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 British Columbia - Mainland
 Logging Roads to be Privatized and tolled!!!
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fernwoodguy
Junior Member


Victoria, BC
Canada

185 Posts

 Posted - 04/24/2008 :  12:41 PM  Show Profile  Reply to this posting
The BC Liberal government has introduced Bill 30 RESOURCE ROAD ACT which under the guise of safety (being as they took away WCB's power to regulate logging road construction) and so they don't have to pay to keep them maintained (even though stumpage paid have more than paid for it in the past), will privatize every forest service road in the province through a new crown corporation. Industrial users, or those who win a contract to maintain the road, will be responsible for maintenance and will be able to collect tolls or sell permits for any other user, if they decide anyone else can use it.

This could and likely will curtail, restrict or outright block our ability to access the back country places we hold dear.

More info here: http://www.publiceyeonline.com/archives/003040.html

Express your outrage to Minister Coleman and Neufeld:
rich.coleman.mla@leg.bc.ca
richard.neufeld.mla@leg.bc.ca

The critic for Forest is Bob Simpson: bob.simpson.mla@leg.bc.ca
and you should let your MLA know your thoughts. Find their email here:
http://www.leg.bc.ca/mla/3-1-1.htm

guntis
Senior Member


Smurf Village, BC
Canada

1860 Posts

 Posted - 04/24/2008 :  12:58 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hmm, this could be an interesting debate. Technically, the logging companies built the road, so they will argue that they are entitled to some recovery on usage (if other users besides loggers want to use "their" road).

But that's about the only thing going for them.

The backcountry doesn't belong to them. And, they're also making big money on tree cutting, so really, the roads seem like more of a "cost of doing business". After all, theirs is not a "road-building business", is it? Restricting our access, therefore, seems criminal.

I would actually suggest that the logging companies should be held responsible to keep active logging roads safe. And they should be held liable if they don't do so. That's their cost of "renting" our land!

Edited by - guntis on 04/24/2008 1:00 PM
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Dru
Mountain Grammar Police

Sardonic sandbagging scoundrel, Cascade Climbers lobotomized spraymeister, space blanket flyer, new millennium vulgarian betaboy and friend to all squids

Climbing, a mountain
Canada

∞ Posts

 Posted - 04/24/2008 :  1:12 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Gee,talk about hysteria there fernwoodguy.

Calm down.

Read the Act yourself.

quote:
Section 11:

When compensation for use may be payable

11 A holder of a road authorization applicable to a resource road must not request or obtain money or any other benefit or compensation from any person using or wishing to use the resource road unless,

(a) in the case of a person using or wishing to use the resource road for a purpose that is not an industrial purpose, the regulations otherwise provide, or

(b) in the case of a person using or wishing to use the resource road for an industrial purpose,

(i) the money, benefit or compensation is sought in accordance with section 38 or 39, or

(ii) the regulations otherwise provide.


From:

http://www.leg.bc.ca/38th4th/1st_read/gov30-1.htm

That's a clear exemption for public recreational use, right in the Bill.

Speaking as a professional who is involved in building and deactivating these roads, the Bill is sorely needed. Right now there are conflicts between industrial users. Let me give you an example.

Forest Company A builds a logging road to do some logging.

Forest Company B and Mining Company C then use the road to access their own chart area/claim and rip the road up with heavy equipment but do no maintenance.

At the moment, Company A bears all the costs of construction and is responsible for all maintenance until deactivation. B and C get a free ride.

The purpose of this Bill is to ensure that costs and responsibilities for the road are shared equitably by different industrial users. We have needed a bill like this for years.

Edited by - Dru on 04/24/2008 1:14 PM

Marc
Advanced Member

map hatin', coffee perc totin', garbage collectin', backpacking, action hero wannabe, who loves to hide out in Garibaldi park and will have his scouts sing if you keep him awake at night


2709 Posts

 Posted - 04/24/2008 :  1:19 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I don't know about the rest of you but it makes me nervous when Dru is the voice of reason.

fernwoodguy
Junior Member


Victoria, BC
Canada

185 Posts

 Posted - 04/24/2008 :  1:26 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
It seems you are right on first reading but there is one more thing that is included in the section you quoted that could alter your interpretation:

(ii) the regulations otherwise provide.

The regulations aren't out yet and this could allow for the tolling...I think a response from the public that this won't be tolerated may prevent a regulation being created that would allow it.

I agree with the rest of your points, however there is one more concern, that is the fact roads that aren't being used by industrial users will have to be deactivated...bridges pulled out etc...

The record of this government is one that allows private users to collect cash from the public any way they can...pay parking in parks, for example.
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Dru
Mountain Grammar Police

Sardonic sandbagging scoundrel, Cascade Climbers lobotomized spraymeister, space blanket flyer, new millennium vulgarian betaboy and friend to all squids

Climbing, a mountain
Canada

∞ Posts

 Posted - 04/24/2008 :  1:37 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
there is one more concern, that is the fact roads that aren't being used by industrial users will have to be deactivated...bridges pulled out etc...


You probably didn't know this but this requirement has been enshrined in regulation since 1995. Frankly I am glad since it provides me with work and also since undeactivated roads lead to landslides as you can see looking across the valley in this shot to the undeactivated logging roads below Slesse.



One BIG benefit I see coming out of this new act is that it might be possible under certain conditions for groups like the FMCBC or The Land Conservancy to take over ownership of certain old logging roads that are important for mountain access and keep them maintained, thus keeping them open. And if you had to pay a toll to the FMCBC, say, of a couple of bucks to drive up to the back end of Ashlu, or Urquhart Creek, I'd probably even pay it.

guntis
Senior Member


Smurf Village, BC
Canada

1860 Posts

 Posted - 04/24/2008 :  2:00 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Damn, I should've read the act before commenting...

Backroader
Senior Member


Tumbler Ridge, BC
Canada

1365 Posts

 Posted - 04/24/2008 :  2:08 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Dru:

Where are you in that shot? I suppose I could puzzle it out (knowing that's Slesse), but I've haven't spent much time up in that area, so far easier to ask.

And is it accessible to someone who is merely a hiker and not a climber?
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darren
Administrator

Best grilled cheese maker ever

Whitehorse, YUKON
Canada

2212 Posts

 Posted - 04/24/2008 :  2:08 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Dru - 1
Everyone who thinks they know something about logging roads - 0

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Dru
Mountain Grammar Police

Sardonic sandbagging scoundrel, Cascade Climbers lobotomized spraymeister, space blanket flyer, new millennium vulgarian betaboy and friend to all squids

Climbing, a mountain
Canada

∞ Posts

 Posted - 04/24/2008 :  2:12 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Backroader

Dru:

Where are you in that shot? I suppose I could puzzle it out (knowing that's Slesse), but I've haven't spent much time up in that area, so far easier to ask.

And is it accessible to someone who is merely a hiker and not a climber?



That's the regular hiking trail up Rexford. No technical climbing ability required.

fernwoodguy
Junior Member


Victoria, BC
Canada

185 Posts

 Posted - 04/24/2008 :  2:25 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I do hope I'm wrong. But I don't have much faith in this government...

BergeW
New Member



56 Posts

 Posted - 04/24/2008 :  3:24 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
"Power to temporarily close resource road, restrict access or remove motor vehicles or animals
29 (1) In prescribed circumstances, the designated maintainer of a resource road or a prescribed person may, and, at any time, the authority may,

(a) temporarily close the resource road, or

(b) restrict persons from using the resource road for specified purposes or for specified activities."
http://www.leg.bc.ca/38th4th/1st_read/gov30-1.htm#part5div2

This language looks completely arbitrary, and subject to the self-serving abuse of any resource extractor hoping to deny independent observers from seeing what impact their activities are having on the environment, or for the public to recreate freely.

"The Resource Road Authority will have the powers of search and seizure and decisions of the Resource Road Authority can not be appealed to the Provincial Courts.

In other words, all commercial and industrial users, as well as non-commercial users alike (as proscribed by future regulation) will require a ‘resource road permit’."
http://www.publiceyeonline.com/archives/003040.html

If this is the case, recreationists will require a permit to travel resource roads, and the Resource Road Authority and its "delegated maintainers" can manufacture any arbitrary reason to close the road(s) and deny access to anyone they so choose.




Edited by - BergeW on 04/24/2008 3:25 PM
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cjb
Junior Member


Vancouver, British Columbia
Canada

432 Posts

 Posted - 04/24/2008 :  5:31 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by BergeW


29 (1) In prescribed circumstances, the designated maintainer of a resource road or a prescribed person may, and, at any time, the authority may,

(a) temporarily close the resource road, or

(b) restrict persons from using the resource road for specified purposes or for specified activities."


I'm no logging road guru like dru, but I suppose my English lit degree authorizes me to weigh in on language-based questions. I bolded a phrase above. "Prescribed circumstances" seems pretty clear to me; it indicates that there will be a LIST of circumstances somewhere else in the regs. Probably stuff like, "forest fire," or "cruise missile test," or the like. This is nothing new. In times of high fire danger the Squamish River road is always closed and gated by the "designated maintainer of [the] resource road" and no one jumps up and down or complains. The "prescribed circumstances" clause pretty much invalidates the "resource road operator can do whatever they want" argument advanced above.

I am no friend of Gordon Campbell or the BC Liberal Party, but some of the debate around this issue seems a little over-the-top to me.

Edited by - cjb on 04/24/2008 5:33 PM

brucew
Senior Member


North Vancouver, BC
Canada

1353 Posts

 Posted - 04/24/2008 :  6:38 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I am a friend to no government regardless who is at the helm. I guess if this does get the go ahead ,it just means I will have more areas to trespass in and on. That is what stealth mtb and hiking are all about.

KARVITK
Advanced Member

Happy go lucky, plaid wearin, postholin, safeway gaitor sportin, old-school film shootin, giver of many regards

Abbotsford, B.C.
Canada

15033 Posts

 Posted - 04/24/2008 :  8:10 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hmmm.... I don't like the phrase 'privatization', smacks of giving away responsibility wholly to the company or individuals holding the forest license and doing the road. ... Public should keep a small hold or interest in these matters.

K

BergeW
New Member



56 Posts

 Posted - 04/24/2008 :  8:19 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
"Prescribed circumstances" is exactly the language that gives the resource extractor the arbitrary, self-serving, subjective discretion to declare that today, the day you chose to drive 75Km inland to reach the trailhead, is coincidentally, bridge and culvert inspection day/week/month. And there's the matter of your time, and location specific road permit that you couldn't obtain because the Resource Road Permits office only operates during business hours, and you chose to depart on Sat. morning because the weather changed in your favour. Where are your papers, they demand?

The "designated maintainer's" duty is to serve and protect drivers from harm, and therefore must meticulously inspect each and every of the 109 culverts and bridges between you and your destination, so you are told. Toobad, so sorry, turn around, try another day, or be subject to a fine and or imprisonment.

Edited by - BergeW on 04/24/2008 9:49 PM
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Farmer
Advanced Member

Outward Bound author of the Seinfeld Thread, who builds his own snowshoes

Troy, MT
USA

3293 Posts

 Posted - 04/24/2008 :  8:40 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
they temporairily close the logging roads in woodlot in mpl ridge semi often too. usually when there is active logging taking place, so their drivers don't have to watch out for hikers and bikers. not everything the gov't does needs to be protested.
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cjb
Junior Member


Vancouver, British Columbia
Canada

432 Posts

 Posted - 04/24/2008 :  8:54 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by BergeW

"Prescribed circumstances" is exactly the language that gives the resource extractor the arbitrary, self-serving, subjective discretion to declare that today, the day you chose to drive 75Km inland to reach the trailhead, is coincidentally, bridge and culvert inspection day/week/month. And there's the matter of your time, and location specific road permit that you couldn't obtain because the Resource Road Permits office only operates during business hours, and you chose to depart on Sat. morning because the weather changed in your favour. Where are your papers, they ask?

The "designated maintainer's" duty is to serve and protect drivers from harm, and therefore must meticulously inspect each and every of the 109 culverts and bridges between you and your destination, so you are told. Toobad, so sorry, turn around, try another day, or be subject to a fine and or imprisonment.



If I want to get up certain roads up Harrison Lake, or in the Anderson River Range, I have to get a key from the "designated maintainer." I also have to accomodate myself to the posted hours when I can drive the road. These minor inconveniences don't seem like the basis for a David Icke-style Grand! Unified! Conspiracy! Theory! to me. Take a deep breath, would be my respectful advice.

If your last paragraph implies that ANY inconvenience you experience in getting to the trailhead is the "designated maintainer's" fault, I respectfully disagree. You have responsibilities to go with your rights, too. Your failure to plan even slightly in advance, or choice to depart on a whim, does not automatically constitute an emergency or conspiracy on the part of government, "designated maintainers," or your fellow outdoor enthusiasts.

Edited by - cjb on 04/24/2008 8:55 PM
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darrenbell
Advanced Member


Penhold, Alberta
Canada

2187 Posts

 Posted - 04/24/2008 :  9:30 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
A perfect example of what Dru mentions about numerous resource based companies using the same roads is occurring in the Tumbler Ridge area now. Oil & gas, Coal mining and Forestry all use the same circuit of roads and not just one should be held responsible for all the maintenance alone.
No doubt there will be closures from time to time, but as mentioned before, if you "plan" to enter an area just check out who is maintaining the road for closures. I would rather be barred from entering a forest fire area, or a H2S gas leak zone than deal with the alternatives.
Who knows.. perhaps there will be standards of maint.that go along with this bill.( I can always hope)

BergeW
New Member



56 Posts

 Posted - 04/24/2008 :  9:31 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
"Where are your papers?"

"Inspection of records held by others
58
(1) The authority may order a person who is not the holder of a road authorization applicable to a resource road to produce to the authority specified road authorization records applicable to the resource road that are in the person's possession or control."
http://www.leg.bc.ca/38th4th/1st_read/gov30-1.htm#section94

Don't go hiking without your papers or be subject to a fine and or imprisonment. It's now one of the ten essentials, displacing one survival item.


Edited by - BergeW on 04/24/2008 9:32 PM

BergeW
New Member



56 Posts

 Posted - 04/24/2008 :  9:40 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
"Step away from the vehicle!"

Inspection of motor vehicles
56
(1) The authority or a peace officer may

(a) require a person operating a motor vehicle to stop the motor vehicle, and

(b) carry out an inspection of the motor vehicle and any records required under this Act that are in the person's possession or control,

if the authority or peace officer has reasonable grounds to believe that the person is contravening or has contravened one or more provisions of this Act or the regulations."

Prepare to have your vehicle stopped, and searched at the completely arbitrary discretion of the Resource Road Authorities or delegates.


Edited by - BergeW on 04/24/2008 10:03 PM
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