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post #1 of (permalink) Old 09-01-2014, 10:14 PM Thread Starter
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Default BC Protected Area Expansion

Likely old news to everyone here, but somehow a ton of new parks and protected areas snuck in without me noticing until now

Some interesting ones:
* Cascade Recreation Area upgraded to Class A park and added to Manning Park (big!)
* Parts of the Stein Divide are protected now (Caltha Lake, Iceberg Lake) - Upper Rogers Conservancy
* Cerise Creek is protected now - Nlhaxten/Cerise Creek Conservancy
* Large conservancy on the west side of Birkenhead - Qwalimak/Upper Birkenhead Conservancy
* Upper Elaho Valley Conservancy
* Large conservancies north & south of Callaghan Lake Park
* Sigurd Creek Conservancy

Goes on and on.

What rock have I been hiding under?
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post #2 of (permalink) Old 09-01-2014, 11:39 PM
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quote:Originally posted by ShadowChaser

Likely old news to everyone here, but somehow a ton of new parks and protected areas snuck in without me noticing until now
The BC parks 2012/2013 annual report is available here http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/bcparks/aboutBCParks.html

Significant new and expanded park + protected areas(including land purchases for parks). Also, some amendments, cancellations and deletions of area. Overall, very positive for an agency like BC Parks with a very small budget and heavy reliance on community groups and volunteers.
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post #3 of (permalink) Old 09-02-2014, 02:05 AM
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This is awesome!! Finally some good news regarding parks!

Keep on expanding BC Parks!
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post #4 of (permalink) Old 09-02-2014, 12:09 PM
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quote:Originally posted by HikerSkierRunner27

This is awesome!! Finally some good news regarding parks!
Keep on expanding BC Parks!
This is indeed good news and one that hopefully follows on with at least modest increases in the BC Parks budget. BC Parks operates on a quite threadbare level of funding, somewhere in the $30 million range, with an additional approx $20 million in funding provided to community groups of all types to improve infrastructure.

For a massive province like BC, with over 1,000 parks and protected areas, it is remarkable that BC Parks can provide much service at all. Everyone involved, the government, their paid staff and the volunteers, deserve some credit for this.

There are many 'good news' stories from our natural environment. These include thriving fisheries, growing populations of large mammalian species(including grizzly, black bears and marine mammals) and the often overlooked and somewhat surprisingly strong growth and yield of BC's 2nd and 3rd growth forests (particularly coastal), originating from logging and regeneration decades ago.

Good news doesn't sell however, and it most certainly doesn't assist the aggressive fundraising efforts of special interest groups. The sky isn't falling, BC is a wonderful place and while much remains to be done, good things are happening
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post #5 of (permalink) Old 09-02-2014, 12:55 PM
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quote:Originally posted by ShadowChaser
What rock have I been hiding under?
Many of these conservancies (Sigurd, Callaghan, Soo, Rogers, Birkenhead, Elaho) were created as part of the Sea to Sky LRMP process. The LRMP document was finalized in 2008 and the implementation of the conservancies followed shortly thereafter. A few of these conservancies even have management plans already.
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post #6 of (permalink) Old 09-03-2014, 10:59 PM
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Ask yourselves, why would the BC Liberal Government want to expand some park & protected areas, when they continually slash the budgets for Provincial Parks? Well, let's see... Gee, could it have anything to do with legislation to allow the corporate interests to do "exploratory work" in Parks? Yup, the government will announce a "small" deletion from some park that their corporate masters want in on and then crow about all of the new park land they created. This is just more spin doctoring from a party that is owned by big business, lock, stock and barrel.
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post #7 of (permalink) Old 09-04-2014, 12:19 AM
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quote:Originally posted by prother

Ask yourselves, why would the BC Liberal Government want to expand some park & protected areas, when they continually slash the budgets for Provincial Parks? Well, let's see... Gee, could it have anything to do with legislation to allow the corporate interests to do "exploratory work" in Parks? Yup, the government will announce a "small" deletion from some park that their corporate masters want in on and then crow about all of the new park land they created. This is just more spin doctoring from a party that is owned by big business, lock, stock and barrel.
Ya know, "lock, stock and Barrel" might make a good name for a very violent movie, but it's a far cry from anything resembling the basis for a vilifying judgement. I've read the annual BC Parks reports each year for many years, and I'm encouraged, despite seeing big weaknesses. If you're not encouraged, show us why not, in an objective manner.


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post #8 of (permalink) Old 09-04-2014, 01:29 AM Thread Starter
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There's nothing inherently wrong with a low parks budget. Giving them lots of $$$ would just lead to "development for the sake of development". Less money means more areas left wild, and that's win-win.

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post #9 of (permalink) Old 09-04-2014, 02:49 AM
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-no interpretive programs
-no trail maintenance (though I guess one could argue that is more wild)
-no rangers so no enforcement or monitoring of anything
-slow master planning process due to lack of staff
-no money to support access to parks (again, more wild I guess)
-no money to study anything
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post #10 of (permalink) Old 09-04-2014, 06:33 AM
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quote:Originally posted by swebster

-no interpretive programs
-no trail maintenance (though I guess one could argue that is more wild)
-no rangers so no enforcement or monitoring of anything
-slow master planning process due to lack of staff
-no money to support access to parks (again, more wild I guess)
-no money to study anything
As I said above [u] "BC Parks operates on a quite threadbare level of funding, somewhere in the $30 million range.. For a massive province like BC, with over 1,000 parks and protected areas, it is remarkable that BC Parks can provide much service at all" </u>

There is no suggestion that BC Parks is well funded, and I should add the NDP was no better than the current Liberal government in this regard. In the early 90's we were thrilled when the NDP expanded park numbers, only to watch them so heavily reduce the capital budget that almost every major parks project was shelved.

In those days, BC Parks budget was about $40 million, today its operating budget is about $30 million, with a few extra million on top of that from the Park Enhancement Fund. However, today the government also spends additional millions of dollars in compensation cash because almost every park addition requires taking away someones mineral, timber, water or private land rights.

If you think things would be better under an NDP government, well then step right up, I've got a bridge to sell you.
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post #11 of (permalink) Old 09-04-2014, 11:34 AM
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"I've got a bridge to sell you"

Don't you actually mean a fast ferry or three.
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post #12 of (permalink) Old 09-04-2014, 12:09 PM
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quote:Originally posted by Urban trekker

"I've got a bridge to sell you"
Don't you actually mean a fast ferry or three.
I was not wishing to appear excessively partisan but since you brought it up ...

Yes, Fast Ferries and many other items as well.

More to the point, anyone who thinks BC Parks will fare better under either of the major political parties just ignores historic evidence. BC Parks has always received the crumbs from the table and always will. Examining BC Parks budget over the years indicates the crumbs aren't much better or worse now than they have ever been. There's some good things happening and some not good things. That's just the way it is and there's no real evidence to suggest a government change would alter the situation.
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post #13 of (permalink) Old 09-04-2014, 01:35 PM
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I would be happy for any government to help strengthen our parks system with some more funding... Unfortunately it doesn't seem to be on the public's radar enough to get much attention. The thing is, the budget is so small, it could be increased a lot %-wise (making a big difference) without having to "cut" too much else. The BC government advertising budget is similar to the Parks budget as an example of something that could possibly be shifted that isn't schools or health care.
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post #14 of (permalink) Old 09-04-2014, 02:45 PM
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quote:Originally posted by swebster

... Unfortunately it doesn't seem to be on the public's radar enough to get much attention.
That's the key point. Parks are simply not an issue for most BC'ers, despite their oft-stated affection for the BC Parks system. The BC government spends some $45 billion/yr. In that mass of spending, you would think that BC Parks, which provides such rich environmental, health and recreation benefits would merit a tad more than what it gets.

However, everyone wants more from the public trough. More health care, more education, more highways, more transit. more of everything. Not too many crumbs left to feed BC Parks.
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post #15 of (permalink) Old 09-04-2014, 04:05 PM
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quote:Originally posted by ShadowChaser

There's nothing inherently wrong with a low parks budget. Giving them lots of $$$ would just lead to "development for the sake of development". Less money means more areas left wild, and that's win-win.

Exactly. I could agree with some additional funding (the old interpretive programs at campgrounds were great as a kid), but have a look at the US model when it comes to public land (mis)managed by the US Forest Service. Twig Pigs running around all day writing tickets and confiscating the property of anyone who dares to use public land in a way that doesn't please our benevolent betters.
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