Thursday, March 30, 2017

ATV/ORV Funding for Recreation Trails

Courtesy of the Government of BC:

B.C.’s network of off-road vehicle-friendly backcountry trails is getting a boost, thanks to a new provincial government fund, Minister of State for Rural Economic Development Donna Barnett announced today on behalf of Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations Steve Thomson.

The ORV Trail Management Sub-Account is financed through a portion of fees ORV owners pay to ICBC when registering their vehicles. The $320,000-and-growing fund is dedicated to supporting projects that build new -- and maintain existing -- vehicle-friendly recreation trails in remote and rural areas throughout the province and to promoting safe and responsible ORV use.

In 2015, the Province introduced mandatory registration for off-road vehicles operated on Crown land. Since then, British Columbians have registered more than 100,000 ORVs, at a one-time fee of $48 per vehicle.

The fee is designed to support the Province’s off-road vehicle management framework, an integrated plan designed that ensures off-road vehicles – including snowmobiles, all-terrain vehicles or “quads”, dirt bikes and side-by-sides – are driven in a safe and environmentally responsible manner.

The Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations, through its Recreation Sites and Trails branch, will administer the fund. Staff are developing formal project guidelines that will be available to First Nations and stakeholder groups for review this fall. No projects will be selected until the formal guidelines and application process are in place.

Donna Barnett - MLA for Cariboo-Chilcotin said:

“Many towns in rural B.C. are turning to recreation as an important way to attract and retain residents and help diversified local economies. The new fund doesn’t just mean that our off-road trails will be safer and better maintained, it represents real support for rural communities, and will help create jobs and enhance regional tourism opportunities.”

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