By sherry martell
THE FALLS - No trespassing is scribed on signs, posts, stumps, rocks and logs lining a well used path beaten to Drysdale Falls. The simple message is clear but police are being called upon to expel people from privately-owned land surrounding a 30-metre waterfall.
"It's been closed. There will be no access unless it is by the owner's directive," says RCMP Cpl. Jim Baird.
Officers have issued notices to people found trespassing on the property, providing access to the falls, located on the Balmoral Road near Tatamagouche. Baird said if violators return they will be charged under the Property Protection Act or the Criminal Code depending on the outcome of the investigation.
Earlier this summer people were permitted to enter the property during specific hours with conditions such as no alcohol, no vehicles and take garbage when leaving.
In a statement, the property owners, who wish to remain anonymous, said they decided to deny public access because their conditions for entry were not being respected.
"We asked people to respect the fact that they were on someone else's property and some did and a lot didn't," the owners said.
"People came in here and wrecked things and stole things. At first we trusted people but it wasn't long before we learned that we couldn't trust anyone."
Garbage was littered on the property, motorized vehicles damaged the access road and forest floor and people cut trees to make fires in the woods.
More than 50 litres of broken glass has been cleaned up around the falls.
"We tried to keep it open to the public but it is not worth the hassle. Therefore, the properties are closed to the public," said the owners.
Officers are working closely with the property's owners, to ensure their demands are being obeyed.
Baird said the swimming season is almost at an end but officers will continue to patrol the area and will be present early next summer to strictly enforce trespassing laws, by laying charges, towing cars and removing people from the property.
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By sherry martell