by Morinville News Staff

The government has issued a temporary province-wide restriction on off-highway vehicle (OHV) recreational use on public lands and provincial parks, and is calling the decision another tool to help prevent the spread of wildfires.

Alberta Off-Highway Vehicle Association made the request and cmes a day after the government announced a province-wide fire ban, and a ban on incendiary targets on all provincial Crown lands issued May 5.

“Our fire crews are working around the clock to battle wildfires in Fort McMurray and around the province,” said Oneil Carlier, Minister Agriculture of and Forestry in a release Friday. “All Albertans can do their part to help ensure firefighters can focus their resources on the areas of greatest need.”

Shannon Phillips, Minister of Environment and Parks added the province was to taking the step lightly. “We must reduce the potential for more wildfires throughout the province,” she said. “Quite simply, OHV recreational use under our current conditions has the very real potential to contribute to an already catastrophic wildfire season.”

The restriction applies to recreational use on public lands, including designated OHV trails, only. It will not apply to agriculture, public safety or commercial/industrial users who operate OHVs for farming, enforcement or business purposes. The OHV restriction does not apply to the use of an OHV by Indigenous peoples when exercising a right recognized and affirmed under Part II of the Constitution Act, 1982 or a right under section 12 of the Natural Resources Transfer Agreement.

OHVs include all-terrain vehicles (ATVs), four-wheel vehicles, motorcycles and related two-wheel vehicles and amphibious machines.The OHV restriction will be in place until further notice.

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