08/09/2013 07:30 EDT | Updated 10/09/2013 05:12 EDT

Rainbow Gathering At Raft Cove Stirs Vancouver Islanders

PORT MCNEILL, B.C. - Hundreds of peace-loving campers are gathering at a small provincial park on Northern Vancouver Island for a month of living off the land, but residents of Port McNeill, B.C., predict it will be a month of living hell.

They are worried that participants of the so-called World Rainbow Gathering of Tribes will overwhelm the resources of Raft Cove provincial park, about 130 kilometres west of Port McNeill.

UPDATE: B.C. Parks issued a statement Saturday announcing Raft Cove Provincial Park has been closed until further notice due to public concern related to increases in the number of Rainbow Gathering visitors to the area.

Terry Ruth Eissfeldt says the group has already dug a latrine very close to a salmon-bearing stream along the remote stretch of the island's extreme northwest coast.

She says other residents have seen people arriving at the park without any appropriate camping supplies.

BC Parks officials say they are monitoring the situation and could close Raft Cove Park, if necessary.

The World Rainbow Gathering was originally slated for the banks of the Slocan River in southeastern B.C., but some organizers selected a new location after a major fuel spill fouled Lemon Creek and the Slocan and Kootenay rivers two weeks ago. (CKNW)

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