A group of people are trying to create a space in Smithers where motorized vehicles can ride legally without disturbing hikers.
The Intensive Motorized Association was created by Eugene Bekar and two other people with the hopes of preserving nature in the backcountry.
“It’s about trying to preserve the wetlands up in the higher areas. People have been going up there for years tearing it up with quads and people have complained, but nothing has ever really been done, other than a few studies and signs have been put up, but the result is that most have been torn down,” said Bekar.
The trio has been in contact with Recreation Sites and Trails B.C. and are looking for suitable areas for motorized vehicles, such as motocross bikes and quads, to ride around legally in the backcountry.
The ideal space will provide opportunities to create mud bogs and have hill climbing for quad riders.
There is a similar space in Calgary that Bekar hopes they can use as a guide.
As of right now, the space would just be used recreationally, but Bekar said he hopes it could potentially grow into a tourist destination.
“This would be good for tourists or has a great potential,” he said.
Dan Rebbetoy, with the Bulkley Valley Quad Riders Club, said they already have designated trails that they use on their quad runs.
“We do have our own trails,” said Rebbetoy. “We ride all over the place, same as people who ride their bikes. They do it all over the place, not just in one location.”
He added that there is already a Recreation Access Management Plan for the Bulkley Valley that outlines where certain motorized vehicles can ride.
Bekar said they are close to finding an area suitable for the job, but the project is still a long way off.
“It’s a long process, he said. “We hope to get a fairly large area where they can go hill climbing and some scenic tours, and within that same area will be mud pits.”
The association hosts meetings on the first Tuesday of the month at the Hudson Bay Lodge.