Stop Snowmobile Trail from being Developed up side of Mount Carleton, in NB’s only Wilderness Provincial Park


The New Brunswick government is weeks away from significantly widening one of the walking trails that goes up Mount Carleton, in New Brunswick’s only wilderness provincial park, and groom it as a single-use snowmobile trail. CPAWS is concerned this decision has been made behind the scenes, without an environmental analysis or engagement with stakeholders or the public.

The Proposal

The proposal would see the trail width doubled to 12 feet wide, and the branches over the trail will be cut to a height of 12 feet, turning what is now used as a wilderness trail into a wide utility road. The Department of Tourism, Heritage and Culture has not gotten any expert advice on how this plan may increase erosion on the trail or how it will negatively impact the use of the trail by wilderness hikers during the rest of the year. 

There is not yet a management plan for Mount Carleton Provincial Park. Yet, the government is deciding that motorized vehicles are allowed in the wildest parts of this wilderness park, setting a precedent from which it will be hard to back away. This is also not consistent with how wilderness zones are usually managed in this level of park across Canada and the US.

Time is of the essence!

Chainsaws could start operating along this trail by mid-October. Public opinion matters, and you can help get the government to halt this rushed development, and take the time to determine whether this plan should go ahead. 

CPAWS is recommending that the provincial government not move forward with this specific part of the larger snowmobile trail plan. Instead, government should take the time to assess the potential impacts with expert advice, undertake public and stakeholder consultations, and determine whether the side of Mount Carleton is an appropriate location for such a development.

Please take a few moments now to voice your views on this project to the Minister of the Department of Tourism, Heritage and Culture.

In your letter, you may want to consider the following:

Is this project appropriate for the province’s only wilderness provincial park? 

Creating a wider path through the forest canopy, and removing the canopy entirely in spots, is likely to cause faster rain runoff, further compacting the soil, and worsening an existing erosion problem on that trail.

How will the Department prevent the groomed trail from encouraging increased motorized vehicle access, and how will the Department make sure snowmobiles can’t continue up to the fragile mountain top?

Do you want this project to proceed? 

Related Resources

Read the official CPAWS New Brunswick news release on the proposal. 

Watch this CBC interview with our Executive Director, Roberta Clowater. 

Thank you for providing your thoughts.

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