ATVs are popular in rural Saskatchewan, providing easy access to remote areas. But, some people are abusing that mode of transportation.According to Karl Breker, a conservation officer with Saskatchewan Environment's Humboldt office, people are taking all terrain vehicles (ATVs) onto protected land.Wildlife habitat lands, purchased by the Fish and Wildlife Development Fund, are set aside to provide safe spaces for birds and animals to live, Breker explained. Most of the wildlife lands have trails on them and before ATVs became so popular, they were walking trails. Now, they are being used as ATV trails and letting people go further on the lands.The ATVers are not just sticking to the trails, but also heading into the lands in search of muddy areas to play in, Breker said.The increased use of ATVs on the land is not only scaring the wildlife away, but the machines are also damaging the habitat, Breker said.
"The only legal use of a vehicle (on these lands) is to retrieve legally taken game during hunting season," Breker said. "It defeats the purpose of the land if the wildlife is displaced from the land."Breker has talked to several people on ATVs near the lands, but no one ever admits to being on the property, he said.There are about 40 quarters of wildlife lands in the Humboldt office's administrative district, Breker said. They range from the Kloppenburg Wildlife Refuge southwest of Humboldt, to land in the Dana Hills, and land around Lucien Lake and further north."We want people to be aware of the restriction," Breker explained. "We are requesting that people respect the rules."