BC Parks Trail Work Volunteer Agreements and liability issues

Posted on Posted in Blog, Volunteers in BC Parks
Alex Wallace, Southwest BC Trails Committee Co-Chair
 

At a series of meetings on July 26th and 29th, 2013 with BC Parks a permanent resolution materialised:

Friends of Cypress were following up on this issue in detail to allow their Trailwatch program to continue: they were told on July 26th that BC Parks had rewritten the previous individual Trail Work Promissory Note into a completely new ”Individual volunteer services” form that allows individuals to be free of liability and indemnity ( i.e. they do not have to indemnify the Province of BC, but must be ‘supervised’) and in many respects it does resemble the old form that was in place satisfactorily for years.

At the July 29th meeting, – with Becs Hoskins of BC Parks and a representative of the Ministry Of Finance on the phone from Victoria, it was explained to us in answer to our questions, that this individual form can be used as a ‘multiple individual services form’ and this can be made valid over a period of 2 to 3 years, not just for one day, or one season. This decision is up to the local BC Parks staff who are dealing with the volunteers and their signed form.

Therefore, these clubs or individuals who do not wish to indemnify the Province of BC and take on liability & insurance by signing a Trail Agreement [as we were previously told] “as an entity” in order to do volunteer work like basic trail maintenance, will instead be able to attend a short training session with BC Parks and sign this new individual volunteer services form – witnessed by a BC Parks Ranger, then they are good to go.

We were told that the intent for the BC Parks Trail Agreements –similar to the Rec Sites and Trails (MoF) Crown land Trail Agreement – was that independent clubs like the Backcountry Horsemen of BC could sign a Trail Agreement and be completely autonomous, using chainsaws, etc. However clubs signing a Trail Agreement could be liable if things go wrong, and it was indicated that this was a method for keeping them aware of their responsibilities, despite there being a limited amount of General Liability insurance coverage provided by Government […which would be a last resort  i.e. after all other insurance was applied.]

It is good that a resolution has emerged from BC Parks, after almost three years of negotiations and meetings..

You can download a copy of the Volunteer Services Agreement – Individual – Multiple Sign Up form here.

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on Google+