Anyone thinking of visiting the newest discovery in Wells Gray Provincial Park north of Kamloops might want to think twice – they could get a $1-million fine and one year in jail.
The province has closed part of the park near the community of Clearwater, after Ministry of Environment and Climate Change staff spotted what could be the largest cave in Canada while conducting a caribou census.
It’s believed the cave – named Sarlacc’s Pit, a Star Wars reference, by those who found it – was formed underneath glaciers for tens of thousands of years and was only discovered nine months ago.
According to a public notice issued by BC Parks on Dec. 14, the cave and surrounding area are closed until risks to public safety are determined and First Nations are consulted. This includes the drainage of Ovis Creek, north of Azure Lake.
The exact location of the cave is secret, in order to preserve the area, which may have rare and sensitive ecological attributes that have not been studied.
If someone is caught in the area, they will face separate offences for each day the regulation is ignored.