VICTORIA - Ripping around in the bush and harming Crown land on an ORV (Off-road Vehicle) might seem like recreation to some people, but in B.C. it is a crime.
As the weather improves and camping season starts to get underway, more people will head out to responsibly enjoy the forests and range lands for recreational purposes. Unfortunately, irresponsible off-roading with ORVs, motorcycles or 4x4s, sometimes referred to as mud bogging, disrupts the ecological foundation of B.C.'s natural areas. In sensitive sites, the damage can be catastrophic.
Violation tickets for mud bogging are $575, and other penalties may include towing or impoundment of vehicles, jail time and expenses related to habitat restoration.
The public are encouraged to report suspicious activities and environmental damage to the province's toll-free, 24 hour Report All Poachers and Polluters - RAPP line at 1-877-952-RAPP (7277) or from a cell phone *7277.
- Offenders can be ordered to pay the costs of remediating the environment.
- Vehicles can be towed or impounded and forfeiture can be sought.
- Under section 7 of the Wildlife Act, a person commits an offence if they alter, damage or destroy designated wildlife habitat and they receive an automatic court appearance.
- The Wildlife Act, the Motor Vehicle (All Terrain) Act, Forest Range and Practices Act and the federal Fisheries Act can all be used to prosecute offenders who cause environment damage to Crown land.
For a list of ATV clubs: http://www.atvbc.ca
Off-road Vehicle Management Framework: http://www.tti.gov.bc.ca/tourism/ORV/index.htm
A brochure about responsible off-road vehicle use is at: www.for.gov.bc.ca/ftp/hen/external/!publish/web/otherPublication/ProtectOurForestsAndRangeLand.pdf
Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations