Memories of the Whisky Pit

James
James McLeod
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Campers lament government's decision to clear out their 'home away from home'

The Whisky Pit on the Salmonier Line looks like it's just come off a serious bender.

Rusting blue buses are strewn, along with old trucks and campers, with garbage strewn between them.

Behind one of the buses, a pair of large freezers have been dumped, with their rancid contents spilling out.

Lillian Murphy spent 36 years camping at the Whisky Pit on Salmonier Line. She says she's "disgusted" by the vandalism and garbage that has accumulated since campers were forced to evacuate. - Photo by James McLeod/The Telegram

The Whisky Pit on the Salmonier Line looks like it's just come off a serious bender.

Rusting blue buses are strewn, along with old trucks and campers, with garbage strewn between them.

Behind one of the buses, a pair of large freezers have been dumped, with their rancid contents spilling out.

Lillian Murphy said she knew it would come to this as soon as the government served them with eviction notices from the gravel pit on June 10.

"Once the notices went on them trailers, we said, 'Just you watch, they'll start coming in throwing garbage around,' and we were right," she said. "It's heartbreaking to come in and see all the garbage coming around."

Murphy and her husband had a trailer in the pit for 36 years - "This here is home away from home," she said - but all that's left now is four pruned shrubs and an empty patch of gravel.

Just over the hill from where the now-empty pit sits, there are a couple of legal cabins, and Ted Garland has often left a spare set of keys with Murphy.

"I had a lot of friends there, and they were all a very fine bunch" Garland said.

Environment Minister Charlene Johnson said in an e-mail that contractors have been hired to clear the site and work is expected to start next week.

But by the time they get there, the site will be very thoroughly picked over.

Murphy said as soon as the eviction notices went up in June, people started coming around checking out the site.

"They were basically just coming in and slowing down and looking," she said. "We kind of figured then that something was going to take place, that they were going to start scrapping the old buses."

One of the first things to go was the Murphys' 100-pound propane tank - stolen when the padlock was cut.

Over the summer, campers would come on the weekends to find things cut apart and taken.

One camper was cut off its chassis with a torch and tipped on its side.

On Labour Day, the campers cut their losses and left; normally, they'd stay until Thanksgiving.

As she walks around the former campsite, Murphy's anger is clearly directed at Johnson.

"If she had kept her nose to herself, all this garbage that's thrown around up here, and all the windows that's beat out of the buses up here ... it wouldn't be," she said.

Even though she can't stay there anymore, Murphy still comes up to Salmonier Line most weekends, just to check on her "home away from home."

"We'll keep coming up here now every weekend until the snow comes in the pit that we can't get in," she said. "But then we'll come up and stop down by the road and basically look up and have a look around."

jmcleod@thetelegram.com

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  • don
    July 02, 2010 - 13:35

    Most of the posters here cannot see the forest for the trees and do not understand that larger issues are at stake here. If there are sites which are unsanitary or strewn with unsightly bus wrecks, sewage or garbage it is because of the culture in this Province and because of the fact that the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador ignored its responsibility for the past 50 years. It should not have been necessary to evict these people from their gravel pit campsites. The are regulations and laws governing buildings, sanitation and garbage disposal. If the laws and regulations had been enforced at these sites, the people who occupied the areas would have had to comply, face prosecution or leave the area. With respect to the the occupation of the land itself, I suspect that if these people had good legal representation and the monetary resources to challenge the eviction notices they would have been successful at trial. There are at least two reasons for this opinion, first, the Government consented to the people occupying the land without imposition of regulations for many years and secondly, many of the sites could have qualified as private property under the law regarding adverse possession of Crown land. Instead of evicting these people from their land, the Government would have been required to expropriate the properties and pay monetary compensation to the adversely affected persons. Also, expropriation of privately owned land is an onerous act perpetrated by Government against private citizens which the public finds distasteful and politically motivated. However, the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador always relies on the fact that most people in this Province don't know their legal and constitutional rights, don't have access to good legal representation and don't have the financial resources to fight the Government. Also, with a few exceptions, most of the people in Newfoundland and Labrador are afraid to fight the Government even if they do possess knowledge of their rights, good legal counsel and the financial resources to fight. The people know that the Courts are very partial to the Government and the Government will harass them and punish them for having the courage to fight the system that oppresses them.

  • mike g
    July 02, 2010 - 13:35

    miss murphy I FEEL FOR YOU .BECAUSE YOU CLEAND UP AFTER YOURSELF AND NEVER MADE THE MESS IN THE FIRST PLACE .I THINK THE GOV'T SHOULD HELP PEOPLE LIKE YOU TO GET A PIECE OFF CROWN LAND PAY IT OFF SMALL PAY MENTS .GOOD LUCK TO YOU .

  • Camper 101
    July 02, 2010 - 13:35

    I agree with the gov't on this one.....this was a eye sore.

    My question would be, why are these people camping at the pit while other people have to go on a wait list to camp in parks. Everyone else has to pay a fee to camp, so why not these people. Now, our tax paying dollars have to go and clean up the mess that is left behind. And I agree, there is plenty of garage behind the pit in the woods. Some people, not all, wouldn't bring there garbage home.

  • frank
    July 02, 2010 - 13:34

    i have a summer home not far from the whiskey tip . i played by all the rules and paid all the fees and eventually bought out the land. how this province has permitted these freeloaders a free ride for so long is the real question. now that these eyesores are being addressed at my expence i would like to see an end to all forms of campiing within site of any public road. the site of fifty thousand dollar and up trailers on the side of the road with people sitting in lawn chairs as the traffic goes by is a worse site then the pits. why any sane human being would camp next to the highway is nothing short of madness.

  • Blair
    July 02, 2010 - 13:34

    Whiskey Pit has been nothing short of a dumpsite for years and years. All you had to do was walk into the woods behind the parked campers and you could find piles and piles of garbage. Added to this the sewage disposal was not managed and I actual did witness the dumping of sewage into the nearby stream. The government did the right thing, close it down, but unfortunately it will be left to innocent taxpayers to remove the junk vehicles parked there and have the entire mess cleaned up. It was long, long overdue.

  • Micky
    July 02, 2010 - 13:34

    That rusting old wreck of a school bus is an eye sore there anyway missus so clear it all out I say!

  • CABINLOVER
    July 02, 2010 - 13:34

    Seriously people, you got free camping for 36 years.... get over it. Why not go buy some land like the rest of us have. We've paid good money for the privledge of having a summerhome... not just set up camp on the side of the in a dumpy area.
    Get over it.

  • Bill
    July 02, 2010 - 13:34

    Its not just the wiskey pit . Travel inover fowlers road past the ranch. the country side is being ruined

  • b
    July 02, 2010 - 13:32

    We in this province certainly do enjoy traditions, and unfortunately, one of our traditions has been to foul our own nest. I have been miles in the country (walking) where no automobile could get and found refuse there.

    You can't go berry picking or trouting without finding empty beverage containers and the like strewn about.

    Go to pratically any outport community and take a stroll to the community wharf, you will likely see all kinds of rubbish underwater at the perimiter of the wharf.

    Sadly, this behaviour has been part of our culture for generations, and it needs to change.

  • Richard
    July 02, 2010 - 13:32

    The fact that the Whiskey Pit, and others like it, was allowed to exist for so many years is what's surprising. There are quite a few people who are willing to spend their had earned money on RV's and campers but will not pay a fee to stay in a campground. The side of the provine's roadways and back roads isn't their personal dumping ground and certainly shouldn't be expected to be a squatter's paradise. The people who stayed in these areas claim to take pride in the area but seeing the state that it's been left in over the years disputes any of that nonsense.

  • rob
    July 02, 2010 - 13:31

    What's she concerned about? The bus is a bigger eyesore than the freezer. Relax misses, you had 36 years of free camping and the tax payer is footing the bill to clean up your mess.

  • don
    July 02, 2010 - 13:28

    Bill Harnum, you are absolutely right. Everywhere I go in this Province I see piles of garbage, discarded fridges, broken deep freezes, car wrecks and all kinds of other junk. As I said earlier, there are lawful ways to combat this abuse of the environment. It seems that trashing and ruining the countryside is part of the ingrained culture here. Government just wanted to ignore the problem for as long as possible before it decided to send a message by punishing a few people who were the most visible. Meanwhile, the real environmental culprits go unnoticed and unpunished.

  • T
    July 02, 2010 - 13:26

    question for Ronda Warford......you didn't say where you dumped your sewage?

  • canadafirstaid
    July 02, 2010 - 13:24

    PIT y!!

  • Jason
    July 02, 2010 - 13:24

    I have no sympathy for these campers. They should be fined for not removing their own trash and trailers. Now the rest of the citizens of Newfoundland and Labrador have to pay to clean up their mess. No sympathy whatsoever. Its seems the attitude that entitled them to be their illegally is still there. Mrs Murphy's Home away from Home should be in her driveway or a scrapyard not abandoned in a gravel pit. Bill these people please for the cleanup.

  • Bones II
    July 02, 2010 - 13:24

    The Whisky Pit had only one thing going for it that earned it the government's attention - visibility. If this were out in the sticks off Fowler's Road, where Mr. Harnum mentioned, it would still be there. If the pit was on Salmonier Line, but in on the back end of Deer Park, it would still be there. This got attention for one reason only, it was on the side of a highway that everybody could clearly see as they drove by. It's well known, it's recognizable, and it's removal will be noticed by practically everyone, whether they use it or not. I'd be impressed if the government actually didn't stop here. There's lots of environmentally damaging waste speckled and piled where you'd least expect to see it. I walk the wilderness a great deal during the summer, as I trout my way along bodies of water all over NL. Rural NL is literally covered with patches of crown land getting used the same way. Nobody will ever know because nobody ever sees it. A couple of days wandering around in the middle of nowhere almost always leads me to peculiar discoveries in some very remote areas. Sometime I just scratch my head and wonder how the heck they got the stuff in there.

  • Taxpayer ll
    July 02, 2010 - 13:24

    We were the only province in canada to allow this disgusting display. Yet another excellent idea by the Williams Gov., along with those stupid signs on the road.

  • MUN Student
    July 02, 2010 - 13:23

    I think the decision by Charlene Johnson to evict gravel pit campers was a fair one. There are people all over the province who have illegal cabins and in some cases these people are served with an eviction notice, becasue they are illegally occupying Crown Land. They then have to go through the process of getting Crown Land. And as some of you may already know, The Crown Land process dosn't happen overnight. It is a fairly lengthy process and I think that it is only fair that if you are having a home away from home that you apply for crown land and pay the fee's like anyone else. The fee is $100 per year for remote cottages. Pay the $100 and stop complaining .. you already got 36 years for free! You can't get anything for free anymore, and besides, the Whiskey Pit was such an eyesore!

  • San
    July 02, 2010 - 13:23

    You know, those gravel pits were kinda like a Newfoundland tradition. A newfie thing. The people who resided in these communities took pride in them, they were very clean, and usually had Newfoundland flags flying. I don't really understand why they were taken. I am not a camper myself, but have friends who have campers in a community , and was impressed how a small trailer could be made into a summer home. I didn't' see any garbage, as these were peoples homes. I remember as a small child traveling round the bay with my parents, always looking at the gravel pits, always colorful, looking at the flags..its too bad.

  • K
    July 02, 2010 - 13:22

    So lets see, rusty buses bad, sulphur and heavy metal toxins in ponds good. Sounds about right.

  • STeve from NL
    July 02, 2010 - 13:21

    Place looks about the same as when Murphy and her camping gangs of pollutors lived there. Seeing the garbage there must have made her right at home..

    Thank you Charlene Johnson for getting rid of this eye sore and many other such places along our lovely roadways. There are still many more to go. Keep working on it. You have found your calling in the Environment dept . Please ensure for future generations that private operators meet full environment standards as you approve them..
    Great work!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Martin
    July 02, 2010 - 13:21

    Lillian Murphy thank you for coming out...

    now average trailer in a park is $35 a night.

    You keep your ugly bus there 365 days a year..

    so that $12, 775

    for 36 years...

    Thats $459, 900 dollars

    You invoice is now in the mail...

  • Bill
    July 02, 2010 - 13:21

    DEEBEE - 3rd world country? Get a Hep vaccination and walk down Young Street in Toronto once tourist season is over then report back to us.

  • JJ
    July 02, 2010 - 13:21

    What's this woman complaining about? She can still camp there, she just has to take her junk home with her when she leaves on Sunday. Half of these people buy these rigs and can't afford to tow them camping and then back home again on Sunday. Then they think they can use the side of our highways or other public property to store these dilapadated old rigs. Your welcome to camp in these pits, just don't assume ownership of it.

  • gerry g
    July 02, 2010 - 13:20

    don you hit this issue right on its head...

    people have been using these absondoned pits since the roads were first built.....and government could have at least had a meeting with them, offered them options to lease the land, be accountable for any environmental infractions. instead government treated these people like lepers and every newfoundlander with a jealous grudge about the fact that they themselves have paid for sites at parks or built cabins was given a free pass to take a swipe at their characters and integrity. imagine the people brought their trailers to an abadoned pit of cleared land and stayed? who were they hurting? why is there so much snobbery in the province these days? gov is taking down every sign that doesnt fit their tourism marketing brand imaging, kicking the campers out, meantime people are completely forgetting that most of these people who are being put down for their 'backwardness' are earnest in their intentions and simply have different sense of taste? we are quick to bring up how nice we are as a people but reading comments such as those posted here reminds me how divided we are as a people when it comes to class. we only want to bring out traditional newfoundlanders who enjoy simple albeit unique pleasures of life here when we are screeching in a mainlander. otherwise they can become punching bags for the resentful

  • Cathy
    July 02, 2010 - 13:20

    As someone who lived on Salmonier Line for most of my life I have to agree with the majority on this one. The Whiskey Pit has been nothing but an eyesore for years with broken down, rusty buses and trailers marring the otherwise scenic area. There are several campgrounds close by. If these people want to camp let them pay for a site like responsible citizens do. They have been leaving their garbage and sewage there and making the area look disgusting. The people who have been evicted should have to pay for the clean-up. Not the tax payers of this province.

  • don
    July 02, 2010 - 13:20

    Those citizens who have been directly and adversely affected by the evictions meted out by Dictator Danny's Government should remember this outrageous abuse of power and work diligently with their friends, neighbors and fellow citizens to prepare for the next election and evict the little dictator and his cronies from office.

  • The Rams
    July 02, 2010 - 13:19

    I don't know why people are so upset about others who aren't as well off camping in a gravel pit? Were any of you going to park your campers there? I seriously doubt it. This is supposed to be a free country so why don't you snobs with all of your toys come down off your high horses and show some pity to the less fortunate. Is this what Danny Williams has turned this province into, a bunch of whiners who sook at something they don't agree with? As if all of you posting here are so environmentally sound. They do less damage to the environment by parking there than you do dragging your hick mobile all over the province spewing diesel fumes into the air. If everyone were half as perfect as they thought they were, what a wonderful place this would be. There was one time where we would look out for each other, but now its every man for himself, and if I can't have I'll be dammed if you'll have it. Enjoy the multiple garbage dumps just created by our insightful government.

  • Ronda
    July 02, 2010 - 13:19

    Hey I am a fellow camper of the Pit! The issue is the way we left the pit and what has been going on there since we removed our Trailer NOT BUSES! We complied with the Goverment and now the pit has become a free for all. Things that were left there by other people have be further destroyed and look alot worst and now the pit has become a place for garbage and other refuge. We are aslo tax payers not only you. We left the area we camped in a better state that we found and I have the pictures to prove what I am saying. Since then the scroungers and the rouges have stole things and gutted out wiring harness from the abandoned buses and bread vans. If the Goverment want this to stop especially Ms. Johnson she should have had her plans place better than this! The fridge that you see in here was not there when we left and the rest of the garbage was not either.
    We didn't destroy the pit other rouges and garbage rats did this. We use the pit and mowed grass pruned trees and removed our garbage and also we took care of the area and looked out for each other. So before you speak or comment know what you speak of understand what the issue is about before you jump on OTHER TAX PAYERS!

  • Edna
    July 02, 2010 - 13:19

    When we were camping, we paid fees to stay in a campground......why do these people have to litter the countryside with junky old vehicles? Looking at these pictures, I cannot say that it makes me proud to be a Newfoundlander . Suck it up princess!!........clean up your mess!!!

  • rgg
    July 02, 2010 - 13:18

    I find it funny how people always make themselves look like the victim. There is nothing the matter with staying in a gravel bit in your licensed trailer for a night or two, but the Whiskey pit, just like a lot of other sites on the island were being miss used by people like Mrs. Murphy for years. Parking their garbage trailer/buses there and leaving them there all year all. Letting their raw sewage run into a hole in the ground,. If someone who was a legitimate camper wanted to stay in these gravel pits for a night, they couldnt, due to the permanent residents. I think the government did the right this kicking (these people out), but like I said if a person wants to haul up in a pit for a night, leave the next day, dump their sewage at a certified dump site, take their garbage to a dump.. then these people should be left to it. Just my opinion

  • Brad
    July 02, 2010 - 13:18

    You can thank the good corporate citizens of Vale Inco for all of this crap. Only when they discovered a few illegal cabins on the land they were to acquire from the government to decimate, did the government decide to do a province wide sweep. I would rather a few rusty buses than 10 dead ponds, and a moonlike landscape which we are about to receive from the above nice company. These gravel pits are now going to turn into garbage pits since all of the dumps are closing, and your tax dollars will now be spent cleaning these sites over and over again. I would rather a few rusty buses than 10-12 dead ponds, as Vale Inco has already drained and backfilled 2 ponds, and a stream that were too small to have to get permission from the Federal government to kill them. How small is too small? Isn't a pond a pond? Someone please answer me because Ms. Johnson won't. So yes thank you Ms. Johnson for having the foresight of a bat, and leaving us with a toxic legacy that will be left forever for all the future to enjoy. Perhaps they can erect a plaque in Sandy Pond in your honor.

  • Anna
    July 02, 2010 - 13:16

    This gravel pit has been getting worse and worse over the years. I am so thankful to Charlene Johnson for getting rid of this eye sore. It will be such a relief not to have to look at those buses when I drive out that way again. My congratulations to the government.

  • Calvin
    July 02, 2010 - 13:15

    I agree that places like this should be shut down. Not to say that Lillian Murphy and her loved ones were the people runing the environment around these sites, but there are a lot of people who misuse the gravel pits when it comes to camping. On another note, I would like to know where everyone here is seeing all of the freezers, garbage and sewage on the provinces roadsides? I have to admit I have not seen a fridge on the side of the road (outside of a dump road, or in someones driveway) in a LONG time. No need to exagerate here folks, we all agree on the need to cleanup these sites, but think twice before posting foolish comments like the nature I outlined above. If someone from Ontario were to read these posts they would say, See, even Newfoundlanders admit that they are nothing but a bunch of hicks!!

  • DeeBee
    July 02, 2010 - 13:15

    'Enforce' laws regarding dumping sewage, garbage & old appliances/vehicles... in THIS province?!? What are you people, nuts? There isn't enough law enforcement around in Newfoundland to prevent more serious crimes, let alone to stop someone from dumping an old fridge by the side of the road. No one can stop the dog or cat across the street from making poopie on your front lawn every morning (hello, St. John's City Council!) either.The government(s) in this province don't care about the environment and that filters through to the majority of its citizens. It's easy to sit there, wagging your finger saying, 'Tsk, tsk! Look at this mess!', but who actually wants to be responsible for cleaning up around here?!? Nobody wants to do it without getting paid and governments (at ALL levels) don't want to pay anyone to do it. I say let's all enjoy stewing in our own filth... no wonder everyone else in Canada thinks Newfoundland is like a Third World country.

  • Jerome
    July 02, 2010 - 13:14

    Whiskey Pit then and now was always a dump. A hillbilly haven. I'm glad this shanty town was shut down and Gov't will remediate the site. These folks got away easy, in the end - unuseable / towable rust heaps are being removed at the expense of me, the tax payer. Want some land to park your junk on? Go and purchase and pay taxes on land or get in the line up for crown land like the rest of us.

  • Isabelle
    July 02, 2010 - 13:14

    Thumbs up!!! To the gov't of nl. many thanks for cleaning up these eye sore sites. I went through the proper channels 27 years ago Ms. Murphy and I have a peice of gov't land that is now mine. Maybe that is what you should have thought about cause 36 years ago it would have been a lot easier and cheaper to have your own. These gravel pit campers should have looked at the big picture and looked forward. Do the right thing now and walk away it was not yours in the first place.

  • Bronson
    July 02, 2010 - 13:14

    While you're at it, why not get rid of all those (around 200) car wrecks dumped on the beach shore in Admiral's Beach, St. Mary's Bay. A polluters paradise. Oh, and there's more than a few deep freezes there as well. A few years ago they blocked access to the site but I think it's time to clean it up. I'm glad to see Whiskey Pit gone. Some humans are destined to live in filth.

  • Fred
    July 02, 2010 - 13:13

    Former Whisky Pit residents should quit their snivelling. They are very fortunate they aren't being charged for clean up.

  • Jerry
    July 02, 2010 - 13:12

    I guess all you people complaining about the campers in the gravel pits need somewhere to dump your garbage. For the environment minister charlene johnson(or char as I like to call her) to say this is an environmental issue is truely a joke and is just a guise as to what the real environmental disaster is. That is the allowing of industry to dump tailings into our waterways. Well done char, you make a wonderful magician but a lousy environment minister.

  • gerard
    July 02, 2010 - 13:11

    To jj howley, r dawe, and all others of the same frame of mine. Not everyone who loves camping and enjoying our great outdoors with thier family can afford to pay out the money to stay in a park for couple nights every weekend like you guys can. Many people in this province still save all year to enjoy a couple weeks in a park in the summer. I do agree that some gravel pits have got out of hand, but like Don said the Government turned a blind eye to it and allowed it to happen, and instead of compromising and trying to work things out now, Danny uses his bulldog aproach and shuts them all down. Just like forcing people to pay trail stickers to enjoy skidooing on trails they used for years and probably even built themselves, he once again forces people to pay for a privelege they always enjoyed at no cost to the tax payer. Little by little these groups of people being stepped on will come back to haunt this government, in about two years or less...

  • R.
    July 02, 2010 - 13:10

    What to go Charlene Johnston time to get rid of the eye sore and make those people buy real campers and park in parks not on the side of the road. Now crack down on the rest of the people who abuse and misuse our environment with their garbage and sewage.

  • Funky
    July 02, 2010 - 13:08

    I agree. This is a good decision by the govt. And someone already said, they don't care about someone camping in a gravel pit as long as they move their trailer when they are done. Not to set up permanent residence on crown land and live rent free. You are doing something illegal, stop whining. You got away with it for years, the govt should have been more diligent in the past I agree. But they weren't but they are fixing a mistake now and thankfully they are. But I disagree Taxpayer, I have seen the same types of campsites in other provinces, illegal campsites. It happens elsewhere, not only here. I'm glad the govt is finally doing something about it. If you want the land, buy it, or take your trailer when you're done.

  • don
    July 01, 2010 - 20:25

    Most of the posters here cannot see the forest for the trees and do not understand that larger issues are at stake here. If there are sites which are unsanitary or strewn with unsightly bus wrecks, sewage or garbage it is because of the culture in this Province and because of the fact that the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador ignored its responsibility for the past 50 years. It should not have been necessary to evict these people from their gravel pit campsites. The are regulations and laws governing buildings, sanitation and garbage disposal. If the laws and regulations had been enforced at these sites, the people who occupied the areas would have had to comply, face prosecution or leave the area. With respect to the the occupation of the land itself, I suspect that if these people had good legal representation and the monetary resources to challenge the eviction notices they would have been successful at trial. There are at least two reasons for this opinion, first, the Government consented to the people occupying the land without imposition of regulations for many years and secondly, many of the sites could have qualified as private property under the law regarding adverse possession of Crown land. Instead of evicting these people from their land, the Government would have been required to expropriate the properties and pay monetary compensation to the adversely affected persons. Also, expropriation of privately owned land is an onerous act perpetrated by Government against private citizens which the public finds distasteful and politically motivated. However, the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador always relies on the fact that most people in this Province don't know their legal and constitutional rights, don't have access to good legal representation and don't have the financial resources to fight the Government. Also, with a few exceptions, most of the people in Newfoundland and Labrador are afraid to fight the Government even if they do possess knowledge of their rights, good legal counsel and the financial resources to fight. The people know that the Courts are very partial to the Government and the Government will harass them and punish them for having the courage to fight the system that oppresses them.

  • mike g
    July 01, 2010 - 20:25

    miss murphy I FEEL FOR YOU .BECAUSE YOU CLEAND UP AFTER YOURSELF AND NEVER MADE THE MESS IN THE FIRST PLACE .I THINK THE GOV'T SHOULD HELP PEOPLE LIKE YOU TO GET A PIECE OFF CROWN LAND PAY IT OFF SMALL PAY MENTS .GOOD LUCK TO YOU .

  • Camper 101
    July 01, 2010 - 20:24

    I agree with the gov't on this one.....this was a eye sore.

    My question would be, why are these people camping at the pit while other people have to go on a wait list to camp in parks. Everyone else has to pay a fee to camp, so why not these people. Now, our tax paying dollars have to go and clean up the mess that is left behind. And I agree, there is plenty of garage behind the pit in the woods. Some people, not all, wouldn't bring there garbage home.

  • frank
    July 01, 2010 - 20:24

    i have a summer home not far from the whiskey tip . i played by all the rules and paid all the fees and eventually bought out the land. how this province has permitted these freeloaders a free ride for so long is the real question. now that these eyesores are being addressed at my expence i would like to see an end to all forms of campiing within site of any public road. the site of fifty thousand dollar and up trailers on the side of the road with people sitting in lawn chairs as the traffic goes by is a worse site then the pits. why any sane human being would camp next to the highway is nothing short of madness.

  • Blair
    July 01, 2010 - 20:23

    Whiskey Pit has been nothing short of a dumpsite for years and years. All you had to do was walk into the woods behind the parked campers and you could find piles and piles of garbage. Added to this the sewage disposal was not managed and I actual did witness the dumping of sewage into the nearby stream. The government did the right thing, close it down, but unfortunately it will be left to innocent taxpayers to remove the junk vehicles parked there and have the entire mess cleaned up. It was long, long overdue.

  • Micky
    July 01, 2010 - 20:23

    That rusting old wreck of a school bus is an eye sore there anyway missus so clear it all out I say!

  • CABINLOVER
    July 01, 2010 - 20:23

    Seriously people, you got free camping for 36 years.... get over it. Why not go buy some land like the rest of us have. We've paid good money for the privledge of having a summerhome... not just set up camp on the side of the in a dumpy area.
    Get over it.

  • Bill
    July 01, 2010 - 20:23

    Its not just the wiskey pit . Travel inover fowlers road past the ranch. the country side is being ruined

  • b
    July 01, 2010 - 20:21

    We in this province certainly do enjoy traditions, and unfortunately, one of our traditions has been to foul our own nest. I have been miles in the country (walking) where no automobile could get and found refuse there.

    You can't go berry picking or trouting without finding empty beverage containers and the like strewn about.

    Go to pratically any outport community and take a stroll to the community wharf, you will likely see all kinds of rubbish underwater at the perimiter of the wharf.

    Sadly, this behaviour has been part of our culture for generations, and it needs to change.

  • Richard
    July 01, 2010 - 20:21

    The fact that the Whiskey Pit, and others like it, was allowed to exist for so many years is what's surprising. There are quite a few people who are willing to spend their had earned money on RV's and campers but will not pay a fee to stay in a campground. The side of the provine's roadways and back roads isn't their personal dumping ground and certainly shouldn't be expected to be a squatter's paradise. The people who stayed in these areas claim to take pride in the area but seeing the state that it's been left in over the years disputes any of that nonsense.

  • rob
    July 01, 2010 - 20:20

    What's she concerned about? The bus is a bigger eyesore than the freezer. Relax misses, you had 36 years of free camping and the tax payer is footing the bill to clean up your mess.

  • don
    July 01, 2010 - 20:15

    Bill Harnum, you are absolutely right. Everywhere I go in this Province I see piles of garbage, discarded fridges, broken deep freezes, car wrecks and all kinds of other junk. As I said earlier, there are lawful ways to combat this abuse of the environment. It seems that trashing and ruining the countryside is part of the ingrained culture here. Government just wanted to ignore the problem for as long as possible before it decided to send a message by punishing a few people who were the most visible. Meanwhile, the real environmental culprits go unnoticed and unpunished.

  • T
    July 01, 2010 - 20:14

    question for Ronda Warford......you didn't say where you dumped your sewage?

  • canadafirstaid
    July 01, 2010 - 20:10

    PIT y!!

  • Jason
    July 01, 2010 - 20:10

    I have no sympathy for these campers. They should be fined for not removing their own trash and trailers. Now the rest of the citizens of Newfoundland and Labrador have to pay to clean up their mess. No sympathy whatsoever. Its seems the attitude that entitled them to be their illegally is still there. Mrs Murphy's Home away from Home should be in her driveway or a scrapyard not abandoned in a gravel pit. Bill these people please for the cleanup.

  • Bones II
    July 01, 2010 - 20:10

    The Whisky Pit had only one thing going for it that earned it the government's attention - visibility. If this were out in the sticks off Fowler's Road, where Mr. Harnum mentioned, it would still be there. If the pit was on Salmonier Line, but in on the back end of Deer Park, it would still be there. This got attention for one reason only, it was on the side of a highway that everybody could clearly see as they drove by. It's well known, it's recognizable, and it's removal will be noticed by practically everyone, whether they use it or not. I'd be impressed if the government actually didn't stop here. There's lots of environmentally damaging waste speckled and piled where you'd least expect to see it. I walk the wilderness a great deal during the summer, as I trout my way along bodies of water all over NL. Rural NL is literally covered with patches of crown land getting used the same way. Nobody will ever know because nobody ever sees it. A couple of days wandering around in the middle of nowhere almost always leads me to peculiar discoveries in some very remote areas. Sometime I just scratch my head and wonder how the heck they got the stuff in there.

  • Taxpayer ll
    July 01, 2010 - 20:10

    We were the only province in canada to allow this disgusting display. Yet another excellent idea by the Williams Gov., along with those stupid signs on the road.

  • MUN Student
    July 01, 2010 - 20:09

    I think the decision by Charlene Johnson to evict gravel pit campers was a fair one. There are people all over the province who have illegal cabins and in some cases these people are served with an eviction notice, becasue they are illegally occupying Crown Land. They then have to go through the process of getting Crown Land. And as some of you may already know, The Crown Land process dosn't happen overnight. It is a fairly lengthy process and I think that it is only fair that if you are having a home away from home that you apply for crown land and pay the fee's like anyone else. The fee is $100 per year for remote cottages. Pay the $100 and stop complaining .. you already got 36 years for free! You can't get anything for free anymore, and besides, the Whiskey Pit was such an eyesore!

  • San
    July 01, 2010 - 20:08

    You know, those gravel pits were kinda like a Newfoundland tradition. A newfie thing. The people who resided in these communities took pride in them, they were very clean, and usually had Newfoundland flags flying. I don't really understand why they were taken. I am not a camper myself, but have friends who have campers in a community , and was impressed how a small trailer could be made into a summer home. I didn't' see any garbage, as these were peoples homes. I remember as a small child traveling round the bay with my parents, always looking at the gravel pits, always colorful, looking at the flags..its too bad.

  • K
    July 01, 2010 - 20:07

    So lets see, rusty buses bad, sulphur and heavy metal toxins in ponds good. Sounds about right.

  • STeve from NL
    July 01, 2010 - 20:05

    Place looks about the same as when Murphy and her camping gangs of pollutors lived there. Seeing the garbage there must have made her right at home..

    Thank you Charlene Johnson for getting rid of this eye sore and many other such places along our lovely roadways. There are still many more to go. Keep working on it. You have found your calling in the Environment dept . Please ensure for future generations that private operators meet full environment standards as you approve them..
    Great work!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Martin
    July 01, 2010 - 20:05

    Lillian Murphy thank you for coming out...

    now average trailer in a park is $35 a night.

    You keep your ugly bus there 365 days a year..

    so that $12, 775

    for 36 years...

    Thats $459, 900 dollars

    You invoice is now in the mail...

  • Bill
    July 01, 2010 - 20:04

    DEEBEE - 3rd world country? Get a Hep vaccination and walk down Young Street in Toronto once tourist season is over then report back to us.

  • JJ
    July 01, 2010 - 20:04

    What's this woman complaining about? She can still camp there, she just has to take her junk home with her when she leaves on Sunday. Half of these people buy these rigs and can't afford to tow them camping and then back home again on Sunday. Then they think they can use the side of our highways or other public property to store these dilapadated old rigs. Your welcome to camp in these pits, just don't assume ownership of it.

  • gerry g
    July 01, 2010 - 20:04

    don you hit this issue right on its head...

    people have been using these absondoned pits since the roads were first built.....and government could have at least had a meeting with them, offered them options to lease the land, be accountable for any environmental infractions. instead government treated these people like lepers and every newfoundlander with a jealous grudge about the fact that they themselves have paid for sites at parks or built cabins was given a free pass to take a swipe at their characters and integrity. imagine the people brought their trailers to an abadoned pit of cleared land and stayed? who were they hurting? why is there so much snobbery in the province these days? gov is taking down every sign that doesnt fit their tourism marketing brand imaging, kicking the campers out, meantime people are completely forgetting that most of these people who are being put down for their 'backwardness' are earnest in their intentions and simply have different sense of taste? we are quick to bring up how nice we are as a people but reading comments such as those posted here reminds me how divided we are as a people when it comes to class. we only want to bring out traditional newfoundlanders who enjoy simple albeit unique pleasures of life here when we are screeching in a mainlander. otherwise they can become punching bags for the resentful

  • Cathy
    July 01, 2010 - 20:03

    As someone who lived on Salmonier Line for most of my life I have to agree with the majority on this one. The Whiskey Pit has been nothing but an eyesore for years with broken down, rusty buses and trailers marring the otherwise scenic area. There are several campgrounds close by. If these people want to camp let them pay for a site like responsible citizens do. They have been leaving their garbage and sewage there and making the area look disgusting. The people who have been evicted should have to pay for the clean-up. Not the tax payers of this province.

  • don
    July 01, 2010 - 20:03

    Those citizens who have been directly and adversely affected by the evictions meted out by Dictator Danny's Government should remember this outrageous abuse of power and work diligently with their friends, neighbors and fellow citizens to prepare for the next election and evict the little dictator and his cronies from office.

  • The Rams
    July 01, 2010 - 20:02

    I don't know why people are so upset about others who aren't as well off camping in a gravel pit? Were any of you going to park your campers there? I seriously doubt it. This is supposed to be a free country so why don't you snobs with all of your toys come down off your high horses and show some pity to the less fortunate. Is this what Danny Williams has turned this province into, a bunch of whiners who sook at something they don't agree with? As if all of you posting here are so environmentally sound. They do less damage to the environment by parking there than you do dragging your hick mobile all over the province spewing diesel fumes into the air. If everyone were half as perfect as they thought they were, what a wonderful place this would be. There was one time where we would look out for each other, but now its every man for himself, and if I can't have I'll be dammed if you'll have it. Enjoy the multiple garbage dumps just created by our insightful government.

  • Ronda
    July 01, 2010 - 20:02

    Hey I am a fellow camper of the Pit! The issue is the way we left the pit and what has been going on there since we removed our Trailer NOT BUSES! We complied with the Goverment and now the pit has become a free for all. Things that were left there by other people have be further destroyed and look alot worst and now the pit has become a place for garbage and other refuge. We are aslo tax payers not only you. We left the area we camped in a better state that we found and I have the pictures to prove what I am saying. Since then the scroungers and the rouges have stole things and gutted out wiring harness from the abandoned buses and bread vans. If the Goverment want this to stop especially Ms. Johnson she should have had her plans place better than this! The fridge that you see in here was not there when we left and the rest of the garbage was not either.
    We didn't destroy the pit other rouges and garbage rats did this. We use the pit and mowed grass pruned trees and removed our garbage and also we took care of the area and looked out for each other. So before you speak or comment know what you speak of understand what the issue is about before you jump on OTHER TAX PAYERS!

  • Edna
    July 01, 2010 - 20:02

    When we were camping, we paid fees to stay in a campground......why do these people have to litter the countryside with junky old vehicles? Looking at these pictures, I cannot say that it makes me proud to be a Newfoundlander . Suck it up princess!!........clean up your mess!!!

  • rgg
    July 01, 2010 - 20:00

    I find it funny how people always make themselves look like the victim. There is nothing the matter with staying in a gravel bit in your licensed trailer for a night or two, but the Whiskey pit, just like a lot of other sites on the island were being miss used by people like Mrs. Murphy for years. Parking their garbage trailer/buses there and leaving them there all year all. Letting their raw sewage run into a hole in the ground,. If someone who was a legitimate camper wanted to stay in these gravel pits for a night, they couldnt, due to the permanent residents. I think the government did the right this kicking (these people out), but like I said if a person wants to haul up in a pit for a night, leave the next day, dump their sewage at a certified dump site, take their garbage to a dump.. then these people should be left to it. Just my opinion

  • Brad
    July 01, 2010 - 19:59

    You can thank the good corporate citizens of Vale Inco for all of this crap. Only when they discovered a few illegal cabins on the land they were to acquire from the government to decimate, did the government decide to do a province wide sweep. I would rather a few rusty buses than 10 dead ponds, and a moonlike landscape which we are about to receive from the above nice company. These gravel pits are now going to turn into garbage pits since all of the dumps are closing, and your tax dollars will now be spent cleaning these sites over and over again. I would rather a few rusty buses than 10-12 dead ponds, as Vale Inco has already drained and backfilled 2 ponds, and a stream that were too small to have to get permission from the Federal government to kill them. How small is too small? Isn't a pond a pond? Someone please answer me because Ms. Johnson won't. So yes thank you Ms. Johnson for having the foresight of a bat, and leaving us with a toxic legacy that will be left forever for all the future to enjoy. Perhaps they can erect a plaque in Sandy Pond in your honor.

  • Anna
    July 01, 2010 - 19:57

    This gravel pit has been getting worse and worse over the years. I am so thankful to Charlene Johnson for getting rid of this eye sore. It will be such a relief not to have to look at those buses when I drive out that way again. My congratulations to the government.

  • Calvin
    July 01, 2010 - 19:55

    I agree that places like this should be shut down. Not to say that Lillian Murphy and her loved ones were the people runing the environment around these sites, but there are a lot of people who misuse the gravel pits when it comes to camping. On another note, I would like to know where everyone here is seeing all of the freezers, garbage and sewage on the provinces roadsides? I have to admit I have not seen a fridge on the side of the road (outside of a dump road, or in someones driveway) in a LONG time. No need to exagerate here folks, we all agree on the need to cleanup these sites, but think twice before posting foolish comments like the nature I outlined above. If someone from Ontario were to read these posts they would say, See, even Newfoundlanders admit that they are nothing but a bunch of hicks!!

  • DeeBee
    July 01, 2010 - 19:55

    'Enforce' laws regarding dumping sewage, garbage & old appliances/vehicles... in THIS province?!? What are you people, nuts? There isn't enough law enforcement around in Newfoundland to prevent more serious crimes, let alone to stop someone from dumping an old fridge by the side of the road. No one can stop the dog or cat across the street from making poopie on your front lawn every morning (hello, St. John's City Council!) either.The government(s) in this province don't care about the environment and that filters through to the majority of its citizens. It's easy to sit there, wagging your finger saying, 'Tsk, tsk! Look at this mess!', but who actually wants to be responsible for cleaning up around here?!? Nobody wants to do it without getting paid and governments (at ALL levels) don't want to pay anyone to do it. I say let's all enjoy stewing in our own filth... no wonder everyone else in Canada thinks Newfoundland is like a Third World country.

  • Jerome
    July 01, 2010 - 19:53

    Whiskey Pit then and now was always a dump. A hillbilly haven. I'm glad this shanty town was shut down and Gov't will remediate the site. These folks got away easy, in the end - unuseable / towable rust heaps are being removed at the expense of me, the tax payer. Want some land to park your junk on? Go and purchase and pay taxes on land or get in the line up for crown land like the rest of us.

  • Isabelle
    July 01, 2010 - 19:53

    Thumbs up!!! To the gov't of nl. many thanks for cleaning up these eye sore sites. I went through the proper channels 27 years ago Ms. Murphy and I have a peice of gov't land that is now mine. Maybe that is what you should have thought about cause 36 years ago it would have been a lot easier and cheaper to have your own. These gravel pit campers should have looked at the big picture and looked forward. Do the right thing now and walk away it was not yours in the first place.

  • Bronson
    July 01, 2010 - 19:52

    While you're at it, why not get rid of all those (around 200) car wrecks dumped on the beach shore in Admiral's Beach, St. Mary's Bay. A polluters paradise. Oh, and there's more than a few deep freezes there as well. A few years ago they blocked access to the site but I think it's time to clean it up. I'm glad to see Whiskey Pit gone. Some humans are destined to live in filth.

  • Fred
    July 01, 2010 - 19:51

    Former Whisky Pit residents should quit their snivelling. They are very fortunate they aren't being charged for clean up.

  • Jerry
    July 01, 2010 - 19:49

    I guess all you people complaining about the campers in the gravel pits need somewhere to dump your garbage. For the environment minister charlene johnson(or char as I like to call her) to say this is an environmental issue is truely a joke and is just a guise as to what the real environmental disaster is. That is the allowing of industry to dump tailings into our waterways. Well done char, you make a wonderful magician but a lousy environment minister.

  • gerard
    July 01, 2010 - 19:47

    To jj howley, r dawe, and all others of the same frame of mine. Not everyone who loves camping and enjoying our great outdoors with thier family can afford to pay out the money to stay in a park for couple nights every weekend like you guys can. Many people in this province still save all year to enjoy a couple weeks in a park in the summer. I do agree that some gravel pits have got out of hand, but like Don said the Government turned a blind eye to it and allowed it to happen, and instead of compromising and trying to work things out now, Danny uses his bulldog aproach and shuts them all down. Just like forcing people to pay trail stickers to enjoy skidooing on trails they used for years and probably even built themselves, he once again forces people to pay for a privelege they always enjoyed at no cost to the tax payer. Little by little these groups of people being stepped on will come back to haunt this government, in about two years or less...

  • R.
    July 01, 2010 - 19:47

    What to go Charlene Johnston time to get rid of the eye sore and make those people buy real campers and park in parks not on the side of the road. Now crack down on the rest of the people who abuse and misuse our environment with their garbage and sewage.

  • Funky
    July 01, 2010 - 19:43

    I agree. This is a good decision by the govt. And someone already said, they don't care about someone camping in a gravel pit as long as they move their trailer when they are done. Not to set up permanent residence on crown land and live rent free. You are doing something illegal, stop whining. You got away with it for years, the govt should have been more diligent in the past I agree. But they weren't but they are fixing a mistake now and thankfully they are. But I disagree Taxpayer, I have seen the same types of campsites in other provinces, illegal campsites. It happens elsewhere, not only here. I'm glad the govt is finally doing something about it. If you want the land, buy it, or take your trailer when you're done.