New road rules benefit industry users

British Columbians are invited to comment on a policy project for better regulation of natural resource roads

VICTORIA – British Columbians are invited to comment on a policy project for better regulation of natural resource roads.

“Resource roads connect us to the various industries that produce jobs all over British Columbia,” said Steve Thomson, Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations. “The driving force behind this project is to improve consistency in how they are managed for the benefit of industrial users and commercial users, as well as the general public and communities.”

The Natural Resource Road Act Project aims to establish a single legislative framework for the use, construction, maintenance and management of resource roads. This simplified process will create certainty about rules and regulations, and provide consistency for all sectors and resource road users.

A discussion paper has been prepared to inform stakeholders and to encourage feedback on proposed principles and key policies for consideration. This discussion paper is available online at: www.for.gov.bc.ca/mof/nrra/

B.C. has an estimated 450,000 kilometers of resource roads. They include forest service roads, petroleum development roads, mineral exploration roads, industrial roads, road-permit roads, Land Act roads and special-use-permit roads.

Although resource roads are different from public highways, they also provide access to dozens of rural communities and isolated settlements.

Resource roads in B.C. are currently administered under 11 acts and associated regulations.

In addition to online feedback, face-to-face meetings will be held with stakeholders from a range of sectors. Submissions are being accepted until Thursday, Dec. 15 and will be used to help develop the Natural Resource Road Act.

– Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations