This letter is to join others who have spoken of the growing danger of allowing free access to most parts of the Yukon by those using all-terrain vehicles for purely recreational purposes.
A lot has been said about how much ATV’s can permanently scar our delicate northern landscape, and the evidence is already mounting. Not so much has been said about some other negative effects resulting from the use of such machines.
An obvious question is, are we furthering a society that must be carried into the wilderness, or on to high ground?
You could say that ATV’s are all-terrain wheelchairs for those who, though not physically impaired, prefer to ride rather than walk. What does that tell us in terms of our physical well being?
We hear a lot about how unfit North American society is with so many people being overweight. No surprise there, but we have an opportunity to point our youth in the right, healthy, direction, not to introduce them to such devices, as we are now doing.
Other negative factors include the unnecessary use of fossil fuels, the damaging effect of noise on wildlife, and the disturbance of those persons who especially value the peace of a wilderness experience.
I can understand the benefit of such a means of transport to those who employ them to great advantage in the course of their occupation. I refer to such people as farmers, scientists, prospectors, surveyors and First Nation people pursuing their traditional hunting and trapping way of life.
Their activities are undertaken with full knowledge of the sensitivity of the landscape over which they travel.
For the benefit of national health, the preservation of our fragile landscape and the protection of Yukon fauna, avifauna and flora it seems vital, the way things are going, to regulate the use of such destructive equipment.
I am surprised that the Department of Tourism isn’t screaming for ATV regulation.
Summing-up, we have no sane choice but to regulate.