What is Wrong With This Picture?




November 25, 2006



By Opinion 250 News http://www.opinion250.com/blog/author/13/3/250+news 


4101 Highland Drive


Prince George, BC V2K 2C4 Canada


250-962-NEWS (6397)




To submit a Letter to the Editor: ben@opinion250.com 



It is  a beautiful shot -- a wilderness cabin, a couple of snowmobilers -- what is wrong with this picture? The snowmobilers are breaking the law. The photo was shot last weekend, and the snowmobilers are not supposed to be in Kakwa park until December 1st.

Prince George snowmobile riders say the latest announcement by Environment BC concerning the KAKWA Park, 70 kilometers north of McBride is poorly conceived.

The Province has announced the 171,000 hectare Park will be managed to protect and support vulnerable species, focusing on Grizzly Bears, Woodland Caribou and Bighorn Sheep.

Snowmobilers will be allowed to access the park between December 1st and April 15th or 30th each winter.

This past April three parks were designated as Inter-provincial parks.

The heaviest use of the park by Snowmobilers comes from Alberta and local enthusiast Lee Sexsmith, says the Albertans are continuing to use the Kakwa at their leisure.

Sexsmith says "These Alberta riders are also in Kakwa and are completely unaware they are now engaging in an illegal activity. Also, one of the cabins they are talking about is on Jarvis Lake and it is now off-limits. Note that people from all over Western Canada and [the] USA are regular visitors to Kakwa in the wintertime. Last week some Prince George (PG) residents took a fellow from New Zealand into the park. He really enjoyed the trip."

Sexsmith says he, along with other PG club members, are a little surprised, being as how they were never given the opportunity to participate in government planning on the area. A reduction of snowmobile use was not supposed to happen.

He said the new access date is December 1st, but Snowmobilers have always been in the area before that.

"The narrowing of the dates simply makes the Snowmobilers law breakers" he adds, "and in particular, those people from Alberta. We have been going to the area for the past 37 years now," adds Sexsmith, "and even the most biased studies have shown no impact from snowmobile use in the Kakwa Park Area."

Other snowmobile riders say that BC Parks has taken an adversarial approach to snowmobiling and this is reflected in the Kakwa management plan. BC Parks, they say, made a choice to continue to pursue an uncomfortable relationship with the snowmobile community and "After all our efforts, it was not what we expected."


Copyright 2006, Opinion250News.