Canada’s British Columbia Parks is strengthening the protection of diverse wildlife habitats wetlands and bolstering the natural legacy of existing parks.
According to a report, legislation has been introduced to increase the number of parks and protected areas system, which contributes to the conservation of the existing ecosystem and enhances opportunities for outdoor recreation.
The additions were proposed through legislative amendments to the Protected Areas of British Columbia Act.
“People’s desire to interact with nature has never been greater. Parks provide the opportunity to connect with nature and strengthen our physical and mental well-being,” said George Heyman, minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy.
“We continue to look for opportunities to add ecologically and culturally significant lands to our diverse parks system and expand opportunities for outdoor recreation.”
Twenty-seven hectares of lake foreshore would be added to Christina Lake Park, Kootenay Lake Park, Gladstone Park, and Purcell Wilderness Conservancy Park to safeguard the lake values further.
Boundary modifications to rectify administrative mistakes and address safety concerns would also be made at Burnt Cabin Bog Ecological Reserve, Big White Mountain Ecological Reserve, West Arm Park, and Omineca Park.
This is in line with the province’s efforts to improve the protection of wildlife habitat, better reflect Indigenous Peoples’ history and cultures in parks for a deeper understanding of connection to the land, and create more camping and outdoor recreation opportunities.
Over 1,700 new campsites have been added to provincial parks and recreational areas in the last four years, including the new Skyview Campground in E.C. Manning Park, which has 62 fully serviced campsites in winter, and 92 campsites in the summer.
In addition, the province recently purchased two properties that are planned to be added to the popular Tribune Bay Provincial Park on Hornby Island.
The property includes the last remaining beachfront along Tribune Bay and an existing private campground with around 135 campsites.
Campground improvements and the potential for walk-in sites catering to active transportation, like cycle touring, hiking, or kayaking, will be informed through consultation with First Nations and input from stakeholders.