Submitted by the Conservation Office
There are 16 Access Management Areas (AMA) east of the Kootenay River near Fernie, Sparwood and Elkford which are patrolled by Conservation Officers.
AMAs are designated areas where motor vehicle use is managed to reduce damage to fish and wildlife habitat and/or to protect fish and wildlife populations from harassment or over harvest. There are also areas in the East Kootenay called Motor Vehicles for Hunting in Closed Areas (MVHCA). MVHCA’s are designated areas where the operation of all vehicles to hunt, transport wildlife, transport equipment and supplies which are intended for or in support of hunting, or to transport hunters to and from wildlife is prohibited. Trappers are exempt with respect to the trapping of furbearing animals.
There are vehicle use prohibited signs posted throughout the AMA’s. Do not drive into trails or roads that have these yellow or white signs. Not every closed road in an AMA has a sign on it, so it is up to the recreationists to refer to the Outdoor Access Guide, BC Hunting Synopsis or visit online at www.env.gov.bc.ca. It is an offence under the Wildlife Act to remove, damage, alter or destroy any sign legally posted in support of the Ministry Access Management Program ($345 ticket). Motorized vehicles caught in AMA closure could be looking at a fine of $230, having their vehicle seized and/or a court appearance.
The Outdoor Access Guide was published in August 2012. The public can pick up the magazine at tourism centres, municipality offices and specific gas stations within Fernie, Sparwood and Elkford. The Outdoor Access Guide makes reference to detailed coloured maps of AMAs, MVHCA, non-motorized recreation trails around Elkford and Teck’s mine closures.