Report Calls BC Resource Roads “an Asset and a Liability”
Prince George, B.C. – A new report by the Forest Practices Board has a stern message for Victoria – the provincial government’s information and management of our more than 600,000 km of resource roads remains inadequate.
“It is extremely difficult for the public and other users of resource roads to have any reliable idea of where roads are and whether they are accessible and safe for travel,” said board chair Tim Ryan. “Resource roads are a multi-billion public asset and a liability. Government is not managing them to ensure we maximize the positive benefits of public investment in road development and minimize the negative impacts roads can have.”
The report highlights three specific areas of concern: inventory, strategic management and operational issues.
It notes “much of this road network is not useable for industrial purposes and is in some state of deactivation,” adding “many of these roads present risks to the environment, fish and wildlife, and provide unintended public access in some areas.”
The report’s recommendations include:
A website that allows for collaborative editing of road location and status
Implementing the BC Forest Safety Ombudsman’s recommendation for a new public highway designation for resource roads that provide access to communities
Enabling the setting of objectives for access and public notice requirements
Policies and minor legislative amendments to address operational issues