New rules for off-road riding in Kamloops area

The province hopes to better protect sensitive grasslands when it enacts restrictions as of Thursday for off-loading riding in Lac Du Bois and lower Noble Creek areas.

The new rules better define areas where riding quads and dirt bikes is allowed and where it is restricted, said Noelle Kekula, a recreation officer with the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Development.

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Along with the closures, two popular riding areas will be given designation and signage.

"People always ask, 'Where can I go?'" said Kekula. "Now there's four areas."

Those areas designated for riding are upper Noble Creek, Lafarge, Greenstone and the designated area at Lac Du Bois immediately north of the Batchelor Heights subdivision.

It follows off-road riding closures in Cherry Creek, Six Mile and Tunkwa Lake areas several years ago.

The designations will allow riding at Lac Du Bois in a 470-hectare area, while banning it in two neighbouring areas immediately to the east and west, totalling about 500 hectares.

Kekula said signage will be placed showing closed areas.

Also in the works are designating zones inside the riding areas for dirt bikes or ATVs.

Typically, dirt bikes use singletrack, while ATVs, trucks and side-by-side vehicles need a much wider trail.

The goal is to protect species at risk in the rare grassland ecosystem.

The ministry has worked with recreational groups on the program.

"We wouldn't have the areas without the clubs," Kekula said.

"They're doing the work on the ground."

Kekula said other areas that may see restrictions in the future, include Barnhartvale and Inks Lake, where there is a rancher holding grazing rights.

© Kamloops This Week


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