The B.C. government has launched a multi-ministry study to determine how best to enforce violation tickets issued to out-of-province visitors who ride off-road vehicles (ORVs) on B.C. Crown land, Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations Minister Steve Thomson and Kootenay East MLA Bill Bennett announced today.
One of the goals is to reduce the amount of environmental damage caused by irresponsible ORV use and other activities on provincial Crown land. That includes the Lake Koocanusa area southeast of Cranbrook, which is a very popular destination for British Columbians, Albertans and many other visitors from around the globe.
The British Columbia government is committed to the protection of public land and resources. As it does throughout the province, the government strongly encourages all visitors to act responsibly, treat the area’s natural resources and sensitive ecosystems with respect, and abide by all provincial laws.
The Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations, the Ministry of Environment, the Ministry of Justice and the Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General are conducting this study to identify how to improve compliance rates for out-of-province ORV users. The Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations, the Columbia Basin Trust and citizen volunteers are also collaborating to develop a Koocanusa Recreation Strategy for the region around Lake Koocanusa.
Steve Thomson, Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations –
“We’re taking a closer look at how we can ensure that visitors from other jurisdictions comply with the same rules that British Columbians must follow. When they don’t, we want to make sure that they pay their fines.”
Bill Bennett, MLA for Kootenay East –
“I am grateful to Minister Steve Thomson and to Justice Minister Suzanne Anton for committing to this process. My Kootenay East constituents have asked for additional support for the conservation officers and natural resource officers who do their best to enforce the rules. With the right solution in place, an irresponsible rider from outside B.C. will feel the full force of our province’s laws.”
Use of off-road vehicles in B.C.: http://www.icbc.com/vehicle-registration/specialty-vehicles/Pages/Off-road-vehicles.aspx