The Conservation Officer Service is reminding the motorized community to educate themselves in local non-motorized areas.
The non-motorized trails surrounding Fernie include the trails around Mount Fernie, Castle Mountain and Mount Fernie Provincial Park. Dirt bikers are not allowed to use these trails at any time, and signage has been added to many trails in the area as there has been an increase in illegal motorized activity on them.
These areas are considered legally established trails and designated non-motorized under section 56 of the Forest and Range Practices Act, and is enforced under the Forest Recreation Regulation.
The implementation of trail cameras, enforcement patrols and reports from the public have been helping to catch violators.
Any areas labeled “Vehicle Use Prohibited” signify areas where motorized vehicles cannot enter. However, the Conservation Officer Service cautions trail users not to become dependent on signs.
“Please research Access Management Areas (AMA’s) maps online before recreating in any AMA,” said East Kootenay Zone conservation officer, Patricia Burley.
It is an offense under the Wildlife Act to remove, damage, alter or destroy any sign legally posted in support of the Ministry Access Management Program.
The Outdoor Access Guide is a local Elk Valley magazine available for free in Fernie, Sparwood and Elkford. It can also be found online at Env.gov.bc.ca/kootenay/eco/accessmaps.html.