A motor vehicle access restriction was suggested to council Wednesday to mitigate damage caused by off road vehicles such as ATVs. (Andrew Walker photo)

EDITORIAL: Save our alpine

The forest is quiet with tall pines looming over small, alpine plants

The forest is quiet with tall pines looming over small, alpine plants. The only disturbance in the cool autumn morning is a grizzly and her cubs meandering through the scene.

This is what will happen if the Regional District of North Okanagan supports Andrew Walker’s recent proposal to restrict motor vehicle access above 1700m in the Joss-Tsuius-Mable Mtn Access Management Area, which stretches from Joss Pass to Tsuius Mountain and Mable Mountain.

“(This is) to limit a growing amount of disturbance to alpine in the area,” Walker said. “What we’re really trying to limit is the off road vehicles… punching into the alpine and causing a disturbance. What we’re doing with this area is really making it motorized vehicle free, essentially.”

As the restrictions would apply to primarily off-road vehicles and exclude snowmobiles, supporting Walker’s movement is a no-brainer.

Woodland caribou numbers are dwindling across the continent and are identified as needing special management actions according to the federal Species At Risk Act.

Luckily, the B.C. government is working to restore caribou populations, and the alpine land in Walker’s proposal is the only viable home for mountain caribou west of the Monashees.

“We do not believe there are many left there, if any,” Walker said of mountain caribou in the area. “Saying that, the province is putting a lot into restoring caribou populations.”

British Colombia is known world-wide for its natural beauty. All that’s left to do is hope that the RDNO supports our environmental livelihood.

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