RAMP moving ahead in the new year

Recreation planning is underway to create an access management plan.

  • Jan. 2, 2012 5:00 a.m.

Sometime early this year the committee members behind the Recreational Access Management Plan (RAMP) project will be releasing a draft of the document for public review.

The volunteer committee has been working on the draft since October which takes the input of various outdoors interest groups and will work it into a document which aims to promote recreation and to reduce conflicts between user groups.

At this moment the group is dealing with the northern end of the Bulkley Timber Supply Area, the territory that this process will cover.

Currently they are only working on summer plans, with the hope to do a winter process later.

According to Ben Heemskerk, the chair of the recreation sub-committee working on this RAMP process, the table of people are starting with the agreements that were put together in the 1997 RAMP process.

The sub-committee works under the umbrella of the Bulkley Valley Community Resources Board.

“[We’re] looking through it, reaffirming that that’s still working and seeing if there’s any areas that could be tweaked,” he said.

The group said that this is the first community-led RAMP process. Government-driven processes have taken place in the Kootenay and Vanderhoof areas.

“The ultimate goal of the process…is no matter what kind of recreational user you are that you can go out and find a spot where you can have a high value recreational experience,” said Heemskerk. “That takes some discussions and give and take from the different groups.”

He expects a draft to be ready in late February for the public to provide their input. The existing committee, made up of 12 people from various recreation groups, guide the process to provide balance, he said.

“After we finish the summer process we’re start the winter process,” Heemskerk said. “We’re still working on attaining more funding to move ahead because we have hired a professional facilitator.”

Once the plan is finished, it will be submitted to the provincial government as recommendations.

The process is being funded by Recreational Sites and Trails B.C., Wetzin’Kwa Community Forest and the Real Estate Foundation of British Columbia.

The committee members are available prior to any open house later this year. You can look up how to contact them on their website at ww.bvcrb.ca/ramp.

Smithers Interior News