New Funding for BC Parks and Additional Park Rangers
Vancouver, BC – CPAWS-BC welcomes the B.C. government’s announcement yesterday of an increase in funding for BC Parks, totaling $25M over three years and including funding for additional full-time park rangers. This is a step in the right direction, but it is not the full re-investment BC Parks needs to protect the millions of hectares of lands and waters in their care.
“Parks funding has been in steady decline for nearly two decades following the massive budget cuts to BC Parks in the early 2000s, and it’s now one of the worst funded parks systems in the country. We can’t claim to have a world-class parks system without world-class funding to go with it,” says Jessie Corey, Terrestrial Conservation Manager for CPAWS-BC.
“This increase, while a positive step forward, doesn’t even get us halfway to where we need to be,” adds Corey.
Thousands of British Columbians have joined CPAWS-BC’s call for an increase in the BC Parks annual operating budget from $30 to $60 million, and for an increase in the number of full-time park rangers from 164 to 360 at a minimum. These small investments, themselves incremental steps towards a robust, sustainable parks system, would go a long way to addressing decades of neglect.
“Our provincial parks are one of the best things about British Columbia, but for years they’ve been falling into disrepair and left on their own with really limited on-the-ground monitoring and enforcement. The time is now for our provincial government to show real leadership, and make some meaningful long-term investments into our parks system,” says Corey.
Yesterday’s announcement follows on a new strategy for the future of BC Parks announced in November 2016. .
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Jessie Corey, Terrestrial Conservation Manager, CPAWS-BC