Two snowmobiles were seized by the BC Conservation Officer service Saturday, March 9 after the riders were observed operating in an area closed for caribou habitat protection. BC Conservation Officer service photo

Officers seize snowmobiles after men caught riding in closed caribou habitat in Interior

The two snowmobiles were seized near Likely, B.C.

Two area men had their snowmobiles seized and face several charges after allegedly trying to evade police and conservation officers conducting aerial patrols in caribou habitat on the weekend.

Sgt. Jeff Tyre of the Conservation Officer Service (COS), Cariboo Chilcotin Zone, said the local men, who are in their 30s, were riding “well into an area” closed to protect caribou at Grain Creek near Likely Saturday when they were spotted at about 12:30 p.m. from the air.

The COS has been ramping up aerial enforcement of caribou closures in recent years in the region in an effort to ensure compliance and protect the vulnerable species.

“Before we found these gentleman, we spotted a small herd of caribou in the area,” said Tyre, who was on the patrol himself.

Read more: Off-road vehicles caught in sensitive B.C. wildlife habitats to net $575 fine

Tyre said attempts to communicate with the snowmobilers were unsuccessful, so officers left the scene and returned to the trailhead with a COS vehicle.

Ultimately, both men were eventually stopped, with one being arrested and released on scene and is expected to face criminal charges. Officers seized both the men’s backpacks, jackets, GPS, helmets and snowmobiles for evidence.

“We will be taking this one to court,” he said, noting charges will be recommended under the Wildlife Act, Off Road Vehicle Act and Criminal Code.

Tyre said notice of the caribou closure was well-posted on a nearby logging road in the Grain Creek area, however, even if there wasn’t signage Tyre said the onus is on riders to ensure they are not riding in snowmobile closures.

Tyre said aerial checks don’t always end up in the seizure of snowmobiles, but that the case Saturday was unique.

He does hope this case sends a strong message about the possible outcomes of riding in the closures.

Snowmobile clubs in the region have urged members to adhere to the caribou closures while they continue to voice their concerns to government as stakeholders over a loss of riding areas.


Do you have a comment about this story? email:
editor@wltribune.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

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

Just Posted

COVID-19: Quesnel’s Billy Barker Days Festival will happen but may be delayed and look different

‘It will be something different than it has been in other years,’ say organizers

COVID-19: Quesnel RCMP adjusts workers’ hours at the detachment

Police are also encouraging online reporting

B.C. Wildfire Service will expand its operations at Quesnel Airport

A new lease agreement with the City of Quesnel will allow BCWS to house additional crews at airport

COVID-19: Signs of the times

Hearts for frontline workers and social distancing reminders around Quesnel

COVID-19: Quesnel considers its most vulnerable

City in contact with the shelter and B.C. Housing to ensure well-being of homeless during pandemic

‘We don’t need this right now’: B.C. man breaks up road rage incident

Two men were throwing punches on Tillicum Road in Saanich on Vancouver Island

‘We will get through this’: B.C. sees new COVID-19 death, but 57% have recovered

A total of 1,066 people have tested positive for the novel coronavirus

Canada’s 75% wage subsidy is coming, but not for several weeks: finance minister

Subsidy will cost Canada $71 billion, but push down cost of emergency benefit, Morneau said

COVID-19: ‘The Ballad of Bonnie Henry’ recorded and released

LISTEN: Quick turnaround for song penned by B.C. Order of Canada musician Phil Dwyer

B.C. adding $300 to monthly income and disability assistance payments

‘Crisis supplement’ for COVID-19 for April, May and June

‘A matter of human decency’: Truckers’ union calls on gas stations, rest stops to fully re-open

Teamsters Canada wants feds, provinces to put pressure on facilities to re-open for transport workers

Migrant worker advocates blame feds, employers for COVID-19 outbreak at B.C. garden store

Migrant farm worker group calls on government for adequate health and safety requirements

‘There can be no ambiguity’: Travellers brought home to B.C. must self-isolate

Health Minister Adrian Dix said the mandatory isolation must be abided by

Most Read