People come from around the world to visit BC's provincial parks because they offer something in short supply in the rest of the world: a clean, natural and unspoiled environment. This makes BC both a desirable place to visit and a desirable place to live. BC's parks are an important part of BC's environmental legacy – a public trust where people can go to walk, hike, swim, camp, bird watch and reconnect with nature.
Just as the creation of provincial parks required vision, foresight and a pioneering spirit, so too does the maintenance and care of BC’s existing provincial parks. With proper care and wise planning, our children and grandchildren will be able to experience the natural wonders and simple pleasures that are part of our protected areas system today, and parks will continue to act as reservoirs of biodiversity and provide intact habitat for BC’s wildlife and plants.
The BC government continues to pursue an agenda of privatizing and commercializing our publically owned provincial parks. It has lost sight of what British Columbians think: the single most important aspect of our protected areas system is to set aside wilderness areas for the sole purpose of preserving natural areas.
On Monday, March 24, 2014, the provincial government passed the controversial Park Amendment Act, which essentially paves the way for egregious development in BC's beloved parks and protected areas – including pipelines, transmission lines and roads. The act allows permits to be granted for industrial "research" in parks and opens the door for the removal of lands from these areas for industrial purposes. For more information about the Park Amendment Act, click here.
To view a map of provincial parks and protected areas that would be impacted by proposed oil and gas pipelines in northern BC, click here. To view a map of provincial parks and protected areas that would be impacted by the proposed Kinder Morgan tar sands pipeline, click here.
The Wilderness Committee is asking that:
Provincial parks continue to provide for recreational opportunities for a variety of park users, with the permitted opportunities to be respectful of the land and leave a light footprint
Provincial parks must remain accessible to the public, regardless of income.
Use of the land that would result in damage to parks must not be allowed in protected areas.
Provincial parks are properly managed, our protected areas must never be privatized or commercialized. The BC government, acting on our behalf, has a responsibility to manage these natural landscapes as a public trust, an inalienable public good, both for British Columbians – and for the world.
Since provincial parks are a public good, any changes that impact the ecological integrity of the parks must be done in an open, transparent, and public manner.
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