Re: Lenore Morris’ September 8th letter and the the Yukon Off-Road Riders Association ‘ATV proposal totally ineffective.’
Lenore Morris states that our proposal to legislate against damaging the landscape, instead of spending multiple millions of dollars on a trail-mapping plan would be totally ineffective. This policy was developed after 10 years of consultation with stakeholders by the BC government and is currently being effectively peer enforced by some of BC’s more than 90,000 ATV riders. She explains how Trails Only Yukon Association’s citizen-witness plan would be totally ineffective unless there was a restricted trail map. She makes some good points about citizens being unable to assess damage. The problem with any unenforced proposal is that the majority of the damage is created by about 20 people in the Yukon, those irresponsible people (who cannot be members of the riders association as per our terms) who have stated directly they will take a chance of a $100 or $250 or even $500 fine, that they will obscure their licence plate with mud and that they will not respond kindly to being photographed.
However, this entire letter assumes the citizen-witness proposal has validity. Lets overlook the fact that I rode for 10 hours on Sunday and never saw another non-ATV trail user. Should the government really ask citizens to take pictures of sometimes armed individuals, on vehicles, breaking the law? Shall we transfer all the risk and responsibility for law enforcement to families or individuals out hiking and cycling?
The current animosity crafted by Trails Only has already resulted in a YTG employee being told “I hope you die on that machine” while fuelling, people throwing objects at ATVs, people blocking trails, etc. This continued hostility that Trails Only is generating and feeding on may, eventually, result in more serious conflict between trail users. This suggest that some citizen witnesses are going to prove to be entirely unreliable. As a former prosecutor you should be quite aware of the success rate of this type of prosecution.
The Yukon Off-Road Riders Association’s proposal would be peer and mentor enforced: responsible ATV riders pressure irresponsible riders to obey the law and reporting the worst offenders. Those offenders would not be facing a fine but jail time and serious money for restoration and repair of the damage they have done. Please look up “protect our forests and range land” on the internet. Get informed.
Which proposal makes more sense? Which is more likely to succeed ?
Yukon Off-Road Riders