Highlights from the PTAB’s October 30th meeting

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The Provincial Trails Advisory Body (PTAB) held its second in-person meeting on October 30th and was attended by 11 members, including our own Andrew Drouin. The draft meeting minutes can be found here, but here is a condensed version of the topics that were discussed surrounding the implementation of the Trails Strategy for British Columbia. Please refer to the linked document for more complete explanations of the numbered action items.

– Under Action 9 — Improve legislation and policy to manage motorized use and enhance opportunities for motorized trail users — it was noted that compulsory registration of off-road vehicles took effect on November 1, 2015. The possibility of a future trail fund using excess proceeds from registration fees once ICBC’s setup costs have been recovered was discussed.

– Under Action 10 — Enhance recreation opportunities by reducing liability risk to landowners and groups responsible for managing trails — Tennessee Trent gave an overview of the Occupiers Liability Act. He explained that the Act now stipulates that landowners, as occupiers, are not liable for injury or damage to persons who willingly assume the risk of entering their lands for a recreational activity, provided they do not accept payment and subject to certain obvious exceptions. While the OLA requires that an occupier exercise a certain duty of care for persons on the property, there is a lower standard of care in the case of the recreational user.

– Under Action 13 — Consolidate trail standards, guidelines and best practices, and ensure they are widely communicated and accessible for agency staff and user groups — Jeremy McCall recommended that a descriptive type of classification system, similar to that adopted in Alberta, be used for trails in BC instead of the numbering system currently used by the BC Government agencies and Parks Canada.

– Under Action 16 — Integrate consideration of recreation trail use into resource road decisions — the PTAB may be used as a representative stakeholder group for providing public recreation input when the Natural Resource Roads Act reaches the drafting stage.

– Orville Smith questioned why the resolution of trail conflicts had not been included as an action item in the trails Strategy. John Hawkings explained that the Trails Strategy Committee decided against making it an over-arching issue because conflicts are essentially local and require many different approaches before they can be resolved.

Any questions about the PTAB and its actions should be directed to:

John Hawkings, Co-chair John.Hawkings@gov.bc.ca
Jeremy McCall, Co-Chair jeremymccall@orcbc.ca
Tennessee Trent, Executive Director, Tennessee.Trent@gov.bc.ca

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