Written by Malkolm Boothroyd, Campaigns Coordinator
The Yukon urgently needs proactive off-road vehicle (ORV) regulations to protect the territory’s wildlife, and our alpine, wetlands, and backcountry. Yukoners have been calling for such laws since the 1980s. Now we’re finally seeing regulations in the works. Until April 8th the public can comment on the strengths and weaknesses of the proposed measures.
The Yukon government’s proposed regulatory framework focuses on the creation of ORV Management Areas. It’s a start, but still a patchwork approach. ORV Management Areas could provide effective protections in some areas, but shouldn’t be the Yukon’s sole regulatory tool. The Yukon must find ways to protect the alpine, wetlands and backcountry — on a territory-wide scale.
CPAWS Yukon generally supports the Yukon government’s approach, but emphasizes the need for tools beyond ORV Management Areas. For example, the Yukon could use the Territorial Lands Act to address the proliferation of ORV trails, and use its wetland policy (currently being developed) to restrict the use of ORVs within sensitive wetland ecosystems. We urge the Yukon government to protect the entirety of the territory’s alpine from ORV damage, possibly by designating all alpine areas within a single elevation-based ORV Management Area.
If you agree with us, please use the space provided in the Yukon government’s ORV questionnaire to advocate for additional measures to protect our alpine, wetlands and backcountry. Have your say at: https://engageyukon.ca/en/2019/regulating-road-vehicles-yukon.