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Wildlife Updates

 

March 19, 2019

The Revelstoke Snowmobile Club and Eagle Valley Snowmobile Club (Sled Sicamous) were invited to participate in a caribou patrol flight with Sergeant Drew Milne, BC Conservation Officer Services.  Our snowmobile clubs are working collaboratively with BCCOS to promote voluntary compliance with Wildlife Caribou closures.

The RSC’s commitment to the caribou recovery initiative consists of education about closure areas, communication of patrol reports, and increased compliance monitoring of Revelstoke closure areas.

Revelstoke and surrounding areas are not going unnoticed with the Provincial and Federal Governments prioritization of Species at Risk recovery programs.

 

Adherence to the snowmobile closures will help ensure that recovery efforts are successful and that further closures are not imposed.

 

Digital snowmobile closure information:

http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/fw/wildlife/snowmobile-closures/

 

Revelstoke riding areas closures:

http://revelstokesnowmobileclub.com/wildlife/

 

Patrol reports are available:

http://revelstokesnowmobileclub.com/wildlife-updates/

 

Compliance and Enforcement

With an increase in manpower, the Conservation Officer Service is more frequently patrolling all Columbia-Shuswap snowmobile closure areas.  The RCMP, Natural Resource Officers and National Park Wardens often participate in the patrols.  These patrols are done on the ground via snowmobiles in additional to aerial patrols from helicopter.  The helicopter patrols allow assessment of many areas in a short amount of time and increase the ability to proceed with infraction enforcement.  In addition, compliance monitoring is carried out using fixed wing aircraft.

Infractions are likely to result in prosecution under the Wildlife Act.

Witnessing Infractions

The Conservation Officer Service would like anyone who observes snowmobiles within the caribou closure areas to report the occurrences immediately to our 24-hour reporting line:  1-877-952-7277 or #7277.

  • Location where the infraction was witnessed
  • Date and time of infraction
  • Description of persons observed
  • Any identification information such as registration number, etc.

 

 

 

Weekly Report out:

2019-03-07 to 2019-03-11

 

Summary:

Conservation Officers:

  • Conducted 5 Snowmobile and 1 helicopter patrol:
    • These patrols covered 10 caribou closures in the area north of Revelstoke.
  • Issued a total of 12 Violation Tickets and 36 Written Warnings – the majority of these tickets/written warnings were Off Road Vehicle Act related.
  • Noted compliance was good with Caribou Closures with one case where snowmobilers had entered into the legislated Frisbee Ridge closure.
  • Observed high non-compliance rates on multiple occasions in the Frisbee Ridge snowmobile club agreement closure.

 

 

 

Here are the recent non-compliances noted for the week of March 4th, 2019 – to date:

o   Queest had snowmobile tracks in both the older and the recent west aspect cut blocks above Shuswap Lake.  These areas were accessed from the west and not from the main Queest riding area.

o   Bourne had extensive sled tracks in close proximity to fresh caribou tracks. The entire Pettipiece Pass had very dense snowmobile tracks throughout the entire pass that extended all the way east to the far lakes.

o   Although tracks at Grace appeared to be within the permitted area, caribou tracks were also noted.

o   Keystone was heavily tracked by sleds that entered via the Keystone FSR.

o   Snowmobile tracks were observed in the legal closure at Frisby. The tracks entered the closure from both above and below.  The Frisby voluntary closure (FRASC) had tracks that went close to the boundary at Deadman’s Cr.  They did not enter and leave but rather spent some time playing in the closure.

Next steps: 

The Columbia-Kootenay Conservation Officer Service will:

o   Continue to work collaboratively with snowmobile clubs to promote voluntary compliance and seek new and fruitful educational opportunities;

o   Continue to patrol closure areas via helicopter and snowmobiles to enforce Wildlife Act closures;

o   Provide regular compliance and enforcement updates to snowmobile clubs within the area; namely the Revelstoke Snowmobile Club.

The Columbia-Kootenay Conservation Officer Service currently have two officers in the area patrolling and will until the closures are lifted.

The Conservation Officer Service would like anyone who observes snowmobiles within the caribou closure areas to report the occurrences immediately to our 24 hour reporting line:  1-877-952-7277 or #7277. 

I would like to recognise the current efforts that the Revelstoke Snowmobile Club is taking to promote the voluntary closures; we appreciate your efforts.  And I look forward to strengthening our current working relationship.

 

 

 

End of week Report.

2019/02/07-2019/02/11

 

Successful week in Revelstoke. High compliance and understanding of closures, medium compliance of ORV registrations and displaying registrations. .  We completed two helicopter patrols, three snowmobile patrols, 3 parking lot patrols.

 

2019/02/07.

Day trip to Revelstoke to Patrol . Eight vehicles in parking lot, made contact with one group of four locals that are aware of closure and all registered snowmobiles. Snowmobile patrol up to closure boundary of sale mountain. Observed old tracks leading into closure Zone, these tracks had been reported on Feb 6 heli patrol. High use and 100% compliance today.

 

2019/02/08.

Patrol of Frisbee ridge .  No signs of any snowmobiles in closure.

 

2019/02/09.

Parking lot stage at frisbee ridge . Cold temperatures of -25 in the alpine must have affected the amount of snowmobilers this day. Made contact with 25 sledders. Turned two away for no registration, and educated others that their registration must be visible. Knowledge of closures was generally high, education was given to a couple that were un aware.

 

Afternoon Heli flight patrol.

Observed;

Caribou tracks up Grace mountain, no sign of caribou. No use by snowmobilers.

Snowmobile tracks in frisbee ridge Volunteer closure area.

High snowmobile use Keystone. 100% compliance

High snowmobile use Silvercup. 100% compliance.

No snowmobile use areas. Caribou basin, ground hog, bischoff, bourne.

Side note. Multiple size 2 avalanches observed from heli. Slab release, NE aspects, Treeline.

 

2019-02-10

Snowmobile patrol of frisbee ridge

Another very cold day in the alpine and wind effected snow. Both deterring snowmobilers. 15 snowmobilers total, all stayed out of closure areas. We cut one group off at the fence when we overheard a joking but tempting conversation about riding the untouched snow inside closure.

 

2019-02-11.

Morning parking lot stage before returning to golden. Sale mountain staging area.

4 vehicles, 6 snowmobiles, all one group of locals. Aware and respectful of closures and ORV registrations.

 

In addition to Zeb’s patrols I conducted a flight on Sunday, February 10:

  • Frisbee Ridge – Lots of snowmobile traffic in open area, none in closed
  • Sale – tracks in open area only
  • Keystone – lots of tracks in open area, none in closed
  • Caribou Basin – no use
  • Groundhog Basin – no use
  • Bischoff – 2 tracks in access trail – no tracks off trail in closure
  • Grace – no use
  • Bourne – no use

 

 

Please find a summary of our last 2 helicopter patrols:

January 31, 2019 –

  • Queest – few older tracks along closure boundary – no tracks in the closure
  • Bourne – tracks along legal access trail – no tracks in the closure
  • Silvercup – lots of sled traffic in open area, no tracks in the closure
  • Sale – poor visibility but no tracks observed in the closure

 

February 2, 2019 –

  • Frisby Ridge – tracks to the closure but none inside the closure
  • Sale – poor visibility but no tracks observed in the closure
  • Keystone/Standard – no usage.  Old tracks in open area only
  • Caribou Basin – no usage
  • Groundhog Basin – no usage
  • Bischoff – no usage
  • Grace – no usage
  • Bourne – 2 old tracks along access trail only
  • Queest – no usage
  • Mica – no usage

 

2 officers patrolled by snowmobile on Frisby Ridge on Sunday, Feb 3 – no non-compliance was reported.

 

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