COs warn backroads users they’ll be out there

With the first long weekend of spring, conservation officers warn they'll be watching for illegal activity on Okanagan backroads.

road closure map

Conservation officers will be patrolling backroads this long weekend to try and prevent damage to habitat from off-road vehicles and mud bogging, advises CO Jim Beck.

In particular, new regulations take affect this year that protect an area between Peachland and Summerland, between Highway 97 and the Garnet Valley from use by motor vehicles, except on designated roads.

Several large parcels of land in that area were purchased in the 1980s for protection of fish and wildlife, but no active management took place, said Beck.

Since then, the amount of habitat damage that’s occurred has worsened every year, but now there’s a move to put regulations in place to restrict activity causing damage, and enforce those restrictions, he said.

The area contains some of the Central Okanagan’s most valuable wildlife habitat, particularly as winter and early spring grazing land for mule deer, but also for other wildlife species, some of which are federally listed as ‘at risk,’ said Beck.

Illegal trail building and use, the erosion that results and the spread of invasive plants on that disturbed land have all resulted in a loss of habitat he said.

In the new regulation under the Wildlife Act, motorcycles and snowmobiles are restricted to a single north/south designated route between Jan. 1 and Apr. 30 when mule deer are at their most vulnerable and in need of this habitat.

In January of 2014, a second phase is set to be implemented which would define more trails for use from May 1 to Dec. 31.

Although the changes won’t impact the average user on most existing roads in that area, illegal trails and roads will be closed, said Beck.

He said officers will also be out during the weekend patrolling other areas where there are concerns about illegal outdoor activities and their impact on the environment.

 

jsteeves@kelownacapnews.com

 

 

Just Posted

Mercury rises in the Okanagan-Shuswap

Temperatures reach about 36 C with humidex in the Okanagan and Shuswap

Little Learners daycare in Penticton wins national award

The Little Learners Child Care Centre at Okanagan College’s Penticton campus wins big award

Updated: Kelowna cops investigate armed robbery at city centre business

Robbery sparks late afternoon manhunt by armed police officers with guns drawn

Marijuana to be legal in Canada Oct. 17: Trudeau

Prime Minister made the announcement during question period in the House of Commons

Summer solstice celebration

The Okanagan’s Largest Summer Solstice celebration is planned for June 21 in Penticton

VIDEO: Vernon-area students read for rank

RCMP visited JW Inglis on Wednesday as part of the Read with Me and the RCMP program.

New Jersey forward Taylor Hall wins Hart Trophy as NHL MVP

Vancouver’s Sedin brothers share King Clancy Award for humanitarian efforts

Unfiltered: IPAs explained with Cannery Brewing brewmaster

Checking out the new IPA created by Penticton brewery Cannery Brewing Company

Man gets 2 years in prison for assault on Okanagan Correctional officer

Union rep said inmate sucker punched correctional officer, continued assault after officer fell

50 new fires sparked in B.C. after lightning strikes across province

Similar conditions seen at the beginning of 2017 wildfire season

B.C. woman graduates high school at age 92

Nanaimo’s Joan Deebank the oldest high school graduate ever in B.C., as far as ministry can confirm

B.C. Appeal Court rules lottery winner must be paid back $600,000 loan

Enone Rosas won $4.1 million in a lottery in 2007 and loaned a portion to a friend

B.C. man surprised after used needle falls from sky

A Vernon resident said a syringe fell out of the sky and landed at his feet

Liquor review finds issues with B.C. wholesale monopoly

Report calls for ‘conflict of interest’ in system to be fixed

Most Read