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Land use negotiations, better inside the tent than outside

Letter writer recommends potential Bulkley recreational land users get representation

The Editor:

In early August, Tom Roper reported in his regular column some concerns presented to him by local backcountry motorized recreationists.

Their concerns were well captured by Tom’s column title, “Everyone should be involved in land use discussions” (Interior News, August 19, 2021). I agree.

I’ve participated in the Morice LRMP (land and resource management plan) for about three years and have been a member of the Bulkley Valley Community Resources Board (BVCRB) for six years.

That LRMP process established summer and winter zoning for motorized and non-motorized users. The interests of motorized users were represented at the table throughout. Their concerns were reasonable and were incorporated.

In the Bulkley LRMP, the Province committed to completing zonation along the same lines but has not done so. Several years ago a summer plan was completed (the summer RAMP – recreational access management plan). This process involved the motorized users at all steps and consensus was achieved.

Tom’s informants and their representatives have been heard at every step along the way. If not everything went according to their wishes, that is because there are other, equally valid interests on the land.

Mutual respect is a cornerstone of such negotiations.

The winter RAMP remains to be done. A better strategy for influencing it would be to join the BVCRB (where their interests currently have no representative) and participate fully and respectfully.

Better inside the tent than outside, as the old saying goes.

Dave Stevens

Smithers



editor@interior-news.com

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