Sponsors: Regional District of Fraser-Fort George
NCLGA Executive Recommendation: Endorse
WHEREAS the Province of British Columbia promotes tourism and encourages the use of the variety of outdoor touring experiences available on British Columbia's Crown land base to stimulate rural job growth and the rural economy but many of these Crown land recreation areas are becoming more difficult to access or rendered inaccessible due to the closure or reduced maintenance of resource roads;
AND WHEREAS resource roads are also important for non-resource related agricultural, commercial and educational activities on public Crown lands as well as being important for emergency management access and evacuation purposes:
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT the NCLGA and UBCM lobby the Provincial Government to work with communities and stakeholders to identify key resource roads that are no longer required for industrial use and designate these roads as recreational roads that require provincial oversight and funding for ongoing maintenance in support of the back country recreation tourism industry and other critical agricultural, commercial, educational, and emergency uses.
The UBCM membership has not previously considered a resolution calling on the Province, with communities and other stakeholders, to support economic diversification by identifying “key resource roads … no longer required for industrial use and designate these roads as recreational,” thereby requiring provincial oversight and funding for ongoing maintenance.
UBCM would acknowledge that in 2008, the provincial government drew together a joint committee of cabinet ministers and UBCM representatives, chaired by the provincial government, to examine and make recommendations to improve the way that resource roads work for communities. Based on its findings, the joint committee released a staff report, “Resource Roads and Communities,” in 2010.
Summarized at a high level, the recommendations from “Resource Roads and Communities” in part propose that the provincial government should explore the following:
1. Adopt policy tenets that recognize the evolved role that resource roads play in our economy and society.
2. Within the larger resource road network, consider establishing a “High Public Use” class of resource road, and for such roads, develop a new funding model.
3. Without reducing environmental standards, minimize road deactivations, so that non-industrial users may realize the social and economic benefits of resource roads.
4. When necessary, to resolve serious conflict, apply the Corporate Results-Based Model for Access Management. The provincial government must balance these planning processes for all participants, with outcomes grounded fully in sound science.
5. For resource road management matters, establish a “one-window” platform for information exchange and dialogue between public, commercial, and resource industry stakeholders.
6. Encourage establishment of Industrial Road User Committees in all parts of the province. These committees would focus on developing locally appropriate, collaborative solutions to resource road issues, between and amongst industrial users and community users of resource roads.