Vehicle use in the Mars Hill WMA has increased significantly in recent years. Following extensive discussions and input from various local user groups, the new designated trail network for motorized vehicles is being implemented to protect wildlife habitat, while still allowing some motorized vehicle use in the WMA.
The Wolverine Hill area in the WMA has sustained significant damage from off-road vehicle use and the unauthorized development of a dirt bike course. The WMA is an environmentally-sensitive area with light, sandy soil, which means vegetation is not well-rooted. The vegetation can be easily damaged by repeated disturbance by vehicles. In addition, the footprint of trails across the WMA is large and affects the quality of habitat for many wildlife species.
The intent is to take a balanced approach that establishes a network of trails that allows for some limited motorized vehicle use while recognizing that the WMA's wildlife and vegetation must be conserved and protected.
The public will continue to have full access to the WMA. The only change is that motor vehicles will only be allowed to operate on designated trails.
The plan being implemented with respect to the designated trail network for motorized vehicles in the Mars Hill WMA:
Signs will be posted on all designated trails for motorized vehicles during the implementation process. Enforcement will be phased in during the first year of implementation and will begin once trail signs have been posted. Enforcement will first focus on public education about the new designated motorized trails, followed by increased monitoring by natural resource officers (including specific day and night patrols and enforcement 'blitz' operations with multiple officers to maximize the area monitored).
The new designated motorized trail network will be reviewed after two years.A designated trail network map will be available at local Manitoba Conservation and Water Stewardship District Offices, in the WMA and on the wildlife branch website once the plan is fully implemented.
For more information about the new designated trail network, please contact:
Dennis Brannen, Wildlife Biologist
Phone: 204-345-1429 (Lac du Bonnet) or
1-800-214-6497 (toll free)
Email : firstname.lastname@example.org