BC's Provincial Parks

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 appears to have missed this as it 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 24th 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.

Recent Developments

8 weeks 1 day ago
This is a tribute to Gwen Barlee given in the Legislature by NDP Leader John Horgan.
25 weeks 5 days ago
Download our latest educational report  Vote Wild! education report outlines the pressing environmental issues in BC and how voters can make them high-priority in the lead-up to the BC election.
25 weeks 6 days ago
  This is a TV news story about the annual BC government budget announcement. The Wilderness Committee's Joe Foy makes the case that parks and the environment have been shortchanged while billions have been squandered on useless money-losing environment wrecking projects like the Site C dam.

Take Action

No logging trucks through Sasquatch Provincial Park

Write a letter!

Tamihi Logging Co. has partnered with the Seabird Island Band to apply for a boundary adjustment at BC's Sasquatch Provincial Park, near Harrison Hot Springs, in order to enable logging trucks to travel through the park for access to a nearby proposed logging area.

Surprisingly, as part of the public consultation process regarding removal of lands from parks and protected areas, it's the proponents (such as logging or pipeline companies) who are responsible for holding public meetings and gauging feedback – not BC Parks. 

Right now, BC's provincial parks are facing serious threats. Logging companies, mining companies and oil pipeline companies are all eyeing our provincial parks and applying for their own “park boundary adjustments”. And a recently passed law – Bill 4 – makes it easier for them to do so.

Community members near Sasquatch Park are outraged about the scheme to adjust the park boundary to allow logging trucks to pass through. They are bound and determined to protect the park and keep those trucks out.

To read more about the issue, click here to check out yesterday’s article from the Georgia Straight. 

Unfortunately, the BC government has made it difficult to even comment on this terrible logging road proposal. There is almost no information on the BC Parks website about the proposal, and nothing about how to provide comment to the parks ministry.

That’s why I am asking you to write to BC’s Minister of the Environment, Mary Polak and ask her to not to adjust the boundary of Sasquatch Provincial Park to allow logging truck traffic in this popular protected area.

Click here to write your letter today >>

Thanks for standing up for BC’s parks!

 


Photo: Deer Lake, Sasquatch Provincial Park (Gwen Barlee)

Keep industrial activity out of BC's provincial parks

Write a letter!

For over 100 years British Columbians have fought to protect BC’s special wild places from bulldozers, chainsaws, pipelines and development. After many decades of work, 14% of our province – from alpine meadows to old-growth forests – is now safeguarded by our park and protected area system.

Today that system is under threat.

On February 13, 2014, with no public consultation, the BC Government introduced Bill 4: The Park Amendment ActBill 4 went through its third reading on Monday, March 24th, and has now been officially passed into law. 

This new law is dangerous because it expressly provides for industrial activity within BC’s parks and protected area system, and opens the door for removal of land from these areas for industrial purposes.

Section 3 of the Bill also allows permits to be granted for “research” purposes. This sounds innocuous, but the term “research” is undefined and would enable the government to issue park permits for studies related to pipelines, transmission lines, logging roads and other industrial activities. “Research” could also include bulk ore sampling, clearing activities and other industrial activities that are clearly inconsistent with park purposes.

Additionally, the legislation dramatically reduces protection for parks under 2,032 hectares in size – smaller parks that are most vulnerable to industrial activity.

What makes Bill 4 even more concerning is that it is part of several government policies and reports, including the Park Boundary Adjustment Policy, which explicitly paves the way for removal of land from BC’s parks and protected areas to facilitate industrial development.

In December 2013, the Wilderness Committee uncovered government documents which alarmingly showed that “the Ministry of Environment is anticipating applications for boundary adjustments to at least 35 parks and other protected areas to accommodate industrial pipelines, transmission lines and resource roads.” You can read the front page Vancouver Sun article here.

Opening up our parks to pipelines, logging roads, transmission lines and other industrial activities is simply unacceptable. The BC government should be working to uphold our park and protected area system, not working to erode it.

We are continuing to voice our opposition to new rules that pave the way for industrial activity in BC's provincial parks. We encourage you to continue sending messages to decision-makers, urging them to withdraw this legislation immediately.

Please take a few moments to write to Environment Minister Mary Polak and ask for Bill 4 to be immediately reversed, and urge the BC Government to ensure that industrial activities do not take place in our park and protected area system.

Let's work together to keep pipelines and logging roads out of BC’s park system.

Click here to write a letter today >>

 


Photo: Wells Gray Provincial Park, BC (Michael Wheatley)

Regional News & Events