People who build illegal trails face stiff penalties

It is illegal to cut down trees without permission, build unauthorized trails or construct unapproved recreational facilities on Crown land

Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations

VICTORIA – British Columbians who enjoy recreational activities in rural areas are reminded that it is illegal to cut down trees without permission, build unauthorized trails or construct unapproved recreational facilities on Crown land.

Government agencies, forestry licensees and local recreation groups work co-operatively to develop and maintain authorized trails to minimize negative impacts on the landscape.

Unauthorized trail construction may result in:

• soil erosion or soil compaction

• negative effects on water quality or water flow

• slope stability concerns

• negative impacts for other resource users

• safety and liability concerns, due to improperly built or maintained

• trails and structures

• the spread of invasive plants

• disruption of wildlife habitat or sensitive plant ecosystems

Natural Resource Officers regularly patrol Crown land and enforce provincial regulations, often acting on tips from the public. Failure to comply with applicable legislation may result in penalties of up to $10,000, remediation orders and/or prison terms of up to six months.

Members of the public are encouraged to call 1 877 952-7277 toll-free (or #7277 on a cellphone) to report illegal trails or suspicious activity. They can also report a suspected natural resource violation online by filling out a form at: www.for.gov.bc.ca/hen/nrv/report.htm

Individuals or groups wishing to construct or maintain a trail or other outdoor recreational facility must prepare a written proposal and obtain provincial approval before starting any such work. More information is available online at: www.sitesandtrailsbc.ca/partnering-with-us/managing-recreations-sites-and-trails.aspx

For more information about B.C.’s trail system or to apply for permission to construct a new trail, visit the Recreation Sites and Trails BC website at: www.sitesandtrailsbc.ca