Ministry of Forests and Range Screwing Over Backroads Recreationists
May 30, 2010
The plan is to de-activate several roads of recreational importance in the Lillooet area. You can see a map of the proposed de-activated roads here: http://tinyurl.com/2cpmx6l The Ministry's reasoning includes these statements: "The deactivation would also reduce the risk of possible accidents as the road sections have not been used for commercial purposes in recent years, and parts of them may not be suitable for heavy vehicle traffic. The road deactivations would take place this year. The affected areas are accessible by other routes."
The reasoning is indicative of problems we, as motorized recreationists, have had with the Ministry of Forests and Range (MoFR) since, well, since forever.
First, the fact that a road hasn't been used for commercial purposes shouldn't make it a candidate for de-activation. We are fortunate to live in a province teeming with wilderness area, and forest service roads are the primary means of getting there. A road might no longer be used by logging companies, but there are still thousands of British Columbians who do use those roads.
Secondly, the fact that areas are accessible by other routes completely ignores the reason why outdoor-loving British Columbians use these roads in the first place. They allow us to escape the city, the crowds, and the modern world, so we can relax and enjoy the beauty of this province. Some of these roads have a historical value as well. Being able to follow in the cart tracks of settlers, miners and ranchers brings a sense of history that can't be had by driving along a paved highway. And those cart tracks are the kinds of trails we're losing access to when the MoFR starts de-activating forest service roads.
Every road we lose is one that won't be replaced. Oh, sure, logging companies will put in new roads, but they'll gate them as well, and try to de-activate them when they're finished using them. So we must fight to hold onto every forest service road that we can. Their proposed de-activations in the Lillooet area will shut us out of some very signicant trails. Don't let them do this without a fight. Especially with their slimy tactic of allowing only 21 days for public consultation. Act now!!
Send an email to Shane Stockwell at: Shane.Stockwell@gov.bc.ca immediately. Your participation counts, so don't slack off on this. Email him now.
You can read the information bulletin (PDF format) here: http://www2.news.gov.bc.ca/news_releases_2009-2013/2010FOR0066-000548.htm
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