Bennett talks road access to Rod and Gun Club

Bill Bennett addressed the Fernie Rod and Gun Club on Monday night.

  • Mar. 22, 2012 6:00 a.m.

 

Bill Bennett addressed the Fernie Rod and Gun Club on Monday night, talking about his plans to ensure members will have access to as many forestry roads as possible. The East Kootenay MLA gave a presentation on the proposed Resource Roads Act and asked for feedback. He told Fernie Rod and Gun Club members that he believes more roads could be opened than currently are. “I care about the environment but there are roads closed that don’t need to be closed,” he said. “Here in the Elk Valley there aren’t so many because of the great work you guys did on access management, but closer to Cranbrook there certainly are.” He talked about how a major issue in road access is liability and that in order to get more roads opened to those needing to access the backcountry, the laws would need changing so that those using the roads are responsible. “I think people would rather have a poorly maintained road open than have it closed.,” he said. “If it was changed so that the roads were used at your own risk, this would help.” Bennett also spoke about how he hopes to get a website running where people can check on the condition of roads, and whether or not they have been decommissioned. He said he hoped the club members would approve of his work on the new act. “I have worked on this for 10 years and I think it is really good,” he said. “Everyone pays taxes and should be able to go pick berries, and use the roads they need to to get to them.”