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"it’s not hard to get approval to build a trail, at least not in BC."
This may differ between forest districts but on Crown land in the Squamish forest district (Whistler, Squamish, Pemberton) the application process currently uses the trail environmental screening tool (TEST). This is a 46 page fillable PDF the requires the applicant to cross reference different environmental layers through iMAP after uploading a shapefile of their GPS track.
I'm not arguing against getting approvals for trails, just that the current process is a significant barrier to entry.
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