The sun sets over Frisby Ridge. (Myles Williamson/Revelstoke Review)

Balancing land use: Revelstoke snowmobile club preserving caribou on Frisby Ridge

Club has preserved the wildlife in the area through mountain caribou recovery since mid-1980s

The Revelstoke Snowmobile Club actively maintains and patrols the trails on Frisby Ridge to preserve one of the region’s most unique and endangered species.

The club, which was established in 1968, has worked to preserve the wildlife in the area through mountain caribou recovery since the mid-1980s.

The club has established and maintains voluntary closures that protect critical habitat for caribou and maintains the area through closure boundary signs.

Mountain Caribou are an ecotype of B.C.’s woodland caribou population.

They are the world’s southern-most caribou population.

The caribou closures at Frisby Ridge, Sale Mountain, and Keystone & Standard Basins are in effect from Jan. 1 to April 15

According to Teena Rumak, general manager of the Revelstoke Snowmobile Club, the club checks to make sure the sign are visible and in place, and that people aren’t going into the caribou closure.

Rumak said the mountain gets roughly 15,000 visitors per year, with an estimated 250 visitors on busy days, and that most people who use the mountain comply with boundaries set in place by the club.

According to a study by the Provincial Caribou Recovery Program, snowmobiling has a severe impact on caribou, in part because the preferred areas for this activity overlap with the preferred winter habitat of the animal. Snowmobiling may induce physiological stress for the animals, displace caribou from their preferred areas, and compacted trails made by the vehicles may also facilitate movement of predators into winter habitats of caribou.

“Frisby is one of the most incredible mountains,” said Rumak.

“You have panoramic views. It’s terrain for everyone.”

The club encourages its members to remove snow from boundary signs and report any missing or broken signs to staff.

The club says that non-compliance with the closures could result in entire mountain closures.

“It took a lot of work for us to have the access that we have today,” said Rumak in a release by the club.

“We don’t want to lose it, so we must work together.”

READ MORE: Revelstoke Snowboard Club obtains snowboard donation

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A member of the Revelstoke Snowmobile Club installing a closure sign. (Myles Williamson/Revelstoke Review)

Riding the trails at Frisby Ridge. (Myles Williamson/Revelstoke Review)