The 5.3 million ha Muskwa-Kechika Access Management Area (AMA), legislated under the BC Wildlife Act, Public Access Prohibition Regulation, Section 2, was established to maintain vehicular access on designated routes in order to protect a range of values (e.g. visual quality, spiritual values, and wildlife values).
Rational and Importance
Large areas of natural wilderness that is unmodified by roads or linear features set the M-KMA apart from other areas in Canada and the world.
Designating access helps to ensure future integrity of:
- visual Quality
- wildlife corridors
- wildlife populations
- First Nations heritage
- wilderness experience
Wilderness experience varies for different users, for example, motivation for seeking out wilderness areas may be different for motorized users than for non-motorised users.
The Access Management strategy and regulations ensure that the full range of experiences may take place within the M-KMA, while protecting a range of values.
Why is Access a Concern?
When people access an area, whether by foot, horseback, motorised vehicle or other method, the forest floor, wetland, stream, or other natural area is impacted, changed from its pristine form. Stress levels in Wildlife may be influenced by the proximity of motorised vehicles, and alternatively wildlife may become habituated to people creating a conflict. As well greater pressure on fish, wildlife and wilderness resources through increased access to previously inaccessible areas may become a concern.
Please consider that although an individual person may not create a large impact, increased numbers of individuals have a cumulative effect on the land.
Current technology means that areas previously inaccessible to the average person are now becoming accessible; therefore impacts are becoming more widespread. In particular, motorised vehicles access far greater areas in shorter time periods than activities conducted by foot or horse; consequently they have a greater impact to the land.
Other concerns associated with access include road kills, littering, fires, air pollution, water pollution, wildlife harassment, fuel spills, erosion, and elimination or damage to sensitive wildlife habitat and ecosystems.
Many of the concerns listed above can be addressed by modifying our own behaviour. For example if we become aware of the impacts that we can have, not only as individuals but also through the cumulative effects of many individuals engaging in the same activity, then we can choose to make a difference. By endorsing and using designated trails, we can each make a difference in the M-KMA.
Access Management Area Regulation
Motor vehicle travel is limited to specific routes within the M-KMA. These access routes have been determined on the basis of environmental sensitivity, public recommendation and past use.
See BC Laws: Wildlife Act, Public Access Prohibition Regulation, Section 2
Link to Ministry M-KMA access route map:
Please observe all access regulations to help maintain the significant wildlife and wilderness characteristics of the Muskwa-Kechika Management Area.
The Muskwa-Kechika Management Area is 6.4 million hectares, approximately the size of Ireland.