What south Okanagan off-roaders need to know before heading out on the trail - InfoNews

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What south Okanagan off-roaders need to know before heading out on the trail

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March 02, 2015 - 7:25 PM

OLIVER - Off-roading on Oliver Mountain, the Osoyoos West Bench and the impact on the area's sensitive grassland ecosystem will be focus topics at two open house meetings March 11.

The meetings are scheduled for Wed. March 11 from 6:30 - 8:30 p.m.  at the Senora Community Centre located at 8505-68 Ave., Osoyoos, and Thurs. March 12 from 6:30 - 9 p.m. at the Elks Lodge, 477 Bank Ave., Oliver. With expanding off-road traffic in the Okanagan, the Ministry of Forests is turning their focus to 11 priority ecosystems and the effects on 17 federally listed species-at-risk in the area, according to a media release.

To protect habitat in the interim, off-road enthusiasts are encouraged to use Bear Creek and Okanagan Falls trail systems, considered well established and less environmentally sensitive.

In the spring of 2014, the non-profit conservation group Nature Trust of British Columbia bought 743 hectares of land near Osoyoos, now the Sage and Sparrow Conservation Area. Their aim is to protect 30 at-risk and endangered species and grasslands wildlife. Among species found were sage thrashers with only a handful of breeding pairs in Canada and sage bats, a tiny species never recorded before in this country.

The ministry will be stepping up enforcement of restrictions currently in effect. Riders who know of other trails suitable for riding can share this information with the ministry.

Sage and Arrow Conservation Area
Sage and Arrow Conservation Area
Image Credit: Nature Conservancy Canada

To contact a reporter for this story, email sarstad@infonews.ca, call 250-488-3065. To contact the managing editor, email Marshall Jones at mjones@infonews.ca or call 250-718-2724.

News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2015
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