Hunter access has been affected by the wildfires with restrictions being placed in damaged areas. File photo

Wildfires responsible for new hunting restrictions in the east Kootenay’s

Access for local hunters banned in designated areas

The Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development (FLNRORD) released a statement in late October announcing hunting regulation changes in response to wildfires in the East Kootenay region. The province is taking initiative to protect big game wildlife that have been exposed due to the severity of wildfires this season.

“Newly built fireguards coupled with existing fireguards from previous fires, and other industrial road construction has enabled greater hunter access to remote habitats that were previously only accessible by foot. Lines of sight for hunters have increased dramatically in some areas of high fire severity where vegetation has burned,” said FLNRORD in a press release.

Five fire perimeters in the vicinity of White/Bull River, Linklater Creek, Lam Creek, Soowa Mountain and Island Pond will be closed from September 1st to June 30th to motor vehicles that are designated for hunting until the problem is resolved, said FLNRORD.

Local hunters were asked by FLNRORD earlier in the year if they supported the closures and members of Lake Windermere Rod & Gun Club were on board with the initiative, according to club president Rick Hoar.

The club is known as a conservation-minded organization that is dedicated to the preservation of the natural environment but they were disappointed that only hunters were singled out.

Mr. Hoar told the Pioneer he felt FLNRORD was targeting hunters specifically and that other areas of concern were being neglected by the ministry.

“We said yes we could support that so we knew that was coming, but all they’ve done now is earmark the hunters and they’re talking about vehicle access and I went out and looked at the White River fire and some of those areas have been scorched. What we’re looking at is why are they just going after the hunters if they’re talking about vehicle access closures?” said Mr. Hoar. “When you look at some of this wildfire in the area the impact has been so horrendous that the ground is really in fragile shape and it should be complete access closure. What about the anglers? What about mushroom pickers? What about all the people who are just out recreating? For us we think they should be talking about a total ban on the land base if it’s in such fragile shape.”

BC Fish and Wildlife Head, Holger Bohm, responded to the concerns of Mr. Hoar stating that to put an Access Management Areas (AMA) on the entire area would be unprecedented.

“It’s quite a lengthy process to determine what needs to be done in this particular situation — we wanted to address the line of sight and then move on from there, it is highly unlikely we would put an AMA on the area because of its size,” said Mr. Bohm.

Access to hunters will be closed until the problem is resolved and it could be an ongoing issue, leaving the hunting community at a loss for an undetermined amount of time according to statements made by FLNRORD.

Maps of the affected areas can be found: http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/kootenay/eco/access.htm.

Just Posted

Winter night’s delight at festival this Friday

Annual Snowflake Festival at Kinsmen Beach January 18th

Hurtling down the world’s mountains

Invermere’s Ben Thomsen having a stellar ski season

Mountainfilm on Tour returns

Event runs two nights this year, Feb 8-9th

Students lobby for a rainbow crosswalk

Council agrees to proposal for painted crosswalk at 13th Ave. and 13th St. intersection

Home values rise in Columbia Valley

30% rise in Canal Flats; 10% in Invermere

UPDATE: B.C. legislature managers accused of excessive travel, personal expense claims

Clerk Craig James, security chief Gary Lenz call allegations ‘completely false’

B.C. man fined $10,000 after leaving moose to suffer before death

Surrey man was convicted last week on three Wildlife Act charges

‘Blue Monday’ isn’t real, but depression can be

CMHA encourages people to prioritize their mental health

Anti-pipeline group wants NEB to consider impact of emissions, climate change

Stand.earth filed NEB motion asking to apply same standard to the project as it did with Energy East pipeline

B.C. man charged in 2014 snake venom death of toddler

Henry Thomas was taking care of the North Vancouver girl the day before she died

Parole granted for drunk driver who killed B.C. RCMP officer

Kenneth Jacob Fenton will be able to attend alcohol abuse treatment, nearly three years after crash that killed Const. Sarah Beckett

B.C.’s largest public-sector union wants inquiry into money laundering, drugs

Union officials say Premier John Horgan and Attorney General David Eby have not ruled out the possibility of a public inquiry

Teen in confrontation with Native American: I didn’t provoke

Nick Sandmann of Covington Catholic High School said he was trying to defuse the situation

New military armoury opens in Cranbrook

Military presence in the Key City a part of the 44th Engineer Squadron

Most Read