British Columbia Ministry of Forests


Appendix 7: Guidelines for Uses Requiring Authorizing Uses at Recreation Sites and Trails

A7.1 Introduction
A7.2 Interpretation of Regulations
A7.3 The Application Process

A7.3.1 Sample: "Information Page and Application Form"

A7.4 The Review Process

A7.4.1 Initial Review
A7.4.2 The Evaluation of Applications
A7.4.3 Evaluation Checklist
A7.4.4 Preparation and Implementation of Agreements
A7.4.5 Sample: "Management Agreement"

A7.5 Glossary

A7.1  Introduction

Other Uses requiring 

The purpose of this appendix is to assist the public and Forest Service (FS) staff in meeting the requirements of the Forest Recreation Regulation regarding "other uses requiring authorization". Section 16 of the regulation (BC Reg 58/99) states "Unless authorized by a designated forest official, a person must not use 

(a) a recreation site, recreation trail, interpretive forest site or wilderness area for: 
(i) a competitive sporting event, or 
(ii) a business or industrial activity, or 


(b) a recreation site as: 
(i) part of a gathering of 15 or more persons, or 
(ii) a place of temporary residence while engaged in a business or industrial activity outside the site"

These guidelines outline direction for the:

  • application; 
  • review; and 
  • approval of a CSE within the boundaries of "established" FS sites and trails, including:
  • recreation sites or trails; 
  • interpretive forest sites; and
  • "designated" wilderness areas.

In accordance with the Ministry of Forests' 'recreation' mission statement, sites and trails "provide the opportunity for recreation experiences." Unauthorized uses of sites and trails, if not monitored and administered, may impede the ability of the general public to enjoy recreation opportunities the FS has to offer; they may also impact on the biological and recreation resources of an area. 

Section 16, Forest Recreation Regulation

Section 16 of the Forest Recreation Regulation (BC Reg 58/99) was established to aid FS staff in managing certain uses on sites and trails to ensure that they are compatible with the resources, structures, services, and other visitor use, and with the mission statement of the recreation program.

These guidelines:

What's inside these guidelines

  • clarify what activities require authorization by a designated forest official (DFO);
  • outline the process for a person to create and submit a proposal when seeking FS authorization;
  • explain the review process once the FS receives a proposal;
  • explain how a DFO will proceed with a decision to: 

a) authorize informally, authorize formally, or not authorize an applicants proposal 


b) how this decision will be communicated to the applicant;

  • outline implementation of the authorization and review FS options in the case of non-compliance.

These guidelines also provide a standard format for the following items:

  • application form and information sheet; 
  • a management agreement; and 
  • an evaluation checklist. 

(NOTE: these documents are provided for convenience only and may be amended or substituted).

There are two steps in determining whether an activity should be dealt with under Section 16, Forest Recreation Regulation. 

  1. First, consider whether the activity is proposed to take place on a site or trail. Section 16 does not apply outside of sites or trails (i.e., private lands, federal Crown lands, provincial parks and other protected areas, regional parks, or municipal lands), and the ministry only has one small wilderness area in 2000.
  2. Second, consider whether the activity requires authorization by a DFO.

Uses Requiring 

Section 16 is not meant to unduly inconvenience people wanting to hold "small" gatherings or events which are unlikely to:

  • impact biological or recreation resources of a site or trail; or 
  • restrict or impede other public recreation users from accessing the site or trail.

It is meant to provide the framework for proper management of "larger" groups and events, which have a higher probability of impacting site or trail facilities (in other words, the activity is of an "exclusive" nature).

Section 16 does not apply to basic public access or basic recreation use of Crown land, nor to gatherings or events taking place entirely outside of a site and trail. The following are examples of gatherings or events which do not require the consent of a DFO before the activity may begin:

  • birthday parties where informal competition is part of the festivities (e.g., a treasure hunt or three legged race);
  • an informal game that is part of the expected recreational experience (e.g., a fun game of Frisbee or beach volleyball); or
  • any spontaneous race or game where participants are acquainted, (e.g., a running challenge up a hill or to the end of a road).

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A7.2  Interpretation of the Regulations

Where Section 15 DOES apply

Section 16 does apply to activities, (e.g., any group activity or event that is "planned" or "organized" and may be of an "exclusive" nature), as this term would reasonably be interpreted and understood. The following are examples of activities which, if based out of or associated with a site or trail, may require the consent of a DFO before they may begin:

  • orienteering competitions;
  • cross-country running or skiing race;
  • national biathlon competition;
  • wind surfing competition;
  • kayaking competition;
  • mountain bike competition; or
  • international fly fishing derby.

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A7.3 The Application Process

Application Distribution

Districts may want to distribute application forms along with attached information pages to local organizations that may be likely to request FS approval under Section 16. Distributing information on the process will help maintain good relations with local recreation organizations. 

Regardless of pre-distribution, there are bound to be inquiries by the public about the hosting of events and activities. In these cases, the DFO must determine: 

a) whether the event/activity proposed is to take place on a site or trail; and 

b) whether the event/activity requires DFO authorization.

If the activity or event meets these criteria, and the DFO wishes to follow the 'formal' process as outlined in these procedures, the applicant should be faxed or mailed the following application form and attached information page clarifying the process and the criteria by which the FS will evaluate a completed application.

If the activity or event does not meet these criteria the DFO may still wish to provide verbal or written consent for the activity or event to occur.

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A7.3.1  Sample: "Information Page and Application Form"


Enclosed is information regarding the application for activities and events requiring authorization. Also included are the criteria by which the FS will evaluate a completed application.

Section 16 of the Forest Recreation Regulation, Forest Practices Code of British Columbia Act, is not meant to unduly inconvenience persons wanting to hold small gathering or events that are unlikely to have an impact on other public recreation users, biological and recreation resources, and the site or trail structures. The application and approval process for these types of events should be simple and swift.

Section 16 does, however, provide the framework for proper management of activities or events that have a higher likelihood of impacting upon the recreation and biological resources of the site or trail, and other public recreation users. These types of activities or events will inevitably require more time and effort to organize, plan and manage. The following should help any person understand the process.

Activities or events that will either be prohibited or restricted (i.e., approved with specific conditions) include activities that:

  • contravene any provincial laws, including the Forest Practices Code; 
  • contravene the established management objectives of the site or trail;
  • require the exclusion of the general public from a site or trail while the event is occurring;
  • include the sale of alcohol or overt commercial activity or selling;
  • could detract from the FS ability to provide safe, sanitary, socially acceptable and environmentally sound recreation opportunities;
  • in the opinion of the DFO, are likely to be offensive to a segment of the population;
  • could have a significant negative impact on adjacent landowners or businesses; and
  • have a significant potential for damage to recreation or biological resources or where the scale of the event exceeds the reasonable carrying capacity of the area.

Other issues that may be considered during the application process, include:

  • the applicant's commitment to post-event clean up;
  • the intention to maintain access to the general public during the event;
  • the existence of sufficient structures or the applicant's ability to supply them in adequate quantity (e.g., toilets, garbage cans);
  • confidence in the applicant's ability to manage the event responsibly;
  • past experiences between the applicant and the FS; and
  • the applicant indemnifying the province (wording provided by the FS) and the requirement to acquire insurance for the event.

To apply for hosting an activity or event, please complete the attached application and return it to the FS. Please contact your nearest FS Office for more information.

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Application for an Activity or Event Requiring Authorization

Name of Applicant 

Address: Business: 

Address:  Home: 

Phone Number: Business:                          Home:                           Fax: 

Associated Organization: 


Title of proposed event: 

Type of proposed event: 

Recreation Area Name and Proposed location(s): 

Have you, or your organization, ever obtained a management agreement from the BC Forest Service for the same or similar event?    checkbox Yes    checkbox  No

If so, please provide details here (or attached): 

Please attach the following to your application:

  • map (topographic map preferred) showing specific event boundaries and locations;
  • a statement detailing the nature and objectives of the proposed event;
  • the date and times when participants will be involved in organized events on site;
  • detailed schedule of all activities planned;
  • a statement of the number of participants in the event and the number of expected onlookers who might be attracted to the site because of the event;
  • letter of support from the organization associated with the event;
  • whether or not the organization has designated non-profit status;
  • any advertisements prepared for the event;
  • whether there will be liquor associated with the event and if so, in what capacity?;
  • statement of how adequate event security and safety, first aid, garbage and sewage disposal, and other maintenance activities will be managed;
  • statement that the nearest R.C.M.P. detachment and closest neighbours (if any) will be notified of the event and support the event;
  • statement of how the event will be advertised, include event sponsor names (if any);
  • estimate the event's impact on other public recreation users, other resource users, etc.;
  • a statement regarding proof of insurance coverage, if required; and
  • the approximate value of the prizes awarded and details, if any, regarding the commercial nature of the event

This application should be signed and sent to the forest district office that has jurisdiction over the area in which you are proposing to host the event. It must be received days/months prior to the scheduled date of the event.

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A7.4  The Review Process


A flow chart outlining the steps the DFO should take in processing an application for an activity or event requiring authorization


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A7.4.1  Initial Review


The FS will review any application for activities seeking authorization under section 16 of the regulation to ensure the activity will meet the requirements in the Act, the Forest Recreation Regulation, other provincial laws, and the evaluation criteria set out in these guidelines. The DFO will endeavour to notify the applicant promptly if the proposal is incomplete. The applicant should be notified by phone (or a letter will be mailed) within three (3) weeks from the time that processing is underway or that processing cannot continue without additional information.

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A7.4.2  Steps 2 and 3 - The Evaluation of Applications

The Checklist

To help FS staff evaluate applications for hosting activities requiring authorization, a checklist is included in A7.4.3. The list is not meant to be exhaustive, and can be added to by staff as necessary.

The checklist is designed so that "Yes" replies normally indicate no concern, while "No" replies generally indicate concerns that need to be addressed before the activity should be authorized. Issues of concern can become conditions of authorization. There is space on the bottom of the checklist to circle the recommendation and write in a rationale.

Notify Applicant

After evaluating the application, the DFO should notify the applicant in writing regarding:

  • whether the activity will be authorized; and
  • the rationale for the decision.

At this stage, the DFO's authorization may be conditional on the applicant's ability and willingness to:
a) supply a security deposit (if required); 
b) obtain adequate insurance coverage; and 
c) meet the terms and conditions of the Management Agreement.


If the applicant is having difficulty finding insurance, the DFO may want to provide a list of insurance companies that have provided similar insurance in the past. If unable to do so, the DFO may/should contact the Forest Practices Branch for an information list.

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Checklist for Evaluation Applications for Activities Requiring Authorization under Sec. 16 of the Forest Recreation Regulation




Not Sure


Meets goals and objectives of the recreation program:


R.C.M.P. support notified of proposed event





adequate safety and security measures





















Socially acceptable






no impact on neighbours





no alcohol





no commercial activity





access maintained





Environmentally sound

within carrying capacity





no resource damage





Meets goals and objectives of the site or trail:

Recreation Experience Objective





Feature Objective





Activity Objective





Access Objective





Interpretation Objective






not in violation of the Code





firewood supplied





confidence in applicant





willing and able to indemnify province





Decision: (indicate by circling 1, 2, or 3 below and providing rationale)

1. Activity is authorized

2. Activity is authorized
    with conditions

3. Activity is not authorized


DFO signature & Date

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Steps 4, 5 and 6 Preparation and Implementation of the Agreement Management Agreement

Management Agreement

The DFO may want to require that a management agreement (MA) be drafted and signed.

A sample MA is included in A7.4.5. For large activities, or those involving what may be considered "high-risk" activities, it is advisable to contact the Forest Practices Branch and work out the details of the MA with Legal Services, Attorney General and Risk Management Branch of the Ministry of Finance. The MA must be signed by the applicant and the DFO.


The DFO must decide how the MA will be implemented. It is advisable that the FS approve all signs the organizers intend to use (e.g., signs regarding rules and etiquette). Also, the FS may want to require the organizers to post a sign informing other users of the authorized activity, mentioning the location of alternate recreation sites in the area.


The extent to which compliance is monitored is up to the discretion of the DFO. At least one site visit should be made during the authorized activity, to ensure that the conditions of the MA are being adhered to. Another visit should be made after the activity is completed to evaluate cleanup. If there is non-compliance with the MA on the part of the applicant or the participants, the DFO can use the following tools to encourage compliance.

Verbal and Written Warnings

If when monitoring the event, the DFO observes non-compliance he or she may first talk to the MA holder to see if the problem can be rectified. If the non-compliance continues, the DFO may issue a written warning, which should contain information pertaining to the alleged contravention. Failure to heed the warning may lead to further action by the FS.

Termination of Event

The DFO has the authority to terminate the authorized activity if the conditions that led to its approval are not upheld at any time during the event.


The DFO may give warnings and ticket for offences as set out in the Forest Practices Code Act and regulations, and in accordance with ministry policy.

Failure to get an authorization

If a person has failed to get authorization to hold an event or activity, when that event or activity requires authorization under section 16, the DFO can discuss the requirement, issue a warning or a violation ticket under the authority of Section 16 of the Forest Recreation Regulation.

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Sample of a Forest Service Recreation Management Agreement

This Forest Recreation Site Management Agreement [enter agreement number] is issued under the authority of section 170 the Forest Practices Code of British Columbia Act.

SITE NAME: [enter recreation site name


represented by the Minister responsible for the Forest Practices Code of British Columbia Act (the "Province") at the following address:
Ministry of Forests
District Name, Address, Telephone and Fax.

Permitee's Name (the "Permittee") at the following address:
Permittee's Address




Subject to this Management Agreement and in consideration of the Permittee's convenants in it, the District Manager of the enter District name (the "District Manager") grants to the Permittee the right, during the term of this Agreement, to use or manage the Agreement Area within the Provincial forest for the following purpose:

enter purpose


The agreement area is the land outlined in bold black line on the map (Exhibit A datedXX) attached to this agreement, except land that is excluded in notations made on the map. 


Nothing in this agreement grants to the Permittee the exclusive use and occupancy of the agreement area. 


The Permittee must carry a copy of this Agreement when undertaking activities in the agreement area under this agreement.



The duration of this Agreement is for a term of (enter #) enter unit (e.g., days) commencing at enter time on enter date and ending at enter time on enter date.



The Permittee will indemnify and save harmless the Province, its servants, employees and agents against all losses, claims, damages, actions, costs and expenses that the Province, its servants, employees and agents may sustain, incur, suffer or be put to at any time arising, directly or indirectly, from any act or omission of the Permittee, its employees, agents, contractors, clients, invitees and licensees under this agreement, except for any liability arising from any independent, negligent act of the Province.


The Permittee will, during the term of this agreement, maintain and pay for, with insurers licensed in British Columbia, Comprehensive General Liability Insurance in an amount no less than enter amount inclusive per occurrence against personal injury, property damage and liability assumed under this contract. The Province is to be added as an insured under this policy and the policy must include a cross liability clause.


All insurance required to be maintained by the Permittee under this Agreement must be primary and not require may insurer of the Province to share or contribute to any loss.


The Permittee shall provide the Province with evidence of insurance, prior to commencement of the activity, in the form of completed Province of British Columbia Certificate of Insurance (enclosed.)


All policies of insurance required to be maintained by the Permittee under this Agreement must be endorsed with a requirement that the Province be provided 30 days prior written notice of cancellation of or a material change to the policy.


The Permittee waives all rights of recourse against the Province with regard to damage to the property of the Permittee.



An inspection of the management area will be completed by a Designated Forest Official, upon completion of the event, to assess whether the Permittee has met the conditions of this agreement. Inspections may also be conducted during the event. The Permittee may attend these inspections and the Permittee may be advised in writing (or verbally) by the Province of any conditions requiring correction to meet the terms and conditions of this agreement.



Nothing in this agreement will be considered to have been waived by the Province unless such waiver is in writing.


The Province will determine the need for sewage removal from the toilets and may assist in arranging the contract for work required.


The Permittee will perform the convenants and will observe the conditions, set out in the attached schedule.

Schedule        Management Agreement No. _____________

RE: 5.03 Covenants and Conditions:

The Permittee will perform the convenants and will observe the conditions, set out below:

  1. comply with all laws, bylaws, orders, directions, ordinances and regulations of any competent governmental authority in any way affecting the agreement area, the forest recreation site, its use and occupation or the Permittee's operation under this agreement.
  3. comply with all orders and directions made, verbally or in writing by a Designed Forest Official (as defined in the Forest Practices Code of British Columbia Act) relating to the Forest Service recreation site, this agreement or the agreement area.
  5. ensure that all event participants are familiar with:
    (a) the Forest Practices Code of British Columbia Act, Forest Recreation Regulations as they pertain to the use of Ministry of Forests recreation sites and trails.
    (b) the terms of this agreement as they affect public conduct in the agreement area.
  7. not sell or distribute alcohol to any event participants or other members of the public within the agreement area.
  9. not undertake the selling of any products or services within the agreement area during the term of this agreement.
  11. be responsible for maintaining the toilets in a clean and sanitary condition for the term of this agreement and for the provision of all required supplies to complete the toilet maintenance.
  13. be responsible for the cleanup of the agreement area and the removal of all garbage to an approved Regional District landfill and associated costs, as agreed upon between the Permittee and the Province.
  15. be responsible for the provision of firewood, if required, for the term of this agreement.
  17. submit a security deposit, if required, in the amount of enter amount to the Ministry of Forests. This may be in the form of a certified cheque or money order payable to the Minister of Finance and Corporate Relations.
  19. ensure that public access within or to the agreement area is not interfered with and that the activities of any other person is not interfered with in the Agreement area.
  21. as determined by the Province, pay for repairs to for any damage caused to the property of the Province by the Permittee, his employees, agents, clients, invitees, contractors and licensees. Repairs will be completed to the satisfaction of the Province.
  23. pay for the cost of having enter # outhouses/toilets on the agreement area pumped out and adequately disposal of sewage, by a sewage disposal firm. Costs will be paid in full by the Permittee (or shared on a 50/50 basis with the Province) to a maximum of enter amount.
  25. post adequate event safety rules and ensure adequate compliance their the use of paid or volunteer security personnel. Permittee is responsible for any associated costs from paid security.
  27. be aware of WCB regulations and shall ensure that any club members or contractors performing work under this Agreement shall abide by those regulations.
  29. no claim posts or mineral exploration markers in the area are to be removed or altered.
  31. all documents submitted to the Forest Service become property of the Crown, and as such, may be subject to the disclosure provisions of the Freedom of Information and Protection Act.


In this Management Agreement, unless the contract otherwise requires, the singular includes the plural and the masculine included the feminine, corporation and body politic.


The captions and headings contained in the Management Agreement are for convenience only and are not to be construed as defining or in any way limiting the scope or intent of the provisions of the agreement.


In this Management Agreement, a reference to an enactment of the Province of British Columbia or of Canada includes a reference to any subsequent enactment of like effect, and unless the contract otherwise requires, all statutes referred to in this agreement are enactments of the Province of British Columbia.


If any part of this Management Agreement is found to be illegal or unenforceable, that part will be considered separate and severable and the remaining parts will be enforceable to the fullest extent permitted by law

IN WITNESS WHERE OF the parties have dully executed this agreement.

Signed and Delivered on behalf of the Province by a duly authorized representative of the Province.

Duly Authorized Representative


Signed and Delivered on behalf of the Permittee by

Duly Authorized Representative


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A7.5  Glossary

Designated Forest Official


means a person employed in the Forest Service who is designated by name or title to be a designated forest official by the minister of that ministry for the purpose of a provision of the Forest Practices Code Act or the regulations that are set out in the designation.

Forest Service Recreation Site


means a recreation site established under Section 6 of the Forest Practices Code Act or designated under the Forest Act before coming into force of the Act.

Forest Service Recreation Trail


means a recreation trail established under Section 6 of the Forest Practices Code Act or designated under the Forest Act before the coming into force of the Act.

Forest Service Recreation Interpretive Forest Site

means in interpretive forest site established under Section 6 of the Forest Practices Code Act or designated under the Forest Act before the coming into force of the Act.

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