VICTORIA – Changes made to the Range Act and Range Act regulation to
improve the management of B.C.’s rangeland are in effect, Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations Minister Steve
Thomson announced on December 1st.
The regulatory changes reflect a commitment made in the BC Jobs Plan
and a recommendation of the Ranching Task Force to improve the
regulatory framework for range tenure holders.
The changes to the Range Act regulation:
* streamline the process for approving agreements (permits and
licences) so vacant Crown range can be allocated more quickly and
* simplify the fee structure and eliminate some fees;
* improve business certainty for range operators by allowing longer
terms on tenures, and also allow the conversion of grazing permits
issued prior to 2004 to grazing licences; and
* enable the conversion of grazing leases to grazing licences,
providing tenure holders more flexibility to manage their businesses.
The changes to the Range Act regulation will also give licence
holders and other agreement holders more freedom to manage their
operations by removing the requirement for operators to obtain
ministry approval before selling their excess hay production. The
changes will also allow a holder of multiple tenures to more easily
consolidate or subdivide those tenures.
Ranching operations are typically family-run businesses that have
been in operation for several generations and are the backbone of
many rural communities.
Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations Steve
Thomson – “These changes provide ranchers and rangeland users with increased
flexibility and opportunity to run their businesses, while also
supporting the government’s goal of environmental sustainability.”
Lary Fossum, president of the B.C. Cattlemen’s Association – “The B.C. Cattlemen’s Association is pleased to see the amendments to
the Range Act and the Range Act regulation come into force. These
changes will simplify the administrative process for producers and
the ministry. It will allow ranchers to do better long-term planning
while giving them the confidence and security to invest in the
industry and the land so we can continue producing some of the best
beef in the world.”
Scott Ellis, executive director of the Guide Outfitters Association
of B.C. – “British Columbia’s guide outfitting industry welcomes the changes to
the Range Act and the Range Act regulation. Simplifying and
restructuring the fee system is a positive step and the move to
synchronize the issuance of Guide Outfitter Certificates with long-
term tenures provides greater business certainty for our members.”
* B.C.’s cattle producers directly employ about 2,300 people and
generate about $351 million of economic activity each year.
* The guide outfitting industry in British Columbia directly employs
more than 2,000 people and generates about $116 million of economic
activity each year.