7.3 Planning Road Deactivation

Consider carrying out road deactivation projects on non-industrial use FSRs where a planning process identifies the roads as being candidates for road deactivation, or where the roads need to be closed to protect public safety and the cost of deactivating these roads is less than the cost of carrying out maintenance to a wilderness road level of maintenance over the period of expected closure. Deactivation of FSRs is usually limited to in-block roads and cutblock access roads, or to roads that provide duplicate access to areas. Ensure that for FSRs that are the responsibility of Timber Operations and Pricing Division, deactivation is carried out in accordance with the ministry’s business area funding policy.

Notify road users about proposed significant changes to road access and to solicit the public’s and First Nations’ input into road closure and related access issues. Ensure that the District Manager solicits and considers input from local stakeholders (e.g., licensees, public, First Nations, miners) before making a decision on whether to deactivate an FSR.

Deactivation is typically carried out with the expectation that a road will receive no further field inspections or maintenance, and due to the inherent risk to vehicle users and to any deactivation structures along the road, deactivation is expected to result in the elimination of motor vehicle access. This will be particularly applicable along road segments where unstable road fill is pulled back and where stream culverts and bridges are removed or deep cross-ditches are installed across the road running width. However, for roads that cross flat or gentle terrain with no stream crossings, little work may be necessary to deactivate the roads. In this case, motor vehicle access may be both possible and acceptable, provided that the District Manager approves the variance from legislative requirements to barricade the road.

A deactivated FSR that has fulfilled all legal requirements reverts to the status of vacant Crown land or provincial forest. In other words, after the FSR is deactivated, it has no road status and the responsibility for stability of the area shifts to the Crown, instead of FLNR as the representative of the Crown. Retaining the old road location (with expired tenure) on atlas maps does no harm, as the former route may be useful in some emergency.

For FSRs that are the responsibility of Timber Operations and Pricing Division, deactivation must be carried out in accordance with the ministry’s {{{{{Policy for Operating Funds Road & Structure Maintenance and Road Closure}}}}}.