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Mars Hill Wildlife Management Area (WMA) FAQ's

  1. Why has Manitoba Conservation and Water Stewardship decided to implement a new designated trail network in the Mars Hill WMA?
  2. Have any areas of the Mars Hill WMA been damaged by vehicle use?
  3. What will Manitoba Conservation and Water Stewardship achieve by implementing the designated trail network for motorized vehicles in the WMA?
  4. Who will be allowed access to the WMA?
  5. What changes are being implemented for motorized vehicle use in the WMA?

1. Why has Manitoba Conservation and Water Stewardship decided to implement a new designated trail network in the Mars Hill WMA?

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.


2. Have any areas of the Mars Hill WMA been damaged by vehicle use?

 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.


3. What will Manitoba Conservation and Water Stewardship achieve by implementing the designated trail network for motorized vehicles in the WMA?

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.


4. Who will be allowed access to the WMA?

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.


5. What changes are being implemented for motorized vehicle use in the WMA?

The plan being implemented with respect to the designated trail network for motorized vehicles in the Mars Hill WMA:

  • A total of 40.6 km of trails will be designated for motorized vehicle use within the WMA.
  • Motorized vehicle use in the northeast portion of the WMA will be restricted.
  • Motorized vehicle use will be restrictedon the environmentally sensitive Wolverine Hill.
  • Non-motorized use of all WMA trails will be allowed, including non-designated trails for activities such as hiking and horseback riding and a segment of the Trans Canada Trail.
  • Emergency vehicles will continue to have access to all trails within the WMA.
  • Licensed hunters will be allowed to retrieve a big game kill by motorized vehicles on non-designated trails by the most direct route.
  • Licensed trappers will require a WMA Use Permit to use a motor vehicle to travel on non-designated trails for trapping purposes.
  • Continued use of the designated Snoman trail will be allowed.

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 : dennis.brannen@gov.mb.ca