As winter approaches, owners are reminded to be diligent around regulatory requirements related to road maintenance & deactivation with respect to protection of water quality and fish habitat. Protection of water quality and fish habitat are two of the forest management objectives identified in the Private Managed Forest Land Act.
Owners, contractors, employees, and agents of the owner must be aware of the regulatory requirements of the Private Managed Forest Land Council Regulation (Council Regulation) and meet the described standards and outcomes.
Two of the key elements in the Council Regulation related to road maintenance & deactivation are:
- Road constructed or used for harvesting purposes must be maintained until deactivated
- Maintenance and deactivation practices are required to the extent necessary to avoid causing a material adverse effect on fish habitat or on water diverted by a licensed waterworks intake
Specific maintenance & deactivation requirements are in Sections 15 to 23 of the Council Regulation. Council’s Field Practices Guide has information and example practices regarding the regulatory requirements.
Other related federal and provincial legislation may apply, including the Federal Fisheries Act; and Provincial Water Sustainability Act and Drinking Water Protection Act.
Several sources provide information associated with the regulatory requirements and field practices that will help owners meet their practice obligations:
- Council Regulation
- Other Federal & Provincial Legislation
- MF Council’s Field Practices Guide: In addition to specific requirements around road maintenance & deactivation, the guide contains information on risk management, due diligence, and the concept of ‘material adverse effect’
- Private Forest Landowners Association Best Management Practices
- iMapBC: a BC government web application that provides access to government data including the locations of drinking water intakes