The province has restricted recreational shooting along popular Fraser Valley forestry service roads, citing serious safety risks due to reckless shooters
Many popular recreational shooting spots in the Fraser Valley have been designated as “no shooting” zones by the province, citing both safety concerns and lack of respect to the environment.
The province is restricting gun use in areas that have seen “indiscriminate shooting” that has “damaged habitat and [created] serious safety concerns”, according to Simon Gibson, MLA of Abbotsford-Mission. Gibson announced the changes on behalf of Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations Steve Thomson.
According to the announcement, the increase in recreational shooting in the area has posed a risk to public safety including unsafe shooting towards vehicles, cabins, and recreational sites, and even forcing fire crews to abandon suppression activities last year due to unsafe gunfire in their direction.
The province amended the BC Wildlife Act to create “no shooting” zones within 400 meters of select roads on non-municipal Crown land within the Fraser Valley Regional District. The change in regulation was requested by the Fraser Valley Regional District and local RCMP, and was supported by the District of Mission, City of Abbotsford, the Conservation Officer Service, and several First Nations communities in the area.
Those caught ignoring the new restrictions can face heavy penalties – up to $50,000 in fines and 6 months in jail for the first offence, and a $100,000 fine and a year in jail for subsequent offences. The new regulation applies only to recreational and target shooters and does not affect licensed hunting and trapping nor will it impact First Nations’ hunting rights.
A map of all the affected areas is available from the Fraser Valley Regional District here.