Ministry of Forests, Lands
and Natural Resource Operations
VICTORIA – Changes made to the Range Act and Range Act regulation to improve the management of B.C.’s rangeland came into force on Monday, Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations Minister Steve Thomson has announced.
“These changes provide ranchers and rangeland users with increased flexibility and opportunity to run their businesses, while also supporting the government’s goal of environmental sustainability,” Thomson said.
The regulatory changes reflect a commitment made in the BC Jobs Plan and a recommendation of the Ranching Task Force to improve the regulatory framework for range tenure holders.
The changes to the Range Act regulation:
* streamline the process for approving agreements (permits and licences) so vacant Crown range can be allocated more quickly and efficiently;
* simplify the fee structure and eliminate some fees;
* improve business certainty for range operators by allowing longer terms on tenures, and also allow the conversion of grazing permits issued prior to 2004 to grazing licences; and
* enable the conversion of grazing leases to grazing licences, providing tenure holders more flexibility to manage their businesses.
The changes to the Range Act regulation will also give licence holders and other agreement holders more freedom to manage their operations by removing the requirement for operators to obtain ministry approval before selling their excess hay production. The changes will also allow a holder of multiple tenures to more easily consolidate or subdivide those tenures.
Ranching operations are typically family-run businesses that have been in operation for several generations and are the backbone of many rural communities.