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

What is wilderness?

A few years ago I asked a question on my Facebook page,… Continue reading

Glimpses of our past for Feb. 20

125 Years Ago: Kootenay Star, Feb. 24, 1894 A concert entertainment was… Continue reading

Stoked on Science: Deep in the Polar Vortex

Jade Harvey Special to the Review Sounds like science fiction doesn’t it?… Continue reading

Okanagan film industry brings in $32 million

Business is brisk in the Okanagan

Mermen calendar targets ‘toxic masculinity,’ raises big money for charities

Newfoundland and Labrador Beard and Moustache Club gave a cheque for more than $202,000 to Violence Prevention NL

Minister says plans to fight poverty, climate change, focus of B.C. budget

The NDP said in its throne speech last week that affordability will be the hallmark of its initiatives

UPDATED: ‘Violent’ B.C. man back in custody after Alberta arrest

Prince George man with ties to Vernon was being sought by police

After a week away, SNC-Lavalin questions await MPs returning to Parliament

Two have resigned already: Jody Wilson-Raybould was veterans affairs minister and Gerald Butts was Trudeau’s principal secretary

‘How did we get here?’: B.C. mom of transplant recipient worries about measles outbreaks

Addison, 7, cannot get a live vaccine because she has a heart transplant

Poverty coalition has high hopes for B.C. poverty reduction strategy

Funding allocation expected to be released with 2019 budget

Chanel: Iconic couturier Karl Lagerfeld has died

He spent virtually his entire career at luxury labels catering to the very wealthy

Interior Health on high alert for possible measles cases

No reports of the disease yet, but regular travel to the Coast could bring measles to the Interior

B.C. father and sons launch new trunk-sharing system, ‘Trunkit’

Smiths say peer-to-peer shipping service offers an affordable, green alternative

Most Read