B.C.'s logging roads provide access to some spectacular locations such as Mt. McCrae south of Revelstoke.

Logging road woes? Columbia River–Revelstoke MLA Macdonald says proposed changes flawed

MLA says proposed legislation that could shut down some resource roads (logging roads) is being pushed through without adequate consultation

Columbia River–Revelstoke MLA Norm Macdonald says proposed legislation that could shut down some resource roads (logging roads) is being pushed through without adequate consultation and is “poorly-written.” Here’s what he has to say in his MLA Report:

Upcoming Natural Resource Road Act could have unintended consequences

MLA Report, by Columbia River–Revelstoke MLA Norm Macdonald (NDP)

In 2008 the BC Liberals introduced to the BC Legislature a piece of legislation called the Resource Road Act. This legislation, which could have restricted your access to backcountry roads, was so contentious that the government was forced to withdraw it.

There is little doubt that reviewing the management of our backcountry roads is a worthwhile exercise. It is the responsibility of government to ensure that commonly held assets are managed properly for a range of values.

Last year, the government began a consultation process to develop a new Natural Resource Road Act and that public consultation occurred in November and December. Unfortunately, many of the stakeholders that should have been consulted feel that they were not given adequate opportunity to participate.

The government is proposing that the responsibility for use and maintenance of resource roads be transferred to private entities, usually the primary user of that road. While this may seem a logical way to reduce the burden of responsibility on government, it could restrict the use of that road by other current road users.

Rural residents rely on resource roads for access to recreational opportunities such as hunting, hiking, camping and fishing. Small resource industries and tourism operations also rely on these roads. Any changes to access and maintenance levels could have serious repercussions.

If your particular use of a resource road is not the primary use of that road, under this legislation, you could have your access restricted.

And if you have built a business on that road, and you are designated as the primary user, you could find that in order to ensure access you will have to lay out a large sum of money to maintain that road. You may also have to take on liability for that road.

I fully understand that we must take action to ensure that public money is not needlessly spent maintaining roads that rightfully should be abandoned. And I understand that there are some roads that likely should be decommissioned for environmental reasons.

But I also understand that some of these roads provide much needed recreation and business activity that communities in this part of the province rely on. Great care must be taken to ensure that all the values provided by these roads are considered, and to ensure that we do not hastily move towards a system that has serious unintended consequences.

I’ve heard from prospectors, hunters, backcountry operators, hikers, ATVers, woodlot operators and a host of others. They all say that management of resource roads is too important to be handled with improper consultation and poorly written legislation.

***

What do you think? Do you or an organization you’re involved with have problems with the proposed legislation? If so, what are your concerns?

Just Posted

The Valley Votes: Your election results

The results are in from the 2018 municipal election.

Live results for the Revelstoke municipal election

Watch here and on Facebook for live results

After being reported missing elderly woman in Revelstoke is found

Line went missing last night after experiencing symptoms of dementia. She was found alive and well this morning.

Revelstoke gets out to vote

City of Revelstoke say roughly 300 people voted this morning

Missing: Elderly woman in Revelstoke

The missing female is Alice Lines, a long-time resident of Revelstoke. She was last seen at 8 pm Friday night when she left her home.

Tommy Chong says cannabis legalization makes him proud to be a Canadian

Legendary marijuana advocate and comedian celebrates cultural milestone at Kelowna event

Prank pizzas delivered to B.C. mayor on election night

The fake orders happened throughout Victoria mayor’s re-election campaign

MLA to become Nanaimo’s next mayor, could weaken NDP’s grasp on power

Leonard Krog’s win will trigger a byelection when he gives up his provincial seat

Horvat nets OT winner as Canucks beat Bruins 2-1

Young Vancouver star had spirited scrap earlier in contest

Team Canada gold medal winners for first time in world curling championship

Team Canada earned gold in Kelowna at the 2018 Winn Rentals World Mixed Curling Championship

B.C. passenger caught smoking weed in a car issued $230 fine

Saanich police did a field sobriety test on the driver and deemed it safe for him to drive

Payette invites critics to ‘come and spend a few days’ with her

Governor General Julie Payette made her first official to B.C. back in March

More pot stores expected in B.C. in coming ‘weeks and months’: attorney general

Attorney General David Eby and Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth visited the new BC Cannabis Store in the province’s Interior

Telus launches charitable foundation to help vulnerable youth

The Telus Friendly Future Foundation complements other social initiatives by the company, including Mobility for Good

Most Read