The Forest and Range Practices Act (FRPA) and the Forest Recreation Regulation (FRR) identify when authorization is required for activities that take place in recreation sites, on recreation trails, or within interpretive forest sites. Recreation Sites and Trails B.C. (RSTBC) is the agency responsible for providing the authorization.

Authorization to construct or maintain a recreation trail or facility

Authorization is required under Section 57 of FRPA for construction, rehabilitation or maintenance of a trail or recreation facility on Crown land.

This includes:

  • Ground disturbance (i.e. significant, continuous grubbing of the soil or rocks along a linear route to establish a visible, long lasting treadway, significant ground excavation for the purpose of parking vehicles or launching boats, significant ground or root disturbance associated with corralling horses) 
  • Clearing or cutting of vegetation (i.e. significant, continuous uprooting of shrubs or under-storey plants along a linear route or over an extended area, cutting of standing trees)
  • Construction of structures (i.e. water bars, stairs, bridges, signs, corrals or other significant structures of a long-term or permanent nature)

Authorization is not required for:

  • Marking a route with ribbons, cairns or other directional indicators
  • Minor clearing of brush or downed trees
  • Emergency repairs to a trail or recreation facility to prevent imminent damage to the environment, the trail or the facility

FrontCounterBC assists RSTBC in processing applications for Section 57 authorization.

Read the application information and guidelines

Apply for Section 57 authorization

Other uses requiring authorization

Under the FRR, authorization is required under Section 16 to:

  • Use a recreation site, recreation trail or interpretive forest site to host a competitive sporting event
  • Use a recreation site, recreation trail or interpretive forest site for a business or industrial activity
  • Use a recreation site for part of a gathering of 15 or more persons
  • Use a recreation site as a place of temporary residence while engaged in a business or industrial activity outside the site

Authorization is not required for small public gatherings of less than 15 people, or for basic recreational day use such as hiking or overnight camping.

Applications requesting Section 16 authorization are submitted to and processed by District Recreation Officers (DRO's).

If you have further questions, you can use the B.C. Government Directory to locate the DRO for the Recreation District in your application.

Authorization goals

Authorizations help RSTBC manage activities within the provincial network of recreation sites and trails and minimize impacts by requiring authorization holders to follow conditions, and in some cases, by limiting activities to certain times and places as guided by predetermined objectives for recreation sites or trails, higher level plans such as land use plans, and staff knowledge of local use and visitation patterns.

Authorizations allow RSTBC to:

  • Preserve and enhance public access to, and the enjoyment of, outdoor recreation experiences on Crown land
  • Preserve the integrity of significant recreation areas on Crown land
  • Manage the intensity and scope of activities, events and other uses of recreation sites, recreation trails and interpretive forest sites

Learn more about RSTBC's policies and strategies