Forest Service Recreation Program

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Forest recreation in B.C. involves dozens of activities, ranging from the passive enjoyment of scenery to the physically demanding challenges of mountaineering and kayaking. It also involves motorized activities such as snowmobiling and trail bike riding.

The overall goal of the B.C. Forest Service recreation program is to provide many opportunities for outdoor recreation by protecting the provincial forest recreation resource and managing its use.

To help accomplish this goal, the B.C. Forest Service has a team of recreational specialists who, with the help of other agencies and the public, identify specific recreation resource values. In attempting to balance and harmonize the demands on the forest, these specialists develop management plans that provide for the full spectrum of recreational values and opportunities. Wilderness, scenic landscapes, cultural and heritage landmarks, and developed recreation facilities are some of the recreation values and opportunities considered.

Since 1971, the B.C. Forest Service recreation program has provided a unique opportunity for B.C. residents and tourists. Approximately two million people each year take advantage of the more than 1,000 recreation sites and thousands of kilometres of trails provided.

The sites are rustic and usually small (less than 10 vehicle units). They are located near lakes and rivers, blending in with the natural surroundings. Although these sites do not offer sophisticated amenities, such as power hook-ups and piped water, they include basic sanitary facilities, fire rings, picnic tables, and where appropriate, boat launch ramps.

The trails are typically narrow and unsurfaced. They vary widely in characteristics, such as length and suitability for motorized and non-motorized uses.

The B.C. Forest Service is only one of many players in the recreation business. Therefore, it works closely with agencies such as regional districts, municipalities and the ministries that are responsible for parks, to ensure that the various recreation programs complement each other.

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