Doug Koran (right) found this damaged sign at the trail head of Roots - Uprooted

Vandals damaging non-motorized vehicle signs on trails

Signs around the non-motorized trails in Fernie are being damaged and removed while motorized vehicles are continuously seen on trails.

There seems to be some misunderstanding about the trails in Fernie and over whether or not motorized vehicles are permitted on them.

A conservation officer for the East Kootenay Zone said because of an increase in illegal motorized activity, signage has been added to many trails in the area.

Patricia Burley said the non-motorized crown land trails are around Mount Fernie and Mount Proctor, whereas the trails on private land are under agreements with the Fernie Trails Alliance (FTA) and landowners to manage a non-motorized system.

“The Conservation Officer Service is reminding the motorized community to educate themselves so as not to violate provincial law and frustrate non-motorized users,” she said. “We ask the public to respect the signage posted by the FTA.”

Trail cameras, enforcement patrols and reports from the public can help catch violators, and the public is encouraged to report plate numbers of violators.

Mount Fernie Provincial Park is also non-motorized under the Park Act, she said.

“Dirt bikers are not allowed to use these trails at any time.”

Pat Gilmar, who sits on the FTA board, said there have been a number of acts of vandalism on the non-motorized trails this summer, where in some cases entire polls have been ripped out of the ground.

“In one case, they not only tore the post down, they carried

it up the road 50 metres and threw it into a gully.”

The trails, which FTA helps maintain, are non-motorized trails, he said.

“There’s motor bikers out there that did no work, have no rights, and they’re saying ‘screw you, we’re going to ride the trails anyway’, so we’ve been putting up non-motorized signs now for the past five years and quite consistently they’re ripping them down.”

Sometimes the people on motorized vehicles will try and challenge Gilmar and insist they are allowed on the trails.

“It’s constant diligence that we have to constantly work at,” he said. “To get the information out there, to put the signs back on. Our program is education.”

It’s not always easy having an encounter with someone on a motorized vehicle, he said.

“I would say half the time it’s an issue, they’ll talk back and battle back, the other half of the time they’ll say ‘well I didn’t know and I’m sorry’ but you know half of them are lying. You take it with a grain of salt as long as they turn around.”

In these cases, Gilmar gives them the number to the conservation office in the area.

Burley said if anyone wants to report violations they are to call 1-877-952-7277.

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

Just Posted

Angel Flight takes to the skies once more

Angel Flight East Kootenay is once again offering free flights to Kelowna for medical appointments

A second wave of COVID-19 is probable, if history tells us anything

B.C.’s top doctor says that what health officials have learned this round will guide response in future

The East Kootenay Foundation for Health gives back to healthcare workers and facilities

The EKFH partnered with local organizations to assist health care facilities thorughout the pandemic

AFRoS offers online programming for French community

The francophone association is adapting to the COVID-19 crisis by moving online

Mental health and COVID-19: regression

Dr. Tyla Charbonneau shares mental health tips in her weekly column

LIVE: Procession to honour Snowbirds Capt. Jennifer Casey comes to Halifax

Snowbirds service member died in a crash in Kamloops one week ago

Bike shops busier than ever, but owners worry about stock supply issues

Uptick in cyclists brings new challenges for shops

RCMP facing ‘systemic sustainability challenges’ due to provincial policing role

Provinces, territories and municipalities pay anywhere from 70 to 90 per cent of the cost of the RCMP’s services

One man dead after standoff with Chilliwack RCMP

The Independent Investigations Office of B.C. is investigating the RCMP’s role in the death

B.C. employers worry about safety, cash flow, second wave in COVID-19 restart

A survey found 75 per cent of businesses worry about attracting customers

Introducing the West Coast Traveller: A voyage of the mind

Top armchair travel content for Alaska, Yukon, BC, Alberta, Washington, Oregon and California!

Ex-BC Greens leader Andrew Weaver says province came close to early election

Disagreement centred on the LNG Canada project in northern B.C.

Canada’s NHL teams offer options to season-ticket holders

Canadian teams are offering refunds, but also are pushing a number of incentives to let them keep the money

B.C. premier says lessons to learn from past racism during response to pandemic

B.C. formally apologized in the legislature chamber in 2008 for its role in the Komagata Maru tragedy

Most Read