British Columbia Ministry of Forests


Appendix 4 Non-Ministry Funding

A4.1 Introduction
A4.2 Management Agreements
A4.3 Cooperative Projects with Other Agencies
A4.4 Employment and Educational Programs
A4.5 Volunteer Works
A4.6 Other Funding Opportunities
A4.7 References

A4.1 Introduction

The MoF recreation program has come to rely heavily on non-Ministry funding.


The demand for recreation facilities and services and the need to protect recreation resources will generally exceed the available Ministry funding. There are, however, a variety of non-ministry funding sources which provide important opportunities for the Ministry to enhance the delivery of its recreation program. An important role for recreation staff, therefore, is to seek out these non-Ministry funding sources.

The role and responsibility of each MoF recreation staff person has become one of seeking out and initiating the use of a broad range of non-Ministry funding sources.

This appendix discusses the more common sources of non-Ministry funding for MoF recreation projects and activities.

Section A4.2 discusses non-Ministry funding through management agreements, including agreements with user groups and industry. These enable the MoF recreation program to provide a wide range of recreation facilities and services.

Section A4.3 discusses cooperative projects with other government agencies, such as the Ministry of Lands and Parks or the Ministry of Environment.

Section A4.4 examines the use of employment and educational programs, which are available to Ministry recreation staff.

Section A4.5 identifies the broad range of benefits provided by volunteer works.

Section A4.6 gives a brief overview of other opportunities for non-Ministry recreation funding.

Section A4.7 gives a list of cited and supplementary references.

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A4.2 Management Agreements


Management agreements are a commonly used source of non-Ministry funding. There are many kinds of these management agreements which can be used to provide for and/or maintain a recreation facility or service.

These agreements can range from simple written agreements with small clubs (for example, to "adopt" a trail for routine annual maintenance) to more complex agreements with larger non-profit groups (e.g., to build and maintain facilities and levy fee-for-service user fees for a network of cross-country ski trails).

Management agreements are generally drawn up between the MoF and a "user group" or between the MoF and industry (e.g., a forest company) as follows:

Management Agreements with User Groups

A user group may be defined as a group or association which is established under the authority of the Society Act (RSC 390), or a registered national or international service or fraternal organization. Examples of user groups are the Scouts, the Federation of Mountain Clubs of B.C., the Alpine Club, mountain and "dirt" bike groups, canoe and kayak clubs, anglers' organizations and cross-country ski clubs. Such user groups must in all cases be considered to be non-profit and engaged primarily in providing services to a general or specified community.

User groups may approach the Ministry about projects they may wish to initiate themselves.

However, user groups may not always be aware of the opportunities available to them to assist the Ministry in the various recreation projects needed in the province. Therefore, a list of "most needed" projects which the Ministry may not be able to fund can be developed by recreation staff and discussed with user groups to determine their interest. Groups involved in such projects often develop a sense of pride that their contribution will benefit others. In addition, user groups may be eligible for a variety of funds which are not normally available to the Ministry (Section A4.5).

General Considerations

Before the MoF enters into an agreement with a user group, a number of conditions and criteria must be carefully considered. In general terms, recreation staff must:

  • ensure that the proposed project is consistent with MoF plans, including IRM plans, as well as recreation plans (e.g., is a ski trail being proposed where timber harvesting is imminent and are there similar opportunities elsewhere?)
  • examine the implications of the proposed project on public recreation opportunities (e.g., is a user-fee facility being proposed in a strategic location which will block access to or diminish the enjoyment of recreation opportunities that are not found elsewhere in the region?)
  • ensure that minimum MoF structure standards (Appendix 2) are being met or exceeded (e.g., are liability and environmental considerations being addressed?)

In addition, it should be made clear that any facility built or service provided on Crown land, through such a management agreement between a user group and the MoF, will be regarded as an MoF facility and will be managed as a public facility (i.e., "no locks"). A management agreement, therefore, is an agreement about how and where a facility will be located, built and managed, not an agreement about who will use or own it.

In those cases where a user group is seeking exclusive use or ownership of a facility (such as a cabin or hut), they should be directed to the Ministry of Lands and Parks (MLP). In addition, all commercial and private recreation facilities are administered by MLP.

Specific Criteria and Procedures

Before entering into an agreement with a non-profit user group, the following criteria must be met and procedures followed as they would for any MoF recreation project:

  • status clearance must be given and a map reserve/notation established prior to commencement of any work (see Appendix 5)
  • the user group must be bona fide (i.e., incorporated under the Society Act)
  • normal referral processes must be followed (involving the ministries of Environment and Lands and Parks)
  • the projects must be given a 900 series file number
  • a development plan must be prepared identifying the locations of all facilities (Chapter 9 and Chapter 10)
  • signing must adhere to Ministry procedures and standards (see Appendix 6)
  • a commitment to a routine maintenance program must be secured

The Management Agreement

Wherever a cooperative project is undertaken with a user group, a written management agreement signed by both parties must be developed and should include the following:

  • a general description of the project (kinds of facilities and/or services to be provided)
  • the term of the agreement; (it may be open-ended or tied to a specific period)
  • a development plan of the site, including a description of the map reserve/notation area
  • an outline of the conditions of the agreement, including specific responsibilities of each of the parties with respect to the area's management
  • the liability considerations of each of the parties to the agreement (see below)
  • the identity of the contact person in the Ministry of Forests and in the user group

There may be an appendix to the agreement in the form of a Letter of Authorization for specific works, such as cabin/shelter construction or improvements to existing structures or sites. The Letter of Authorization should be tied to a specific period of time. Examples of such management agreements are available from Recreation Branch.


The Ministry of Forests is usually responsible for liability on all facilities that are open to the public and managed in cooperation with a user group.

This obligation of liability flows from both the general Common Law and a statutory duty under the Occupiers Liability Act. This act defines the "...duty of care owed to persons, such as invitees (visitors), licensees and trespassers where such persons suffer injuries on the premises of an occupier. When an occupier knows or ought to know that such an individual is on his premises where there is danger, then he is to take such care as in all the circumstances of the case are reasonable to see that such persons will be reasonably safe from that danger." It is the Common Law which determines what constitutes "reasonableness" within the context of each situation and its surrounding circumstances. For example, there must be compliance with fire marshall regulations pertaining to wood-burning stoves, and cabins must have adequate roof designs for snow loads.

The Ministry may, therefore, require that a user group take out its own insurance policy in which the Crown is a "named insured," or otherwise to "indemnify and save [the Crown] harmless for any injury, death, loss or property damage occurring on the site as a result of the society's activities or workmanship."

The insurance costs incurred by the user group may be offset by appropriate user fees. However, the costs of an insurance policy of this kind may be prohibitive for many user groups, particularly where no fee is charged. In these instances, the Ministry will have to make the decision either to incur the liability itself or not participate in the project.

Management Agreements with Industry

The private sector, particularly the forest and tourism industries, has an interest in the recreational use of Provincial Forests. As with user groups, industry may approach the Ministry regarding projects they may wish to initiate.

The general considerations, specific criteria and procedures and liability issues as discussed above for management agreements with user groups also apply to management agreements with industry.

In the case of the forest industry, all recreation projects to be carried out on Provincial Forest lands must be identified and approved as part of an approved management plan (e.g., TFL Management and Working Plan, 5-year Timber Development Plan). In these cases, the approved management plan can serve as the management agreement.

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A4.3 Cooperative Project with Other Agencies


The Ministry of Forests is only one of several government agencies involved in protecting or providing outdoor recreation opportunities on Crown lands (Section 1.1).

The MoF is only one of many agencies involved in recreation management. This affords both the opportunity and the need for cooperative, multi-agency recreation projects.


This multi-agency approach to outdoor recreation on Crown lands in B.C. affords an opportunity for MoF recreation staff to cooperate and cost-share in projects of mutual benefit. The role of recreation staff is to determine when these opportunities are feasible and to discuss them with the appropriate staff in the other recreation agencies.

Examples of projects which could be undertaken in cooperation with other agencies include:

  • development of recreation sites and wildlife viewing installations with the Ministry of Environment
  • development of brochures to highlight important fish, wildlife, heritage or commercial recreation and tourism resources in specific areas within Provincial Forests
  • development or maintenance of trails (with the appropriate signing) that traverse Provincial Forests and federal and provincial parks
  • development of recreation opportunity spectrum (ROS) objectives and backcountry recreation strategies with other agencies

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A4.4 Employment and Educational Programs


Each year there are specific government-sponsored employment and educational programs which can be accessed by Ministry staff for recreation projects. Examples include the Environmental Youth Corps Program and the Student Co-op Program.

The Outdoor Recreation Foundation of British Columbia is a major contractor for the Youth Corps Program and should be contacted about eligible projects.

"Job creation" programs are a major source of funding for the MoF recreation program.


Over the years, these "job creation" programs have represented a major source of funding for the MoF recreation program. For example, in 1987/88, there were $1,300,000 in expenditures for the recreation program through the Forestry Job Trac Program.

Recreation staff should keep abreast of these programs and how to use them.


Use of these programs sometimes entails some administrative difficulties which must be dealt with. These include:

  • keeping informed of the programs that are available, and the frequent changes in programs from year to year
  • learning the administrative procedures that are often specific to each program
  • accommodating the eligibility requirements and other conditions that are attached to each program
  • planning for the uncertainty and variability in the availability of programs and funds from year to year

These programs often require non-government sponsorship. Recreation staff, therefore, should work closely with non-government organizations in the community which would be willing to assist in sponsoring these projects.

Recreation staff should also maintain contact with nearby educational institutions (universities, colleges, secondary schools, etc.) to determine opportunities for and encourage their assistance on recreation projects that would provide rewarding and educational experiences.

Correctional institutions also often have educational or employment programs that can be used for outdoor recreation projects, as has occurred frequently for silvicultural projects.

A4.5 Volunteer Works

Volunteers are an important resource for the recreation manager.

A number of projects may attract volunteers who are willing to assist for free, either because of their interest in the project or their desire to gain worthwhile work experience, or both.

The use of volunteers should be discussed with Finance and Administration staff to ensure that issues, such as liability, union agreements, and the use of government facilities and vehicles, are addressed.

A letter of agreement or "contract" should be prepared and signed by both recreation staff and the volunteer (or volunteer organization) to cover any volunteer work carried out. The letter or contract should identify the duties to be performed, acknowledge that the volunteer(s) are covered by the Ministry for liability and include other related information.

In many instances, volunteer works can represent a major source of non-Ministry funding. For example, in the lower mainland area the majority of hiking trails on Provincial Forests are constructed and maintained by volunteer works, primarily sponsored by the Federation of Mountain Clubs of B.C. Also, some forest companies construct and maintain, at their own expense, recreation sites and trails, wildlife viewing tour routes and other facilities within their licence areas.

Volunteer works also span a wide range of projects. For example, in addition to the more traditional construction and maintenance of recreation facilities, volunteer works can also include:

  • participation on planning teams and review of management plans
  • provision of information for recreation inventory update
  • assistance in enforcement of MoF policy, rules and regulations (e.g., Dirtco/Off-road Security Patrol)
  • collection of recreation site and trail and backcountry use statistics
  • live-in recreation site and trail caretakers and hosts

As the Ministry's wilderness program develops, it can be expected that the Ministry may come to rely heavily on volunteer works for a number of aspects of wilderness management (e.g., backcountry wardens).

Two key aspects of success in working with volunteers are motivation and reward.

Some volunteers are seeking much needed experience or training for future employment. Other volunteers, such as retired persons, may not be interested in future employment, but want the satisfaction of feeling that they are providing a valuable service to the public. Therefore, the service required by the Ministry and the motivation of the volunteer need to be clearly identified and understood.

Volunteers can be rewarded for their works in a number of ways. Letters of Recommendation for possible future employers can be written to reward successful volunteer work. The Ministry of Lands and Parks (Parks Branch) has a reward program that uses Certificates of Appreciation and progressive (2-, 5-, 10-year) pins. In other cases, the work experience or satisfaction are in themselves reward enough.

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A4.6 Other Funding Opportunities


There are many other opportunities for non-Ministry funding or management assistance in the protection of recreation resources and the management of their use.

A few of the growing number of organizations or funding sources which may provide assistance are:

  • The Habitat Conservation Fund and Public Conservation Assistance Fund, administered by the Ministry of Environment
  • The Nature Trust of Canada
  • Ducks Unlimited
  • The World Wildlife Fund of Canada
  • The Canadian Heritage Rivers System (Environment Canada)
  • The Forest Resource Development Agreement (FRDA) (e.g., Green Gold Grants)
  • The Outdoor Recreation Foundation (ORF)
  • The Environmental Partners Fund (Environment Canada)
  • The Tourism Industry Development Subsidiary Agreement (TIDSA)

The above organizations or funding sources give an indication of the general kinds of recreation projects which might be suitable or eligible to receive support through other funding opportunities.

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A4.7 References

Cited References

Society Act (RSC 390)

Occupiers Liability Act

Supplementary References