It is soon becoming that time of year where ATVs are being replaced by sleds as the most common form of recreation. But before you retire your ATV for the winter I want you to think back to the summer and all of the places you explored. Was one of those places the Lower Blue Lake area of Monkman Provincial Park? If so, you were illegally recreating on an illegally built trail.

ATV activity has become a serious problem in this area of the park. Considerable damage has been done in the multiple meadows and wetlands the trail passes through on route to Lower Blue Lake. The damage includes the cutting of trees, deep mud pits and a multitude of braided trails. ATVs are also being used to cross the Murray River at its outlet, and the tracks are clearly visible from the ground as well as helicopter. Multiple oil slicks were also found in this section of the river. The ease of access into this location will have harsh effects on fish populations, the landscape and associated wildlife and aesthetic values.

During 2006 education of park visitors on the prohibition of ATV?s in the park was the main focus, however, this has failed to stop machines from entering the park, thus the next step is enforcement involving charges under the Park regulations. Those foolish enough to enter the park on ATV?s will be dealt with through enforcement measures.

It is unfortunate respect for the environment is not paramount on everyone?s mind. These special places are important for not only this generation but future generations to enjoy.

So please visit the provincial parks on nature?s terms, and leave the ATV?s out.