Growing demand for access to the wilds of BC has prompted the province to seek public input on the province’s seven-year-old trails strategy.
“The intent of the review is to ensure the continued relevance and importance of the trail strategy to First Nations, recreationists, communities, tourism proponents and the province as a whole,” the BC Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development said in a statement announcing the consultation.
The trails strategy acknowledges the significant agricultural impacts of recreational uses. One of the 22 key actions in the 2012 strategy was the development of “a ‘best practices’ approach to the stewardship of trails on, or adjacent to, agricultural and private lands.”
“A best practices guide for managing trails on private land will provide trail advocates with an effective set of tools to engage private land owners to win support for valued community trails,” the strategy notes.
The review is a chance for producers to provide feedback on how the relationship with users is going. Since 2012, efforts to expand right-to-roam privileges in BC have increased. BC Green Party MLA Andrew Weaver has introduced bills in the legislature aiming to entrench roaming rights in provincial statute. Meanwhile, recreational anglers fought and won the right to access lakes on Douglas Lake Ranch via Stoney Lake Road, which the ranch had contended was private property. BC Supreme Court determined that it was a public road.
Property owners can access the consultation at, [engage.gov.bc.ca/trailsstrategyreview]. The consultation ends February 28.