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October 28, 2017 4:41 am

Report Calls BC Resource Roads “an Asset and a Liability”

Wednesday, April 22, 2015 @ 8:20 AM

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


Not too surprising. Look at the condition of the northern “highways”… If the govn’t can’t invest in a reliable network between northern cities despite the province being resource dependent, how could we expect our actual resource roads to be well maintained…
Who cares about our safety, Vancouver needs more mega bridges.

“how could we expect our actual resource roads to be well maintained…”

-You could lobby the government to spend $1500/km (this is the average cost to maintain forest roads, grading, bushing, culvert maintenacne.) to maintaine the 600,000 kms of road. Do the math and it ends up to be over 9 billion dollars. Or you can do some due dillegeanc to protect your own safety and not drive like a maniac on unmaintained roads.

Or you can do some due dillegeanc to protect your own safety and not drive like a maniac on unmaintained roads.


What? Take personal responsibility? Noooooooooo, we can’t have that! The government should be responsible for meeting all my needs and wants. :)

Good point North, and I bet its more. That could cover minimal maintenance, not bridges, stability failures, resurfacing.

I think the northern highways are more than fine. What is unreliable about our network?

Yes they used to maintain these roads, now they deactivate them. These roads were once kept open for quick access to forest fires and they way the bush dries up now they should keep main ones open.

Sorry, but leave them deactivated. It only takes an excavator an hour to fill in the slough. It keeps the people out of the bush.

“I think the northern highways are more than fine. What is unreliable about our network?”

We have the highest deaths per capita on our roads. I believe 16 people were killed along highway 16 in the matter of weeks in the 2013/14 winter. You’ve also apparently never traveled north of PG, where there are heaps of industry trucks moving around and about only 2 passing lanes in the 200+ kms to Mackenzie.

its a whole lot of extra headaches to keep them open, that this govt. isn’t willing too go to extra lengths to keep them all open. THEIR hidden agenda is to deny us access to the back country available to guide outfitter and a select few. THIS GOVT. is destroying B.C. morally, environmentally, prosperity, educationally and financially. THEY have not lived up to their billing one iota.

That’s an uninformed statement , as deactivation took place under the previous governments as well! If you want to get to the back country, do it the old fashioned way and walk or take a horse! Or quad out and ruin the nature you covet so much!

I agree with ICE. This is about deactivating more back country access. Once they take responsibility to maintain it, then they use that responsibility as the excuse to cut back on the roads they have to maintain.

We have a government that is made up of essentially pan handlers without so much as a college degree and they are beholden to their patrons for election campaign dollars making all sorts of back scratching deals with guide outfitters, oil and gas companies, and other resource related industry that don’t want prying eyes in their neck of the woods.

Its a privatization of sorts and goes part and parcel with the recent BC liberal efforts to bring wood lots to a new tenure system that effectively privatizes the land base making intimidation to public access very real.

That said more updated maps would be helpful in some circumstances. I took the the Tear Drop one summer up towards the back side of Carp Lake. The map I had showed a clear good road doing a full circle tour back to highway 97 at McLeod Lake.

I get way the heck back there and turns out on the home stretch it has a worn out road deactivation. I checked my map, and checked it again… sure enough this is no circle tour, but rather a dead end and deactivated road. I seen lots of ATV tracks on the deactivated road so proceeded thinking it must only be a couple of km into Carp Lake… it wasn’t much, but scratched the hell out of my truck in the process and I still get reminded of that damn faulty map and my failure to turn around every time when I wash my truck.

So ratings on some of these roads in the more remote areas would be helpful.

On the other side of the experience coin is touring the Canoil highway in the Yukon deep into the Mackenzie mountains. Its only maintained during the summer months, but the federal government does a fantastic job… speed limit on it is only 30km but you wouldn’t want to go any faster anyways with the pristine untouched scenery. Probably the best drive in all of Canada and you won’t see anyone for days… it like your the first people discovering this land. The look out camp spots every few kilometers are something else as the road takes the high ridge for the most part.

Maintenance on logging roads used to be performed by the license holder, has this changed?

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