Off-road vehicles not to be excluded: Thurston

Andrew
Andrew Wagstaff
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AMHERST A proposal to increase the level of protection of the Chignecto Game Sanctuary does not exclude activities such as ATV riding and snowmobiling, according to Harry Thurston.

AMHERST A proposal to increase the level of protection of the Chignecto Game Sanctuary does not exclude activities such as ATV riding and snowmobiling, according to Harry Thurston.

Thurston, who represents Cumberland Wilderness, a group of county residents lobbying to have the sanctuary designated a wilderness protection area, said most of the fears out there are based on a misunderstanding of their proposal.

Were sensitive to the traditional recreational uses of the sanctuary, he said. What were intending to do, beginning in early October, is schedule a series of meetings with snowmobile and ATV groups to learn from them the routes they use, the routes they wouldnt want to give up, etc. I think most reasonable ATV and snowmobile users will have no objection to our proposal.

As it stands, the proposal calls for the decommissioning of some of the old logging roads within the protected area, but to leave open main connector roads that exist within the sanctuary and adjacent Crown lands, e.g. Boars Back Road, Sand River Road, connections to West Brook over Thundering Hill, connections to Halfway River and Harrison Settlement, etc.

The natural resources minister has the power under the Wilderness Protection Act to exclude particular areas from the prohibited activities, i.e. allow motorized traffic in some areas within the protected zone.

With respect to motorized trails and routes we can work towards preservation of some of those routes and also look at decommissioning routes that are not used or pass through very vital habitat, he said. I think we can find middle ground.



awagstaff@amherstdaily.com

Geographic location: Sand River Road, West Brook, Halfway River

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