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B.C. mountain roads closed to protect vulnerable wildlife

Aug 29. 16

By Kendra Mangione, CTV Vancouver

The province is closing roads on two high-elevation mountain ranges to protect the vulnerable species calling the regions home.

The Cayoosh and Shulaps mountain ranges, located between Whistler and 100 Mile House, are home to a sensitive ecosystem in need of protection.

The Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations said the areas provide spring and summer habitats for grizzlies, mule deer, mountain goats and California bighorn sheep, all of which are vulnerable to damage from vehicles.

Due to their elevation, the ecosystems support fewer plants than lower areas thanks to high winds, steep terrain and a prolonged period of snow cover.

"It can take centuries for damaged alpine vegetation to recover," the ministry said in a statement.

As a result, vehicles are no longer permitted above 1,920 metres on Cayoosh, Shulaps, Red, French, Hogback and China Head mountains. They are also not permitted on Nine Mile Ridge. Yalakom-Big Bar Road remains open, however.

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