Province seeks feedback on backcountry access issues

The provincial government is holding local consultation sessions with an eye to reviewing and updating existing backcountry areas closed to motor vehicle traffic.

The objective is to gather feedback from the public on established Motor Vehicle Closed Areas (known as Access Management Areas) and Motor Vehicle Hunting Closed Areas (MVHCA) in order to find an appropriate balance for wildlife, public and enforcement values.

Sessions in the region are currently scheduled for Elkford, Jaffray, Cranbrook, Fernie and Sparwood.

The first meeting started today in Elkford at the Community Conference Centre, but more are planned throughout the week in the region.

Kootenay East MLA Tom Shypitka welcomed the consultation sessions but lamented the fact that they’re occurring during UBCM — a provincial conference where municipal politicians gather to meet with cabinet ministers and senior provincial government staff to advocate for local issues.

“What’s concerning is here we go again, with consultation or what the NDP’s definition of consultation is,” Shypitka said. “Here’s something that’s really important, especially to residents of the Kootenays, on accessing the backcountry for things like hunting and trapping and all these other good things that we do and yet they’re holding these last minute meetings with no real outreach as to when these meetings are even held.

“They’re all happening during the day during daytime hours, working hours and elected officials can’t be present for them because they’re all down here in Vancouver.”

It’s no secret backcountry access and wildlife management are common areas of concern for Kootenay residents.

“Any restriction is tough for any backcountry user to handle, but we all understand there has to be a balance and we’ve got to play nice in the sandbox,” said Shypitka. “…if it’s wildlife issues, hunters are the best conservationists around — they want to make sure that hunting and opportunities are there and therefore they need to ensure that ecosystem restoration and proper land-use management is in place.”

Times and locations for upcoming open houses this week are as follows:

Tuesday September 24, 2019

Location and Time:

Jaffray Community Hall (Jaffray Village Loop Road) from 10 am-4 pm

Wednesday September 25, 2019

Location and Time:

Cranbrook Manual Training Center (1212 2nd Street North) from 10 am-4 pm

Thursday September 26, 2019

Location and Time:

Fernie Chamber of Commerce (102 Commerce Rd) from 10 am-4 pm

Golden Lions Den (70 819 Park Ave) from 12 pm -5 pm

Friday September 27, 2019

Location and Time:

Sparwood Chamber of Commerce (30 141 A Aspen Dr) from 10 am-4 pm

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

Just Posted

MLA Clovechok urging government to explain fluctuating prices

He has sent a letter to minister of energy

Birthday parades help Kimberley celebrate in times of isolation

After seeing her friend Melissa Young do the same in Cranbrook, Lisa… Continue reading

Porch Photography Project captures heart of Kimberley during isolation

“This project is showing all the colours of Kimberley’s community love”

Mark Creek Lions announce cancellation of Marysville Daze

Another event enjoyed by many Kimberleyites has been cancelled. The Mark Creek… Continue reading

Mayor McCormick urges residents to stick with the ‘stay at home’ plan

Earlier this week, the City issued a statement discouraging all non-essential traffic… Continue reading

VIDEO: ‘Used gloves and masks go in the garbage,’ says irked B.C. mayor

Health officials have said single-use gloves won’t do much to curb the spread of COVID-19

General exposure to public low after inmate tests positive for COVID-19: Interior Health

The Okanagan Correctional Centre inmate is receiving appropriate care

Sex workers face new risks during COVID-19 pandemic

‘Desperation has kicked in’ for vulnerable, undocumented workers unable to access help

Unclear if Cowichan couple refusing to self-isolate will face penalty

No fines or charges have been laid to date, including Cowichan couple who won’t self isolate

COVID-19: Postponed surgeries will be done, B.C. health minister says

Contract with private surgical clinic to help clear backlog

Black Press Media ad sparks discussion about value of community newspapers

White Rock resident hopes front-page note shines light on revenue loss during COVID-19 crisis

Don’t stop going to the doctor, just do it virtually: B.C. association

Doctors encourage patients to access telephone, online visits

Businesses advised to prepare for federal, B.C. COVID-19 assistance

Canada Revenue Agency portal expected to open next week

Most Read