VICTORIA, B.C.- The Province of British Columbia is increasing fines for unlawful use of off-road vehicles and snowmobiles, to protect species environmentally sensitive habitats that are at risk.
Effective immediately, anyone operating an off-road vehicle in sensitive habitats, including all BC Parks and southern mountain caribou habitats, will face a $575 fine. These tickets may be issued under the Wildlife Act or the Park Act by police, conservation officers, natural resource officers or park rangers.
Fine denominations of $230 or $345 depending on the violation, did not reflect the effect of non-compliance on sensitive habitats and species in B.C. Now, Court convictions for snowmobiling in southern mountain caribou habitats also may result in a fine up to $200,000 and six months imprisonment.
One species considered at risk are caribou, by protecting their habitat ranges is crucial to the survival of the species. By controlling and limiting access to these sensitive habitats to off-road vehicles, such as snowmobiles, is the most effective way to protect wildlife and these areas.
The Provincial Caribou Recovery Program is a new long-term, comprehensive, science-based approach to protect and preserve caribou populations which the Province has put aside $27 million over three years to establish this program.
The caribou recovery program aims to reduce winter backcountry recreation (e.g., recreational snowmobiling), by reducing the potential to damage caribou habitat, increase access by predators and displace mountain caribou from their preferred early and late winter habitat.
More information about snowmobiling in B.C. CLICK HERE