Access Committee

Access Committee Chair:

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Hunting regulation changes in response to wildfires

The Province is taking action to protect big game wildlife in areas severely affected by wildfires this summer.

In the long-term wildlife benefit from wildfire. However, in the short-term there can be negative impacts. For example, wildfires in the Thompson and Cariboo regions have enabled motor vehicle access by hunters to remote moose and mule deer habitats that were previously only accessible by foot. In addition, loss of vegetation from fires has significantly increased lines of sight for hunters.

To address the increased vulnerability of wildlife to hunters, two motor vehicle restrictions are being implemented under the Wildlife Act.

First, within the area of the Elephant Hill fire in the Thompson Region, the use of ATVs for the purpose of licensed hunting is prohibited from Sept. 1 to Dec. 10, 2017, within Management Units 3-28, 3-29, and 3-30, and that portion of Management Unit 3-17 north of Highway 99. A map is available online at:

Second, the use of all motor vehicles for the purpose of licensed hunting is prohibited within the Chilcotin Plateau and Hanceville-Riske Creek fires, except designated highways and mainline forestry roads, also from Sept. 1 to Dec. 10, 2017. A map is online at:

The restrictions are expected to be in place until access and visibility conditions return to a state where wildlife are less vulnerable. These new restrictions do not apply to First Nations exercising Aboriginal rights to hunt.

The restrictions are immediate and government will monitor their effectiveness. Dependent on the review, further hunting restrictions may be implemented.

Wildfires in the East Kootenays have also been severe. The Province is currently reviewing their extent and impact on wildlife, which may lead to further access restrictions.

To view the current updates, please click here.

Region 5 Backcountry Road Closures

 WILLIAMS LAKE - Effective at 1:30 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 11, 2017 all Crown land within the Cariboo Fire Centre is closed to public access due to the continued extreme fire danger and the number of active wildfires throughout the region.

High winds are expected to increase fire activity over the next few days.

The area restriction order means that a person must not remain in or enter the restricted area without the prior written authorization of an official designated for the purposes of the Wildfire Act, unless the person enters the area in the course of:

a). travelling toorfromhisorherprincipalresidence, that isnotunderanevacuation order;

b). using a highway asdefined in theTransportation Act;

c). travelling asa person actingin anofficial capacity;

d). travellingfor the purpose of supporting wildfiresuppressionactivities;

e). engaginginacommercial activitywithin theregularcourseoftheperson'sbusinessoremployment;or,

f). participatingin a commercialactivitythat a person described in (e)provides.

The Cariboo Fire Centre stretches from Loon Lake (near Clinton) in the south to the Cottonwood River (near Quesnel) in the north and from Tweedsmuir Provincial Park in the west to Wells Gray Provincial Park in the east.

A map of the affected area is available online at:

Evacuation orders and evacuation alerts issued by the Cariboo Regional District remain in place. For more information about these alerts and orders, please visit:

Smoky conditions may persist in the coming weeks. For information on air quality, as well as smoke forecasts for Western Canada, visit the BC Air Quality website:

To report a wildfire or open burning violation, call 1 800 663-5555 toll-free or *5555 on a cellphone. For the latest information on current wildfire activity, burning restrictions, road closures and air quality advisories, go to:

You can also follow the latest wildfire news on:



To view the BC Wildfire Service Area Restriction Order, click here.

The Environmental Law Clinic at the University of Victoria has created an interesting document outlining the growing challenges faced by British Columbians seeking access to privately owned lands. Created with the help of the BCWF and its members, “Enhancing Public Access to Privately Owned Wild Lands” looks at ways other jurisdictions manage the delicate balance of respecting private property while enabling anglers and others to enjoy the outdoors.

As BCWF members understand, people who know nature will defend it. That means that increasing public access will help support social engagement with the environment. As our wild areas continue to shrink, the UVIC paper suggests it’s time the B.C. government develop laws, or at least incentives, to help both property owners and outdoor enthusiasts know more specifically what their rights and responsibilities are.

Read and download “Enhancing Public Access to Privately Owned Wild Lands” here.

ORV Registration and Regulations Update

Pleased be advised that the Order-in-Council (OIC) has approved the Nov 1st mandatory registration and safety requirements under the ORV Act, along with some consequential amendments to other enactments (e.g. update to violation tickets).

Also note: the Motor Vehicle Act Regulation was also amended to allow the display of a registration plate or sticker issued under the ORV Act to be OK for incidental highway access (please note that the word “plate” under the MVA includes “plastic stickers” for the purposes of the ORV Act stickers).

Please check out the web sites listed below.

Off-Road Vehicle Management Framework, Updated October 15, 2015

News Release Oct. 15, 2015 Off-road vehicle registration mandatory on Nov. 1

Approved October 15, 2015

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS for Off-Road Vehicle Act and Regulations, Updated October 15, 2015

Ministry of Forests, Lands, and Natural Resource Operations - Provincial Trail Advisory Body
The Ministry of Forest, Lands and Natural Resource Operations' Provincial Trails Advisory Body (PTAB) - which was established this year and met for the first time in March - recently held its second-ever meeting in early June.

Both meetings were attended by BCWF Access Chair David Oliver, who is a member of PTAB representing the BCWF.
The PTAB was established to provide advice on the implementation of the Trails Strategy and the BC Trail Program. The functions of the PTAB (for more infomation, see PTAB Backgrounder) are:
  • Assist government in ensuring that implementation is consistent with the intent of the Trails Strategy;
  • Advise government of any recommended improvements to the Trails Strategy such as through a formal review every two years; and
  • Provide a collaborative forum for the many trails organizations and interests to help ensure that the Trails Strategy continues to meet the needs of all trail users.

Update - July 21, 2015: Meeting Minues and Memo Regarding Liability Issues

The Meeting Minutes from the June 18th meeting of the PTAB are now available for download here: 

PTAB Conference Call - June 18th, 2015 

The Outdoor Recreation Council also issued a Memo to Tennessee Trent and Recreation Sites and Trails BC regarding Liability issues affecting non-profit groups entering into partnership agreements for work on trails. The memo can be downloaded here:

Memo - RE Liability issues affecting non-profit groups entering into partnership agreements for work on trails\

PTAB Resources

For more information, on the PTAB, see the following resources:

PTAB Backgrounder 

PTAB Terms of Reference

Inaugral Meeting Minutes - March 2015 

Meeting Minutes - June 18th, 2015

For more information please visit the website:

BCWF Welcomes New Outdoor Recreational Vehicle Policy

BCWF issued a news release on Monday, November 10th in support of the Province of B.C.'s new regulations on Outdoor Recreational Vehicles (ORVs) including ATVs, snowmobiles, dirtbikes, and side-by-sides.

BCWF believes that the new regulations will help curtail irresponsible ORV use, and we would like to encourage all of our members to register their vehicles when the process becomes available on Monday, November 17th. ORV owners will have until June 1st, 2015 to complete the one-time process, which includes a $48 fee and the issuing of a number plate for the vehicle. The process has been integrated into the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia's (ICBC) motor vehicle registry, meaning that ORV owners can register at any of the more than 900 ICBC insurance agents in the province.

BCWF President George Wilson welcomed the new registration process, and encouraged all BCWF Members to register their vehicle to register well ahead of the end of the grace period in June: “BCWF welcomes this new legislation, which we hope will result in a reduction in the number of people operating ORVs in an irresponsible manner. We are encouraging our membership to register their vehicles as soon as possible, well ahead of the end of the grace period in June 2015.”

To read the full text of the BCWF press release, click here.

To read the press release from the Province of B.C., click here.

Detailed information from ICBC on the registration process is available here: ICBC - Offroad Vehicle Registration.

A notice from the Province of B.C. regarding how the Provincial Sales Tax Act applies to the new regulations: Province of B.C. - Notice to Offroad Vehicle Owners.

Committee Reports:

2016 Q3 Report

2015 Access Year End Committee Report


ORV Registration and Regulations Update

Region 5 Bac

Hunting regula