Stop using Inks Lake as a dump

A couple of weeks ago I drove to Inks Lake for the first time, expecting to have a pleasant picnic lunch by the lake. It’s a lovely drive, only one hour south of Kamloops on Lac Le Jeune Road.

Inks Lake. Photo by David Charbonneau

What I found was anything but pleasant. Debris and garbage littered the pretty little lake. Beside an abandoned car, a makeshift outhouse had been assembled. Beside the outhouse was a bucket but I didn’t have the stomach to look inside. Between the car and the roofless outhouse was a firepit heaped with refuse.

Next to that site was an abandoned trailer in one spot, and ratty camping gear left behind in another. Piles of human excrement were everywhere, flagged by toilet paper.

If you want to see what I mean, take a look at Janice LaPlante’s photos that she sent to CFJC Today. You can find them by searching the CFJC Today website for “Inks Lake.” 

LaPlante regularly walks her dogs near Inks Lake and says campers have left the area a pigsty. She told CFJC Today:

“It’s a beautiful area for walking and a great family lake for skating. I’d love to see it cleaned up.”

 LaPlante is being generous in calling them “campers,” “ignorant slobs” would be more fitting.

Inks Lake is ready for use and abuse by skaters, partiers, freeloaders, boaters, and copper miners. It might as well have a sign at the entrance saying “Dump.”

Samuel Kirk, apparently a visitor to Canada, actually liked camping at Inks Lake for free. He found it on freecampsites.net and posted a review:

“Quite beautifully located in between grassy hills and next to a lake. Very few other campers around so it was super quiet. In the morning, just before taking off, we spotted a pig roaming around. This must be the Canadian wilderness they talk about ;)”

Others like to party on the weekend. If partygoers are anything like I remember as a student, while attending SAIT in Calgary, respect for nature is probably not at the top of their minds. Getting drunk and disorderly were paramount, I now regret to admit.

While I was there, dirt bikes and quads tore up the shores of Inks Lake.

It is not just popular with motor vehicles but mountain bikers as well. The Kamloops area has been promoted as a destination for mountain biking for decades. Mountain biking enthusiast Andy Warren told Kamloops This Week in 1997: “This is my favourite place. It’s a 150-square kilometres of vastness. You can lose yourself for a day or two.”

Boaters like it as well. Doug Smith likes paddling at Inks Lake because it sits in a recessed bowl, protected from the wind. On his blog at kamloops.me, he says: “The back bays are quiet except for a few ducks dabbling in a sheltered area.”

The greatest insult to the lake was thankfully forestalled by Kamloopsians who protested the building of KGHM Ajax Mine. Owners of the mine proposed a tailings pond that would cover an area including Jacko and Inks lakes. While Ajax promised not to drain Jacko and make Inks a fishing lake, I have to wonder. The area would resemble a moonscape where not even the most ignorant or well-intentioned users would care to visit them.

Is there anyone who can save Inks Lake?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.