With the intent of consolidating resource road administration into one legislative act, rather than the eleven different laws at present, government has embarked on a process of consultation leading to drafting of legislation.
The government has stated its commitment to “sound environmental stewardship while improving industrial competitiveness, supporting rural economic sustainability and reducing the administrative cost borne by taxpayers.”
There are 3 phases to this project, which are described in detail in a March 2012 update Natural Resource Road Act Progress Report - March 2012. Now in Phase 2, working groups will help inform decisions made by government as this project moves along.
The third phase will involve drafting legislation including regulations, and until this is available, stakeholders will not know whether their legitimate concerns have been addressed.
We concur with the Association for Mineral Exploration British Columbia's belief that “Access to the land is a base value on which the province's mineral exploration sector relies on. AME BC fundamentally believes that all roads, especially resource roads, should be considered a public asset and therefore should be retained for the use by all British Columbians. AME BC believes that government should be developing stronger policies around road stabilization and limited liability, and that road deactivation should be undertaken only as a last resort. AME BC supports any efforts by government to provide additional information and opportunities for further review and input.”
We encourage you to read AME BC's Summary of Concerns.
cross country skiers
cross country skiers
We remain concerned that, if the legislation is not sensitive to the needs of resource industries, including mining exploration, and the myriad other recreational users, thousands of kilometers of our back roads will be deactivated and out of reach to all to all but well financed, affluent users.
The government has encouraged the development of wilderness tourism particularly in pine beetle damaged areas, and has attempted to slow down the closure of back country roads. We are hopeful the new legislation will continue in this direction.
Link to British Columbia Access website for more information