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2 Albertans fined for snowmobiling in protected caribou area: B.C. Conservation Officer Service

An aerial photo from the B.C. Conservation Officer Service of the mountain caribou herd. B.C. Conservation Officer Service

The B.C. Conservation Officer Service says two Albertans had an expensive day after getting fined for snowmobiling in an area that’s closed to protect mountain caribou.

In a social media post this week, the Conservation Officer Service (COS) says a helicopter crew on patrol in B.C.’s Interior spotted a herd of 25 mountain caribou north of Revelstoke. Later on, the crew spotted the two Albertans.

According to the COS, the two were on snowbikes in the middle of the Sale Mountain closure.

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The COS says after the helicopter landed and stopped the riders, the two were fined a total of $1,600.

“One rider was charged with snowmobiling in a closed area and failing to produce documents and identification, for a total of $748,” the COS said.

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One of two photos that the B.C. Conservation Officer Service posted to its Facebook page of the mountain caribou herd near Revelstoke. B.C. Conservation Officer Service

“The second rider was charged for using or operating a snowmobile in a closed area, failing to produce documents and identification and failing to display a number plate, decal or sticker of other jurisdiction, for a total of $921.”

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The province says more than one million hectares across the mountain caribou range in B.C. is closed to motorized winter enthusiasts.

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“Since 2009, government has closed areas to snowmobile use across the Mountain Caribou range in order to support population recovery,” the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations says on its snowmobile closures webpage.

The COS says patrols are continuing this winter, and reminded the public that snowmobiling in illegal areas can displace mountain caribou from high-quality winter habitat and impact an already threatened population.

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