From our Executive Director, Barry Janyk:
Snuneymuxw Nation leader Lolly Good welcomed the 50 invited attendees to Snuneymuxw traditional territory. She inspired us to “use our voices and to be heard, in a good way.” Doing things and making decisions in “a good way” means ensuring that all community initiatives are undertaken with a strong focus on process, prioritizing inclusivity, equality, and honesty. Leonard Krog the Nanaimo MLA also provided a warm welcome.
Everyone shared their thoughts, asked questions, and contributed to an engaging dialogue throughout the day.
Presenters and panelists helped explain the three main topics: e-bikes, mixed-use trails, and public access to private forest lands for recreation. E-bikes are coming, and Daniel Scott is working on regulating their use on Crown lands – trails especially. Interesting fact: only 35 of 1,033 provincial parks and protected areas allow bikes on trails.
ORC is very much involved in their own “right to roam” efforts – on the Island especially. They have prepared a discussion paper that I have shared with our own team. In addition, Scott Fraser will soon be releasing a report on the conclusions and recommendations from the public consultation meetings he conducted in the winter and spring in Port Alberni. I was encouraged by the comments of Megan Hanacek, the CEO of the Private Forest Landowners Association, regarding their interest in discussing access to their lands.
Those contributing were:
- Richard Campbell, Executive Director, BC Cycling Coalition
- Sarah Fennell, Recreation Business Specialist, BC Parks
- Megan Hanacek, CEO, Private Forest Landowners Association
- Jeremy McCall, Executive Director, ORC
- Sharon Pickthorne, Director, Backcountry Horsemen of BC & ORC Access Committee
- Kim Reeves, Chair of ORC’s Access Committee
- Tim Ryan, former Chair of BC’s Forest Practices Board, Forest Consultant
- Daniel Scott, Trails Specialist, Recreation Sites and Trails BC
- Orville Smith, Director, Tabor Mountain Recreation Society
- Kirby Villeneuve, Section Head, Recreation – Provincial Services Branch, BC Parks