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Skeena Stikine Forest District
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2.0 WORKSHOP RESULTS

2.1 Principles for Recreational Access Management

The following set of recreational access management principles were developed for the Bulkley portion of the Bulkley/Cassiar Forest District by the CMD Recreational Access User Sub-Committee at their September 28-29 workshop. These principles are intended to help guide decision-making with respect to the creation, management and deactivation of access used for recreational purposes. They can also assist in resolving access-related issues that may arise between recreational user groups, including the identification of areas where access restrictions may be necessary.

2.1.1 General

  1. Recreational users of all sports and disciplines have intrinsic rights to the responsible use of Crown lands to fulfill their recreational needs.
  2. Responsible recreation is a legitimate use of Crown lands and the public has a right to access recreational resources on Crown lands in the Bulkley/Cassiar Forest District, where it does not detrimentally affect the environment, endanger wildlife, or conflict with other specified land use objectives.
  3. Education about responsible recreation practices should occur through and between communities, individuals, groups, organizations and government interaction, using such mechanisms as licensing, public meetings, advertising, brochures, signs and formal training courses.
  4. Monitoring for responsible recreation use of Crown land is the responsibility of both government agencies and the public.

2.1.2 Access Management

  1. Except where land use objectives have established otherwise, roads will be permanently or semi-permanently deactivated. Deactivation will be well-advertised to the public and individual user groups will be notified directly. Landscape Unit plans will address strategic road access management and include an assessment and consideration of recreational objectives. Access management plans will follow the direction provided by the Landscape Unit plan. (This follows the intent of the original workshop principle, and specifies how agencies and industry will utilize the management direction from the RAMP.)

2.1.3 Commercial Recreation

  1. Commercial recreational ventures will not take precedence over, nor displace, the public recreationist.

2.1.4 Environmental Protection

  1. Where fish and wildlife habitat values are determined to be sensitive to access development and use, these sensitivities will be recognized in recreation development and management decisions.
  2. In areas identified for motorized recreational use, objectives for fish, wildlife and habitat values must still be met.
  3. Sensitive fish, wildlife and habitat values will provide direction when identifying motorized and non-motorized recreational areas.
  4. Sensitive ecosystems, such as, but not limited to, alpine, riparian~ wetlands and native grasslands, will be recognized as important resource values and access will be managed to avoid negative impacts on these areas. Travel through these sensitive ecosystems will be restricted to hard surface roads and trails. Where existing trails are negatively impacting a sensitive area or ecosystem, trails should be re-routed or upgraded.
  5. Lakes offering potential for wilderness recreation will remain without roads until completion of a district-wide lake classification that includes the setting of management objectives for these lakes.

2.1.5 Non-Motorized/Motorized Principles

  1. Motorized vehicles do not belong in some areas.
  2. Restrictions on motorized recreational use in some areas should be qualitatively balanced with~ assured motorized vehicle access in other areas.
  3. Planning must reflect that motorized use can have an impact on the ability non- motorized users to fulfill their recreational experiences in areas where both types of use occur concurrently; non-motorized use does not have the same potential effect on motorized users.
  4. Both motorized and non-motorized experiences should exist within a range of travel distances and settings, including urban, semi-primitive and primitive.
  5. Snowmobiles and other motorized vehicles must be registered and identifiable.

2.2 WINTER AND SUMMER RECREATION USE AREAS

The following tables, and the attached maps, represent the working group results with respect to proposed areas for motorized and non-motorized summer and winter, recreational access management.

Following each table are listed areas which will be dealt with in processes outside this, and reasoning for these decisions.

Comments from the Consensus Management Direction regarding each area considered are listed. As well, each area has been coded with one of the following designations:

MO (Motorized Use)

  • A motor vehicle is defined as any land vehicle intended to be self-propelled. that is designed primarily for travel on surfaces other than rails and includes any trailer or equipment designed to be attached to the vehicle.<
  • >
  • Users have security in knowing they will always have access to the area
  • There is community support in expanding infrastructure (cabins, trails etc.)
  • Non-motorized use is allowed

NM (Non- Motorized Use)

  • Users have security in knowing they will always have access to the area
  • There is community support in expanding infrastructure (cabins, trails etc.)
  • Motorized use NOT allowed

ND (Non-Designated)

  • Area is not designated for either of the above uses
  • Area is open to users from both groups
  • Designation could be made in a future planning processes (i.e. no security)
  • No structural expansion is allowed for either use until a future planning process decision i.e. "community recreation council"

UR (Unresolved)

  • Areas with high recreational use and conflicts between user groups.
  • The process has clearly identified a conflict between users exists in this area and there is no recommended solution
  • Options for solutions that have been discussed to no avail are listed

FP (Future Process)

  • Areas that will not be decided as part of this RAMP process as there are overriding environmental values or the intention to create a park.
  • Respective agencies will lead future processes to determine recreational access restrictions as part of Landscape Unit Plans.

2.2.1 Summer Use Areas

  • Directions from the Bulkley Land and Resource Management Plan, V 01.1 : Consensus Management Direction are in boldface
  • All other directions are from the advisory group
Area Management Directions Code
1 Upper Nilkitwa CMD: zoned SM1 FP
2 French Peak CMD: planning must be compatible with Babine Coordinated Access Management Plan
Note grizzly bear habitat.
Recognize motorized use.
MO
3 Seaton and Blunt Basins and Seaton Basin Road CMD: note grizzly bear and goat habitat
Note sensitive meadow complexes
NM
4 Boulder Creek Trail CMD: permit commercial backcountry recreation development.
Recognize dual use
MO
5 Corya Basin CMD: note grizzly bear and goat habitat
Management emphasis is to be on recreation.
Permit commercial backcountry recreational development.
Maintain and enhance linking trail systems.
Motorized use is not recommended in these higher elevations due to a high avalanche risk.
NM
6 Harold Price Meadows CMD: note sensitive meadow complex
No established hard pack trails. This area is too wet to traverse in summer without damage to the sensitive environment.
Recognize non-motorized use.
NM
7 Babine Mountain Recreation Area CMD: follow Parks Master Plan guidelines
Motorized use of roads and trails is to be recognized
As per Parks Master Plan; no motorized use is permitted in summer past park gates.
NM
Driftwood-Reiseter Driftwood-Reiseter: for this area follow the Memorandum of Understanding (between Parks Branch and the Ministry of Forests). A Park Master Plan must be done for this area. FP
8 Rocky ridge Road Recognize motorized use. MO
9 Passby Creek Trail Motorized use permitted on hard-packed road surface to trail head.
Non-motorized use only from trail-head to alpine.
MO/NM
10 Toboggan Creek Road Recognize multi-use designation
Motorized use is permitted to the pass only.
MO
11 Silvern Lakes Trail This is an existing horse and foot trail.
Recognize non-motorized use.
NM
12 Hudson Bay Mountain, Prairie and Crater Lake Recognize that non-motorized use of the area complimenents the intent of the commercial downhill ski tenure on Hudson Bay Mountain. NM
13 Hankin Lake and Hankin Lookout Trail CMD: Respect existing commercial recreation and guide-outfitter leases.
Motorized use on hard-packed trails only.
MO
14 Louise, Bud and Sandstone Lakes CMD: encourage low-impact, outdoor recreation and tourism in a natural setting, and respect existing commercial recreation and guide and outfitter leases.
These are possible candidates for wilderness lake classification.
NM
15 Northern Mulwain CMD: note that this area has sensitive terrain
Goat and grizzly bear potential in this area has not yet been assessed.
Note avalanche chute complexes at the Alder slide.
Consider low intensity recreation use and impacts
NM
16 Serb Creek CMD: note goat, grizzly, and fisheries values
Protect fisheries and grizzly bear populations
Note the high potential for wilderness experience
Access should stay primitive.
Note the fragile ecosystem (marsh/bog)
Recognize non-motorized use.
NM
FP
17 Sinclair Range CMD: recognize the high potential for recreational use by bikers and hikers NM
18 Winfield Creek Road/Microwave Trail CMD: recognize high recreation use by bikers and hikers.
Recognized dual use.
MO
19 Telkwa Pass Recognize motorized and non-motorized (bicycle) use. MO
20 Scallon Creek CMD: zoned SM1 (sensitive caribou and goat habitat)
Restrict motorized access.
Specific areas for restrictions will be identified by government agencies.
FP
21 Howson Creek Road/Mooseskin Johnny Lake Trail Specific areas for restrictions will be identified by government agencies. FP
22 Hankin Plateau and Hunter's Basin CMD: zoned SM1 (caribou population at risk)
Restrict motorized access.
Specific areas for restrictions will be identified by government agencies.
NM
FP
23 Hunter's Basin Trail and Hankin Plateau Trail CMD: no motorized use in the alpine except Ion hard-packed trails
Recognized motorized use on hard-packed trails only.
MO
24 Coffin Lake Roads Recognize multiple use MO
25 Woodmere/McKendrick Circle Recognize multiple use MO
26 McDowell Lake and Trail CMD: note that this area has backcountry recreation values
Recognize non-motorized use in the area ~currently without road access.
Motorized use is only permitted on the hard- packed road.
NM/MO
27 Call Lake This area provides an urban recreation opportunity.
Mountain bike and horse use are recognized.
Note: ATV use is permitted by the lease-holder in this area.
FP
29 Babine River CMD: Maintain the Class 1 angling status of the Babine River.
ATV use permitted on existing trails.
FP/MO

2.2.2 Winter Use Areas

Directions from the Bulkley Land and Resource Management Plan, V 01.1: Consensus Management Direction are in boldface

  • All other directions are from the advisory group
  • Definition of Winter Use: traveling on snow pack with snow machines, skis and snowshoes. This generally takes place from mid-November to mid-April.
  • All users may use areas designated as motorized (MO).
  • Trails and areas designated as non-motorized are not to be used for motorized activities (e.g. snowmobiling.)
  • An inventory of areas without current access and their suitability for various recreational activities is required for future designation.

The number of areas were reduced from the original workshop map as participant agreed to discuss areas high priority recreation areas that they were familiar with. As well, some areas were amalgamated with others.

Area Management Directions Code
1 Upper Nilkitwa River CMD: this area is zoned Special Management 1 (for wilderness and wildlife values); no permanent access is permitted. FP
2 Blunt Basin CMD: recognize identified grizzly bear and goat habitat.
Note: based on comments received by the public during the review period, there is no consensus on the designation of this area.
UR
3 Harold Price Cabin Meadows This highly valued recreation area is popular with both motorized and non-motorized users. Solutions to accommodate both groups include the following options:
The Meed Creek access to the cabin and the lower meadows is designated non-motorized.
Motorized access to the meadows is from 22 km on the Blunt Forest Service Road. Access to and from the cabin will follow a delineated corridor.
NOTE: Successfully accommodating both user groups is an ongoing process. See Section 2.2.3 for a detailed description.
UR
4 Babine Mountain Recreation Area This area (comprising the majority of the Babine Mountains Recreation Area) is designated non-motorized.
Trails include the following:
Grassy Mountain Lyon Creek Trail
Harvey Mt. Trail McCabe Trail
Danny Moore Trail Cronin Trail
Little Joe Lakes Trail Higgins Creek Trail
Hyland Basin Trail Victoria Basin Trail
Two Bridge (Reiseter) Trail Moricetown Babine Trail
 
NM
Driftwood-Reiseter Driftwood-Reiseter: for this area follow the Memorandum of Understanding (between Parks Branch and the Ministry of Forests). A Park Master Plan must be done for this area. FP
5 South Babine Recreation Area / The Onion Motorized access is limited to the Big Onion area, with access to Four Lakes and Cronin provided by ten permits each year.
These permits are only available to people who have undergone avalanche and wildlife training.
MO
(by permit)
6 Elliot, Owen and Passby Creeks Recognize this as an extreme skiing area which is not passable to snowmobiles or inexperienced users. NM
7 Canyon Creek Ski Trails (at 35 km on the Babine Lake Road.) Recognize moose, mule deer winter range.
Established BCFS Recreation Ski Trail-not track set or groomed.
NM
8 Dome Trail and Cabin Recognize motorized use and tenure. MO
9 Hudson Bay mountain Prairie / Crater Lake and the Peak Recognize the informal 1975 users agreement that conferred non-motorized status on Hudson Bay Mountain in exchange for snowmobile privileges on the Big Onion, Dome Mountain and the Microwave area. (See Appendix 2.)
Recognize that non-motorized use of the area compliments the intent of the commercial downhill ski tenure on Hudson Bay Mountain.
UR
10 Chris Dahlie and Pine Creek Ski Trails (in the Smithers Community Forest) CMD: Trails will be non-motorized.
Recognize ungulate winter range.
NM
11 Call Lake CMD: this high use recreation area has been recommended for Goal 2 PAS status. FP
12 Microwave Plateau CMD: Recognize high recreation use skiers and snowmobiles. MO
13 Serb Creek Low impact recreation is recommended for this area
Decisions must be made regarding the Class I and Class II River systems found in this area, and
all Crown land access to them.
FP
14 Sinclair Creek Recognize motorized use. MO
15 Scallon Creek and Starr Creek CMD: zoned SM1 (sensitive caribou and goat habitat)
Restrict motorized access.
Specific areas for restrictions will be identified by government agencies.
FP
16 Hunter's Basin and Hankin Plateau Caribou population rehabilitation planned for
this area may have an impact on recreational use.
FP
17 Ashman Ridge Recognized backcountry ski touring area. NM
18 Babine River CMD: Maintain the Class 1 angling status of the Babine River.
ATV use permitted on existing trails.
FP/MO

An attempt to summarize the results of the above designations in terms of experiences provided is shown in Appendix 4: Experience analysis for winter recreation.

2.2.3 Harold Price Cabin/Meadows

The Harold Price Cabin/Meadows areas is highly valued by motorized and non-motorized users. This area provides recreation opportunities to users of all skill levels and is easily accessible form Smithers, Moricetown and Hazelton. The period of public comment ending April 18, 1997 generated a significant amount of discussion on solutions to accommodate motorized and non-motorized users.

Further to this discussion, several meetings took place between Ministry of Forests staff and members of user groups. While the Harold Price cabin/meadows area remains unresolved, these meetings produced the following interim management guidance that will be implemented and built upon. Contributors to this interim solution included representatives form the following organizations: Bulkley Valley Backpackers, Smithers Snowmobile Association, Bulkley Valley Mountain Club and the Nine Mile Snowmobile Club.

Meed Creek Route
The Meed Creek Route is designated non-motorized. The Ministry of Forests will provide signs and a trail head for this non-motorized access. The ministry may provide plowing to the trail head as required.

Blunt Creek Route
The Blunt Creek Route is the recommended motorized access to the Harold Price cabin/meadows area. Signs and a trail head will be provided. A delineated corridor provides access to the cabin.

Meadow Creek Route
No signs will be provided along this route. Access by snowmobile is more difficult than by the Blunt Creek Route.

Lower Meadows
The meadows surrounding the cabin will be designated non-motorized with the exception of a delineated access corridor for motorized users.

The Public Cabin
A map and poster containing information on shared use of the meadows will be placed in the cabin. Guidelines for use of the public cabin will also be posted.

Future Solutions
A suggestion box with blank maps and forms will be placed inside the public cabin to solicit ideas on access corridors, designated crossing points, potential alternate cabin locations and other proposed solutions. User groups are encouraged to work cooperatively in order to generate constructive solutions that will minimize conflict between users. It is recognized by all parties that building consensus in the Harold Price requires discussion among users and future ideas will be proposed.

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