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In this issue | Avalanche Canada launching survey in March 2019 | National Trails Coalition seeking information on "shovel ready" projects | Heart of the Fraser on CBC The National | Public comment periods: consultation period open for proposed South Okanagan-Similkameen national park reserve

Featured news
Avalanche Canada launching survey in March 2019
The Avalanche Research Program at Simon Fraser University and Avalanche Canada will conduct a large online survey to examine how motorized and non-motorized winter backcountry recreationists seek out and use avalanche safety information. The research team is interested to hear from backcountry users of all experience levels about how they use the bulletin and how the existing products could be enhanced to address their needs. Click here for more information about the study, and here to sign up. 
BC Cetacean Sightings Network seeking citizen scientists to report whale sightings
The BC Cetacean Sightings Network (BCCSN) has been around since 1999, and is one of Canada’s longest running citizen science programs. Sightings reported to the BCCSN support a wide variety of cetacean conservation efforts, including species at risk assessments, recovery and action plans, and the WhaleReport Alert System (WRAS). The WRAS is a whale conservation tool developed whereby sightings sent to the BCCSN using the smartphone app are forwarded on, in real time, to mariners of large commercial vessels in our local waters to alert them of whales in their vicinity. You can help contribute to the WhaleReport Alert System by reporting your whale sightings in real-time on the WhaleReport app while on ocean side wilderness adventures. (available on iTunes and Google Play).
BC Parks Student Ranger program accepting applications for 2019 season
Young adults interested in learning a diverse range of job skills while working outdoors this summer can now apply for the BC Parks Student Ranger program. Now in its second year, it provides training and employment opportunities in BC's parks and protected areas. There are 48 openings for people ages 18 to 30 years old with a 30-per-cent Indigenous hiring target. The Student Ranger Program has been made possible by funding from the BC Parks Licence Plate Program. The application period closes on February 24, 2019. Click here for more information.
American Trails webinar: Now That e-Bikes Are On Trails, What Do We Know?
Drawing from a recently published online study out of Portland State University, on-the-ground knowledge from Jefferson County, CO, and trail management lessons from Europe, this webinar will provide attendees a range of case studies at the local, state, federal, and international levels to understand and manage e-bikes on a variety of infrastructure. Webinar on February 28, 2019 at 10:00 am Pacific Standard Time and costs $39 for nonmembers of American Trails. Click here to register

The Government of British Columbia extending the $25-million per year Rural Dividend to 2020-21
In Budget 2018, the Government of British Columbia committed to extending the $25-million per year Rural Dividend to 2020-21. Final decisions on project applications from the fifth intake for single applicants (up to $100,000) and partnerships (up to $500,000) will be announced next month. The Rural Dividend is one aspect of government’s rural development mandate, which is committed to supporting rural communities to diversify local economies. Trail and outdoor recreation projects are eligible, more information here.

National Trails Coalition assessing funding need for "shovel ready" trail projects 
In December 2018, National Trail Coalition (NTC) board members met with Members of Parliament to discuss the NTC initiative. The NTC has started collecting data on "shovel ready" projects across Canada in an online document that can be accessed here. For more information visit

Other funding opportunities
  • 2019 Inspiring Girls Expeditions accepting applications for wilderness science education programs for high school girls (must begin application by Feb. 1, 2019)
  • The Pacific Salmon Foundation accepting applications for Community Salmon Program (open to Feb. 15, 2019)
  • Province of BC accepting submissions to the 2019-20 BikeBC program (open to Feb. 18, 2019)
  • Mustang Survival Waterlife Fund for projects that address threats to the health of our waterways (open to Feb. 28, 2019)
  • FireSmart Canada giving out $500 award for wildfire preparedness events (open to May 4, 2019).
  • Project Learning Tree (PLT) Canada accepting applications for 50% wage-match for 2019 summer youth employment in green jobs (job must start Apr. 1, 2019)
  • Click to view ORC's working list of funding opportunities and help us build the funding list - send suggestions to

Heart of the Fraser on CBC the National
The 80 kilometre stretch of the Fraser River between Mission and Hope, BC has become known to conservationists as "the Heart of the Fraser." It's also the site of an ongoing dispute over land use and the potential threats to some of the province's salmon runs. 2:49

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News roundup

Making sense of snow stability tests Dec. 17, Backcountry Access)

DFO investigating critical fish habitat destruction in BC's 'Heart of the Fraser' (Jan. 1, CBC)

BC industries at an impasse in the Heart of the Fraser (Jan. 1, CBC National)

Feds issue warning to owners of Fraser River islands (Jan. 1, Radio Canada International)

Fresh-air fitness is better for you, research shows (Jan. 1, CBC News)

MacMillan Provincial Park to be partially closed for upgrades (Jan. 4, BC Gov News)

Tofino finding ways to balance people and pooches at the beach (Jan. 4, CBC News)

Parks cleanups and closures continue on Vancouver Island in wake of windstorm (Jan. 10, Tofino-Ucluelet Westerly News)

Avalanches in Canada: understanding and mitigating the risks (Jan. 14, Alpine Club of Canada)

Student Ranger Program accepting applications for 2019 season (BC Gov News, Jan. 16)

Forest policy reforms to rebuild coastal forest sector (Jan. 17, BC Gov News)

Want to learn whose Indigenous land you're on? There's an app for that (Jan. 18, CBC News)

Logging contractor sustainability review completed (Jan. 18, BC Gov News)

New learning opportunities reeling in young fishers (Jan. 18, BC Gov News)

‘A sad day’: two more B.C. mountain caribou herds now locally extinct (Jan. 18, The Narwhal)

Provincial government biologists successfully moved three caribou from the South Selkirk and South Purcells herds to Revelstoke last week (Jan. 23, BC Gov News)

Freshwater wildlife face an uncertain future (Jan. 23, National Post)

'Driver anarchy and mass crowds': Why Joffre Lakes remains a grey area for traffic enforcement (Jan. 25, CBC News)

BC forests contribute 'hidden' carbon emissions that dwarf official numbers, report says (Jan. 28, CBC)

Relief could be coming for Joffre Lakes 'anarchy' (Jan. 29, CBC News)

Public comment periods
  • Amendments to Schedule 1 of SARA for nine migratory bird species (open to Feb. 11. 2019)
  • Parks Canada South Okanagan-Similkameen national park consultation (open to Feb 28 2019)
  • Knight Inlet Grizzly Tours guided viewing near Siwash Bay comment period (open until Mar. 22)
  • Fraser Valley Regional District Outdoor Recreation Economic Impact Analysis (more info)

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Since 1976 the Outdoor Recreation Council of British Columbia has been your voice for public outdoor recreation in BC. 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
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.

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Phone number: (604) 873-5546

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