Range Act regulation changes to benefit rangeland users

B.C. government press release — local angle to follow.

  • Dec. 5, 2014 6:00 p.m.

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

efficiently;

* 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.”

 

Quick Facts:

* 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.

 

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