Growing up in Yukon has afforded me an incredible life. Years spent hiking, boating, fishing and hunting have given an appreciation for all Yukon has to offer.
It has also given me first hand experience with the effect of ATV use on wildlife and fragile ecosystems such as the alpine.
Since Yukon is the last place in Canada to have no effective ATV management plan in place, irresponsible ATV users can cut new trails and access sensitive habitat at will.
Here are a few results:
Some former summer ranges for ewes and lambs are no longer being used.
Areas, once abundant with wildlife, have become virtually devoid of animals.
Other ranges and zones that were in danger of over harvesting due to increased access by off-road vehicles have now been designated permit zones.
We have thousands of kilometres of existing trails and mining roads in Yukon that are used regularly by responsible ATV users and this is something we can build a sensible management plan from.
It is past time to put some regulation in place to ensure we still have a pristine wilderness for the next generation. As part of that next generation, that is what I would like to see so I too can pass it on.
In this election, it is time to ask candidates, “What will you do to manage ATVs in our wilderness?”