BC’s parks critical for recovery, desperate for resources

For interview, please contact:

Tori Ball, Terrestrial Campaigner

604-685-7445 x 24


B.C.’s parks critical for recovery, desperate for resources


For Immediate Release

May 6, 2020

Traditional territories of the Coast Salish peoples/Vancouver BC – On Wednesday, the B.C. government announced that they will begin to reopen BC Parks on May 14th as part of a multi-staged plan to reopen B.C. The Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society’s BC Chapter (CPAWS-BC) is encouraged by this news, and recommends immediate action and investment by the province to support our struggling provincial parks system to be able to keep people safe.

“Consistent underfunding of BC Parks over decades has created long-standing issues with failing and unsafe infrastructure,” says Bruce Passmore, Executive Director of CPAWS-BC. “Under-resourced and overworked staff has left parks ill-equipped to handle a surge in visitors at the best of times.”

Provincial parks have been off-limits to the public since April 8th. BC Parks has had limited resources and an overall lack of capacity to support physical distancing measures, and to maintain visitor facilities to a standard that would meet public health guidelines. Numerous surveys over the past month have concluded that most people across the province want to see the reopening of parks prioritized.

“The current public health crisis has put a spotlight on these long-standing issues. It has highlighted the urgent need for the province to invest in BC Parks to carefully plan for improving visitor safety and the conservation of nature in these places we love,” adds Passmore.

“Investment in parks and outdoor recreation should be a priority for the B.C. government to support our health and wellbeing,” says Passmore. “Unfortunately, the BC Parks budget was cut by 4% this year, which has put extra pressure on our parks while demand for outdoor recreation continues to surge.”

CPAWS-BC is urging the government to direct some of the economic recovery funding to BC Parks to hire more people into front-line park jobs, and to improve park infrastructure like trails, campgrounds and other visitor facilities. This will help build a robust park system that will support the health and safety of British Columbians using these spaces during the current pandemic and well into the future.


For interview, contact:

Tori Ball, Terrestrial Campaigner

604-685-7445 x 24


Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society – British Columbia Chapter (CPAWS-BC) protects wilderness in every corner of BC and deep into the ocean. CPAWS-BC supports the creation of large, well-managed, connected protected areas where native plants and animals thrive, now and forever; and where people and communities can live off the land and ocean without impacting the ability of future generations to do the same.

In the past 50+ years, CPAWS has played a lead role in protecting over half a million square kilometres – an area bigger than New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador put together.




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