Alberta Off-Highway Vehicle Association concerned with potential backcountry closures/restrictions

Brent Hodgson is President of the Alberta Off-Highway Vehicle Association (AOHVA)

Off-road vehicle travelling down dirt road.

President of the AOHVA, Brent Hodgson, issued a statement concerning decisions being made to reduce or eliminate recreation in Alberta's backcountry. — Photo: AOHVA Facebook page

The Alberta Off-Highway Vehicle Association (AOHVA) recently issued a statement from president Brent Hodgson concerning decisions being made to reduce or eliminate recreation in Alberta's backcountry. In a statement the AOHVA questions the relevance of the supporting data and a reminder that outdoor recreation users should continue to seek clarification to unanswered questions in the process.

"While awaiting the official chief scientist's report, the AOHVA Environmental Literature Review Committee (ELRC) reviewed documentation that the Government of Alberta cited as the basis to make important decisions. ELRC members found that while the studies, conducted in the US and overseas, are accurate when applied as intended, they actually contain no relevant data to support decisions made to restrict or ban recreation on public lands in Alberta," said Brent Hodgson, president of the AOHVA.  "Rather, Government of Alberta advisors took valid data from vastly different geographic regions and parameters and applied it, albeit out of context, to the Alberta landscape. If the ELRC was able to identify inconsistencies in the application of valid data with decisions made to reduce or eliminate recreation in the backcountry, why has it not been acknowledged by the academic community?"

In the statement the AOHVA president further said, "Albertans need not be intimidated by the words of ENGOs and academics who are shielded and emboldened by the words 'peer reviewed science.'  We want the facts, not platitudes and condescending comments from "experts" who cherry pick through other people's work to prop up a predetermined outcome. The Government of Alberta is enacting the biggest change to land use in the province in over 30 years. That is a big deal for Albertans. So, AOHVA will keep asking the questions until the government provides the answers."

Brent Hodgson reminded recreational users, "Albertans have a right to know how science is used to guide important decisions impacting how we live, work and play. We should never hesitate to ask our government for the information we need to assess and either accept or challenge decisions imposed on us."

Brent Hodgson is President of the Alberta Off-Highway Vehicle Association (AOHVA). Visit AOHVA.COM for more information.

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