View this email in your browser
Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

In this issue | Best wishes for a happy, healthy 2019 | Help ORC protect the way of life you love | BC anglers win precedent-setting Supreme Court case over access to public lakes | Consultation period open for proposed South Okanagan-Similkameen national park reserve | Funding opportunities | Public comment periods | ORC member map

Help ORC protect the way of life you love
For over four decades, the Outdoor Recreation Council of British Columbia has been your voice for public outdoor recreation in BC. 

Since 1976 ORC has been an enthusiastic advocate for outdoor activities and for BC's outdoor places. ORC represents over 50 provincial and regional outdoor recreation organizations and conservation groups that together have more than 100,000 members. The diversity of our member groups is one of our greatest strengths. 

You can help ORC continue to advocate for all British Columbians to have access to abundant outdoor recreation opportunities by using your BMO affinity Mastercard to do your everyday shopping. For every dollar you spend BMO makes a contribution at no cost to you, and you still earn rewards. Increase your impact by applying today at

We are grateful to our donors, affinity Mastercard holders, and volunteers who help us keep outdoor recreation a way of life - it's our BC lifestyle. Wishing you all the very best for the New Year. To new beginnings in 2019. 
Apply today

Featured news
BC anglers win precedent-setting court case over public's right to access BC lakes
A BC Supreme Court judge finally made a ruling on the decades-long dispute over the right of British Columbians to have access to lakes and fish on privately held property. The Nicola Valley Fish and Game Club sued the Douglas Lake Cattle Company on the grounds that the ranch cannot block public access to Minnie and Stoney Lakes. The court was asked to decide on three propositions: whether Stoney Lake Road used to access the lakes is a public highway, whether the public should have access to Minnie Lake and Stoney Lake, which are on private property, and whether Douglas Lake Ranch owns the fish in those lakes, which it pays to stock with trout. On December 7, 2018 the Supreme Court of British Columbia ruled against the Douglas Lake Cattle Company and criticized the Province for allowing the private ranch to gate off public access. BC Supreme Court judge the Honourable Mr. Justice Grove ruled that both lakes are public and the Stoney Lake Road is a public right-of-way as it receives public expenditure and is a historical indigenous trail. Catch and release public fishing will be allowed on both Minnie Lake and Stoney Lake as a result of this ruling. Click here to read the Hon Mr. Groves' epilogue. ORC's Access Committee has been following Douglas Lake case closely. Formed in October 2016 ORC's Access Committee is exploring ways to improve access to public lands and lakes for recreation in BC.
The Province of BC is undertaking a multi-year initiative to make improvements to the Forest and Range Practices Act (FRPA)
The Province has issued a notice advising that a multi-year initiative is underway to make improvements to the almost 20-year old Forest and Range Practices Act (FRPA) legal framework. The Office of the Chief Forester and the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Resource Operations and Rural Development (FLNRORD) indicated that the initiative is in response to the changes on the land base and in response to views and concerns of many interested groups. Read the Province's information release

The Fraser Valley Regional District outdoor recreation economic impact analysis
The Fraser Valley Regional District (FVRD) is launching "a first ever" comprehensive initiative to measure the value of outdoor recreation in the Fraser Valley. The study will assess and quantify usage patterns of motorized and non-motorized recreation and will also estimate the total spending of tourists on outdoor recreation in the region. For more information on this project contact David Urban, Manager of Outdoor Recreation with the FVRD at Read FVRD's media release

Consultation period open for proposed South Okanagan-Similkameen national park reserve
The proposed national park reserve in the South Okanagan-Similkameen is now in its public consultation phase. Parks Canada is accepting feedback on the proposed boundary for the national park reserve and input on key aspects for consideration in the management of the lands. Public input will be gathered online through a consultation website until February 28, 2019.

Province of BC increased off-road vehicles fine to help protect sensitive habitats
To better protect environmentally sensitive habitats and species at risk, the Province of British Columbia is increasing fines for unlawful use of off-road vehicles and snowmobiles. Effective immediately, anyone operating an off-road vehicle in sensitive habitats, including southern mountain caribou habitats, will face a $575 fine. The fine increase also applies to all provincial parks and protected areas, excluding locations where the use of off-road vehicles and snowmobiles is permitted by regulation. Read more.
Funding opportunities

Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation accepting applications caribou habitat restoration projects
Application window open until January 11, 2019. Approximately $1.5 million is available for projects this funding cycle. More info

Province of BC is accepting submissions to the 2019-20 BikeBC program
BikeBC offers communities funding to create new cycling infrastructure, as well as to improve existing infrastructure, to make local transportation safer, greener and more accessible. Applications will be received until Feb. 18, 2019. More info

ORC's working list of funding opportunities
Click to view. Help us build the funding list - send suggestions to
Heart of the Fraser: BC's most pressing river issue for 2019
Last month ORC issued a year-end statement naming the Heart of the Fraser BC's most urgent river issue for 2019. This stretch of the Fraser wanders across a complex, ever-changing landscape of floodplains, islands, side channels, wetlands and backwaters, screened by native black cottonwoods and cedars, supporting more than 30 species of fish, wildlife, extensive bird populations, and amphibians. Few places on Earth still have such a rich and intact stretch of river so close to a major urban centre.

News roundup

13 feet deep: lessons learned from a remarkable companion avalanche rescue Nov. 24, Black Diamond Equipment)

Powell River Parks and Wilderness Society builds easier route to Confederation Lake (Nov. 29, Powell River Peak)

Massive, unexplored ‘cave of national significance’ discovered in B.C. park (Dec. 3, Global News)

Species deeply rooted in Canadian culture are at risk (Dec. 3, Cision)

5 ways to help your kids love nature (Dec. 4, NatureKids BC)

Province pumps up fines for off-roading in sensitive areas (Dec. 4, CFJC Today)

British Columbia chinook salmon populations in decline: scientists (Dec. 4, Global News)

Jack Knox: ‘Landmark’ victory for public access, but impact for Island is murky (Dec. 11, Times Colonist) 

North Shore Rescue expected to break call-out record by year’s end (Dec. 11, Global News)

Xeni Gwet’in First Nation and conservation officers collaborate on enforcement (Dec. 12, BC Gov News)

Summer fishing closures proposed for Vancouver Island streams (Dec. 12, CBC News)

'Life threatening' avalanches possible through much of B.C.'s backcountry (Dec. 13, CBC News)

Consultations to play a critical role in shaping proposed national park reserve (Dec. 14, Penticton Western News)
Sunshine Coast 1,800-acre land parcel up for sale in "rare" opportunity (Dec. 17, The Province)
BC Parks threatens $1-million fine as it closes off 'Star Wars' cave (Dec. 19, Vancouver Courier)

Public comment periods

Member news board
View all members
Pictured: ORC members are all across the province. Check out this map and add your regional club or chapter of an ORC provincial member organization. View map.

BC Cycling Coalition is hiring
The BC Cycling Coalition is hiring a BC Active Transportation Summit Manager and a BC Active Transportation Summit Event Planner. Apply by December 28. 

BC Marine Trails Network Association's new film: An Opportunity Awaits
The BC Marine Trails Network Association (BCMTNA) created new short film titled An Opportunity Awaits. The BCMTNA is in the process of creating a network of marine trails and marine trails loops along the BC coastline. Watch the short film here

CPAWS-BC: take action for BC Parks by writing to Finance Minister Carole James
For the fourth consecutive year, the all-party BC budget committee recommended a funding boost for BC's parks and protected areas. In response, the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society, BC Chapter, is urging supporters of BC Parks to hold the provincial government accountable to the committee's recommendations. Send an email to Finance Minister Carole James and Environment Minister George Heyman to tell them that parks need the funding boost they promised, and nature needs an investment for the future.

FMCBC member group: Save Penticton's Carmi Recreation Trails campaign
The South Okanagan Trail Alliance, an FMCBC member group, together with members of the Upper Carmi Resident's Association and local outdoor recreationists are campaigning against proposed BC Timber Sales logging plans in the Carmi XC Recreation area, about ten minutes from Penticton. This recreation area is used by tens of thousands of local hikers, cross-country skiers and mountain bike enthusiasts. Earlier in December, the board of the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen (RDSO) voted unanimously to send a letter to FLNRO Minister Doug Donaldson urging a permanent halt to logging on Carmi Mountain. The South Okanagan Trail Alliance sits on the Federation of Mountain Clubs of BC board of directors, an ORC provincial member organization. An online petition has been created, that has already received nearly 1,500 signatures. Sign the petition

Powell River Parks and Wilderness Society: new route to Confederation Lake
Congratulations to the Powell River Parks and Wilderness Society for its hard work constructing a new and more accessible route to Confederation Lake. About 700 volunteer hours went into the 1.5-kilometre reroute and other trail work that began in July. PRPAWS also collaborated with BC Parks on the trail around Confederation Lake. Read more.

Send us your news
Promoting an event? Looking for volunteers? Raising awareness about an outdoor recreation issue? Want to share a success story? Send info to 

Support ORC
By fostering the responsible use of BC’s outdoors and building bridges between outdoor recreation groups, the Outdoor Recreation Council represents the interests of the public outdoor recreation community and promotes and advocates access to and responsible use of BC's outdoors for public recreation.

Copyright © 2018 Outdoor Recreation Council of BC, All rights reserved.

Phone number: (604) 873-5546

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp