Today’s Poll

No dog days of summer at Crescent Valley Beach this year

Claire Paradis
By Claire Paradis
May 16th, 2018

When Regional District of Central Kootenay (RDCK) Area H Director Walter Popoff recently received a call from a woman who said her and a friend had been accosted by two very aggressive dogs at Crescent Valley Beach, he knew it was going to be an issue.

And it has been.

The response to Director Popoff’s comments about the beach being patrolled by a bylaw officer with an expanded mandate to enforce a seasonal no-dog policy was swift and it happened on social media.

Bonnington resident Andrea Purcell voiced her concern about the change from the historical usage when there were no rules prohibiting dogs on the beach via Facebook, and the long-time resident stands behind her statement.

“[The decision] really bothers me. It’s their happy place, where they go to dive for water-logged sticks. These dogs will not bite you,” said Purcell. “I feel like my dogs area discriminated against because people are not paying attention to their dogs.”

Crescent Valley Beach Regional Park is located on Highway 6, approximately 23 kilometers west of Nelson. The park, located on the former Patrick Mill site, is a popular day-use area with cobble beach, picnicking, kayaking, walking trails and southern stop for people floating down the Slocan River during the summer.

But the decision for Crescent Valley Beach to be a dog-free beach for part of the year was one reached through two public consultations, said Director Popoff.

Dogs on leashes will be welcome to visit the beach between Sept. 15 and May 15, but they’ll have to stick to other parts of the park during the high summer months.

Purcell would love to see Crescent Valley Beach have a dog-friendly rule like Taghum Beach where there’s an on-leash policy for dogs that aren’t in the water. But is a change like that possible?

Absolutely, said Joe Chirico, General Manager of Community Services for the RDCK.

“We always listen and we will be taking feedback.”

Although dog owners will face a fine if the bylaw officer catches their pooch on the beach this summer, Chirico says he hopes educating owners about why their dogs aren’t allowed on the beach will prevent fines from being handed out.

“We don’t want to fine people," he said. "The fine is the last place we want to go."

“The one thing we know from Taghum in particular is that dogs running loose is no good," Chirico added.

"At busy beaches where people are, we try to make the beaches are accessible to all humans first. We definitely do know there was a historical use [at Crescent Valley Beach] before it was a regional park, but we do have to create rules so that everyone can enjoy it in a safe manner.”

The RDCK operates 24 recreation parks in the region with more than 15 having waterfront access.





Categories: General