April 3, 2010
FREDERICTON (CNB) - Conservation officers will be patrolling Crown woods roads to discourage their use during the spring thaw period when dirt roads are easily damaged, the Department of Natural Resources announced today.
Department staff will focus enforcement efforts on addressing mud runs, where participants intentionally seek soft roads to test the limits of their vehicle.
Individuals using the roads to get to their camps or wood properties are not being targeted.
In recent years, spring damage to Crown roads by recreational vehicles has become an increasing concern. Roads have required expensive repairs due to rutting and damage to drainage ditches. This damage has environmental as well as financial costs. Rutting redirects water into streams, causing siltation and loss of fish habitat, as well as fish mortality.
There will be patrols on Crown land this spring, and officers may issue ministerial orders for vehicle operators to vacate an area until the roads have dried. Under the authority of the Crown Lands and Forests Act, some areas prone to damage may be posted with signs restricting vehicle use during the spring thaw.
Failure to comply with a ministerial order or signage posted under the authority of the act may result in charges. Depending upon the charge, a conviction could lead to fines of $140 to $500 for a first offence.
The Department of Natural Resources urges recreational vehicle enthusiasts to use Crown roads responsibly this spring and to be mindful of damage to property.
MEDIA CONTACT: Anne Bull Monteith, communications, Department of Natural Resources, 506-453-2614, firstname.lastname@example.org.