With a lot of snow still on the mountains and wet trails in town, many recreationalists are heading to the South Country to explore popular biking, hiking and running areas such as the Wigwam Flats in Elko.
This spring activities outward from Elko and along the Rocky Road to the Wigwam Flats is causing a big issue with wildlife concerns. Bighorn Sheep are lambing along the Wigwam River Rim and the Silver Springs Lake Rim during this time, which also sees the highest number of bikers during the year, a number which has increased significantly over the last five years. We must stop biking in the lambing areas and we must have our dogs under control 100% of the time or best not to bring them with us. Ewes and lambs are constantly being moved off the grasslands and onto the cliffs by the increase in biking and dog traffic. The Wigwam is an Access Management Area patrolled and monitored by Conservation Officers and you will be ticketed for wildlife offences if you do not comply.
The Fernie Trails Alliance is in discussions with the Ministry of Environment to get a workable plan approved to allow us all to continue enjoying recreating in this area without having a negative effect on the wildlife populations and viability of the grasslands that are subject to invasive noxious weeds.
Here are some visuals to help you respect this area and the agreements in place. It is probably best to not bring dogs at all, unless you can ensure they are on leash at all times. Also, be aware that it is tick season and reports are higher than normal. Check for ticks before coming home, on all parties including pets.
Stay off singletrack (in blue), the trail along the rim. Silver Springs Rim Trail may be approved, if users stick to the trail marked in red.
For more information, visit www.fernietrails.com. Have a great weekend, everyone!