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Mountain Caribou

Wildlife Closures Are In Effect

Wildlife Closures Are In Effect

Wildlife Closures Are In Effect

You are snowmobiling in the winter range of the Mountain Caribou. Wildlife Closures Are In Effect in the Valemount Area!

It is your responsibility to know and obey all Wildlife Closures.

For the Caribou, the winter months are the most critical time of the year. If you see a caribou while riding:

  •       Do not approach, pursue or otherwise harass them
  •       Move at least one kilometer away
  •       Warn others in your area that Caribou are near

These snowmobiling areas are being monitored for caribou use and conflicts with snowmobiling. Compliance with the closed area boundaries and avoiding Caribou when they are in the area will minimize conflicts and keep these snowmobiling opportunities open for all to enjoy.

Allan and Chappell Creek are two of Valemount’s main riding areas and they area surrounded by wildlife restrictions.  It is the riders responsibilty to know where they are in relation to the boundaries at all times.

 

We need cooperation with this or we risk losing access to these areas all together.

For local area boundaries please see the maps on this website or phone or email VARDA at: 250-566-4817 info@ridevalemount or phone
1-888-655-8855 for further back country closure information.

There are a handful of downloadable GPS files for our Caribou boundaries available on this website, although to view the digital snowmobile closure files for the entire province please click HERE

Please report any wildlife sightings to the VARDA office at info@ridevalemount come and report any witnessed infractions to the RAPP line at 1-877-952-7277

 

 

 

The Valemount to Blue River Sustainable Resource Management Plan (SRMP) designated many areas as wildlife closures to protect the mountain caribou (caribou closures), and snowmobiling is prohibited in these caribou closures.  There are several instances where a public recreational snowmobile area has a shared boundary with a caribou closure, and in these situations VARDA operates under a provincial government Stewardship Management Agreement (SMA).  Areas covered under the Stewardship Management Agreement are:

  • Chappell Creek (managed area)
  • Manteau (near Chappell Creek managed area)
  • Allan Creek (managed area)
  • Oasis (near Allan Creek managed area)
  • Crystal Ridge Sled-Skiing Area

 The SMA includes the principles, operating practices, research and adaptive management trials, monitoring and inventory, and stewardship outreach protocols applicable to all public users in a wildlife sensitive area.  The SMA describes the specific shared stewardship roles and responsibilities of VARDA.  VARDA is tasked with the following responsibilities.

  • Public Education
    VARDA works to help ensure that the snowmobiling public is aware of and follows the regulations contained in Operating Practices for Snowmobiling in Mountain Caribou Habitat.  The goal of the education and communication efforts is to promote compliance with both the legislative closures and the operating practices.  The Snow Host program is key to this process by providing direct communication to the snowmobiling public regarding closed areas.  In addition, information and maps regarding the caribou closures are featured prominently in VARDA printed and online information, and trailhead maps and signs also emphasize the caribou closures to the snowmobiling public.
  • Signage Of Closed Areas
    Along every shared boundary between a public recreational snowmobiling area and a caribou closure, VARDA has worked at placing “Area Closed” signage as provided by the BC Ministry of Environment and or VARDA.  In the sub-alpine and alpine the placement of signage can be difficult although is completed and maintained where possible.
  • Reporting Of Caribou Closure Infractions
    The VARDA Snow Hosts regularly perform a “boundary check” which involves snowmobiling along the entire boundary of a snowmobiling area.  If a caribou closure infraction is seen as indicated by snowmobile tracks entering a closed area, the Snow Host notes the location, estimated number of snowmobilers (as judged by snowmobile tracks), and estimated date of infraction (as judged by new snowfall on the snowmobile tracks).  If the location of the infraction has not yet been signed as “Area Closed” and the Snow Host has signs, then signage will be installed then and there.  Reports of caribou closure infractions are passed on to officers of the BC Conservation Service and the Ministry of Environment after every “boundary check”.
  • Annual Government Assessment
    On an annual basis, officers of the BC Conservation Service and the Ministry of Environment assess the public’s compliance with caribou closures in VARDA’s managed areas.  This annual assessment is done by the officers via a combination of snowmobile travel and helicopter flights.

 

For more information, please visit:

http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/wld/recoveryplans/rcvry1.htm
http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/wld/twg