Proposed restrictions for motorized and non-motorized recreational users of the Telkwa Range. The Houston Snowmobile Club signed stewardship management agreement to protect caribou and still have sledders on the Telkwa range. (Contributed photo)

Houston Snowmobile Club supports Telkwa range restrictions

Working with the government to keep both recreational riding and the caribou from going extinct

On Nov. 9, the Houston Snowmobile Club (HSC) had a meeting where a stewardship management agreement was signed by Tony Plev, director with the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations, Shea Long, president of the HSC, and witnessed by Dennis Tait, councillor for the District of Houston, to protect caribou in the Skeena Region.

In September 2017, the Ministry presented to Houston, Telkwa and Smithers council meetings proposed restrictions on the Telkwa range to offset the caribou decline.

Recreation is an influence on northern caribou in the Telkwa range, and has been identified as a threat to caribou populations due to displacement from high-quality habitat and an increase in predator access.

According to the Ministry, there are approximately 22 caribou accounted for in the Telkwa range, which are continually at risk of local extinction.

“One of the best ways to achieve lasting conservation outcomes is for groups to get together and find common ground by creating innovative solutions to protect wildlife,” said Doug Donaldson, Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development. “Staff in my ministry and the Houston Snowmobile Club are demonstrating the value of a collaboration-based approach.”

The agreement outlines the Houston Snowmobile Club and Ministry’s shared roles and responsibilities in the recreational riding area.

“The parties will work together to ensure that snowmobiling activities do not affect caribou,” said a Ministry statement. “This includes closing certain areas to recreation when there are caribou present and minimizing the influence of recreation by promoting best-management practices to visiting and resident snowmobilers.”

The agreement also provides information on how the Ministry and Houston Snowmobile Club will work together to continually keep each other informed about activities related to the Telkwa caribou herd.

“This agreement is a companion document to the proposed Recreation Management Plan for the Telkwa Mountains, which outlines the areas proposed to be designated for recreation use and those for caribou habitat,” said the Ministry statement.

The province has created a five-pillared management plan to address all potential causes of caribou population decline. These include habitat protection, population monitoring, recreation management and engaging with communities.

The Village of Telkwa mayor and council said last month they feel left out of planning for the recreation management plan.

The Smithers Snowmobile Association (SSA) was involved with the planning process with the Province but the one member who was allowed to voice an opinion during the procedures, former SSA director Wade Lubbers, said last month it was unfairly and poorly put together. He said the club will abide by the rules but will not promote them or help enforce them.

President of the Bulkley Valley Quad Riders Society Dave Tolton hadn’t seen the proposed plan yet when he said a few weeks ago they were included in the initial planning process.

“We asked for one ride up Starr Basin and they said we could have that and we asked for one ride up to the Grizzly Plateau and were actually given two a year, so we basically got what we asked for,” said Totlon.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Proposed restrictions for motorized and non-motorized recreational users of the Telkwa Range. The Houston Snowmobile Club signed stewardship management agreement to protect caribou and still have sledders on the Telkwa range. (Contributed photo)

Just Posted

School district #54 works on school plan

School district officials and teachers are this week communicating plans to resume… Continue reading

Closures and cancellations in the Bulkley Valley due to COVID-19

Many places and businesses have closed or reduced their hours

UPDATE: Man drowns crossing Skeena River

59-year old Prince Rupert victim pronounced dead at Mills Memorial

Better COVID-19 testing results needed in the north

Former senior Northern Health official also wants work camps shut down

Social media a blessing and a curse during time of crisis: B.C. communication expert

‘In moments of crisis, fear is very real and palpable,’ says SFU’s Peter Chow-White

B.C. records five new COVID-19 deaths, ‘zero chance’ life will return to normal in April

Province continue to have a recovery rate of about 50 per cent

John Horgan extends B.C.’s state of emergency for COVID-19

Premier urges everyone to follow Dr. Bonnie Henry’s advice

B.C.’s first community COVID-19 death was dentist ‘dedicated’ to health: lawyer

Vincent was 64 when he died on March 22 after attending the Pacific Dental Conference

Two inmates at prison housing Robert Pickton test positive for COVID-19

Correctional Service of Canada did not release any details on the identities of the inmates

BC SPCA launches matching campaign to help vulnerable animals after big donations

Two BC SPCA donors have offered up to $65,000 in matching donations

Quarantined B.C. mom say pandemic has put special-needs families in ‘crisis mode’

Surrey’s Christine Williams shares family’s challenges, strengths

Anti-tax group calls for MPs, senators to donate scheduled pay raises to charity

Bill C-30, adopted 15 years ago, mandates the salary and allowance increases each calendar year

Two arrested after man lies about COVID-19 illness to stay in Victoria Airbnb for free

Victoria Police found stolen goods inside the occupied unit

Liberals delay release of 75% wage subsidy details, costs: Morneau

Program will provide up to $847 per week for each worker

Most Read