Management of Trails on Crown Land

Forest and Range Practices Act
The Forest and Range Practices Act (FRPA) and its regulations govern the activities of forest and range licensees in BC. FRPA came into effect in 2004. Sections 56 to 58 of FRPA deal with recreation and are administered by the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and the Arts (Recreation Sites and Trails BC Branch).

  • Section 56 enables the minister or an authorized delegate to establish interpretive forest sites, recreation sites and recreation trails.  Recreation trails established under this section must receive consideration in resource planning and so have some protection from resource extraction activities.  Trails are usually only designated under section 56 when a partnership agreement is in place with the organization that is maintaining the trail.
  • Section 57 allows the minister or a delegate to authorize the construction, rehabilitation and maintenance of trails and other recreational facilities.  This section is used to grant 3rd parties permission to build trails, but does not grant any protection for the trails.
  • Section 58 allows for the protection of recreation and range resources, or the management of public recreation resources on Crown land by restricting or prohibiting recreational or non-recreational use or the area or trail.  This section may be used to restrict or close areas to specific activities including snowmobiling.
Forest Act
Forest Act definitions also apply to the FRPA.

Partnership agreements
The BC government manages and maintains many recreation sites and trails on Crown land through partnership agreements with local recreation groups, forest companies, First Nations, regional districts, private contractors and other parties. The partnership agreements are with Recreation Sites and Trails BC (RSTBC), part of the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and the Arts. Agreement holders are responsible for managing recreation sites and trails to the standards specified in their partnership agreement.  The government typically also provides liability insurance to the agreement holder.

Clubs interested in managing recreation sites or trails not currently managed under agreements should contact the nearest RSTBC District Office. For some recreation sites and trails, opportunities for partnership agreements are advertised in local newspapers through a Request for Proposal (RFP) process.