ORC’s Achievements

In 2002, the Ministry of Forests announced that it was dismantling its recreation program and divesting itself of its network of recreation sites and trails. ORC resisted, advocating that the loss of this valuable public asset would dramatically reduce public access to public land for recreation. Through ORC, the voice of public recreation in BC was heard. The Ministry maintained its role as the umbrella managing agency for the sites and trails and in 2004, much of the funding to this program was restored.

ORC successfully advocated against a direct public access fee to BC Parks through independent campaign efforts and the Recreation Stewardship Panel.

ORC worked to establish the Commission on Resources and Environment (CORE) and Land and Resource Management Plan (LRMP) processes, which have provided the mechanism by which outdoor recreation interests have been incorporated into public land-use planning.

In the fall of 2002, over a decade of river conservation advocacy culminated in the announcement that the Ministry of Water, Land and Air Protection would pursue a Living Rivers Strategy and produce an annual State of the Rivers Report. Through such initiatives as BC's Most Endangered Rivers List and The River Recovery Campaign (Dam Modification and Decommissioning), ORC continues to influence this resource management policy.

Despite aggressive opposition, the Council succeeded in imbedding the interests of public recreation in British Columbia’s Occupiers Liability Act in 1996. This achievement ensured that Forest Roads would be open to the public, that holders of grazing leases would not be allowed to block public access, and that commercial recreation permit holders would be prohibited from excluding the public from their permit areas.

In 1992, ORC released its River Recreation Strategy for British Columbia, which laid out a framework for identifying and managing the recreational values of the province's rivers. This project successfully advocated that a River Features Inventory be incorporated into the general inventory system used by the Ministry of Forests.

Adopting another recommendation of the River Recreation Strategy Report, the Minister of the Environment championed BC's commitment to the Canadian Heritage Rivers System. The Strategy also provided the impetus for the BC Heritage Rivers System, the provincial program to preserve the recreational value of our rivers.