Rocky Mountain House, Alberta – Care for waterways is important. On April 10, 2013 Kerry Paul Rivard, age 55 years of Edmonton pled guilty to a Public Lands Act charge of: Disturbing any public land that results or is likely to result in injury to the bed or shore of any water body of any type. As a result of his guilty plea, Rivard received a $500 fine.
The charges resulted from an incident that occurred on October 7, 2012 on the Jack Fish lake road near Nordegg, Alberta. While on patrol in the area, a Rocky Mountain House RCMP officer observed a mud covered off highway vehicle (OHV), damage the river bed as it drove onto Lawrence Creek which is a tributary of the Baptiste River.
Care for Waterways
The RCMP officer stopped the OHV and instructed the driver to exit the creek. The driver identified as Kerry Rivard complied and was charged accordingly. It is to be noted that very nearby there was a bridge available for vehicle crossing.
Throughout this investigation the RCMP were assisted by fisheries technicians from Alberta Environment and Sustainable Resource Development. On and off road vehicles entering streambeds without authorization can have significant impacts on fisheries resources.
With the May long weekend fast approaching, law enforcement agencies from the Rocky Mountain House and Clearwater County area are preparing for the influx of recreationists who travel to public lands. In an effort to further educate these visitors, the following are some rules which off highway vehicle users and other recreationists must abide by:
· Do operate OHV’s in designated or well established trails;
· Do respect public and private property;
· Do not operate OHV’s in streams unless directly crossing which is to be done at low speed;
· Do not damage stream side vegetation;
· Do not cause damage to natural area’s such as sheep habitat or to riparian area’s which includes muskegs;
· Do not trespass on closed roads such as Fall Creek road.
Additional restrictions in regards to OHV use are available on the Clearwater County website at http://www.county.clearwater.ab.ca/departments/page.jsp?pid=52 .
The law enforcement community encourages Rocky Mountain House visitors to enjoy local public lands, however it is the responsibility of each OHV user and recreationist to be aware of and abide by the applicable laws.