Public input wanted on B.C. resource road rules

Public input wanted on B.C. resource road rules British Columbians are invited to comment

British Columbians are invited to comment on a policy project for better regulation of natural resource roads, Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations Steve Thomson and Minister of Energy and Mines Rich Coleman announced recently.

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: http://www.for.gov.bc.ca/mof/nrra/

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, 2011, and will be used to help develop the Natural Resource Road Act.

“Resource roads connect us to the various industries that produce jobs all over British Columbia. 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,” said Thomson.

Coleman, stated “As key users of resource roads, the forest, oil and gas, and mining industries have all told us modernizing the current legislation would enable them to compete in today’s business environment. We are taking the steps necessary to make that happen as quickly as possible.”

Quick Facts:

* B.C. has an estimated 450,000 kilometres of resource roads.

* Resource roads are typically one-lane or two-lane gravel roads built for industrial purposes to access natural resources in remote areas.

* 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.

Learn more about the Natural Resource Road Policy Project by going to:  http://www.for.gov.bc.ca/mof/nrra/