Mud boggers investigated for activities near Kelowna wetland

The maximum penalty for the offence could be fines up to $1 million, or imprisonment.

Conservation Officers are warning the public to be careful in unauthorized areas after a vehicle was located mud bogging along Rifle Road, a very sensitive Kelowna wetland Friday night.

An investigation under the Water Sustainability Act the Forest and Range Practices Act has been initiated, said Ken Owens, a conservation officer.

“We don’t take this type of activity very lightly. The damage and effect to the environment can be very serious and altering. Everything from aquatic species, to carnivores and ungulates can be affected,” said Owens.

“People need to respect the environment – we can’t afford to have people out there causing this type of destruction, there is a zero tolerance.”

READ MORE: DON’T FEED THE BEARS

Forest and Range Practices Act Section 46 reads: A person must not carry out a forest practice, a range practice or another activity that results in damage to the environment, unless in doing a person is acting in accordance with a plan, authorization or permit under this Act.

Damage to soils by operating vehicles irresponsibly can cause long-term irreparable changes to the structure of the soil, making it difficult for plants to take root and grow.

Damage to habitat by off-roading in wetlands kills birds, frogs and aquatic life. Damaged wetlands may impact many generations of wildlife due to the lack of plant life and clean water.

Invasive plants and noxious weeds take root in disturbed soil, displacing native plants and reducing food sources for aquatic life and wildlife.

The maximum penalty for the offence could be fines up to $1 million, or imprisonment for not more than three years, or both.

Everyone has a stake in protecting our environment. Any one having any information related to this incident or the vehicle owners whereabouts is asked to to contact the Conservation Officer Service through their toll-free report line, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 1-877-952-7277(RAPP) or online at www.rapp.bc.ca.

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@KelownaNewsKat
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