Chilliwack Recreation Advisory Group Meeting Notes from March 20, 2017
(Chilliwack Resource District Office on Airport Road in Chilliwack)
Attending: Tom Blackbird (Chilliwack Resource District Recreation Officer), Cathy Ross (Chilliwack Resource District Recreation Technician), Neil Hawkings (DSBC), Ryan Thom (BMMC), Doug Storozinski (CRVC), Doug Young (BMMC), Rose Schroeder (BCHBC), Mike Overhoff (DSBC), Ken Hurley (COC), Peter Friesen (DSBC), David Oliver (LMR-BCWF),Jeff Franchuk (FVDRA), Kim Reeves (4WDABC), Jacquie Horn (OATVC), Steve Pederson (FVDRA), Jack Bryceland (FMCBC), Elmer Niezen (CSC), Ernie Kliever (FVMBA), Leon Lebrun (TBC), Tom Addlington (EMM), Karin Smith (BCHBC), Bruce Leddingham (SWATT), Wayne Furness (Agreement Holder Chwk RV), Brian Romak (CSC), Brian Dick (CORMC), Dwight Harris (GVMC), Meghan Jackson (FVRD), Josh Morneau (4WDABC), Susan Federspiel (CRVC)
Note – that a premeeting was held from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. with current attendees to CRAG re: discuss the future of the CRAG group and some of the issues facing us and RSTBC.
Meeting called to Order – by Tom B at 7:05
Agenda – sole agenda of this meeting was to discuss Section 56 and Section 57 definitions, requirements and status of already submitted ones. We will also discuss how/when Road Maintenance Agreements apply.
Section 56 – trail or rec site is legally established with Front Counter BC. This means that stakeholders will be contacted when there is any tenure applied, RSTBC standards can be applied, partnership agreements can be entered into, there is an insurance policy for volunteers, RSTBC can apply funds to projects.
Section 57 – permission/approval to build or maintain a trail, no provincial insurance, no provincial funds likely to be spent on it. Intent of a 57 is to lead to a 56? Clubs/groups may, of course, have their own insurance which is effective when doing trail work.
Application process and timeline concern – when using the TEST document (with the gps track) for an application there are hidden layers to which the the general public does not have access. General public only has access to an overview. These ‘hidden’ layer only come up once the 56 application has been submitted to Front Counter BC (FCBC). This is where the ‘show stoppers’ could appear and yet the volunteer group has already put in a huge amount of work to get to this point only to be turned down. Is there a way that the track could be checked for hidden layers BEFORE all the preliminary work has been done? Tom agreed that there is a possibility to send the track up to the single GIS person that does this for all of BC to have a quick look. Also, a contractor hired to develop a S56 or 57 cannot get access to these layers either. Only gov’t has access to all layers. Usually areas of concern have a buffer around them so that the specific location is not pinpointed. ACTION: Tom will confirm that he can run a quick GIS on applications once GPS info is available to look for show stoppers.
Previous S56 applications – there are some applications that were sent in or were in the process before the TEST document was introduced. Is it a requirement for these as well? Tom confirmed from this point on the TEST document has been accepted by the South Coast Region. Any new S56 and 57 applications since the TEST Workshop will need to use it and include it. Shuswap Trails Alliance and RSTBC have been working on this TEST document for a while and have worked out most of the glitches. If you find any glitches let Tom know. It is anticipated that within a year all of BC will be using it. The current document has not been changed. The time-line that Cathy has developed will eventually be included and all this will eventually be on the RSTBC website. Right now it is on the Shuswap Trails Alliance website.
Volunteer Efforts – Question: is it reasonable to ask volunteers to have to fill something like this out? It is quite onerous and you need computer skills. Its another task we have to do, along with all the other paperwork as well as
Volunteering out time, tools, fuel and costs of courses to be qualified to work on the trails. All agreed that Chwk Dist RSTBC office has been helpful in providing courses for volunteers.
Liability – most of the Clubs had general liability of $2-5 mil. Would non-established trails (those without S56or 57) magnify the cost of insurance? Some clubs report having to pay by the km. Being a manager of a trail creates a different status with insurance agencies? ACTION: Tom will look into sending the Gov’t insurance policy to Jack B for CRAG members for review. We discussed a recent Supreme Court ruling on a mtn bike injury case in Ontario. The standards and classifications of the trail were found to be inconsistent with provincial standards. PTAB is currently working on BC Standards that will be used by RSTBC, BCParks and user groups. This will show we are trying to reduce the risk.
Partnership Agreements – Obtaining a S56 and signing a Volunteer Partnership Agreement is making volunteer groups feel like employees of RSTBC. What happens if there is no one to continue with an agreement? Tom confirmed that the S56 can be taken off the trail and the signed agreement can be cancelled with 60 days’ notice in writing, in most cases. The Forest & Range Practices Act (FRPA) states that establishment can be removed by the Minister or Assistant Deputy Minister.
RSTBC will always try to find someone to take over maintenance in these cases. Dual management like this (RSTBC and volunteer group) has the best benefit to the public as it allows RSTBC to help. Partnership agreements need to file an AOP (annual operating plan) and a Yearly Summary of the work done. This helps RSTBC focus and help by targeting resources on projects needed.
Priorities on Tenures – concern that Industry concerns rank first, First Nations next and Recreation last. Why would either Industry or FN agree to a S56. Tom stated that first off concerns have to be justifiable. A legally established trail would ensure that any stakeholder is consulted when a tenure is predicted to happen. Then there is time for discussion so that there is minimum impact to trails for instance. There is a legal requirement for industry to rectify any impacts they make to an already established trail.
Using Existing Old Roadbeds – is there a benefit to doing a S56 on these? Tom advised that the only time a group would need a S56 is if it is used for winter sports. Otherwise a group should talk to Engineering and look at developing a Road Maintenance Agreement. In this case an FSR is an FST whether it is status or non-status (it still has the potential to become a road in the future). SWATT has spent a lot of time producing S56 and S57 when they should have been RMA’s. We discussed when is there a need to obtain an RMA: if you are going to impact the shoulders of the road, how water crosses a road…the engineering of the road that keeps it stable, then you need one. If you are just brushing small stuff back without impacting the engineering of the road you don’t. There has been a big change in these agreements in that they are no longer for life but can be made for a short time for the work to be done and then cancelled if signed off by a qualified person.
Large or Small Polygons – FVDRA asked if using a large or small polygon over a network of trails would be more beneficial when developing a S56 application? Tom advised that large ones can eliminate the ability to hunt or may then include a watershed or other issues that would make it unlikely to succeed. The more user groups or tenures you impact the less successful you may be.
Complexity of Applications – most non-profits do not have the time, skills or resources necessary to fill out these applications. PTAB is looking at streamlining the process. There are qualified people that can be hired to do them if you have the funds. Our BC process is minor compared to what they have to do in some of the States. PTAB is also looking at building a list of funding agencies and at building trail standards. As well they are working on a policy for use of Mtn bikes in the alpine. No other place in the world has that. Note: an RFP (request for proposal) has gone out to find qualified trail builders.
Squirrel Catchers – definition: a technical feature at the beginning of a trail to keep out users that are not experienced enough for the complexity of the trail.
Recreation Zones – a new idea trying to focus resources into areas where they will be the most beneficial to the most users. Question: how much impact does recreation have compared to industry or mother nature? Implementing standards for all uses will help mitigate some of this.
NRRA – will it restrict recreation use? Still in draft form. Stalled by the upcoming election. Might be done in 2018?
There is not much info available but the original draft should still be. There should be another round of consultation before its done.
Aesthetic Areas – can you get an area designated for protection? Called a Visual Quality Index. It is applied from the bottom (say a valley) looking up not from a scenic high point looking out. Forest Development plans might recognize and identify them.
Responses to Questions – challenging for groups to get responses to questions. RSTBC is trying to set timelines on the process of S56 and 57’s to help rectify this. Would rather sit down with groups as a whole rather than individually to accomplish this. Suggestion to designate a short period before the monthly CRAG meeting to meet with Tom and Cathy to get questions answered. Tom agreed to this and suggested that anyone with questions that wants to meet before the CRAG meeting should contact both him and Cathy both a week ahead of time. A week ahead is also a good time to send them agenda items.
Section 56 and 57 Application Information – we discussed how to formalize the applications once FCBC receives it so it cannot get lost in the system. Once FCBC receives it there will be a file# attached to it.
Letters of Understanding – have been issued to those groups that have submitted their info. No show stoppers so far. Tom will be meeting with them soon.
Meeting adjourned at 8:35 p.m.
AIA – Archeological Impact Assessment
CFD – Chilliwack Forest District
CO – Conservation Officer
CRV – Chilliwack River Valley
CVRA – Chwk Valley Ratepayers Assoc
DRO – District Recreation Officer
EIA – Environmental Impact Assessment
FCBC – Front Counter BC
FRR – Forest Recreation Regulation
FSP – Forest Service Plan
FSR – Forest Service Road
FVRD – Fraser Valley Regional Dist
NRO – Natural Resource Office
NRRA – Natural Resource Roads Act
NSR – Not Satisfactorily Restocked
ORV – Off Road Vehicle
PTAB – Provincial Trails Advisory Body
RMA – Road Maintenance Agreement
RSTBC – Recreation Sites & Trails BC
Branch of the Ministry of Forests, Lands
& Natural Resource Operations (FLNRO)
RT – Recreation Technician
SEEC – Skagit Environmental Endowment Commission
WHA – Wildlife Habitat Area
YWD – Yarrow Waterworks District
4WDABC – 4 Wheel Drive Assoc of BC
ATVBC – Quad Riders Assoc of BC
BCHBC – Back Country Horsemen of BC
BCORMA – BC Off-road Motorcycle Assoc
BCSF – BC Speleological Federation
BCWF – BC Wildlife Federation
BMMC – Blue Mtn Motorcycle Club
BMTS – Bear Mtn Trails Society
CKBC – Canoe Kayak BC
COC – Chilliwack Outdoor Club
CRVC – Chilliwack River Valley Cavers
CSC – Chilliwack Snowmobile Club
DSBC – Dual Sport BC
EMM – Eagle Mountain Moto
FMC – Federation of Mtn Clubs
FVDRA – Fraser Valley Dirt Riders Assoc
FVMBA – Fraser Valley Mtn Bike Assoc
GVMC – Greater Vancouver Motorcycle Club
HCBC – Horse Council of BC
HBC – Hike BC
HPAC – Hangliding and Paragliding Assoc
LMATV – Lower Mainland ATV
NHT – National Hiking Trail
OATVC – Outlanders ATV Club
ORC – Outdoor Recreation Council of BC
RNATV – Right Nuts ATV Club
SWATT – Southwestern All Terrain Trails Assoc
TBC – Trails BC
TCT – Trans Canada Trail
VKC – Vancouver Kayak Club
VTR – Valley Trail Riders
WCSC – West Coast Soaring Club