Calgary

Officials warn against using popular spot on Bow River, citing safety and trespass

Officials are trying to get people to stop going into some areas along the Bow River near the Seebee Dam west of Cochrane, not only for safety concerns, but also to prevent trespassing on First Nations and private land. 

Users illegally accessing First Nations and private land

John Slater with the Stoney Nakoda First Nation says users are not allowed to trespass on the land around a popular river spot. (Dave Gilson/CBC)

Officials are trying to get people to stop going into some areas along the Bow River near the Seebe Dam west of Cochrane, Alta. not only for safety concerns, but also to prevent trespassing on First Nations and private land. 

RCMP Cpl. Chis Kosack says their approach includes education and enforcement.

"It's a very … dangerous area with the dam nearby. And also trespassing on Aboriginal land," he said. 

Officials say the terrain can be unstable, the water cold and unpredictable and some users are putting themselves at risk by jumping from bridges and cliffs. 

There have been several deaths in the area, including a 16-year-old Calgary boy last summer and two young men in 2014.

Stoney Nakoda First Nation security manager John Slater said there are concerns about the protection of treaty rights, and adds the nation is also seeing problems like litter and graffiti as well as drug and alcohol abuse.

"Upwards of a hundred people at a time can be out here. Just totally against the law anyway. They're not permitted to be here."

Officials say there are "No Trespassing" signs in the area, they continue to educate the public and those who don't follow the rules will face fines.

TransAlta and Canadian Pacific Railway both have property in the area as well. 

With files from Dave Gilson

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