A better future for our provincial parks
December 2, 2016 – VANCOUVER –The province has just announced a new plan for the future of our provincial park system, called BC Parks Future Strategy – read about the strategy here.
The announcement of this strategy is the first real acknowledgement from the B.C. government in nearly two decades that our parks system is in trouble and in desperate need of increased capacity and funding. While the new strategy is promising and certainly a step in the right direction, we are still waiting for to the government to announce specifics that will fill in some of the many missing details in the plan. Without these details, it is unclear how this plan will change the current trajectory our parks system is currently following.
CPAWS-BC has identified several actions the government can take immediately under the framework set out in this new plan for BC Parks. These are commitments they can make now to build on this new strategy, and improve the health and future of our provincial protected areas.
We are asking the government to:
- Increase the number of Park Rangers to 360 regular and seasonal positions (up from the currently employed 164) in order to match pre-2000 staffing levels and account for the additional burden of care placed on these employees as a result of a greatly expanded protected areas system since then;
- In the 2017 budget, increase BC Parks base funding for operations and maintenance to $60 million to match pre-2000 funding levels and account for inflation as well as the additional lands that have been added under to the system since then;
- Increase this base funding annually to eventually match what other leading parks agencies in Canada, like Parks Canada and Alberta Parks, are investing in their protected area systems; and
- Commit to an accompanying increase in long-term operations and maintenance funding to support the expansion of campsites under the management and care of BC Parks.
We want a better future for our provincial parks. It is time for the BC government to make a concrete, long-term commitment to increased investment in our parks system, and not just a one-time injection of funds.
To show your support for greater funding for BC Parks, take action here.
For more information:
Jessie Corey, Terrestrial Conservation Manager, CPAWS-BC
604-685-7445 ext 25, firstname.lastname@example.org