National parks plan for BC needs to be completed: CPAWS’ 2013 Status of Canada’s Parks Report

  • Published on Jul 15 2013 |
  • This article is tagged as: parks

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

July 15, 2013

National parks plan for BC needs to be completed:
CPAWS’ 2013 Status of Canada’s Parks Report

Vancouver –  In the run-up to Canada Parks Day on the 3rd Saturday in July, the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society (CPAWS) is releasing its fifth annual report on how Canada’s parks are faring. The report shows that progress on creating new parks and protecting existing ones has been uneven across the country over the past 12 months.

“In BC, we are concerned with the lack of progress in completing the national parks system for the province,” said Peter Wood, Terrestrial Campaigns Director for CPAWS-BC. “Parks Canada has identified the need to create a national park in the South Okanagan-Similkameen in order to achieve representation of several rare ecosystem types.” Beyond the known conservation and recreation benefits, parks are significant economic drivers.  Canada’s parks contribute 5 billion dollars to the Canadian economy and create approximately 64,000 jobs.  CPAWS-BC acknowledges that awareness of the multiple benefits of national parks is growing.  “We are encouraged that in the South Okanagan local First Nations have come out in support of the national park reserve concept, as well as local businesses, politicians and tourism associations. We feel this merits a new look by both levels of government.”

CPAWS-BC is also concerned that the severe budget cuts in 2012 will hinder Parks Canada’s work in the province, including the delivery of services. “Last year Parks Canada cut over 600 jobs and we are concerned that this will negatively impact visitor experience and the integrity of the parks.”

CPAWS notes that there have been positive developments in other parts of the country. Canada’s largest provincial park was created in the past year – called Tursujuq – in Nunavik, northern Quebec. However CPAWS also warns that problematic trends continue in many areas, including inappropriate industrial and commercial developments, cutbacks to national parks and weakening commitments in some jurisdictions to expanding parklands.   CPAWS has also identified opportunities across Canada where governments could take action to shift these trends in a more positive direction over the next year.

CPAWS has been issuing an annual report on the state of Canada’s parks since 2008. The first report lauded the rate of new parks creation by the federal government that year. Subsequent reports noted the slowdown in parks creation, the need to increase the number of marine protected areas, and some inappropriate developments that were starting to be noted.

-30-

View full report at:  http://www.cpaws.org/uploads/pubs/parks/cpaws_parksreport_2013.pdf

For interviews, contact:
Peter Wood
Terrestrial Campaigns Director, CPAWS-BC
Tel: +1 604 685 7445 Ext. 22
Cell: +1 604 761 3075
peter@cpawsbc.org

CPAWS is Canada’s voice for wilderness. Since 1963 we’ve led in creating over two-thirds of Canada’s protected areas. That amounts to about half a million square kilometres – an area bigger than the entire Yukon Territory! Our vision is that Canada will protect at least half of our public land and water. As a national charity with 13 chapters, 55,000 supporters and hundreds of volunteers, CPAWS works collaboratively with governments, local communities, industry and indigenous peoples to protect our country’s amazing natural places.