Group calls for limited access to backcountry roads near Jordan River

Victoria Fish and Game Protective Association says closures would limit misuse of woods

Controlling access to industrial roads would help solve the garbage and gunfire issue in Jordan River, says a spokesperson for the Victoria Fish and Game Protective Association.

“Open roads are the cause of road closures,” said Terrance Martin, director of Victoria Fish and Game Protective Association and member of the B.C. Wildlife Federation.

“Our association has an interest in backroads because of hunting and fishing, and generally just getting out in the woods, and we would like to see these roads have regulated access so it can screen out the bad guys.”

He said right now there is not enough regulations on industry roads, and enforcement can’t do much about how the roads are maintained or used.

Martin wants industries to work together with the government to start putting gates on the roads after forestry companies are done using them for logging.

“Right now the province in this area won’t allow the forestry companies to put a gate on a Crown land road, so either roads are open to everyone or closed completely. We would like to see a middle ground, and maybe give people electronic keys to manage the access, and then you wouldn’t end up with this free-for-all that results in roads being closed for good.”

Martin said with a record of who is using the roads, it would dissolve the dumping and gunfire issues, instead of just deactivating the road so it’s not available to anyone.

“Poaching, dumping, and illegal use of firearms, which is a big concern to our club because it smears negativity across legal firearm owners, are issues that happen when the roads are just left open with no regulations,” said Martin.

He suggested to first try out putting a gate on East Main Road in Jordan River, a road that he says is in danger of closure because of all the problems with people dumping garbage along it.

“These behaviour problems have been going on for years, but in order to solve the issue we need the political will,” said Thompson. “Roads being completely closed off just because a few people are ruining it for everyone is the last thing we want.”

Though adding gates to the roads might help solve the issue, Capital Regional District director for the Juan de Fuca Electoral Area Mike Hicks said that’s not an ideal option because he wants everyone to be able to use the roads.

“There are a lot of people who enjoy the backcountry, and I’m not big on putting gates up. We have laws and should use common sense about shooting guns and cleaning up after ourselves, so I’d like to see as many of the back roads left open as possible,” said Hicks.

“If the silliness continues, putting up gates may be what needs to happen, but it’s not what I want that’s for sure. I don’t want to restrict access at all.”

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