BC Conservation officers are keeping an extra eye on high country areas that are closed off in an effort to protect mountain caribou.
These areas have been closed off because it’s the animal’s natural habitat, but it also attracts snowmobilers and other backwoods users.
“It may cause them to move to less suitable habitats, where the forging is not as efficient, and it also will deplete their energy and pack trails could provide easy access for predators,” says Conservation officer Chris Doyle.
This recovery initiative is being taken seriously according to Doyle, and violators can face some serious consequences.
“We will be conducting investigations and patrols by ground and air to deter and apprehend a person snowmobiling in those closed areas and the operators of snowmobiles found in closed areas can be fined.”
That fine can be as high as $50,000 upon conviction under the BC Wildlife Act; Doyle says this is a re-occurring problem during the winter.
“We’re prepared to travel into those mountainous areas where people may enter closed areas; it’s something that happens in every region unfortunately.”
For more information on closed off areas, you can click here.