BC FOREST SERVICE ROAD MAINTENANCE POLICY OVERVIEW
May 29, 2002
The purpose of this document is to provide an overview of the Forest Service Road maintenance policy.
- Industrial Use Forest Service Roads (FSR) are roads that are owned and operated by the ministry, but maintenance is delegated to an industrial user.
- Public Use Forest Service Roads are roads which access a year-round residential area with its own Post Office, or either a school located within it or school bus route to or from it. Populated reserves are included in this definition. They do not include roads that provide access to seasonal cabins, isolated residences, commercial operations, parks, or recreation sites.
- Public Use Forest Service Road maintenance standards include user safety maintenance activities such as road surface maintenance and sight line brushing as well those activities required for the protection of the environment. User safety maintenance activities will be commensurate with the types of vehicles and pattern of use.
- Wilderness Forest Service Roads are roads that are not defined as public or industrial use and where the responsibility for maintenance is not transferred or funded on a user-pay basis. Provision of access is not a ministry priority on wilderness roads.
- Wilderness FSRs maintenance standards include those activities required for the protection of the environment, activities do not include surface maintenance or site line brushing. As such, only bridge repair and those maintenance projects required to mitigate environmental problems, like mass wasting or washouts, which may impact residential or worker safety, improvements, or natural resources, will be carried out. Wilderness road maintenance activities will include culvert and bridge removal, waterbars, partial or full pullback of side slopes and cross ditches. Washouts or road slumps may not be repaired.
- Other than for roads used by the ministry's Timber Sales Program, the ministry, will no longer maintain Forest Service roads with industrial use and, with few exceptions, will no longer maintain Forest Service roads for motor vehicle access where there is no industrial use.
- The Ministry of Forests will continue to maintain public use Forest Service roads until maintenance responsibility is determined (where there is an industrial user, maintenance may be shared).
- Where possible, and in conjunction with other forest management initiatives, all Forest Service roads with industrial use will be converted to Road Permits or other form of tenure.
- Forest Service roads that do not access communities but are used to access popular recreation areas, private property, or commercial operations will be transferred to another agency or organization or maintained commensurate with the level of use by the ministry on a user-pay basis.
- Where responsibility for Forest Service road maintenance is not transferred or funded on a user-pay basis, those roads will be maintained to the new "wilderness" road standard, or deactivated.
- Roads may be temporarily closed, using a barricade, where it would be difficult to provide for a reasonable level of user safety (due to the threat of landslides and other mass-wasting events).
- Roads may be permanently deactivated (including a physical barricade) where:
- it becomes apparent that necessary repair work on a closed road cannot be carried out;
- the road is located at the back end of a drainage (with little or no current use and no potential for expansion of access); or
- the cost of maintenance outweighs the cost of deactivation.
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