Saturday , 12 June 2021

Trail destruction at Muriel Lake M.D. Park must stop: M.D.

The M.D. of Bonnyville said the Parks, Recreation & Culture staff were disheartened to find the set cross country ski trails at the Muriel Lake M.D. Park had been destroyed by snowmobiles this week – less than 24 hours after they had been groomed and set.

Off-highway vehicles (OHVs) — including quads and snowmobiles — are not permitted in the park, as per Bylaw 1624, the M.D. said in a release on Friday afternoon.

The minimum fine is $200, but fines could increase to $600, based on the number of violations observed. M.D. Peace Officers can also impound OHVs if it’s found the operators have violated the bylaw.

This is the second time this season the M.D. has received a complaint about the destruction of the trails.

“It’s frustrating for sure,” said Manager of Parks, Recreation & Culture, Rodney Guilbault.

“It’s also creating dangerous conditions for the skiers that use the trails. We want to make sure the park is an enjoyable and safe place for skiers, hikers and bikers.”

Peace Officers will be increasing patrols around the park in an attempt to deter OHV users, and to hand out fines. Parks staff will be installing more signs letting users know OHVs are not permitted in the park, and will also be setting up some barricades around the perimeter.

To report an OHV inside the park, please call the Public Safety Department at 780-812- 3332. To report unsafe trail conditions, please call the Parks, Recreation & Culture Department at 780-826-3171.

About Michael Menzies

Menzies is the editor-at-large for Connected Media Inc. Born and raised in Vermilion, he started in May 2018 during his NAIT Radio and Television practicum and reports on local politics, sports, and community issues. He became the Bonnyville Pontiacs play-by-play voice during the 2019-20 season. He also comments on provincial and national issues. Menzies hosts Connected! Evening Monday-Thursday at 5 o’clock. He also likes to buy books and read some of them.