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backcountry patrol

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Conservation officers, working for the Ministry of Environment, Lands and Parks and the B.C. Assets and Land Corporation, will be checking commercial recreation companies in the Sea to Sky Corridor for compliance with the Land Act. In a statement issued Dec. 23, the ministry said officers on snowmobiles will be "reminding" commercial backcountry operators that "all commercial use of Crown land must be authorized by the provincial government..." As of Dec. 27 the officers are checking businesses offering outdoor recreation activities such as snowmobiling, mountaineering, fishing and hunting, hiking, helicopter skiing and cross-country ski touring. The province announced a revised Commercial Recreation policy last May. The policy is intended to provide security to businesses "willing to invest in eco-tourism opportunities." The new policy provides for a number of tenure options, ranging from a temporary permit, to a licence of occupation, to a long-term lease, depending on the nature and intensity of the proposed activity. There are currently only four tenured commercial recreation operations in the Sea to Sky Corridor, although a number of applications are being processed.

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