[Trails and Recreation Facilities Guidebook Table of Contents]
Activities that DO NOT require consent of the district manager
Section 102 DOES NOT apply to basic public access or basic recreational use of Crown land. The following activities ARE NOT considered to be trail or recreation facility construction, rehabilitation or maintenance and DO NOT require the consent of the district manager before the activity may begin:
If you are uncertain whether or not your intended activity requires consent, please contact the nearest Forest Service office (see Appendix 1), or use the toll-free Enquiry BC line: (1-800-663-7867).
If your intended activity does not require consent, please proceed and enjoy yourself. Feel free to contact the nearest Forest Service office for information on public recreation opportunities, outdoor recreation etiquette or other assistance.
Activities that DO require consent of the district manager
Section 102 DOES apply to “trails” and “recreation facilities” as these terms would reasonably be interpreted and understood. The following activities ARE considered trail or recreation facility construction, rehabilitation or maintenance and DO require the consent of the district manager before the activity may begin:
- ground disturbance
- significant, continuous grubbing of the soil or rocks along a linear route to establish a visible, long-lasting treadway
- significant ground excavation for the purpose of parking vehicles, launching boats, etc.
- significant ground or root disturbance associated with corralling horses.
- clearing or cutting of vegetation
- significant, continuous uprooting of shrubs or understorey plants along a linear route or over an extended area
- cutting of standing trees.
- construction of structures
- water bars, stairs, bridges, signs, corrals, poles for hanging game, etc.
- other significant structures of a long-term or permanent nature.
Some other related activities that may be restricted or prohibited, but NOT under Section 102 are:
- uses within parks and other protected areas (see BC Parks)
- restricted or prohibited public recreation uses of Crown land, and recreation and non-recreation activities that threaten a protected recreation resource (see Section 105 of the Act)
- recreation activities authorized under other enactments, for example commercial backcountry recreation (see B.C. Lands’ interim commercial backcountry recreation policy)
- guiding, hunting, trapping or fishing, for example vehicle closures under the Wildlife Act (see BC Environment)
- construction or occupation of a building, including lodges, cabins and huts (see Section 99 of the Act and Section 56 of the Land Act)
- construction or modification of a road (see Section 58 of the Act)
- building of an excavated or bladed trail (see Section 68 of the Act)
- cutting of Crown timber (see Section 96 of the Act).
Preparing a proposal
Individuals or groups planning to construct, rehabilitate or maintain a trail or recreation facility must prepare a written proposal and submit it to the district manager of the appropriate forest district. If the proposed activity crosses forest district boundaries, the proposal should be submitted to the district manager of the forest district in which the largest portion of the proposed activity would take place, who will contact the adjacent districts on your behalf.
Before you begin a proposal please consider if the intended activity or facility is of a “commercial” or “exclusive” nature. As currently set out in a protocol agreement between the Forest Service and B.C. Lands:
- “commercial” means there is a “mandatory fee for use”
- “exclusive” means there is a membership requirement for use or a facility is locked with no key available to the public”.
In these cases, please contact B.C. Lands about their requirements under various authorities, including their interim commercial backcountry recreation policy.
A standard proposal form (see Appendix 2) is included to assist an applicant in preparing a proposal. The proposal should include:
- The name and address of the individual or group making the proposal.
For example: ABC Nordic Ski Club, Box 555, Snow Valley, B.C., V1A 1A2
Contact person: Sally Skier, phone: 365-5555
- The overall purpose of the proposed trail or recreation facility.
For example: The overall purpose of the proposal is to open up a new area for public recreation opportunities. The trails and/or facilities established will be of a non-commercial, non-exclusive nature.
- A brief description of the proposed work.
For example: Work will consist of constructing 15 km of cross-country ski trails. Existing, abandoned roads will be used for about 10 km, and new trails will be constructed for the remaining
- The location of the proposed work.
The most efficient way of establishing the location of the proposed work may depend upon whether the work is on an existing trail or facility, and on how well known the trail or facility is to the Forest Service. Proposals, therefore, can generally be broken into three categories as follows:
Established, status trail or recreation facility
If a trail or recreation facility is established and has undergone statusing (i.e., has been located, checked for interests, and entered in Forest Service records), then simply providing the name of the trail or facility may be sufficient to convey its location. The forest district office may be contacted to find out the extent to which the Forest Service knows about a trail or facility and has noted it in their records.
For example: The Alamo Recreation Trail as noted in Forest Service records.
Established, non-status trail or recreation facility
If a trail or recreation facility is established but has not undergone statusing and is not otherwise in Forest Service records, a map and brief description will likely be required to convey its location. The forest district office may be contacted for information and suggestions.
For example: The Ladybird Creek Trail is located on the west side of Ladybird Creek, commencing at the junction of Koch Creek and Ladybird Creek Forest Service roads to kilometre 16 on the Ladybird Creek Forest Service Road (map included).
New trail or recreation facility
If a trail or recreation facility is not established, a more detailed map and description will likely be required to convey an intended location. The forest district office may be contacted for information and suggestions.
- Expected dates on which the proposed work will begin and finish.
For example: Work is expected to begin in September 1995 and be completed by November 1995.
- Expected use, including:
- the kind of use (i.e., horse use, hiking, snowmobiling, cross-country skiing, motorized, non-motorized, beginner, advanced, general public, etc.)
- the season(s) of use (i.e. summer, winter, year round, etc.)
- the amount of use (i.e., estimated number of users per season or per year).
For example: The proposed ski trails will be developed at a level suitable for the beginner to intermediate cross-country skier. The trails will also be designed for hiking and horse use in the summer. It is estimated that the trails will receive about 3000 visitor days per year.
- Standards or other provisions to ensure that the trail or recreation facility will be safe, environmentally sound, and durable, given the purpose and expected use.
Note: The Forest Service has drawings and specifications for a number of structures that are available upon request and may help an applicant in preparing a proposal. Please contact the nearest Forest Service office.
For example: The proposed ski trails will be double laned to handle the expected traffic. They will be routed around the base of the avalanche run-out zone at km 6, and a foot-bridge will be built across the narrow V-shaped gully at km 10.
- Demonstration of capability and commitment to provide maintenance over the long term. This information is important because the Forest Service may have to close, or take over the management of, a trail or recreation facility in the event that an applicant is unable to follow through. Information about any previous projects or experience may be attached.
For Example: The ABC Nordic Ski Club has worked on many cooperative trail projects with the XYZ forest district and has actively maintained these trails over the five years since they were developed (see information attached).
- An identification of the actions or assistance being requested of the district manager. For example, a request for one or more of the following:
- consent to proceed with the proposal
- inclusion of the trail or recreation facility in the Forest Service recreation inventory
- establishment of a map notation. This would “flag” and interest in the trail or facility for consideration in the referral process
re-establishment of the trail or recreation facility after timber harvesting or other development activities
- cooperative management with the Forest Service of the trail or recreation facility. In this case, the trail or recreation facility would have to meet Forest Service standards
- inclusion of the trail or recreation facility on the Forest Service district recreation map. In this case, the trail or recreation facility would have to meet Forest Service standards and be intended and suitable for use by the full range of outdoor recreation users
- establishment (“designation”) of the trail or recreation facility as a Forest Service trail or site by the chief forester under Section 6 of the Act. This would require objectives to be set and enable certain regulations to apply
- protection of the trail or recreation facility from timber harvesting or other resource development
- other Forest Service assistance (e.g., general information, technical advice, equipment, financial assistance, or staff time).
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