Government moves on off road vehicles

The Yukon government has introduced legislation that will allow for more environmental protection from damage caused by off-road vehicles.

The Yukon government has introduced legislation that will allow for more environmental protection from damage caused by off-road vehicles.

The bill comes out of the recommendations of the select committee on the safe operation and use of off-road vehicles, said Environment Minister Currie Dixon in an interview yesterday.

The committee recommended new regulations to protect environmentally sensitive areas from damage.

The bill, which will amend the Territorial Lands (Yukon) Act, does not actually offer specific environmental protections. Instead, once passed it will give the minister the power to create regulations to do so.

Once the bill is passed, the government will consult with First Nations, stakeholders and the public on what those regulations will look like, said Energy, Mines and Resources Minister Scott Kent.

More importantly, they will give input on the process for identifying lands in need of special protection, added Dixon.

Kent would not say when regulations might be in place, but acknowledged that sensitive areas will become more vulnerable in the spring.

“We want to make sure that we do provide that full opportunity for the First Nations and stakeholders and public to engage, with a target date of getting it done when we get it done. Rather than artificially putting a date on it, we’ll be doing the work and engage in that consultation process.”