Chilliwack man charged for dumping in wildlife area

Anyone who catches people dumping garbage is asked to call the RAPP line. Never confront or approach them. Call 1-877-952-RAPP (7277)

Recent efforts to raise awareness about the damage caused by litter by the Fraser Valley Illegal Dumping Alliance has already boosted the calls coming to the RAPP line. If you spot someone dumping trash

Recent efforts to raise awareness about the damage caused by litter by the Fraser Valley Illegal Dumping Alliance has already boosted the calls coming to the RAPP line. If you spot someone dumping trash

The Fraser Valley Illegal Dumping Alliance formed last fall to fight the rampant garbage dumping that threatens local watersheds.

And it’s working.

A Chilliwack man was charged under provincial regulations, said conservation officer Steven Jacobi with the B.C. Conservation Officer Service, Fraser Valley zone.

“We did charge someone with littering in the Burt Brink Wildlife Management Area,” he said.

David Wilgose of Chilliwack is facing three ticket violations from the one incident. He was charged as part of an intensified effort to apprehend people dumping illegally in the Fraser Valley.

“We had pictures of the suspect but it took some time to figure out who he was,” added the conservation officer.

Wilgose was issued three ticket violation charges for littering under the Environmental Management Act.

The fines came to $345 and the incident dated back to July 2014.

“It took some digging to find the suspect,” said Jacobi.

Officers had investigated the suspect a few months before in a different area, and there was some suspicion he might commit other environmental violations along the Fraser River. He became a person of interest when officers spotted items that had been dumped and burned in the wildlife area, like household trash, plastic, and paper thought to be from a house move.

“It was only when we were reviewing person of interest files together that we figured out who our suspect was for the dumping,” he said.

Rachel Schoeler, operations and program manager of Fraser Riverkeeper Society, was thrilled to hear that someone had been charged. The Society’s mission is to protect and restore the Fraser River and its watersheds, with volunteer driven cleanup events and education efforts.

“It’s so good to hear that the conservation officers received enough information to proceed with charges,” Schoeler said. “It means the dumpers will know that people are out there watching.”

The education blitz has already significantly boosted the number of calls coming in about illegal dumping to the RAPP line, said the conservation officer.

“They have been very helpful in raising awareness of who to report violation to and this has made a difference in our call volume,” noted Jacobi.

“We have seen an increase of 60 per cent related to illegal dumping now that more people are reporting violations directly to the COS.”

Anyone who catches trash dumpers in the act is asked to call the RAPP line. Never confront or approach them, but let the COS take care of it after recording the details.

“We want people to report these things, but we also want them to stay safe, so we always say to never put yourself in a situation where you may get hurt,” said Schoeler.

Alliance members have been trying to get the word out on a broad scale that there’s zero tolerance for dumping. More signage is coming this fall for five new locations, with the RAPP line emblazoned on it.

“That way people concerned about illegal dumping can put the number right into their phones,” she said.

The Alliance is bringing together diverse groups to fight the trash dumpers, including: City of Chilliwack, Chilliwack-Vedder River Cleanup Society, Conservation Officer Service of B.C., Fraser Riverkeeper Society,  Fraser Valley Regional District,  Fraser Valley Salmon Society, Great River Fishing Adventures, Woodtone and more.

Here are some tips for making a report:

• always take note of the date, time and location of the garbage dumping

• record physical description of the suspect, vehicle and plates

• report by calling the RAPP line at 1-877-952-RAPP (7277)

If the dumped items include hazardous chemicals, unmarked containers or other materials that may have come from an illegal drug lab, again, don’t touch any of it and call the fire department at 604-792-8713. If anyone is exposed to chemicals, call 911.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Sgt. Zi Shen Wang of 147 Royal Canadian Air Cadet Squadron in Chilliwack is one of 14 Canadian cadets to perform in the Commonwealth Day cadet band concert on March 8. (Submitted)
Chilliwack cadet to perform in international concert on Commonwealth Day

15-year-old Air Cadet Sgt. Zi Shen Wang one of 14 Canadian cadets to perform in concert

Owen Charpentier, 24, is charged with the Oct. 22, 2019 second-degree murder of Keith Baldwin in Chilliwack. He was sentenced to 18 months jail for a robbery that occurred just six days before the Baldwin homicide. (File)
Chilliwack man facing murder charge sentenced Thursday to unrelated robbery

Prolific offender Owen Dale Charpentier committed robbery just six days before Keith Baldwin’s murder

Maximum building height lowered to two storeys for infill development in R1-C. (Chilliwack Progress file)
Chilliwack council caps infill residential building height at two storeys

‘I think what we’ve achieved is something that will blend in better with existing neighbourhoods’

Chilliwack saw rise in incidents involving bear spray last year which led to a new bylaw restricting the sale of it to outdoor/sporting goods stores. (Black Press file)
Council restricts sale of bear spray in Chilliwack after rise in violent incidents

65 per cent increase in number of bear spray incidents reported by RCMP last summer

Alan Pryor in 2015, during the Agassiz Fire Department’s 70th year. (Greg Laychak/The Observer)
Agassiz fireman celebrates 51 years at the hall

Al Pryor has been a key member in the Agassiz Fire Department since he was 16

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry head for the B.C. legislature press theatre to give a daily update on the COVID-19 pandemic, April 6, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C. nears 300,000 COVID-19 vaccinations, essential workers next

564 new cases, four deaths, no new outbreaks Thursday

Walter Gretzky father of hockey hall-of-famer Wayne Gretzky waves to fans as the Buffalo Sabres play against the Toronto Maple Leafs during third period NHL hockey action in Toronto on Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Walter Gretzky, father of the Great One, dies at 82

Canada’s hockey dad had battled Parkinson’s disease and other health issues

Municipal Affairs Minister Josie Osborne speaks in the B.C. legislature, March 4, 2021. (Hansard TV)
B.C. Liberals, NDP sing in harmony on local election reforms

Bill regulates paid canvassers, allows people in condo buildings

(National Emergency Management Agency)
No tsunami risk to B.C. from powerful New Zealand earthquake: officials

An 8.1 magnitude earthquake shook the north of New Zealand Thursday morning

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

(AP Photo/Richard Vogel, File)
Pandemic stress, isolation key factors as to why Canadians turned to cannabis, alcohol

Study found that isolation played key role in Canadians’ substance use

Burnaby Mounties responded to 56 complaints and issued 10 tickets to people flouting COVID-19 restrictions in February. (Patrick Davies/100 Mile Free Press)
COVID denier fined $2,300 for hosting gathering in her home: Burnaby RCMP

The woman told Mounties she does not believe the pandemic is real

Grand Forks’ Gary Smith stands in front of his Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster float. Photo: Submitted
Grand Forks’ Flying Spaghetti Monster leader still boiling over driver’s licence photo

Gary Smith, head of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster of B.C., said he has since spoken to lawyers

Most Read