The Canadian All-Terrain Vehicle Distributors Council (CATV) announced the launch of a new information and environmental advocacy program called ATV NatureWatch.
Aimed at the rapidly increasing number of recreational ATV riders, enjoying nature in Canada's adventure-tourism areas, this project was developed and produced by CATV, in association with the Canadian Ecology Centre (CEC), and with the financial support of FedNor.
Through the ATV NatureWatch Web site, www.ATVNW.ca - promoted by brochures, posters, and decals to be placed on helmets and vehicles - the program presents and encourages an environmentally friendly code of behaviour for all ATV riders. The initial pilot project will be launched in Northern Ontario only. After evaluation, the program will be enhanced and rolled out nationwide.
"Northern Ontario is well positioned to develop an organized ATV tourism sector," says Louise Paquette, director general of FedNor. "Small businesses and communities will benefit from the economic impact of visitors utilizing identified trails."
ATV NatureWatch addresses several key issues: trail riding, adventure tourism, the environment, sensitive habitats and private property. The program also promotes better practices for ATV riders.
"If we could get just one message out to recreational ATV riders with this program", said Bob Ramsay, CATV's president, "it would be to ride responsibly only on identified ATV trails. ATV clubs, lodges, outfitters and other trail organizations across Canada have worked hard to develop their trail systems. Using those trails - and those trails only - will go a long way toward protecting both the environment and the future of recreational ATV riding."
ATV NatureWatch will be officially launched on May 15.