I recently saw this in action as I visited my sister in Likely, British Columbia. Much of British Columbia remains wild and open. It has the same population as Louisiana (4.6 million) but it is six times larger and most everybody lives in a narrow sliver along the southern border. Likely is an eight hour drive north from Vancouver. It's mining country, logging country, grizzly bear, moose, beaver, loon, trout, and salmon country. My sister runs the Likely Lodge, which sits at the picturesque outflow of Lake Quesnel, the deepest (1,660 feet) glacially carved lake in the world. The week before we arrived, this happened:
"Worst environmental disaster" will get people's attention. Over the next few days news crews were out by the score. Reporting was rumor based. Wild speculation extrapolated from an order not to drink water from the Quesnel Lake pending testing. After testing confirmed that the lake water was not impacted and was safe for drinking, some continued to report rumors of fish dying off, and that you couldn't dip your hand in the water without getting burned. Locals were outraged. Activists were outraged. A few days later, the news teams left, reporting stopped, and if you try to learn the status through an internet search today, it's hard to find current information.