An all-party committee has released its recommendations on how to deal with the thorny matter of offroad vehicle regulation in the Yukon.
The committee was struck in November of 2009 to look into a helmet law for offroad vehicles. But it quickly became caught in a debate over whether ATVs should be barred from alpine meadows, wetlands and other sensitive habitats that have grown increasingly scarred by muddy tire tracks.
The committee’s recommendations, released on Thursday, are “broad statements” intended to be “fair and balanced to all user groups and citizens.” As a result, neither conservationists nor ATV-warriors will likely be thrilled with the proposals made to government.
The committee supports a law that would penalize riders caught damaging the environment.
It also calls for “the ability to restrict the growth of trail networks in sensitive areas, to close trails or overused areas as necessary, to exclude offroad vehicles from specific types of land or habitats, and to have certain areas designated as access routes only,” and for ATV bans to be introduced “in areas where problems exist or are developing.”
The committee doesn’t propose a blanket helmet law for offroad vehicles, although the idea was supported by the Yukon Offroad Riders Association. Instead, it merely proposes a helmet law for operating these vehicles on roads.
It also calls for an education campaign to raise awareness about existing laws governing offroad-vehicle use and focuses “on the safe, responsible and respectful operation of offroad vehicles as well as environmental stewardship.”
A full copy of the report can be found at www.legassembly.gov.yk.ca/681.html.