in your scenario. Bears have been mauling people long before the invention of coolers. Perhaps the parents of the child should pay the $115 fine.

You're logic's faulty!

Up 7 Down 12

Doug Ryder on Aug 8, 2018 at 10:21 pm

@ Woodcutter - You are absolutely correct. A hungry bear can smell for miles and miles and miles. A motivated bear will not hesitate to pry you out of your tent or recreational vehicle. Bears have even been known to stalk people. What happens when the bears are deprived of a primary food source? All those bear snacks running around oblivious to the dangers because their bacon grease covered frying pan is safely stored inside... LOL!

We should keep people at home safe and secure from the wilds. If bears can’t get their bacon fix then what or whose next? Little Johnny who just ate the bacon? Little Susie who accidentally spilled bacon grease on herself on the way to the bear proof garbage bin or mom and dad who were spattered by bacon grease while cooking breakfast?

I have seen what happens when bears do not have access to garbage or coolers - they attack.

Up 9 Down 15

Doug Ryder on Aug 8, 2018 at 10:04 pm

@ Jean - You are bordering on harassment and discrimination; ageism and disability.

The Park Rangers created a dangerous and potentially life threatening situation in the name of rule enforcement.
Where is the laziness here? Possibly forgetfulness? This could be a side effect of the medication or the medical conditions themselves. Your presumption is rude and disrespectful.

One has to wonder why you dislike people you perceive to be old. I do not wish that the next time you forget something or overlook something someone teaches you a life threatening lesson - crazy!
We all need to think about the consequences of our actions. Depriving someone of the necessities of life is criminal and should be appropriately sanctioned.

Up 9 Down 13

Doug Ryder on Aug 8, 2018 at 6:28 pm

@ So Confused - There is no right way. The Yukon has become a Catch 22 state. It does not matter what you do you are wrong and subject to the commensurate fine.

@ Those criticizing the senior for leaving his cooler. No law enforcement personnel or other government employee or other person has the right to jeopardize the actual health and safety of another for a potential health and safety concern. Get a grip. Because there are no available coolers in the campsites the bears will now turn their attention to people.

The buffet at Camp Kusawa allows for substitutions I guess.

Up 36 Down 14

Yukon Justice on Aug 8, 2018 at 4:09 pm

In a few more years the Yukon will look exactly like BC and Alberta.

Up 32 Down 30

jean on Aug 8, 2018 at 2:56 pm

"park staff left a note at the site saying ... that the cooler had been taken to the campground’s wildlife protection container by the cookhouse. Wood said he went to the cookhouse – but did not see the container. This forced him to have to drive two hours to his home...."

The wildlife protection containers are quite obvious at any campground. His laziness and failure to understand clearly posted campground rules and services caused his inconvenience and apparent anger.

"a senior with both high blood pressure and heart problems" should learn to chill out and not fly off the handle at every apparent affront.... he'll live longer to enjoy his grandkids if he does.

Up 52 Down 9

So confused on Aug 8, 2018 at 2:18 pm

So I spent a few nights in our campgrounds recently.

Every morning I tidied up our site immaculately, leaving just tent and chair at site and drove off for a good day hiking. Every day I returned to a warning ticket for having left my site vacant and abandonded too long under the new 24 hours rules.

How EXACTLY should I leave my site to honour all the rules these days? What is the precise balance of items that I should leave and where that demonstrates use and presence while not leaving attractants?

Up 40 Down 5

CJ on Aug 8, 2018 at 1:36 pm

You just can't leave food around the campsite, it helps to habituate bears, which I think was the park officer's point about the hapless squirrel. Bears know all about coolers, too.

But the point can be made without the fine, since it's hugely inconvenient to have to track down the cooler. Governments tend to overestimate the value of a monetary fine, it seems to me. What, by the way, do cyclists or hikers do?

Up 38 Down 27

ben on Aug 8, 2018 at 12:32 pm

They only moved it to a bear proof locker to keep it safe while no-one was around. The fine may be unneccessary, but they didn't take it away, they just put it in a bear proof locker while he wasn't on the site (and for that, I'd thank the parks staff for being thorough in doing their jobs). Does the word "Yukoner" generate thoughts about self entitlement for anyone else?

Up 22 Down 21

Salar on Aug 8, 2018 at 12:23 pm

Yeah there is a way to do 'enforcement' (meh parks staff) and education the right way...or the way Parks handled this one.
Seems like a pretty nifty grab and go opportunity for staff...log an infraction for the books, doing the job for all supervisors to see....real Calloway approach.
Anyone with the job who possess a ounce of common sense would, allow me, perhaps drive around the expansive Kusawa campground looking for the person(s) who were in that camping spot and provide some education re storage of coolers etc in Yukon campgrounds.....at minimum...because in this case the camper was say 300 yards from the site...oh...and there wasn't any wildlife terrorizing anyone....Jesus is Environment imploding or just employer of such daft people?

Up 40 Down 34

Tired of whining seniors on Aug 8, 2018 at 12:00 pm

This man was lazy, and now he’s acting like a petulant child. If you have important medications KEEP THEM IN A SAFE PLACE. I.e not next to food that could be eaten by a bear. Seriously would he have run to the papers if his medication was strewn about by a bear eating the food next to it? Why wouldn’t you leave the cooler in your truck? Why are we having to baby this elder population that wants to cut taxes but increase forgiveness for their stupidity. They’ve been spoiled too long.

Up 26 Down 19

Groucho d'North on Aug 8, 2018 at 9:17 am

Lord save us from our saviors, and please teach them about using their discretion wisely.

Up 30 Down 25

Harry Cole on Aug 8, 2018 at 7:03 am

I'm with Tom on this issue, the parks staff obviously looked into cooler to confirm food was present, why did the presence of medication not clue them in. Some effort should have been made to return the cooler before the park staff left the area.

Up 37 Down 21

Geof Barrington on Aug 8, 2018 at 12:28 am

It sure sounds like the park staff were a bunch quick on the draw . And the ticket was unnecessary as well .

Up 23 Down 28

Doug Ryder on Aug 7, 2018 at 8:57 pm

Code red, code red, park ranger needs assistance, ravenously hungry squirrel will not back down, send reinforcements!

I would be worried about the ones that like to drink beer... They can get pretty squirrelly.

Up 26 Down 32

Doug Ryder on Aug 7, 2018 at 8:52 pm

And finally... The people had been regulated into docility... Doing nothing but what they were told... Their lifeless expressions a reflection of the corporatist structures before them... Dare not to dream... Dare not to hope... We have you in our grips and you shall pay! After all, it is the new Yukon way.

By the way - Under the generalities of the regulations it is possible for you or your estate to be fined if you are mauled by wildlife, you little attractant you!
Attention all Yukoners - When looking up into the sky during a rainfall you may drown. This is unsafe behaviour. You will be fined somewhere north of ordinary.

Up 28 Down 32

Doug on Aug 7, 2018 at 8:33 pm

Welcome to the Yukon where there are more government workers per capita than any other province. If you think the Yukon is the place you have wilderness freedom think again.

Up 23 Down 12

Don McKenzie on Aug 7, 2018 at 8:26 pm

I am thinking of the squirrel that Pamela Brown, "drove up to the site in her pickup truck" on. Here, you have a squirrel who has probably been in close contact with literally hundreds of humans, over the course of a summer. Most, probably taking pictures and chatting to him. By and large, he probably has had a great summer, and has no real need to be scared of humans. The squirrel was probably wondering WHY anyone would feel so excited to meet it, that a human would have to come racing in, in a truck (an attempt at overkill maybe?).I DO have a question though for Ms. Brown. After racing into a campsite, in a big truck, did she feel brave enough to exit the vehicle, and chase the offending woodland creature? Or would it have been too hazardous to get out of the truck? I ask this in all honesty, as I believe that she could have been in danger from this squirrel if she were to show this squirrel that she was a potential meal as she certainly comes across as a big nut.

Up 29 Down 35

Buddy on Aug 7, 2018 at 8:07 pm

What the park staff did to this man's cooler, which had his meds in it, was absolutely wrong! If this had been me they had done that to, there's no way in hell I'd ever camp at their site again. Imo, taking his cooler w/out his consent, is a blatant disregard for his privacy. This was a total mistake on the park's behalf for not posting the "rules" when it comes to coolers. He did not do this intentionally & he should not pay the asinine fine. It wasn't posted, so how was he supposed know.
Pamela Brown, whatever her gov. title is, should be replaced by someone who knows an intentional act from an accidental one. The "park power rangers" should not be allowed to illegally confiscate a campers belonging. All they had to do is just leave a friendly reminder and this matter would have been settled. But no, they had to take his cooler, give him a fine and ban him from, not just this site, but ALL Yukon campgrounds. That is just absolutely ridiculous!!! GMAFB!!!

Up 17 Down 31

Seniors Action Group on Aug 7, 2018 at 7:46 pm

We seniors have to group together in order to be not kicked around by an uncaring Government. Here's another one. My wife broke her ankle and she had surgery to fix it. The painkiller prescribed by the surgeon from elsewhere is not covered by Pharmacare. Why is he then prescribing this painkiller to seniors? The bureaucrats confirmed what I told them when I called to complain that this painkiller was not covered by pharmacare. Thanks for the new information.
If the govt hires a contractor to come here and do a job they set out the terms and conditions which will include what materials are to be used. They don't leave it up to the contractor to use whatever materials they wish. This is the same as hiring the surgeon on a contract. He should have a list of approved medications that he can prescribe under pharmacare which is not all that difficult to assemble given the army of bureaucrats loose in the YTG looking for something to do. We appreciate the fine care afforded us but being on a fixed income I don't like these needless surprise bills because of incompetence by bureaucracy.

Up 42 Down 15

Jonathon Bancroft-Snell on Aug 7, 2018 at 7:32 pm

You are eligible for a parking ticket once the time expires. Park staff do not know if your cooler has been sitting there two minutes or two hours. A bear would be equally unaware that you needed to pop to the loo. How would you feel if an attracted bear and a child crossed paths while you were taking care of your needs? Man up and pay the fine as you are not a 'little bit' in the wrong you're just wrong.

Up 30 Down 24

WHAT!!? on Aug 7, 2018 at 7:17 pm

Seems over the top....with all of the poor behaviour that happens at campgrounds with drinking and carrying on, you're picking on seniors with coolers? This is over the top!

Up 31 Down 29

Joe Turpin on Aug 7, 2018 at 6:33 pm

Before my wife passed away last year, we both lived and worked in the Yukon and loved it very much. However we both noticed that government people from Ontario started moving to Whitehorse and bringing their laws and silly rules with them. I think this story is very sad as the gentleman knew exactly what he was doing and should have been left alone. By the way, I was working for forestry at the time. Very sad to read how silly it's getting up there in such a beautiful part of Canada

Up 48 Down 6

B. Preston on Aug 7, 2018 at 6:18 pm

It would have been a good idea to secure the cooler, 48 years in the Yukon or not.

Up 45 Down 15

Ilove Parks on Aug 7, 2018 at 6:18 pm

You should never ever leave coolers unattended, what was this guy thinking?
A bear or a dog could have eaten the food and gotten sick on the medication.

Just pay the fine and be a better citizen in the future.

Up 40 Down 15

wilderness joe on Aug 7, 2018 at 5:32 pm

Thumbs up to Yukon Parks! It sucks getting a ticket, but drawing in a bear and risking its life and all others at the campground is unfair. 30 minutes is a long time, when moving your cooler would take less than a 1 minute. Put your cooler in your camper or truck next time buddy! Also be thankful it's a Yukon ticket (low ticket fees in Yukon are a joke!).

Up 17 Down 20

Whitehorse lifer on Aug 7, 2018 at 4:57 pm

I honestly think fining him for 115 dollars is crap. He left for a half hour to secure his boat cause it was windy. Kusawa can blow up really bad and can damage boats. It’s funny, I spent 7 nights out at Kusawa and saw the park rangers once. There’s a sign at the gate stating that if your camper is unattended for 24 hours there’s a fine and I saw numerous camp sites unattended for over 24 hours. Not a single person was fined for that but they fine a senior for leaving his cooler with medication unattended for an hour at the very most. Guess the parks have nothing better to do then fine people for leaving a site unattended for a half hour then actually doing their job by checking sites every night. Yes there’s a lot of camp grounds in the Yukon and they can’t check each one every night but in half an hour or even an hour a bear isn’t gonna walk into a camp ground with a closed cooler. Now if there other attractants then that would be different. But the way Kusawa is now with all the people in and out of there few bears come in.

Up 35 Down 13

Rod on Aug 7, 2018 at 4:46 pm

Food and pills left if a cooler unattended.
We teach kids in preschool this is not acceptable. You would think a avid camper and being in the Territory for 48 years he would understand that food left unattended (in non bear proof containers, that are supplied) attracts bears! Pay the fine and follow the rules. 30 minutes or a day...rules are there for everyone’s safety including the animals.

Up 36 Down 13

Hugh Mungus on Aug 7, 2018 at 4:33 pm

Pretty straight forward rules Bud. Do the crime, pay the fine.
It's good to see some enforcement.

Protip for "Ace" Leave your cooler in your truck.

Up 27 Down 10

Politico on Aug 7, 2018 at 4:17 pm

I can't believe they actually fined this man, usually they just leave a note. Well Sir, lesson learned. At least a bear didn't get shot which is the usual outcome of these things.

Up 38 Down 12

BnR on Aug 7, 2018 at 4:12 pm

Containing food.
Left unattended.
Ace, quit whining.

Up 19 Down 22

ProScience Greenie on Aug 7, 2018 at 3:45 pm

It would be nice if Frost directed field staff to interact more with the public rather than being authoritarian. Especially to our elders. Is Frost even in control of DOE or is it being run by a handfull of senior level 'us vs. them' heartless bureaucrats?

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BB on Aug 7, 2018 at 3:37 pm

If there is no posted warning or instructions, how can people be fined and barred from all campsites for doing something they didn't know was wrong? Quite frankly I left my food tote on a picnic table at a Yukon campsite about 4 nights ago while I did the interpretive walk. I did not realize a tidy site with the food in your tote was a problem. $115 and kicked out for 3 days?! That is over the top.

Tom did objectively 'do something wrong' even if he didn't realize it and we can all learn but I don't think his vacation had to be ended because of this. And what actually happened to his things, since he could not find them at the cook shack?

If nothing else, this article is informative but I don't think they have grounds to go as far as they did in going after this man. Kicked out for 3 days? For what, talking back? He left a cooler on a picnic table! Sounds like a major power trip going on to me.

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woodcutter on Aug 7, 2018 at 3:33 pm

You think storing your dirty greasy fry pan that smells like bacon in your truck or camper will stop a bear? Ever see what a bear can do to a camper or truck when it wants to get in and eat your food? You will just have a huge mess and thousands in damages. What a joke the rationale for this is. This is folks not knowing their elbow from their cooler making up ideas and rules about wildlife attractants.

Watch out folks, we got some wanna be cops with their lights and ticket books stalking the campgrounds now. When your cooler goes missing, you won't know who to blame, the bears from the bush or the bears from parks in Whitehorse.

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Yukoner79 on Aug 7, 2018 at 3:32 pm

What a crock of s%#t. They have no right to go into his campsite, open his property and STEAL it. "Instead of opening up more campsites, we will force people to leave early...and then ruin their food and make them pay!"

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Safety in Camp Sites on Aug 7, 2018 at 3:08 pm

While I sympathize with this man, the reality is if everyone left food and bear attractants around camp for 1/2 an hour then there is a problem. If your site is unattended, clean it up before you go - period. It's for other peoples safety - even if it's an inconvenience for you...

I recall a number of years ago a young woman getting mauled in Dawson because there were many campsites with bear attractants around. It would suck to see anyone else hurt when it is preventable.

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At home in the Yukon on Aug 7, 2018 at 2:52 pm

I guess this is one way to let people know of new rules, but is it the Yukon way? When rules are changed, tightened up, our standard marketing procedure is to destroy the camping experience of some senior, and rob him of $115 to boot? No, this is not the Yukon way.

At minimum, Mr. Brown is owed: a formal apology, a refund of the $115, reimbursement for all spoiled food, and a reinstatement of his right to camp.

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north_of_60 on Aug 7, 2018 at 2:42 pm

"Wood did not put the cooler in his truck or camper before leaving."... and he should have kept his medication in the truck, or with him.
This was a valuable lesson for being lazy.
Nonetheless, in this case the fine should be forgiven and a warning letter issued instead.

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