Use of ATVs and UTVs in the back country around the Elephant Hill wildfire area is banned. Photo: Matti J. Lagerbom.

ATV, UTV use prohibited in area of Elephant Hill wildfire

The ban has been put in place to help wildlife affected by the fires.

In an article that appeared in The Journal in October (“Province protecting wildlife in the aftermath of fire season”, October 12), it was reported that ATV and UTV use for the purposes of hunting was being limited—but not eliminated completely—in certain management units around the Elephant Hill wildfire.

Not so, says Jim Melenka, a conservation officer with the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy. “You cannot use an ATV or a UTV for hunting or anything to do with hunting” in those areas, he says. A map of the affected area—available for viewing at http://bit.ly/2zHKlw7— shows the management units where motor vehicle use, including ATVs and UTVs, is prohibited completely.

2017 Atv Hp Elephanthills by Barbara Roden on Scribd

The map states that “The operation of All Terrain Vehicles to hunt wildlife, transport wildlife, transport equipment and supplies which are intended for or in support of hunting, or transport hunters to and from the location of wildlife is prohibited in the area outlined in red.” Melenka says he spoke with a biologist to get the rationale behind the decision to ban ATV use completely.

“The road densities in those management units have been calculated to exceed all of the ecological thresholds identified for the long-term management of wildlife.” Road densities are the total length of all roads per square kilometre, and Melenka explains that the densities in the affected management units range from 2.5 to 4km of roads per square kilometre.

“A lot of those roads are not passable by motor vehicles, but they are passable by ATV,” he says, adding that the road densities in the area don’t leave a lot of room for hunters and displaced animals. “There’s an opportunity for the wildlife population to be impacted. So the decision was made to reduce the use of those roads by closing them.”

Melenka also notes that the number of hunters in the Thompson region continues to increase. “That also inadvertently increases the use of ATVs; as hunter numbers go up, ATV use follows.”

He says that the question has been asked why the management units have been closed completely to ATV use when much of the land within them was not affected by fire.

“Biologists measure the potential wildlife population in those areas, and they were closed because we need to manage not just the animals in the fire area; we need to manage the pressure in adjacent management units with high road densities.

“The prohibition was put in place as an initial measure to protect wildlife values in and around the management units impacted by road densities and the Elephant Hill fire. This prohibition will continue to be monitored in the coming seasons, and in-season updates to the hunting synopsis and maps are available online at www.gov.bc.ca/hunting. It is the hunter’s responsibility to research the area they intend to hunt, and be aware of any changes to access or harvest opportunities.”



editorial@accjournal.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Free screenings of ‘Twilight Zone’ episode filmed in Ashcroft

‘A Small Town’ was filmed in February, and is now available as part of TV show’s second season

Ashcroft council moves forward on rezoning project

Amendment to zoning bylaw paves the way for new housing development in North Ashcroft

New emergency alert system for TNRD

System will allow residents to receive emergency warnings, alerts, and updates on various devices

Interior Savings helps local organizations with pandemic costs

E. Fry Society, Equality Project, and Ashcroft HUB all benefit from funding

COVID-19 testing and screening available at Ashcroft Hospital

Plus Weed Warriors wanted to clean up neighbourhoods and vie for honorarium

‘This year is unlike any other’: Trudeau delivers Canada day address

Sophie Gregoire Trudeau and the Prime Minister release video celebrating the national holiday

PHOTOS: Dual rallies take over Legislature lawn on Canada Day

Resist Canada 153 highlighted colonization and genocide, Unify the People called COVID a hoax

Gov. General honours Canadians for bravery, volunteer service

Five categories of winners presented on Canada Day

COVID-19: Should non-medical masks be mandatory in Canada?

New poll shows Canadians are divided on the rules around mandatory masks

‘A little bit scary for everybody’: Air passengers wary as new rules take effect

Masks or face coverings have been mandatory on flights since April 20

VIDEO: Prince William and Kate chat with B.C. hospital staff about COVID-19

Seven-minute video posted to Youtube on Canada Day

River centre says heavy rains could bring flooding to central, northeastern B.C.

Water levels are already unusually high and river banks can be extremely unstable

Most Read