Canadian St. Croix waterway officials concerned about rowdy camper behavior

Posted Aug. 08, 2012, at 4:49 p.m.

CALAIS, Maine — A Canadian agency that oversees and attempts to maintain the serenity of the St. Croix River Valley is concerned about recent reports of rowdy behavior, and is asking those who frequent the parks along the river corridor that separates New Brunswick and Maine’s Washington County to be mindful of others.

Canadian parks such as Spednic Lane Park and Beaconfield Park are popular destinations for visitors from both sides of the border who enjoy summer camping, swimming, canoeing, fishing, tubing, boat launches and other activities.

“The river and parks are a public space for us all to enjoy,” said Leigh-Anne Outhouse, executive director of the St. Croix International Waterway Commission. “The recreational value of the St. Croix contributes to its outstanding Heritage River status. Summer is a busy time of year for river activities, and we want to remind visitors to respect the grounds so they can be enjoyed by everyone for many years to come.”

The commission maintains riverside campsites from May through October on behalf of the province of New Brunswick. Outhouse said the commission has recently fielded complaints of drunken and rowdy behaviour, excessive noise after quiet hours, theft of personal belongings, and littering and vandalism. There also have been reports of large bonfires, despite a burning ban.

“We continue to work with local enforcement agencies to reduce misuse of the parks so they can be enjoyed by everyone,” she said. “The river is a cherished feature of the St. Croix corridor and its surrounding lands, and it is a symbol of community and historical pride.”

Park rules for camping are available upon request at the St. Croix International Waterway Commission’s offices in St. Stephen and St. Croix and on-site at the parks. They require that campsites are clean upon departure, that fires are maintained in authorized fire pits and that fires are built to minimal size during fire bans. Park users also are required to refrain from cutting down trees on park lands and are required to dispose of all waste and recyclables, as well as respect park quiet hours.

“We work with local law enforcement to try to keep things under control,” Outhouse said. “We just want people to be reasonable and respectful. The problems we are seeing this summer are nothing new, and there hasn’t been any arrests or citations; that’s something we are trying to avoid.”

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