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post #1 of (permalink) Old 01-26-2017, 12:32 PM Thread Starter
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Default Parks Canada Failing....

http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/park...tion-1.3952144

Probably preaching to the choir here, but new report suggests National Parks are not protecting ecosystems. While I ordered one, free passes may not be the answer....
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post #2 of (permalink) Old 01-27-2017, 01:09 AM
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http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/park...tion-1.3952144

Probably preaching to the choir here, but new report suggests National Parks are not protecting ecosystems. While I ordered one, free passes may not be the answer....

I'm not quite sure that's what this article is saying. Another way of interpreting the same data is that more than half of our parks are in "good" shape. Could Parks Canada be doing a better job? sure. Could they use more funding? definitely. Are they not protecting ecosystems? can't say that I agree with that sentiment. Recall that the free passes idea didn't come from Parks Canada, that was the PM's doing.


I can also understand the delicate balancing act that needs to happen in our most popular parks. Gaining public support to fund and grow our parks system requires people to go and see these incredible spaces, to develop an affinity for them, to experience the grandeur. If giving out free passes, or building a Skywalk in Jasper, or adding a new lift at the Lake Louise ski resort means an extra hundred thousand people can experience our parks and advocate for their continued protection (and growth), that's a price I am willing to pay.
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post #3 of (permalink) Old 01-27-2017, 12:52 PM Thread Starter
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Well a couple things that stand out to me are that the report itself comes from Parks Canada, so it's a bit of a self-assessment. The article also points out that reports are to be issued every two years, but this has been the first since 2011.

Parks mandate is: On behalf of the people of Canada, we protect and present nationally significant examples of Canada's natural and cultural heritage and foster public understanding, appreciation and enjoyment in ways that ensure their ecological and commemorative integrity for present and future generations.

If ecological integrity is a mandate, than declining conditions of parks can only be seen as a failure. Likewise, the ideas of free passes, skywalks, more chairlifts, and development in general would seem to be at odds with protection. It's a shame what the report shows about Waterton, for example.

What do you mean by "growth" anyway?
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post #4 of (permalink) Old 01-27-2017, 04:06 PM
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There are different ways to skin the cat. Everyone will probably agree that conditions in national parks are deteriorating. But I am not sure how much you can blame PC. It is a hard task -- not enough resources and ever increasing demand.

Development (skywalks, chairlifts, etc.) is only worsening conditions for sure. But it is the way things work; you can't turn back the wheel of time. Nobody is going to tear down lodge at Maligne lake and close the road; or take down Whistler skytram, or .... it's just how things are. They call it "sustainable development" (is there really such a thing??)

Key reason that causes just about every problem this planet has -- from climate change to global insecurity, unemployment etc etc - and finally to parks/outdoor is due to one and only one thing: uncontrolled population growth. Resources stay the same but demand grows; it is as simple as that. Until this is addressed, every solution is like treating nasal infection by wiping runny nose to temporarily ease the symptoms.

Free pass was wrong move in my view too; it is a political thing. I hate to think what Banff will look like this summer. Last year they had to completely close Lake Louise village 1 day; imagine what is going to happen this year.
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post #5 of (permalink) Old 01-27-2017, 05:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Candy Sack View Post
Well a couple things that stand out to me are that the report itself comes from Parks Canada, so it's a bit of a self-assessment. The article also points out that reports are to be issued every two years, but this has been the first since 2011.

Parks mandate is: On behalf of the people of Canada, we protect and present nationally significant examples of Canada's natural and cultural heritage and foster public understanding, appreciation and enjoyment in ways that ensure their ecological and commemorative integrity for present and future generations.

If ecological integrity is a mandate, than declining conditions of parks can only be seen as a failure. Likewise, the ideas of free passes, skywalks, more chairlifts, and development in general would seem to be at odds with protection. It's a shame what the report shows about Waterton, for example.

What do you mean by "growth" anyway?
Lets be clear hear, the report shows an improvement, a modest improvement, but an improvement none the less. Its also good that the Minister responsible for Parks Canada has restarted issuing these reports and hope they continue to do so every 2 years.


You will note that the mandate is not only to "protect" but to also "present" and well as to "foster public understanding, appreciation and enjoyment". If we overly restrict access to parks (which I assume only means restricting access to "other" people), or present an experience that is crowded, dirty and bursting at the seems, then we sever the public's connection with these space, and thus the support needed to maintain and invest in them. The Sunshine Gondola exposes the young, old, infirm, and disabled to the splendor of an alpine meadow in the summer, learn to camp programs expose new immigrants to a core aspect of the Canadian identity, driving onto the Athabasca Glacier puts the impact of climate change right in front of your face. Each of these has an ecological footprint of various size, but (and while others may disagree) I believe this is a fair trade to build the popular and political support needed to sustain and grow our parks system


When I say growth, I refer to the expansion and creation of new protected areas, as well as the infrastructure needed to support increased numbers in a way that allows human impact to be managed and mitigated
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post #6 of (permalink) Old 01-28-2017, 12:53 AM
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Well said kelly McDonald. Ithink the best overall improvement is having the public exposed to, educated, and get to appreciate more our natural outdoors...

K

Hiking is what keeps you young of mind and heart. When the going gets tough, the tough get going..............
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post #7 of (permalink) Old 01-29-2017, 01:35 PM Thread Starter
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Its also good that the Minister responsible for Parks Canada has restarted issuing these reports and hope they continue to do so every 2 years.
Agreed...

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Originally Posted by kellymcdonald78 View Post
or present an experience that is crowded, dirty and bursting at the seems
umm, have you been to Banff lately?

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driving onto the Athabasca Glacier puts the impact of climate change right in front of your face.
Are you meaning to be ironic?

Development, infrastructure, and access aren't going to turn them downward pointing red arrows right side up.

Finally, and don't nobody take this the wrong way, but the PC mandate is on behalf of Canadians, not bus loads or foreign tourists who, it seems to me, most of the development is aimed at.
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post #8 of (permalink) Old 01-29-2017, 05:47 PM
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Agreed...



umm, have you been to Banff lately?

Yes I have. I've never said that Parks Canada is doing a perfect job. Banff (and Lake Louise) are in desperate need of additional infrastructure more effectively manage crowds and mitigate human impact. To be honest I think we need some kind of "third" location in Banff National Park to help divert the mass of people that descend on Banff and Lake Louise. Of course we seem to be at a stage where every proposed development in Banff is met with the same moral outrage as the seal hunt or building a new oil sands mine. Even discussing a renovation of an existing hotel in Banff can run into years of reviews
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Are you meaning to be ironic?

Development, infrastructure, and access aren't going to turn them downward pointing red arrows right side up.
They can when done in an intelligent and responsible manner. A modest parking structure at the base of Sunshine would avoid a long line of cars parked along the roadway and a fleet of shuttle busses that take people up and down to their vehicles, a LEED Gold lodge at Goat's Eye could replace a raft of poorly insulated ATCO trailers and have a smaller ecological impact. More animal overpasses and tunnels improve migration paths and range integrity.

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Finally, and don't nobody take this the wrong way, but the PC mandate is on behalf of Canadians, not bus loads or foreign tourists who, it seems to me, most of the development is aimed at.
So what do you propose? a citizenship check along the TransCanada highway when you pass into Banff or Yoho? A "no foreigner's" sign outside of Lake Louise? While I agree that we could do a lot better job keeping the economic benefits of our parks inside Canada, there is not much we can do about tourists. While the Glacier Skywalk may be more tourist oriented, new ski lifts at Lake Louise would by and large be used by locals.
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post #9 of (permalink) Old 01-29-2017, 08:37 PM Thread Starter
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To be honest I think we need some kind of "third" location in Banff National Park to help divert the mass of people that descend on Banff and Lake Louise.
And what happens when it becomes a crowded overpriced gong show? Add a fourth? Then a fifth?

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Of course we seem to be at a stage where every proposed development in Banff is met with the same moral outrage as the seal hunt or building a new oil sands mine.
That's because those are all generally backward thinking, bad ideas.... (well, maybe not the seal hunt...)

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So what do you propose? a citizenship check along the TransCanada highway when you pass into Banff or Yoho? A "no foreigner's" sign outside of Lake Louise? .
Those would be great, but maybe start with a cap on how many foreign aimed tours can be operated in the parks, and environmental standards on how those tours are operated, and maybe demand that tour operators need to hire mostly Canadian workers and have a majority Canadian ownership. Same should go for any business that wants to operate in the parks. Foreign tourists and business owners aren't going to help us petition for the responsible "growth" you were talking about earlier.
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