Piles of garbage found at popular Alberta hiking spot
Garbage is seen piled around and on top of the bear-proof waste bin at Forget-Me-Not Pond in Kananaskis, Alta. on Aug. 3. (Supplied/Diane Peters)
CALGARY -- The Alberta government says many day-use areas are extremely busy this summer and it's resulting in some unfortunate consequences for Mother Nature.
Diane Peters recently sent in a photo she took at Forget-Me-Not Pond, a popular area in Kananaskis, Alta.
The image, taken on Aug. 3, showed bagged and loose pieces of garbage piled up against and on top of the waste bin near the washroom building.
Peters says the disregard for the park "infuriated her."
"The lack of regards to the wildlife that this garbage would draw near. And what was worse here was already a full parking lot and others were parked on the roadway all the way down," she wrote in an email to CTV News.
Government officials say many areas are seeing an "all-time high number of visitors" this summer and people are generally being respectful, but there are areas for improvement.
"We need visitors to lend a hand and dispose of their garbage properly," Alberta Enivronment and Parks says in statement. "Put garbage and recyclables in the appropriate bins (and) don't leave garbage bags on the ground, as this attracts wildlife."
They add if bins are full, visitors should plan to bag their garbage and take it with them when they leave.
In other Alberta parks, the issue has had grave consequences for wildlife, particularly bears.
Parks Canada officials recently announced the same situation resulted in staff members needing to kill a bear that had become habituated.
The black bear, in Waterton Lakes National Park, was destroyed after it had been involved in a number of incidents with visitors and staff members.
Parks Canada acknowledged it's seen much more unsecured garbage being left by visitors and is taking action to clean up the sites and educate people on best practices.
The Alberta government says it is also taking action and enforcing the rules on Crown lands.