|Contents||Planning - Part A||Planning - Part B||Funding||Execution|
OVERALL SUMMARY 41
This manual is a guide as to how to go about achieving site developments for the sports of hang gliding and paragliding. Be under no false impressions - this is work, and must be approached as such. This is one area of the sports where we interface with many official and business organisations and jurisdictions. They are funded groups that work normal business hours, and expect to be dealt with on their terms. They have mandates, terms of reference, budgets and professional responsibilities to account for. In many instances, they are also subject to public accountability.
These organisations are also made up of very ordinary people, and indeed some of our own members are sometimes among them. When approached on a professional basis, they are often more than co-operative in assisting the endeavours of well managed, recreational and sporting organisations. Just like anything else, if you can meet them at least half way, this will often enable them to help steer you through the procedures of their own particular organisations, and will also often provide introductions to adjacent groups.
The manual is divided into three sections: Planning, Funding and Execution. All three are equally important and inter-related. You make plans to define what you want to do, obtain funding to pay for it, and then go out to do what your plans laid out with the money you have in place for the work. It is an iterative process. Typically planning and funding will go through several cycles before you get to Execution, and successful execution will lead to another phase of planning.
Site development is an evolving process, just as the physical developments comprise part of the evolution of your site. While some of the subject matter of this manual is currently in effect and may be used directly, and is intended for this purpose, circumstances change and vary, requiring flexibility. Together with initiative, the underlying principles are the all important guidelines that can be applied to any situation.
We have associations in place of our own to work with. We can and should use them. Personal dedication and committment is required, in addition to a certain amount of personal security and establishment. In the case of mature adult sports like ours this is nothing out of the ordinary, but it is best to realise it from the outset. Bear in mind though, that if you feel a little short in some of these areas, this does not preclude you from engaging in this sort of activity, and may in fact help or oblige you to focus on those things to your advantage. Success will boost your credibility in places you may never have expected.
So what are the rewards? You personally will get a better site to fly from, provided you still have time! So will your friends and every other pilot who uses the site. Your community will benefit from increased visitors. You will hear about it from some of these people. Not all of them, it is true, but you will from the ones who have done similar things themselves or are doing them currently. You will hear about it from those who operate flying businesses and those who are officers of our associations. When this happens, you will appreciate it, because by then, you will know that they understand what you have been doing.
|Contents||Planning - Part A||Planning - Part B||Funding||Execution|
1 PLANNING - Part A
At the outset you have to decide what it it you want to achieve. It might be a new launch ramp, a series of ramps, to increase the launch heading window from 90o to 180o, to upgrade an access road, to improve a landing approach, to acquire a landing field, to acquire a club house - the possibilities go on. The degree of importance comes into this. If every visiting pilot complains that launching is dicey because of a certain obstacle, and several have crashed into it, this is is good cause for action. You then have SAFETY on your list. If a particular clump of trees on your approach path to your regular landing field bothers you personally, but no-one else seems to care and no-one complains, mentions it or even seems to understand what you are talking about, then perhaps you need to refine your landing approach procedures first before creating a big stir. Do not necessarily ignore it - if you fly in there every day, you very well might know more about this particular item than anyone else, and it may just be that there are certain conditions where it does matter. Safety, to say the obvious, is always of paramount. It carries big weight too. You may be amazed at the doors it will open, if handled the right way.
NEVER UNDERESTIMATE THE POWER OF SAFETY !!
The point is, you must establish specific objectives, and get them firmly fixed in your mind, together with every reason why they are needed. The more essential they are, the better. You are going to be campaigning for these things hard. You must totally believe in it yourself, because you will have to convince all kinds of other people, and may have to be intransigent about it every now and then.
1.2 Community Orientation
Hang gliding and paragliding are rather special sports. When hundreds of cars and pick-ups go by, no-one takes any notice - there are millions of them everywhere. When people are killed and mutilated by them, very little more notice is taken - it happens every day. If half a dozen hang gliders fly into a field one afternoon, everyone for miles around knows about it. In fact, even one will do the trick. People want to know what kind of a person does this, where do they come from, how much do they cost, how difficult are they to fly, and so on. If it turns out that there "these things" fly around this area all the time, then this is something special. It is fascinating and interesting - and it brings visitors to town.
So where is the launch site? Where is the landing field? Where are they in relation to other things in the community? Which residential area is the launch site directly above? Is the landing field the one just down the road from the ball diamonds? Where do these people stay when they come to town? Which restaurants do they use? Which local residents fly? What do these people do for a living? "Oh, you mean the guy that runs such and such a store, drives a log truck, works at the bank, whose kids are in the same class as mine at school......." This sort of thing puts a perspective of reality to it all. In this light, just as it is accepted that the ball players need ball diamonds to play at and the swimming club must have a swimming pool, or at least access to one, the hang gliders and paragliders need certain things.
We are talking about image. It is vitally important that a good, responsible image of the sport, its activities and participants is projected. People will listen to this sort of group.
Now, what do you have to offer? If you have not thought of it that way before, start now! What it comes to is VISITORS. Visitors bring dollars. They spend money every day. Tourism BC's estimate is currently about $95 per visitor day. This is a very all encompassing figure, but it has been widely applied, and it works. Imagine your own family or group going somewhere, and be realistic about it.
The lumber industry has always been one of the mainstays of British Columbia. Stories of the immense trees and life in the woods are world renowned. Greenpeace is now a household word. Environmental concerns are highlighted on national and international news programs almost as predominantly as wars and terrorism. In British Columbia we have a new Forest Practices Code. Its goal is to manage the provinces forests in such a manner that we continue to have forests. We are talking about everything from continuity of wood products, preservation of soils, cleanliness of creeks and rivers, absorbtion of carbon dioxide to visual aesthetics. The feature of it that applies to our subject is that it at least implies a scaling down of the entire lumber industry in BC. In some instances this is real, immediate and already in effect. When you can call your logger friends in the middle of the day mid-week and they are at home not doing anything, this is real. On a larger scale, it may not be as dramatic, but there is certainly a shift of activities taking place. The point is that there is widely perceived scaling down, with a commensurate reduction of incomes, particularly on an individual and community level.
The upside of the above for our purposes is the very real fact that any initiative that will generate any new income at all for any community, especially rural ones, is a bonus that will at least help to offset this downturn. The words are TOURISM & RECREATION. In this light, there are funds that can be accessed to encourage such initiatives, and all kinds of community support.
To summarise this section, one might sat that it is necessary to instill the idea in a community that the prescence of our sport offers them a long term return in exchange for their help in the development of facilities.
An individual has to be behind any site development. In theory, it can be a group, but the reality is an individual. This is the only way you can guarantee doing certain things. YOU do them! This means you need a title. Create it! This is expected. The whole project is new, so a new organisational infrastructure has to be set up to manage it. Any organisation, government or otherwise, does this when a new project or division is started. Site Development Manager works, and is descriptive. Use your imagination. If you are a director of the BCHPA, this is good. Now, you need an organisation to be representing, or acting on behalf of. If you have a local club, this could be it. In this case you need to be a director of it, in order to show evidence of executive capability. It is better not to be a specific officer - eg secretary or president - as this may over commit you. Our provincial association, the BCHPA, will be needed at least for endorsement, and in many cases will the best organisation to use. It is a registered, non-profit society, has elected and appointed officers and directors, AGM's, minutes of meetings and annual reports. It has existed for quite some time, and therefore has a proven track record. This subject will come up again later. The fact that the officers change every so often requires some extra leg work, but does go to reinforce the reality that it IS a genuine non-profit society and that the work is shared out. Continuity can be an issue, and on occasion a President or signing officer may be requested to see a particular project through to its conclusion beyond their term of principal office. Continuation as a director may be necessary to satisfy authority requirements. If you want to use a club, check it out. Is it a registered society? If it is not, it could become one, but beware of the extra work. Doing this is a full time job in itself - ask anyone who has done it. It is much better to conserve your energies for the real tasks at hand. There is no need to reinvent the wheel. The larger the group you represent the better. Number of members is a typical funding ingredient. The BCHPA is also affiliated to our National association, the HPAC, which also leads to insurance.
So, you become a Special Appointee of a Given (existing) Organisation, which is an associate member of the BCHPA, which is affiliated to the HPAC. If the first organisation does not exist, this is fine. The BCHPA is used directly. However, if there is one, it will have to be in the chain.
This may seem dry, but everyone will want to know who you are. Both you as a commited individual and a parent organisation are required. You work this into your letterhead and business cards, and you have it - you exist!
The last items mentioned in the previous section were 'letterhead' and 'business cards'. It is hard to imagine how anything of this nature could be done without a computer any more. It may not be mandatory, but your chances of success without one are slim. Expectations these days are based on current industry standards, and that means computers, amongst other things. You are looking at running an office, in effect. What kind of computer or operating system does not matter - DOS, Windows, IBM, PC, compatible, Mac, Unix, Sun-Sparc, and so on. For everyday purposes the main choice is DOS & compatibles or MacIntosh. Most government offices use DOS, and many newspapers use Macs. You will be conveying hard copy rather than digital data in most cases, though this may change to some extent with Internet. Of course, you have to know how to use your computer! If you are already cpmputer literate, this is good. If not, the on going benefits to you personally will be WELL worth the effort of becoming so. Many people will use them at work, and some employers may allow you to use the system you use daily for business for volunteer work. It is a matter of discussing with them what you are wanting to do. Be upfront, and they may be able to help. For instance, perhaps you can use the office fax. In coming faxes do not cost - they are chargeable to the sender. Fax is good - there is no delay as with the mail, you send it out and can be discussing the content with the recipient in moments. Once again, this sort of speed of comunication is a standard expectation now, such that some arrangements and scheduling can be virtually impossible without it. Modems, fax modems, E-mail and the Internet all come into this. Not all of these are necessary, but access to some of it is.
So, once you have a system up and running, you need a word processor. There are many good ones. Information on all this is almost impossible not to be aware of these days. "Word" and "Word Perfect", together with their derivatives for Windows and MacIntosh are two industry standards. Most, if not all, BC provincial government departments use Word Perfect, but as previously stated it is hard copy rather than digital format you will be conveying. This means a printer. If you have to acquire one, the most cost effective kind at the present time are "bubble jets", sometimes known as "Inkjets". Laser printers are the next step in speed, quietness and cost. Color laser is currently prohibitively expensive, but color bubblejet is within range. For a complete system, an outlet such as Future Shop is basically unbeatable. They sell good equipment at prices that fit a domestic budget. When buying a complete system, there is always a software package either included or available, and at a fraction of the cost of purchsing the programs separately. This might decide for you exactly which word processor you will use.
So now you are up and running with your word processor. Make up a letterhead. You can put in graphics, which means you can have a logo. Then you use this format every time you "write" a letter, without having to regurgitate all this information every time. Then, you take one of these to a printer and get business cards made up. If you shop around, you can get 500 for around $30. It is worth the effort. You can use them as self introductions, and the person has the correct spelling of your name and all the address information and contact numbers. It also looks more professional.
Graphics brings up the subject of printer quality. The new BCHPA logo is a good example. From a laser or probably a good bubblejet it is real sharp. From some older or dot-matrix printers it can be a smudge. If you think you may want to use it - and you well might - get a copy of it on disk from the secretary/treasurer and take it with you when you go shopping. Tell the salesman that you will need to print this. If he wants to sell you equipment, he will put it into a system that has the necessary programs to read it, turn it into a print file and print it. The 1995 BCHPA membership application forms are a good example of a good rendition of this logo.
1.5 Land Use
Land Use has become such an issue that it is worth talking about a little. The current NDP Provincial government will probably be remembered for its initiatives in this area as much as anything else. Studies on different aspects of land use in B.C. have been going on for years. What a scarce few people saw in the sixties and seventies, the majority see today. British Columbia, not to mention Canada, is one of the most substantial regions of relatively untouched natural terrain in the World. Those of us who live in the rural areas know very well that much of it IS quite well touched, to say the least of it, but beside dust bowls in South America that were formerly tropical jungles, radiation soaked regions of the former USSR, oil saturated Persian Gulf sands and waters, and massive urban sprawls of places like Los Angeles, our environment is about as close to the wild as it comes any more. The thrust of all the studies has been to blend together the maintenance of our accustomed status with preservation of what we have. The results of all of these studies have been coalesced into something called the Land Use Stategy. There are four volumes of this document, and each is a book in itself. This strategy is in the process of becoming law. Together with all the other related legislations, the implementation of these these things is in itself an evolving process. Translating the concepts and spirit of the intents is far too complex to have been reduced to linear set of rules. The net product of all this on our lives comes to one not so simple direction - change.
For our purposes here there is a change in the assessment of relative values of different land uses. Smaller scale but continuous uses are recognised as having much greater value than before in relation to some large scale but short term uses. The value of recreation has gained much increased significance. All reports from all these studies highlight recreational value over and over again. Of course, there are many others too, which is where "multiple resource use" and "integrated land management" come in. The conflicts of values and recognition have been thrashed out and legislative guidelines laid down. The doors are open. It is up to us who live here to make use of it. We are invited to do so.
One of the first specific tasks is to learn the jurisdictional heirarchy of the area(s) you will be working in. Typical options are:-
For private land, the owners and renters or leaseholders must be dealt with. Farm land, for instance, is often actually farmed by someone other than the owner. Both parties have to be negotiated with.
Crown land falls under the jurisdiction of one or more government agencies. In BC, this will always at least involve the Ministry of Forests (BCFS) - more about this agency later. If creeks or rivers are involved, the Ministry of Environment, Lands & Parks (MOELP) comes into it, and possibly the Federal Department of Fisheries & Oceans, though this is unlikely.
If there is a Park of any kind, it will be administered by some agency. Parks Canada, the administrators of Canada's National Parks, simply prohibit hang gliding & paragliding. As far as site work goes, that is that, until someone wants to take on the task of changing their policy. While in the opinion of the writer this would be valid, it is not currently considered worth the effort. City or other Parks are another matter. Find the administrators and approach them.
Anything within a Town boundary will fall under that town's jurisdiction and by-laws. There will be a Mayor and Town Council, and the councillors. In small towns there will be a Clerk/Administrator, or similar. This is a person to win over. This is enough to start from, and direct you to their other affiliates.
A City will be similar to the Town, but bigger. The small town mayor is usually very accessible, such as at his place of work or home. In a major city, it may take presentations and appointments just to get to meet with him. In this case, try to make such meetings count.
Municipality is mostly another way of saying Town or District. It is a matter of finding out who really deals with what in your subject area.
Regional Districts are the local government bodies that have political and taxation jurisdiction over everywhere in BC that is NOT part of any other jurisdiction. In our case, these are who we will often be dealing with.
The Department of Lands is a sub-set of the MOELP, and are one of the bodies connected with Tenures. These are discused later.
The British Columbia Ministry of Forests, variously known as the BC Forest Service, Forset Service, or abbreviation of BCFS, are one of the most important agencies we have to deal with. Since we are always looking for launch sites that are high, this typically means that they are in places that are far from where anyone can or wants to actually live or engage in any business or privately owned commercial or industrial activity. So, they typically lie on Crown land, and since BC is historically a lumber industry dependent province, THAT falls under the jurisdiction of the Forest Service. Since the BCFS inherits, in a sense, everything that is not privately owned, they also inherit a whole host of matters that are not forestry items at all. In many ways they are the provincial government administrators of everything that does not fit anywhere else. They are a repository of all kinds of information, and have an extensive beauracracy to deal with all of this. If approached the right way, negotiations with them, if a little onerous, are not really difficult. A large part of this manual is in fact devoted to precisely this.
The point of this section is that it is necessary to find out exactly who the persons and bodies are that must be dealt with.
1.7 The B.C. Forest Service
The full title of this organisation is the "British Columbia Ministry of Forests". For insurance purposes they are referred to as "The Province of British Columbia, Ministry of Forests". It is a provincial organisation that is funded by taxation in the form of fees and royalties from the lumber industry. From Head Offices in Victoria it is divided into Regions, and from the Regional Offices into Districts. It is at the District level that day to day affairs are handled. This is where we come in.
A District office will have a District Manager, an Assistant or Operations Manager, followed by a series of Resource Officers (RO's). There will be an RO Engineering, Recreation, Timber, Silviculture and Small Business. There will also be persons in charge of Fire Watching, Fire Suppression and Initial Attack Crews. In addition there will now be someone to the effect of a Watershed Restoration Program Co-ordinator, and there may be a Professional Engineer on staff too. Someone will be in charge of media releases, there will be a draftsperson, and several secretaries and accounting personnel. When you consider a number of support personnel under all of these positions, this adds up to quite a sizeable operation. Many of these people will be an RPF - Registered Professional Forester. The whole process of becoming an RPF involves a considerable amount of on the job experience and training, so many of the people, generally the more junior personnel, will not be RPF's. Your opposite number for a flying site development will probably be a Resource Assistant - someone who is not yet an RPF or RO, but in due course hopes to become both.
The Forest Service is very seniority oriented. Instructions and directives from above supercede anything else previously in place. Guidelines and recommendations from above are also generally followed directly.
The Forest Service is also a very regimented beauracracy. Enormous efforts have been expended on creating tabulated and numerical systems for everything possible. There has been a new Forest Practices Code brought into use in 1994. As of April 1995, it still has not actually been finally and officially voted in as Law, but for all practical purposes it may as well be. The spirit of the new code is to bring about more environmentally sound practices and establish a genuinely sustainable level of production for the lumber industry in the Province.
1.8 Chains of Command & Authority
At this point you can now start to detirmine who can authorise what. >From our side, daily affairs will be your responsibility, while the signature of the BCHPA President will be required on certain key documents. Anything that HAS to be in the associations name - eg tenure documentation and some official permit requests - will require signature by the current BCHPA President, and is most effective when presented on association letterhead. In the beginning it is wise to start at the top. Let that person direct you downwards. It does not take long, and that way you get all bases covered. Quite soon you will establish an "opposite number" in all sorts of places. These will be the people you really work with. Exchange business cards and all relevant parts of your existence. They will usually reciprocate. Listen to their requirements carefully. Give them everything they ask for that you can within the constraints of your own requirements. Find out where their bounds of authority lie. Then find out who to go to further along the line. Remember, they have limits to their part of your project - you do not.
1.9 Establishing Communication
This is woven in with the last section. It is just the mechanics of setting up the means of communication that will be used. Get it sorted out as much as possible where phone calls, faxes, letters, originals or personal presentations will be the correct procedures. Every now and then an original document will be required. This means mails or couriers, and time. As you do this, make a few calls, leave some messages, send some faxes, and find out that way what actually works. Experience shows that messages can be ignored, telephone discussions can be forgotten or recalled differently, while documentation, although it can get lost, remains as evidence and has to be kept on record. This is where the fax is so useful. It is at once quick and permanent. Of course, you must be diligent in the maintenance of your own records.
1.10 Multiple Resource Use
There are a number of catchwords in use today. Land use issues are full of them. The more of them you can utilise the better. Multiple resource use is an important one. The more uses of anything the better. If an area of land can be used for a number of things, then it firstly becomes more valuable. Then, common facilities that enable it to be utilised for these purposes also become intrinsically both more necessary and more justifiable. The classic example is an access road. It can be used for industry, research and recreation - any activity that requires physical access. Anything that is for a single purpose only starts at a disadvantage, and must survive on its own merits alone. Sharing with others carries much more weight. This, of course, means that some flexibility of our wishes may be necessary: not compromise of our requirements - if a launch is needed, it is needed, but perhaps next year instead of this year would do. The important thing in this case would be to get it at all, rather than when.
1.11 Assess Needs of Others
Leading directly on from multiple resource use, figure out, find out what anyone else might want in the same area of interest. You may not be the only one wanting road improvements or access. Timing may help some other party. The exact route of a road could mean the difference between existence or non-existence of some other activity, such as bird watching. This could mean the difference between support and active opposition to your project. The access route to a landing field might be important. One way may be shorter but pass by a quiet residential area, while an alternate might be longer but not bother anybody. The important thing here would be the field, not its access route. Again there may be a choice of fields. If from the pilots point of view there is nothing to chose from, then adopt the one that is most amenable to the neighbours. A little co-operation here and there can go a long way. You never know when one of these neighbours will turn out to be a key person on a funding approval committee!
1.12 Overall Plan - Preliminary
Now it is time to get down to business. Plans, on paper, are absolutely mandatory. In the very beginning, a sketch may suffice, but be sure to label it something to the effect of "For discussion purposes only". It is amazing how people will remember the first thing they see, and never really get the final picture.
We will consider the case of a launch site development, primarily because this will typically be on Crown land, and entails a full spectrum of application and permit processes. Landing areas are more typically situated on developed, valley bottom land that is privately owned, where the issues are more ones of negotiation of use rather than physical developments, although many of the same principals still apply.
Legal plans will be needed if private property is involved. Anything within a Town boundary should be on file at the relevant Town Hall. The Town Engineer, if there is one, technician or building inspector are the people to talk to. The Ministry of Transprotation & Highways keeps copies of all legal plans that adjoin public roads. Since very few parcels do not have access from a public road or right-of-way, this means that there are very few properties outside of Town or City limits that they do not have copies of. All MOTH District offices and sub-offices have these plans on file for their areas. These are the most accessible sources for legal plans. It is public information; all you have to do is ask for it politely, and they will make you copies. This is presently free of charge. Land registry offices also have complete sets of ALL legal plans in their regions. There may be a small fee for this, but to date these have been in the range of a nominal $10 or so. Utility companies also have copies of all their legal plans. They are not obliged to give out copies, but if you ask the right way someone at a local office will probably copy a piece for you. Given the likelihood of our use of remote locations, hydro and telephone companies might very well be involved with power line right-of-ways and communication transmission and repeater stations. Legal surveyors also have many of these plans, of course, but they tend to refrain from dealing with walk-in general public.
The subject of property ownership has to be dealt with too where it is involved. You can get a "Title Search" from the Land Registry office. You can communicate by phone or fax, but they will want a small fee first. In these days of electronic communications, these are also usually available through any Government Agents office. This will give you the name and their recorded address of the registered owners, together with all encumbrances. Encumbrances include easements, right-of-ways, and a number of other things that you may need to be aware of. Since most people do not forward changes of address to the Land Registry office, the address you get from them may not lead you to the owners. However, the Property Taxation office certainly will have a current address. They want money, so they keep in touch! You can obtain an "Assessment Roll Query" from them, for another nominal $10. This provides the name & address of the registered owners, the assessment class and value for the past two years, and the date and value of the previous three property transactions. This is all publically available information.
|Contents||Planning - Part A||Planning - Part B||Funding||Execution|
Here comes some nuts and bolts of all this.
The site is on crown land, but is adjacent to a community. In terms of telling someone from far away where it is, it is at Hometown. Go through everything mentioned so far. Get the town fathers on your side in principal. Establish the connections with the community. Find out which forest district the site is in, and establish the communications. A base map is needed for your plans. There is a 1:50,000 topographic series available through the local Government Agents Office. The Forest Service uses 1:20,000 base maps. Get a copy of the relevant area from them. This is public information - you have a right to ask for it. Not only that, but they wiil want to see your site on their plans. Be aware that a launch site will fit within a postage stamp at 1:20,000. Obviously, a much larger scale is needed to show your project's details. 1:1000 is more like it. Forestry planning is now worked on TRIM maps. Terrain Resource Integrated Mapping. It is a digital mapping format, and contains all kinds of information from soil and timber types to contours. As it comes from CAD systems, pieces of them can be plotted at any scale. Ask for a TRIM plot of your area for you to mark up your project. Now, since this is still a bit new, at least at the district office level, it may take some time as it may have to come from a regional office or head engineering department. Engineering and forestry contractors can and do handle it all. They are another source of this mapping, though since they work for money and have obtained their TRIM data from the BCFS or industry, it may take some negotiation and/or money. But you have to have something. Now, if you can engage the services of a pilot engineer or technician, you can get WAY on top of this part of your project. To someone who does these sort of things every day, there is nothing to it. If you are on top of your community image, the local major timber company is someone you can approach for help here. If you have never touched any of this before, you need help.
In principal, what you have to do at this stage is to display EVERYTHING that you could ever possibly want to do at your site. There is no committment to actually doing any of it at this stage. You are just conveying what the overall scope of things could eventually be. A Preliminary Plan is generated, showing what and where is contemplated. This may well give rise to all sorts of discussion, and this is really what you want. Any seriously contentious issues can be brought up without any losses to anyone at this stage. Items can be deleted or added as appropriate. You take it with you everywhere, and get as much input and response as possible - including fellow pilots and your club and association.
And remember - it is boldly marked "PRELIMINARY".
1.13 Overall Plan - Working
Repeated iterations of the Preliminary Plan will eventually lead to a version that is accepted by everyone. This becomes the Working Plan. The Working Plan, which can be marked as such but does necessarily require marking at all, now gets used to detirmine what form of Tenure will be required for the project. Execution of any work on Crown land requires permits. Most of these permits can only be issued to a tenure holder of some kind. Indeed, the permit applications must be applied for by such tenure holder. So, find out what permits will be required. Then find out what you have to be to apply for and be issued with these permits.
Leases & Licences
The Province of BC, under the MOELP, has instituted a Back Country Recreation Policy. The principal features of this CBR policy are two forms of tenure - Leases and Licenses of Occupation.
A Lease, with a 15 year term and a 5 year replacement option, is intended for small areas with intensive use and significant capital investment. This typically applies to lodges. Heli-Skiing and other back country lodges require leases. So, if someone wanted to put up a lodge on crown land oriented around hang gliding & paragliding, they would need a Lease, you would approach the MOELP for it, and be prepared to spend money. This does not concern us here.
A License of Occupation is closer to our situation, but firstly has not arisen yet, and if or when it does, would probably be a borderline case as with so many other things with our sports. Most of our activity is in the air, and this CBR policy is just not oriented toward this. Licenses of Occupation apply well to hunting and guiding operations, especially where they may make use of an existing cabin, which for their clients is part of the excursion for which they are paying. The wording in the news release of 6 Feb 1995 is that Licenses of Occupation are intended for recreational operations where there will be little or no development of the natural landscape. Further, they will not provide the holder with exclusive use of the land, public access cannot be excluded, and nor can other uses be precluded, such as mineral extraction or timber harvesting. There is to be an annual fee of $6 per client day for heavily mechanised uses, and $1 per client day for all other uses. Licenses of Occupation are issued for 5 years, with a 3 year replacement option, and can be cancelled with 6 months notice "where the land is required in the public interest". Again, for our purposes, particularly as a non-profit organisation, these are not required and do not apply. But it as well to know about these things. For instance, someone else may have one of these forms of tenure in place at your project site.
The news release referred to, issued by MOELP, 1994:ELP94/95-144, should be available from your MLA constituency office, any regional BC Lands office, or by contacting Mark Stefanson, Executive Director, Public Affairs & Communications, MOELP, at 604-387-9419.
The Special Use Permit
There is one other form of tenure, much less exhaustive, that does apply to us - the Special Use Permit (SUP). They are used for a wide variety of things. Power lines, communication lines, radio repeaters, gravel pits, clubs and sporting organisations are some of the items and groups that make use of them. It does not directly give you anything, but it is an acknowledgement that your activity is accepted, you have a right to be there, and, most important of all, the Forest Service can issue all sorts of permits to an SUP holder that can not be issued to you any other way. Once in place, it is duly recorded, including on a Tenure Map. In fact, you should ask to see the tenure map for your area of concern. This is the sort of thing that they may not allow you to see without a good reason - wanting to apply for a tenure is the appropriate sort of good reason. If you can get a photocopy of the relevant area. It may help in your planning - the more you know about everything around you the better. All forms of tenure are shown on this map, so it can be quite interesting. When yours is in place, it will be shown there also. This means that if someone else applies for something on your tenure or adjacent to it, you will be notified and your response will be given good consideration. For instance, if a dirt bike club wanted an SUP for holding trail camps in your patch, you might not want this. As a current SUP holder you would have a right to object, and further, a right to be heard and to a point a right to have the amenities required for your activity protected.
The SUP is virtually free - $1 for 3 years. This may change a little, of course, but it is merely a token fee. There are just two things to be aware of - time and insurance. The first has no cost, barring your patience. It takes a year to get an SUP in place, especially where the activity is very seasonal, like ours. You simply tell your opposite number at the appropriate local district office that you would like to apply for one, if he does not tell you that you should apply for one first, and follow your nose from there. It is not difficult. What it is, is that the application has to be advertised both publically and throughout their organisation, for anyone's input or objections. Given the profusion of In-baskets and procedures, this takes many months. This sort of thing is also not going to be one of their priorities. You can and should make a case that it should be - this way it will take maybe only a year.
The Forest Service will require liability insurance on the SUP area as a condition of the SUP. The only source of this is through the Master General Liability Policy of the HPAC. This means the SUP holder has to be a direct affiliate of the HPAC. All the Provincial Associations are, so this dictates in whose name the SUP should be applied for - in our case, the BCHPA. Other member clubs may, in fact, also be eligible, but the SUP holder has to remain in good standing. Spare yourself the extra work, and use the most established organisation with the most members. You still do all the work, but you have the Association behind you. Going back to 'time' for a moment, this is one of the situations when original documentation will have to be used, both in the applications and approvals. You will negotiate it all, but the BCHPA will make the official presentations. Now you know some of what the President does!
The nature of the insurance.
Experience is that this can become much more involved than it has to be. Right here, at the SUP application, is the time to get this set up the right way. A few things to know. The HPAC policy is a General Liability policy, not an aviation policy. For these purposes, hang gliders and paragliders are not considered aircraft. The policy allows for "Named Insureds". As of 1995, Named Insured Certificates can be issued, by the HPAC, for $50 each, with one or two names on each certificate. There is theoretically no limit to the number of certificates that can be issued in any one year - it is just a matter of $50 per certificate. So, a typical situation is naming the owners of the launch site and principal landing area on one certificate. Application forms are available from the HPAC Administrator, and you take it from there. What you have to be wary of is someone, such as the Forest Service, asking for some other type of certificate or form of insurance. The reality of it very likely is that for all practical purposes it will not be feasible to provide it. Having the HPAC running this sort of request by the insurers BEFORE anyone makes any committment could be WELL worth the effort. So, if there could be a problem with an insurance request, the time to get to grips with it is before any committment is signed, such as the terms of an SUP. Then, something manageable will be written in, and there should be no further difficulties.
Please, before anyone signs any of these applications where insurance is involved, or if ANY of the foregoing is not TOTALLY clear, consult with any or all of the following persons:
This list is quoted this way because beaureaucrats seem to remain while elected persons do not! Past Presidents will also be knowledgeable, but may not be up to date on any recent changes. They may also have had enough! With the consultation, send a copy of the relevant documentation so the exact wording can be discussed.
The SUP application will require a plan - see the previous two sections. This may well require a survey of some sort too. To be realistic, you are most likely going to have to have some level of survey work done somewhere along the line, so now is a good time to do it. Of course, you should get all the surveying and/or layout done that you may need at the same time. The amount and complexity to be addressed will very most likely be minimal - once again, for someone who does this sort of thing every day. The kind of people who do this level of surveying for a living include professional civil engineers, civil engineering technologists, professional foresters, forestry technicians and legal surveyors and their associated technicians. The legals are the least likely to be interested. Best of all is someone from one of these disciplines who owes you or one of your friends a favor, or is a pilot who kind of owes some dues, or both. The way we handled this at Golden went like this. Our volunteer, pilot civil engineering technologist would provide the equipment, run the crew, and prepare and sign the plan. We used one or two pilot volunteer helpers, and one paid employee, to be on the safe side. Since it could not be done in the winter, this meant doing it during flying season. Since no-one is ever going to give up a flight for anything, we agreed to do it on a day that was definitely not flyable. It was quite unpleasant. We got cold. We got wet. We got a flat tire in the mud on the way down. But we got the job done. You must find out from the Forest Service exactly what they require. Be aware that there can be a difference between "want" and "require". "Require" is a term the BCFS use implying compulsion and mandatory. If it is required, you basically just have to do it. It is wise to learn ahead of time where, when, under what circumstances etc you may be "required" to do something, and under what terms and conditions. This way these situations can sometimes be avoided, and your BCFS opposite number will probably be happy to assist you in this regard, particularly for unnecesary eventualities: these situations do not reflect well on him either. Where reasonable, always provide what is wanted more than the minimum required. It will promote good will, and if an earnset desire and efforts are displayed to "do the job properly", which you must, then it will make life easier when you DO have problems. Having problems does not have to be disasterous, but they should not occur from some error or lack of foresight on your behalf. As far as the surveying goes, any reasonably intelligent individual can run a tape measure, compass, clinometer and notebook. What they can not do is to certify the work if this is required. Plots and drawings signed and/or stamped by a licensed professional carry much more weight, and are sometimes required. This is the sort of thing you need to find out about beforehand. If professional certification IS required, get this part arranged before you start. In some circumstances, they may agree that you do the work, possibly with some direction from them, and they will subsequently sign or stamp it. But not necessarily. Often they must actually do the work themselves. Do not think that you can go out and generate any sort of plan and then just get some professional to "rubber stamp it" afterwards without ever having talked to him before - it does not work that way.
1.15 Technical Details
A few more nuts and bolts, mostly for those who work with or make a real private interest of computer technology. The sort of drawing we are talking about is done on AutoCad or MicroStation. Although each has different file formats - .DWG for AutoCad & .DGN for MicroStation, there is a common conversion called .DXF. This DXF is similar to ASCII for text. The Forest Service uses MicroStation. Both are professional programs that combine much more than just drawing, including co-ordination with surveying programs. Surveyors do not write down much any more - it all goes into data recorders, which are downloaded after into the CAD system, where the programs are then employed to generate the plot of the survey. The rest of the plan is then continued from there. The sort of systems that run these programs are high end. A 486 with inbuilt math co-processor, 250 MB hard drive, 16 MB RAM, 17" SVGA monitor and tape back-up together with a suitable graphics card are pretty well bottom line requirements now. This was about $4000 MINIMUM in 1994, and $8000 is a more realistic number. Plotters are twice this much and much more. AutoCad is only available for DOS based systems. MicroStation is available for DOS and Mac, beside almost anything else. It started life as a mainframe program, and got scaled dowm from there. AutoCad is the other way round. For anyone who has access to such a system, then you can go to work. Provided it is DOS based, you can unzip a TRIM file into either program. There are any number of other, lesser, cheaper, and often easier to learn drawing programs. They can make anything that will fit onto 8.5" x 11" or legal size paper look perfectly acceptable, but they will not do anything that cannot be done by hand. One of the catches now is not that there is anything wrong with manual work, but that more and more a digital format or output from one is what is required.
1.16 Development Phases
Unless it is very simple, divide your project up. The pieces become Phases. This way, you make it clear right from the start that you are not pretending to do it all at once. In most cases, this will be dictated by funding, if nothing alse. Also, the reality of one part, and starting to use it, may call for modification of another. Permits may also dictate phases.
Examples of phases might be clearing, earth moving, revegitating and ramp building. It will vary from site to site. Some phases that are not critical may never get done. Do not be afraid to include a bit of a wish list, providing the items would be acceptable. You never know what opportunities may arise. Examples here might be a windtalker at launch or a pay telephone at the landing field.
1.17 Planning Permits
These are the permits that are required before any physical development work can be approved. It begins, really, with the SUP. Hot on the heels of the SUP will typically come a License to Cut. This is required before any trees can be cut, and in practice is more like a license to sub-mit a logging plan than anything else. The area in question will have to be shown on the plan, along with its area (in plan). It as well to have an idea how much wood is involved, because you will be charged a Stumpage Fee. BUT, and with the high value of wood now, it is a big BUT - provided it IS crown land, outside of anyone elses tenure, Timber Sale Area (TSA), Public Sustained Yield Unit (PSYU), Woodlot or Quota area, the wood is yours to sell. This is where the SUP does give you something. The wood becomes yours once it is cut, which you can do if or when you can get a License to Cut and an approved logging plan. Even what is known as junk wood or chip wood is worth around $80 per cunit. So the 14 cunit load may be worth 14 x $80 = $1120. Less the $224 stumpage leaves you 1120 - 224 = $896 to log it and get it to the mill. Do not get carried away, because it can be costly doing this, but it sure makes a difference.
There are two types of stumpage fees. Fixed and Variable. The lumber industry works on Variable. These rates are adjusted every three months currently. Adjust always means increase. For the likes of non-profit organisations and SUP's, Fixed is the one that applies, and is certainly the one you want. This means your rate will remain in effect for longer than if it is Variable, and since these increases could up the cost from say $1000 to $1500 quite easily, this can be important. Fixed rates increase too, but give you a chance to complete a project at one rate. This means you can budget for it. As of April 1995, this rate is approximately $16 per cubic meter (cunit). A full log truck load is about 14 cunits - 14 x $16 = $224 worth of stumpage fees.
There are several ways of assessing the wood volume. If it is hauled to a mill and sold, it is measured - "scaled" is the term - at the mill. There is more than one way of doing this too, but do not worry, you do not do it, the mill does. There is actually measuring each log, and then there is weighing the wood and arriving at a volume from a formula that you can ask someone who works in the industry about if you really want to know. It is based on periodic actual measurements AND weighing of a load. The type of wood comes into it too, though for budget purposes this variation is not a big item. Then there is the option of having the wood scaled on site. In this case you will have to hire a licensed Scaler. This could be required if in fact you are only going to burn the wood. More about this later in this section.
One thing you might want to do though is to get an independent assessment of the wood volume as it is standing while you are doing the planning. This can probably be had for no charge if it is just drive up, look, guesstimate and give a verbal answer. Someone familiar with all this can be quite close even like this. If they really have to cruise it, then inquire about their fee first. The point here is that BCFS will arrive at a figure. The idea is that they take a similar area where volumes are known and pro-rate by area. The trouble is that there is not always a very comparable area to assess from, and variations can be significant. So it can be advantageous to have someone on your side. The way to approach this would be to ask a scaler if there could be enough in it to justify their expense.
A few things about the License to Cut.
The forest industry and all timber harvesting takes place within the bounds of something called the "Operability Line". This is a line defining the boundary beyond which no timber harvesting or forestry activity will ever take place. It excludes places that are too steep, too high an elevation, and a host of other things. The point here is that we are always looking for the highest possible places for our launch sites. This means that they will very often be outside of the Operability Line. This means two things. Firstly, this Operability Line can be interpretated as defining the area outside of which no timber is ever intended to be cut for any reason. Secondly, these areas are beyond the range of cost effective logging. In other words, as far as logging goes, you can be dealing with one of the more difficult situations to deal with. A Logging Plan will have to be submitted, which will include how you are going to get the timber out. Loggers can skid a long way, but they do not like it and it is costly, although it smooths out the road. It is surprising where a log truck can go - they track, which means the back axles go basically where the front axles go, as opposed to a highway semi, where the rear axles cut inside of the track of the front ones by quite a long way. Provided it is not soft or too steep (16% is about enough) they can go where most pick-ups can go.
One of the requirements of the License to Cut will be that all merchantible timber shall be made use of. Only if there is a very small amount of it and/or if it would be more damaging to the site to remove it rather than burning it on the spot will this be relaxed. This brings you back to the matter of volume, stumpage fees and scaling mentioned in a preceding paragraph. Merchantible timber means everything down to 6" DBH (diameter at breast height), and all of the tree down to a 4" top. There will also be debris disposal and clean-up requirements.
Clean-up from logging is the very hardest and most expensive part of the whole business. Make no mistake about this. All fire hazard material will have to be disposed of, by removal from the site, chipping or burning. The only way you can afford is burning. Once again, there are a host of things, and of course a Burning Permit. This permit will spell out more requirements. They will include, but are not necessarily limited to, manpower, hand tools, fire fighting equipment, machinery, communications, size and location of piles. The BCFS will want to know who will be running this operation. If you use someone who does this for a living, there will basically be few difficulties, and they will steer you through these things. They will have to be paid, but your own volunteer crew can become their crew. There is absolutely no financial return, and it is very hard physical work. There are the risks of a fire getting out of control, and if you do not know what you are doing, this could happen. The saving grace is that, provided you have REALLY done EVERYTHING the burning permit has specified, if you do have a run-away, you should not be held liable for it. This is on the basis that the forester who issued the permit should know what is needed to burn safely on the specific site and conditions. However, it is not something you ever want to have to deal with. Make no mistake, clean-up costs a lot of money, and no-one who has not had to do it ever seems to understand what all the fuss is about. From most pilots' perspectives, once the trees are down the job is done. Provided they can run a few feet and fly away, that is all they need - the rest is "would be nice". But it is not - it is compulsory. The bottom line is that if you do not get it done, the BCFS will do it, and bill you and the Association for it. Enough said.
A word about the working arrangements. We are talking about logging. Small amounts perhaps, but still logging. This is one of the most high risk occupations - just ask any WCB office (Workmens' Compensation Board). If someone gets hurt, what happens? The only safe way to do this is to have these people in the employ of a logging business, who has the appropriate WCB coverage in place. Again, they can still be volunteers, or at least nominally so, but if they are employees for the purposes of the job, everyone is covered. A logging or forestry contractor will know how best to do this. It is worth mentioning that most people who do not know what they are doing in any of this work are more of a liability and waste of money and time than they are worth. It is not their fault or lack of good will - it is just the way it is.
Back to the site. There is a matter of something called the VQO's - Visual Quality Objectives. This means what it will look like when it is done. This may involve a sub-mission to the Landscape Forester at the Regional Office. The finished look has to be acceptable. This may take some convincing. Photographs with overlays and imagination are needed.
Part of what all this section hinges on is the Preliminary work. What you want to have is a situation where all of these things will be manageable as you get to each item. The ideal is to get a general idea before you begin. You need the sort of conversation that goes, "If we wanted to do such and such at this or that location, do you see any obvious problems?" The number of ways of deflecting this sort of question are limited only by imagination, but will usually center on an inability to make any committment. However, you should try, and if it comes out that say, "Well, that knob over there would be no way, but the one on the other side shouldn't present anything that cannot be dealt with", then if it is all the same to us, the second one would be the location to persue.
The items in this section can be a great deal of work. It may take any number of iterations of any or all of the preceding stages. But when you get through it, you are on the road and your project can happen.
1.18 Cost Estimating
As you go along, you will start to get an idea of how much things will cost. Now, if not before, you have to get totally down to this. You are going to have to come up with money to pay for everything, so you must know how much this will be. Anyone who has really done this and worked a project through to completion, whether at work or wherever, will already be familiar with what follows.
Be almost brutally realistic. Imagine doing each bit yourself: how exhausting it might be, how long it would REALLY take you. Talk to people who do the things for a living, and find out what normal industry standards are. For hard, physical labor, you net 6 hours of actual work at the most out of an 8 hour day. You pay them for the 8 hours. Often, 6 hours on site is all you will get, when the site is remote. You will have to get them there, provide the tools and equipment, and sometimes pay travelling time as well. You will have to bargain rates of pay, and then run a payroll. It is essential to have a good foreman, so allow for one. The more you can do yourself, the less the overall cost, but it can be a great deal of work. Consequently, contracts are easier to deal with. Once the deal is made, they do it all, and are responsible for the crews. In terms of estimating though, the details should be gone through. Then you will have an idea if a contractor's quote is reasonable.
Keep in mind that what you are going to do with the estimate is to go out to get funding to cover it. Once you get this money, you want to be sure that there is enough to do what you have planned. If you do not, then that may be the end of your development. If you do, then you build up a good standing and can expect to be favorably received when you return to the same funding sources again. Try to get some second opinions on your estimate. This needs people you can trust, and preferably who have no interest one way or another in your project. Also, while you want to talk to people who do the sort of work you have to get done, you do not want prospective contractors to know your number. This gets translated into how much money you will have, and when this known by a contractor ahead of time, his price will ALWAYS take all of it! In a small community this is not always easy to achieve, especially when funding grants are announced in the local newspapers! The other side of this is that if they know that there really is a limited amount of money, whatever it is, then they tend to refrain from running up charges in excess of that amount. It is not like a business that has an on-going income, from which it can at least theoretically pay cost over-runs by and by. Then, you do not want to end up with the job incomplete either. These are just some of the pieces of the game. You have play it by ear as you go along.
A good estimate is fundamental to success.
Although in practice this is more a part of "Execution", scheduling should always be considered in conjunction with the estimating. Some idea of the order of events has to be taken into consideration in order to establish the tasks to price. If there are any obvious variations, price them all and see what you get. What you are looking for is not the cheapest cost of any individual piece of the project, but the least cost overall. Use of spreadsheets nowadays makes this interesting and even fun, if you are this way inclined. It is helpful to be this way inclined.
Remember that time of year can be a big factor. Spring break-up can be a good time for small logging projects. Most loggers are not busy then, and many are glad of something to do at this time. Work happening during flying season will not win any big cheers from pilots, as it usually means interruptions. At least schedule to avoid this, unless there is absolutely no choice.
Remember all the permits you will need. Do not get caught with a delay for lack of completed approvals or documentation.
Careful scheduling can be instrumental to success and ease of operations.
1.20 Finalising Plans
By now your project is becoming much more than a hobby. Time to take stock. Have you forgotten anything? Does anyone else appear to have forgotten anything? Now is the time to add or update these things. Will the works shown on the plans achieve what is needed? Things can get side-tracked, or other factors not originally considered may have come to light as important or advantageous. Make any changes now before making final sub-missions.
After all this work, you now get to make your sub-missions for approvals. This will include the finalised plans, together with any other explanatory material. It is normal to provide at least three sets of copies, plus you need one for your records and one set to carry around for handy reference and discussions. This makes five sets in all, and you should be prepared to make more. It is best by far to hand deliver sub-missions personally. You absolutely know they have been both delivered AND received. This means calling ahead to be sure the relevant person is there. Remember this includes the official BCHPA signature, and so on. Now you wait!
After waiting patiently, often for MUCH longer than you ever thought imagineable, including follow-up phone calls and so on, there will be a response. Be aware that it will go to the official submitter. However much you try to ask the Forest Service to communicate directly to you, or copy you, this is not always the way it goes. Once you have passed all the approvals and move on to operations, and they have received written notorisation from the BCHPA that you are the acting field representative, this changes, but some things, such as stumpage billings, will still go the official route.
Be prepared, after everything that has gone on verbally and on preliminary documents, to get some form of rejection, question, or request for clarification to your sub-mission. You have got to ammendments.
You go around the process again, going as far back as necessary. Usually by this time it should not be all that far back or take all that long, but you never know. This may happen several times. Persevere, because you should be close, and it usually gets quicker each time. The sub-mission has probably been examined by a series of persons, and the problem may be with just one of these. Whatever it is you just have to do, do it, remembering not to compromise the original objectives. So, make some changes and re-submit, along with all the sets of copies. Realise that ammendments that can be produced overnight normally take much longer to receive attention. The amount of follow-up phone calls has to be judged for each situation. There is a balance between friendly, well meaning reminders and objectionable intrusion. Your skill as a manager and negotiator comes in here, including judging and knowing your opposite numbers. There are no hard and fast rules - do it right, and they will respect you. Do it wrong, and it can set you back or worse.
For those who persevere, gradually, approvals will come. The SUP signed by both sides: the License to Cut: and an approved logging plan. There are memos known as "242's", which can be used for just about anything that does not fit anywhere else. Over it all is the discretion of the District Manager. He may write a letter authorising or ammending anything. This is not to be expected, for better or worse, but it is there. When you receive an approval, you achieved something. When this is a final approval of such as a Logging Plan, after working yourself to distraction at times, you have earned the right to go out and do the work!
|Contents||Planning - Part A||Planning - Part B||Funding||Execution|
If there is one thing you can not do without, it is money. It is called different things - disbursements, contributions, donations, appropriations, forgiveable loans, grants, financial assistance, fees, honorariums - it goes on. The important point is to be on the receiving end of these things. The term we seem to use is "Funding". It goes hand-in-hand with planning, and the one dictates the scale of the other. Non-profit, sporting organisations is where we are coming from: recreation and tourism is what we have to offer. Tourism is industry in BC, and Adventure Tourism is an up and coming branch of it. Whitewater sports, mountain biking, back-country skiing & hiking, various forms of mountaineering, horse trekking, scuba-diving, wind surfing and other water oriented activities fall into this category. In the tourism industry, Adventure Tourism is where the air sports lie, particularly with the increasing use of tandem training, which involves a minimum of training and committment on the part of the student/passenger. The facilities required for hang gliding & paragliding impart minimal impact on terrain or environment. Developments for our sports offer increased business for a community, where formerly there may have been little or none. If responsibly managed, it is a win-win situation.
We are talking about economic development. Almost every community in BC has an organisation of some sort that has this as its mandate. Usually it is called an Economic Development Commission. They are primarily made up of volunteers, with one paid employee known as the Economic Development Officer. They are not very highly paid positions, and they often do not have very much in the way of funds to work with themselves, but they do have time to think about things. It is their business to know about funding sources, and can often direct you toward ones that may be appropriate in your area. Similar to permits, you need to now what you have to be to be eligible for the various funds. This is where a local club may come in, as local funds like to go to local organisations. The Town Hall is the place to go to start making enquiries.
However, this is not quite the beginning. It all starts at the source - the users.
2.2 User Contributions
If any developments are wanted at a site this will start with the pilots who use it talking about it: in other words, it is the users who want the developments, and developments imply improvements. If this is not the case, get this sorted out before anyone does anything! Then, if the pilots want improvements, they have to be ready to start paying for them. So, they have to produce money. You can call it what you like, but you have to end up with money in a bank acount, and that money has to have come from user pilots. It has to be enough to achieve at least the first part of the overall project. If it is not, then this is an indication thast there is not sufficient interest to merit taking the issue any further. Save yourself the trouble and stop right there. However, if the pilots understand the value of what they would like to see, then they will produce the money. Now, bear in mind that the first part of the project may not have to be a major part. It could even be planning, though this is not a big incentive. The big point here is that when you start going to others looking for more money, the first thing you will be asked is "How much have the users put in so far?"
2.3 Member Contributions
This is similar to User Contributions, except that Users covers everyone who ever flys the site, including any and all visitors, while Members means the locals. If there is a club, then it would mean club members. The point here is that things of value to pilots who use a site every day may be different to the wishes of someone who visits occasionally. A local pilot may be more interested in storage at launch, while a visitor may be more interested in easier launching conditions. Again, if you have members, then you have to get contributions from them. Here is where things other than money may come in, although in the beginning money is best. People may have skills to contribute, equipment that can be used for cost, or be able to obtain substantial cost reductions on local products. But again, you can not beat money, because if you have that, then you can still do all the other things. Also, you will be asked, "How much have the members come up with?".
This is another one that will help when you go further afield seeking funds. Perhaps an equipment manufacturer might be persuaded to put some dollars into your site by way of promoting the sport in general. The more it grows, the more he stands to sell. This will start to lend credibility to your project. It is good to be able to say, "and such-and-such a manufacturer has put some funds in too."
2.5 Club Contributions
If you think this sounds like the same people paying again, you are getting the idea. You may as well face it, that if there really is going to be meaningful development, then there is also going to be continuing, meaningful paying for it! A club may have a reserve of funds that has been put aside for "some future use." Now is the time to find out if this is the case, and if it is, to talk about using it. In addition, examine whether funds can be put into your project from the club each year while it is going on, or whether it may be a case of a one time payment. Get it straight, because you can expect to have to depend on committments. Again, expect to be asked, "What about the club?" Anything but a positive answer will not do!
2.6 Association Contributions
The BCHPA has access to site development funds through Sport BC. Get in touch with the Secretary/Treasurer to get the up to date information on this. Be prepared to put together some presentations, and a lengthy period of time, but the point here is that there are monies out there that the association may be able to access for you that are not accessible for any other purpose. To put it another way, there is the possibility of bringing in outside money, and this will meet with everyones' approval.
The BCHPA may also be able to cover some costs directly from existing funds. Improving sites is improving the sport, and this is one of the mandates of the Association. This has to be related to the realities of their funds, and there is no committment. Keep in touch and let them know what you are doing. They are an important part of the organisational set-up, and will be glad to help somewhere.
A similar situation applies to the HPAC, though it is further removed, and they have to look at things in the light of everything that is going on across the whole country. Contact the key officers and discuss your project.
It is certainly advantageous to be able to say that you have the support of your Provincial and National associations.
2.7 Community Activities
Most communities have a number of fund raising activities that can be used by local groups and/or clubs. Running Bar-B-Ques or concessions at local events, and running the bar at dance are two examples. Talk to people from some of the other local clubs and find out what they do. We are probably talking about things on the scale of a few hundred dollars here. You will also build up community support by being seen to be both actively participating in community activities, and doing some work yourselves to get some money. This sort of thing will reap rewards later on. It does mean, though, that you have to get your local pilots to actually do the work. This is an art!!
This is a catalyst to funding. If you can get the official blessing of local groups, preferably in writing, it will facilitate all your other local funding initiatives. Other groups will help much more readily if they know that someone else they see eye to eye with thinks that you are doing the right things. You are now starting to campaign for things. Some of this costs money, and you may have to face the fact every now and then that it is your very own, personal money that you will have to use. Sometimes you can get it back later, but this can not be depended upon. It is just the way it is. Endorsements help, and can provide hard evidence of support.
2.9 Community Groups
There are all kinds of community groups that have funds. A good deal of this is directed towards things like hospital equipment, helping handicapped persons and people with extreme medical conditions, but some of it sometimes goes into projects that will benefit the community at large as well as the specific target group. It is a good idea to be aware of the order of funds these groups have at their disposal. This requires a great deal of tact. However, it sometimes happens that one of them may be in receipt of funds that for some reason HAVE to be allocated and issued by a certain date. Taxation reasons may be an example of the reason for such a dictate. At such a time, it can actually be of assistance to such a group to have a proposal to respond to. So, you need to be in touch. A good way to facilitate this is to offer to give talks on our sports to these groups. A twenty minute, verbal presentation, at a luncheon or dinner gathering, can be fun and can go a long way. The typical "man-in-the-street" knows next to nothing about our sports, so it is not hard to maintain the interest, and most people are amazed and impressed with the basics. You may well be approached to join one of these groups. Be careful to avoid over committment - they will understand this - and be very careful to avoid "taking sides". You do not want to take on any side issues, either personally or on behalf of your club or association.
Community groups can be quite important.
2.10 Community Representatives
This is a matter of contacts. Knowing who is in charge of what tells you who you need to get to know. This way you find out what they may have to offer, and therefore what to ask for, as well as the beginnings of when and how to ask. Time of year is often important, and is typically January to March. A large part of the point is to pave the way ahead of you so that you do not waste time on wild goose chases, and so that a key representative will know beforehand that something is coming, and further that it will be in an acceptable form. This way he or she can prepare their strategy for pushing your proposal through the various approvals. Expect to buy lunches for these people.
2.11 Community Funding Sources
Community funding sources is where all of the above leads to. If you have done your legwork properly, you should now know what these are, and be in a position to to be taken seriously when you start applying for some of these funds. You are going to be bold about it. By this time you know what is available, and have developed sound logic as to why you are entitled to some of it. You have things to offer, and good reasons for this. Have these reasons! Develop your pitch. It must roll off your pen, keyboard and out of your mouth instantly every time the subject comes up, until the easiest way to get rid of you is to give you what you want. Of course, they need to feel good about doing this, so stay away from saying why your project is better than the next persons - try to let them say it for you, and then agree and let them think it was their own idea; some people really like this. Naturally, if it is the other way round, then you have to go to work!
We are talking about funds of the order of several thousands of dollars here. Take this very seriously. It is likely to be the backbone of your funding.
Good presentations are critical. If you can, get copies of all the proposals that were made the last time to the particular source you are applying to. Find out what the results were, and follow the successful ones. Make your presentation better than any of those. This will be appreciated, and this alone will put yours on the pile to be looked at. A poor presentation may not even be read. You should feel good about it when you have finished it.
The 'Proposal' is what you submit. This is partly terminology. We talk about submitting a presentation of a proposal. As with the planning submissions, be prepared to produce several copies of it. Check out carefully exactly where and how it must be submitted. Sometimes it is not where you might have expected. Is there a specific format? Are there application forms? It must be timely too - do not be running through the door at the last minute. Basic stuff - just do it right!
2.14 Follow Ups
In the course of all your work to this point, you should have found out what the procedures will be after your proposals are submitted. Once they are in, you must follow their progress. Showing an interest helps. If there is to be an committee meeting at which your group of proposals will come up for discussion, find out if it is open to the public. If so, be there. Or it may be open to the proposers - again, be there. If it is a closed meeting, be on the phone the next day to your contact. There may be some change you have to make. If you contact them, this saves them a step, and this can help. You have to play this by ear, but the point is to keep up to date. You are 'cap in hand' at this stage.
2.15 Award Procedures
When your proposal is successful - and realise that the amount of the award is usually not as much as requested - there will be a certain procedure. Often there will be several approval stages. A working committee may make the initial recommendations. These can then come up for ratification by a Town council, and then come up again for final approval by a Regional Board. There may be more than this too. Some of these are usually reported in the local media, so you start to get something in print. You may get letters too.
Since each of these bodies typically meets once a month, several months often go by while all this goes on.
At some point there is a final approval, usually by the body that will be issuing the funds. The awards made will be duly recorded in the minutes of the meeting. This constitutes a committment.
The approving body will send out letters of award, which will go to the official submitters of the proposals. These letters will usually spell out the terms of the payment. You should have known about this for a long time by now, but this is where you will be officially informed. To state the obvious, make copies of this letter immediately - it would be embarrassing to have to ask for another copy from the source!
When you receive such a letter, you have definitely achieved something significant, and have something in your hand with which you can get money!!
2.18 Award Payments
The letter of award will spell out how the funds awarded will be paid.
Sometimes, the terms are along the lines of paying on the basis of receipts. This means loans to cover operations.
Another version is payment of approved invoices. This is much better, but not as good as having cash in hand.
The best is when the monies will be paid to you directly. If it is just a matter of time, then if you can, you just wait for it. Often it will not be that easy, but at last you are talking about real money!
With an award letter in hand, you are in a position to apply for an advance. If the award is made in say May, and the funds will not be available for distribution till say late August, then the optimum time of year for actual phsical activities may have gone by. Now Town councils usually get their appropriations for the year in April, and much of it will stay in the bank till winter, so they have funds on hand that they must not use till much later in the year. Therefore, given the promise of return from a guaranteed source, they can reasonably put out some of these funds for a short term. So, once again, you prepare another proposal for this advance, which must come up at the next council meeting for approval. By this time, a short and to the point letter may be all that is needed, but check it out. The Clerk/Administrator is the person to discuss this with. So there may be another meeting to attend, as you may have to argue your case. When this is all duly recorded, you then get to apply for payment! Yes, the accounting personnel have to be instructed, and there are procedures for this too. So, you might talk to the clerk/administrator's assistant, who is probably the person who will give the direction to the accounting clerk who will get the computer to print out the cheque. Perhaps the last thing to be aware of is the name that will be printed on the cheque. It has to be one close enough to the name of your bank account that the teller there can go along with it. The thing is that the name on the planning proposals may not be quite the same as the name on the funding proposals, as the Forest Service and/or other government bodies may want proposals in the name of the BCHPA, and local funding sources want to issue payments to the local groups, and neither of these may be quite the same as the name of your bank account! So keep on your toes to the very last. You want at least some portion of your account name on the cheque. Once you have this cheque in your hand, you have to deal with it regardless. Since your bank manager knows you and what this is all about, he will probably be able to be flexible. This is only mentioned because it happened, and no-one gave it a thought until a teller started looking puzzled. It got worked out in a few minutes, but it was a few minutes we could have done without.
2.20 Bank Accounts
Credit Unions are the preferred choice. They seem to be more amenable, understanding and flexible to people with smaller amounts of money. In some cases accounts for non-profit groups or clubs can operted free of service charges. This is definitely worth exploring. Talk to the personnel or managers before you sign up. Some banks may offer this too. Over time this feature will amount to quite a saving.
2.21 Financial Records
Financial records of some kind must be kept. Find out what your funding sources may want. It may vary from nothing to some detail. Consider where and how you will subsequently be reporting what goes on, and set-up and run things to suit these requirements. If you have an accountant pilot handy, get him to do it, or at least discuss it with him. Keep it straight and pay promptly. Negotiate for the best prices, keep on top of materials and times, and sign slips where appropriate, but once amounts are agreed, pay promptly.
|Contents||Planning - Part A||Planning - Part B||Funding||Execution|
After all this work that nobody sees, now you get to do the WORK. The very fact that something is actually going to happen is an event in itself. The orientation is different from the foregoing beauracratic procedures, and could very well lend itself to a different person heading up this part, although this is not usually what happens. The fruits of your labours so far are about to bear blossom.
Make use of the local media. You quite probably have community funds in the project, so it is good PR to let people know that they are about to be used. It is also far better to tell people what is going on so that they get the correct story, rather than have the news spread through the rumour mill.
A word of caution. Newspapers love to change things around, even after you have told them that they should not edit anything. If some thing is important, ask to proof read what they are going to print. This may mean that it will come out next week instead of this week, but sometimes it is better to have it a little later and right than sooner and wrong.
Radio interviews can be fun and useful. You get to speak yourself and therefore to say what you want how you want.
Local media are generally only too pleased to get these sort of things. It helps fill up their time and pages. Since it is stories and news, there are no charges for it, so it can amount to free advertising.
3.3 Volunteer Work
This is the time to cash in on all those offers of help! Volunteer work has to be used carefully, as someone unfamiliar with what they are doing can be more of a liability than anything else. The best approach is to use people to do work that is their own trade. Pilots who use the site are the ones who should be doing volunteer work.
It is possible that some people or businesses may pe prepared to donate work in some form. Examples are machines where an owner/operator may offer to donate his or her personal time, but needs to get the rate for the machine, and a local industry for whom the PR is worth donating use of equipment or materials. Remember that the BCHPA, as a registered, non-profit society, can issue tax receipts for these sort of donations. This would be a reason for channelling these donations through the BCHPA rather than through your local set-up. Again, thanks properly announced in the local media is part of what these people want, and can go a long way. Here is where you may pay the newspapers for a "Thank You" Ad.
A schedule of the operations is mandatory. In effect you will have already gone through some of this as you worked out your requirements as you went along. Now it has to be turned into an operational plan. Work backwards from where you want to finish. This will eventually lead you to when and where you have to start. If this result is unrealistic, then you have to revise something. This can range from settling on completion at a later date to doubling up on work items, needing more money, having to lean more heavily on volunteer or donated work, or altering priorites. Remember that in remote locations, weather and time of year can be the controlling factors. Before work commences, there must be a realistic schedule that you personally believe in.
3.6 Self Management
Somebody has to act as 'General Contractor'. If you do not let a contract, then you have to do this yourself. Recognise that while this may appear to be less costly, and may indeed be so, that it involves a significant committment. You will be the one responsible for everything. This means you will be the one that everyone asks about everything. Now if what has to be done is something you are familiar with, then this may indeed be the best option, as you will really know when the people carrying out the work that you are paying for are performing properly - if you have time! You will have to spell out the tasks, see that the work crews get started, see that they stick at it, follow the progress and be aware of difficulties as they arise and deal with them - and make no mistake, there will be difficulties! After keeping track of everyones hours, you will then have to do a payroll. A lot of this will likely fall under "casual labour", but you should check out the current regulations on these sort of things.
The next step is to employ a good working foreman. It has to be a 'working' foreman for three reasons. One - by working with the crew he will really know what is going on. Two - a big part of his job is to keep the crew working and producing. Three - you will not be able to afford it any other way! He keeps track of the hours, and acts as an intermediary between you and the workers.
It is a good idea to have some sort of bonus incentive for your foreman. A good one will more than earn it.
Letting contracts is the best way of getting the work done if you can arrange it. Once the contract is agreed, off they go and do it, and if things work out it will happen quickly and all you have to do is pay a few site visits and sign one or two cheques.
Other agencies, such as the Forest Service, like contracts, because they know that the work will be done by someone who does this sort of work regularly and knows what they are doing. Funding sources like it too because they can really see their money going back into the community.
To let a contract you have to have a few things. You must have enough money in the bank before you start to pay the price. You must have ALL the necessary documentation allowing the work to be done in place. The contractor will need copies of most if not all of this. You must really know what you want done, and you must have plans and specifications clearly describing it. You must be able to inspect the work at the right time to detirmine if it has been done correctly, or be able to arrange to have someone do this for you. The timing of inspections is very important. If you go to inspect road ditching, it is no good going after the machinery has been hauled off the site. Now, the contractor must advise you in time for you to do these inpections, and he will know this. He will also know surprisingly well just exactly how far he can "stretch" or "squeeze" things! If you know what you are doing, a few brief converstaions is all it takes to set this up and do it. If you do not, ask for advice.
Of course, you should solicit prices. The lowest is usually the one that is accepted, but be sure that everyone is quoting on the same work, or that someone has not omitted something, whether inadvertently or otherwise. Be wary of someone telling you that such-and-such does not have to be done, or that it can be abbreviated. This often just means that they do not want to do this part.
When putting out a contract, you get to call the tune. There is when the work should commence, when it should be completed, and standards of performance and work quality. If there are limitations or restrictions of any kind, they must be spelled out in the contract for the contractor to allow for when preparing his bid.
Once this is all arranged and signed up, they get to do the work, and for once you just get to watch.
3.8 Liability & Workmen's Compensation
A person can cut off their leg with a chain saw faster than you can talk about it. If the workers are not covered by the WCB you are laying yourself wide open to the ramifications of injuries sustained while engaged on your job. Employing a business to carry out the work will take care of this for you, as they will have this coverage for their employees. Having your volunteer workers in their employ anf working under their direction is one way of dealing with this. This can be combined with your working foreman. If you have a contractor, then you merely have to state that he "must have the appropriate WCB coverage in place for the class(es) of work involved for all his employees engaged on the job."
Here are a few golden rules:
There are many other things, but if you follow the above you are
on the right track.
3.9 Operational Permits
You are still not quite out of the paper work yet. While you will have all sorts of documentation saying that your plans are approved, there are still a number of documents required to allow the actual work operations to be carried out. Check it out with every one of the jurisdictions you have dealt with. Ask them what you need by way of authorisation to procede. The Forest Service has something called a Timber Harvesting Inspection Report which will be signed at or subsequent to a Site Meeting, that will spell out any last minute requirements and give "Authorisation to Procede". To skid logs along a forest road requires a permit, and a "Road Use Permit" is required for a log truck to haul logs along a forest road. Timber will have had a Timber Mark assigned to it. Normally every log is marked by being stamped with the timber mark on at least one end of every log. However, these hammers cost $150 or more, and for a small volume of timber - and we will very most likely be in this category - an "Exemption from Hammer Marking" can be obtained. There are currently no charges for any of these things, but once again they do take time. You can not generally apply for them until you know who will be doing the work, as most of them require their names and some other details. You will have to put completion dates on some of these. Extensions can be subsequently be obtained for many of these - check this out as you apply for them. Again, whoever is doing the work will need copies of all this.
3.10 Burning Permits
Burning permits are another operational permit, but are sufficiently important to merit their own discussion. To burn slash - that is, logging debris - anywhere a Burning Permit is required from the local Forestry Office. What has to happen is that you must go through what will be required BEFORE you have any work done at all. The issues include whether a permit would ever be given at all for your particular location, and then if it would, how big the piles should be, where they should be, how many there should be, how many may be burned at a time, the manpower and equipment requirements and any restrictions as to time of day or year. With the new attitudes toward environmental constraints, the leaning is firstly away from burning altogether, and then it is for small, hot fires that burn quickly and thoroughly. While this could be best achieved by burning on a windy day in hot weather, this is also the most hazardous time, and is a good example of how little some of these so called environmentalists understand of what they are talking about. The alternate to burning is chipping and mulching. There is equipment for this that can be rented or hired. Every individual piece of debris has to be brought to the machine and hand fed to it. Take my word for it - you can not afford any of this! Therefore, you must do whatever it takes to get it that you WILL be allowed to burn. One of the big items is between "hand piles" and "machine piles". If the material really has been piled by hand, you will be OK. The point is that what is required for burning includes whatever you used to make the piles. So, if you used a dozer, then you will have to have a dozer, including the operator, on site for the burning - whether you think you need it or not, and whether you use it or not. In our cases, hand piling is very likely the case, but maybe not. There is a limitation to pile sizes. For hand piles it is about 15 feet diameter at the base, but since this issue subject to individual interpretation, check it out with whoever you will have to deal with when you go to apply for your burning permit.
As already mentioned, there will be requirements for manpower and equipment. It will include water on the site, and the means to distribute it. We are talking about tanks and drums, anywhere from 100 to 500 gallons or more, together with pumps and hoses. Of course, if there is a natural water source, such as a lake or creek, nearby, then often this can be used. It is just that the very tops of hills, cliffs and mountains are not where you commonly find lakes and creeks. Then they will probably spell out how many men per pile are required, and a hand tool inventory for each of these tools. We are talking about polaskis, picks, shovels, mattocks, axes, power saws and back-pack water tanks & sprayers (fondly and commonly known as "piss-tanks") Now a lot of these things can be borrowed. Timber companies have sheds full of these things, and even the Forest Service themselves have been known to lend out these sort of things. What you need is a pilot or sympathiser who works for one of these organisations. They can often borrow out equipment like this as one of their perks.
Whatever is called for on the permit, GET IT!! If something goes wrong, and it turns out that you were deficient in any of the requirements of your Burning Permit, then whoever has signed the Permit, which is probably you, will be held liable. Then everybody sues everybody. This simply MUST NOT HAPPEN. It is highly recommended to either contract out burning, or have the operation supervised by an experienced person. It will take a load off your back, and get the job done better, more reliably and quickly. Any amount of volunteer labour can be used under an appropriate supervisor or foreman. The more people the better. If there are hands to keep working the piles in as they burn, you will get5 rid of all of it at one go. If this is not done, then you will end up re-piling and re-burning on another occasion. Realise that this will likely mean 24 hour tending of the fires for two to three days. It may not need very many people once the initial heat has gone, but there should be someone there at least the first night. An experienced foreman will know. The "overnighters" should have a radio or some means of communication to call for assistance should it be needed. Again, this sort of equipment can usually be borrowed for a day or two. Do not gamble - play it safe!
3.11 Pre-Job Site Meeting
It is normal practice to have a pre-job site meeting before commencing these sort of operations. This will mean you, the supervisor of the work crew or contractor, and whoever is issuing the authorisation to procede and will subsequently be approving the finished works. The BCFS representative you have been working with should be the one calling for this. This is the last opportunity for any input from any party before work actually commences. Operational details should be discussed, and everyone should leave with a clear image in their mind of what they are going to be seeing as the work is carried out.
3.12 Authorisation to Procede
This should be issued to you at or immediately following the pre-job site meeting just described. In this instance, 'immediately' means right there on the site, or driving back to an office and doing it there. It should certainly be no longer than first thing the next morning.
Now, finally comes the time when the work gets done. Everyone expects things to happen, and they will be expecting them to happen in a ceratin manner, especially you, who is doing the paying. Those doing the work must perform as they are supposed to. This may take some energy on your part to keep them at it.
3.14 Work Quality
High among the expectations is the quality of the finished work. It is a very recommended procedure, often established at the pre-job site meeting, to pick a particular area, often a small one, by way of a test piece, and aggree that this will be worked to a finished state as the first part of the work. This will then be inspected, and adjusted as required if necessary. This then establishes the standard for the balance of the work. It is much better to to it this way, then do the whole thing and then find out that something has to be re-worked throughout the entire area - or indeed, that more than necessary has been done.
You will make inspections to satisfy yourself that you are getting what you have agreed to pay for. The Forest Service and any other affected jurisdiction will have the right to make inspections as the work progresses. Whatever may arise out of these inspections must be dealt with.
The procedure for paying for the work should be agreed upon before the work commences. Everyone needs to know when they will be paid. For a contractor, it is normal for them to require some money up front. This is knowm as "mobilisation", and may be 10 to 15% of the total estimated price. It is also equally normal to have a "hold-back" of another 10 to 15% that is payable upon final acceptance of the completed works. Agree to something, and then hold-up to your end of the bargain.
3.17 Final Inspection
When you are satisfied yourself that all the subject work is fully completed, you request a final inspection from the Forest Service or other controlling jurisdiction. It may or may not be a requirement for you, your contractor or site supervisor to be present at this Final Inspection, but from your own interests, you definately should be present. There can be any number of little items that may need explaining or discussing. A typical scenario is that a little more work is needed somewhere. If relations are good, very often a verbal commitment from you that you will see that it is done is enough, and the works will be considered as completed satisfactorily. This is the time to establish verbally that you will have no further obligations in connection with this project.
3.18 Acceptance of the Works
At or very shortly following the Final Inspection, you will be issued with some written document advising you that the works have been completed satisfacorily and are approved and accepted. This is an ESSENTIAL document. Without it the work is unfinished. It should be absolutely no problem, and your Forestry representative will be wanting to issues it himself anyway, as it also forms the end of his commitnents to the project.
3.19 Final Payments
This is the time to make any final payments, if you have been able to keep some held back. It would be nice to be able to hang on to some before getting final releases from obligations, but this may be too lengthy for our scale of operations.
3.19 Release from Obligations
From the perspective of your commitments imposed upon you by the jurisdictions who have been exercising controls over your activities, this is the last big item you need. In the case of the Forest Service, it may be included on the form of Final Acceptance or its accompanying letter. Things like this are usually issued from the offices and will go the official route through our association. If it is not, question this and ask for something to this effect. If there have been other parties or jurisdictions involved, do the same with them. You simply want documentation to establish that you have fulfilled and completed everything that you had agreed to.
No two situations are the same. There is no inference implied or intended that the material presented in this manual covers every conceivable eventuality. It is the overiding principles that are important. However, it is a fact that every single item specifically discussed has been used in the development of the Golden Flying Site, to some extent. The overall results have proved themselves out. The avenues to do this are out there. It is up to you to present the opportunities to the systems that are mostly already in place to give them portions of your project to work on to fulfill their own needs.