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Corridor residents launch petition to save Hurley, High Line service roads


Andrew Mitchell

Corridor residents from Pemberton, D’Arcy, Gold Bridge, Bralorne, Lillooet, and Seton Portage are on a mission to save two popular Forest Service Roads from falling into complete disrepair.

A month and a half ago an excavator fell through a bridge on the Highline Road between the communities of D’Arcy and Seton Portage. The road was closed and no efforts have been made to repair the bridge and re-open the route.

In addition, residents believe the last time the Hurley Forest Service Road, connecting the communities of Pemberton and Gold Bridge, was graded or maintained was prior to the July long weekend.

The wear and tear has made that extremely popular route almost impassable without an off-road vehicle.

Back in April, the Ministry of Forests announced that they would cease maintenance of more than 43,000 kilometres of Forestry Service Roads in the province, classifying them as either ‘wilderness roads’ or ‘industrial roads.’

If ‘industrial roads’ are not being used companies with tenure in the area can close them until needed. Companies can also limit public access once the roads are back in use.

Maintenance of wilderness roads is made on a case-by-case basis. If the Ministry decides it is cheaper to close the road that to replace a bridge, the road will be closed.

Private companies are being given an opportunity to bid on forest service roads, trails and campsites to operate them for profit.

The Pique contacted the Ministry to find out the official status of the Hurley and Highline roads, but had not received a reply at press time.

Meanwhile, Vision Motor Sports of Pemberton is circulating a petition to get the Hurley back into shape.

"The government doesn’t want to put any more money into it, but just look at all the money that came out of that hillside," said the owner operator of Vision Motor Sports Lincoln Ferguson, referring to the logging and mining which has gone on in the area.

"And this is what we get for it?"

While the closures haven’t affected his business, he said the damaged roads have affected recreation in the area as well as the residents in the area who could save hours by travelling these roads.

Said Ferguson: "We’d like to see them taken care of like past years, that’s all."