Sensitive alpine areas in the Okanagan Region will benefit from more protection starting July 1, when a new regulation under the Wildlife Act comes into effect prohibiting the use of motor vehicles above 1,700 metres, except on existing roads and trails.
The new regulation, known as the Okanagan alpine motor vehicle prohibition, excludes snowmobiles and applies to 11 per cent, or 3,265 square kilometres, of the Okanagan’s alpine areas not already protected under other legislation.
The Okanagan’s alpine areas are used frequently by off-road enthusiasts. The regulation will protect sensitive natural areas from the negative impacts caused by off-road vehicles.
Localized elevation-based motor vehicle prohibitions are currently in place in portions of the Thompson, Kootenay, Cariboo, Skeena, Omineca and Peace regions and have proven to be effective in protecting alpine ecosystems.
The regulation received support from stakeholders including the BC Wildlife Federation, the Guide Outfitters Association of BC, the BC Trappers Association, the BC Cattlemen’s Association and BC Parks.
The regulation can be viewed online through the 2012-2014 Hunting and Trapping Regulations Synopsis at: