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Story of the day: ATV restrictions in the Yukon?

March 17, 2011

Yukon News reporter John Thompson is nominated for a Ma Murray for Environmental Writing for his story: “Group pushes for ATV restrictions.” That headline gives a pretty good indication about the story‘s topic.

A new organization wants all-terrain vehicles banned from Yukon’s fragile alpine areas and wetlands.

The Trails Only Yukon Association quietly formed over the winter and has, so far, signed up more than 100 supporters. The group is holding a public meeting at Jack Hulland school on Thursday at 7:30 p.m. to shore up support for their cause.

Many of its members own ATVs. That makes them no less horrified by the deep ruts they’ve seen torn into otherwise pristine wilderness by motorized vehicles.

The association is pushing for regulations requiring ATVs to stick to existing paths while travelling across fragile terrain.

This proposal will be unpopular with some hunters and recreational ATV users, said Ken Taylor, one of the group’s founders. That’s precisely why successive territorial governments have ducked the issue, he said.

But waiting will only ensure more of Yukon’s hinterland will be spoiled.

“The longer we wait, the longer we’ll be saying we should have done something,” Taylor said.


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