Parks Canada public engagement on draft plans begins
National parks are gateways to nature, adventure, and discovery that hold special places in the hearts of Canadians and visitors from around the world. Now more than ever, the COVID-19 pandemic has reminded Canadians that spending time in nature and outdoors has many health and wellness benefits.
Today, the Minister of Environment and Climate Change and Minister responsible for Parks Canada, the Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, officially launched Indigenous and public engagement on the draft management plans for the mountain national parks.
Parks Canada is inviting all Canadians, including youth, to share their views on the draft plans and help influence the future of the mountain national parks. Public engagement programs are currently active for Banff, Jasper, Yoho, Kootenay, Waterton Lakes, Mount Revelstoke and Glacier national parks, including Rogers Pass National Historic Site.
More information about the individual management plans and opportunities for input is available at www.letstalkmountainparks.ca.
Parks Canada has coordinated development of the draft park management plans for the mountain national parks. Common themes and priorities in the draft management plans include:
- To ensure protection of natural and cultural resources, ecological integrity, and park landscapes for future generations.
- To provide exceptional opportunities for Canadians to develop a sense of connection to the natural and cultural heritage of these places.
- To strengthen Indigenous relations based on a recognition of rights, respect, collaboration, and partnership.
- To connect Canadians with these dynamic ecosystems and human stories; nature and history.
- To manage development and ensure ecological integrity is the first priority.
- To contribute to landscape-scale conservation in Canada by being ecologically and socially connected across boundaries.
- To contribute to an understanding of climate change and its impacts over time.
Indigenous, stakeholder and public views provided during the first round of engagement in the spring of 2019 helped shape these draft plans.
Now, all Canadians are invited to join the conversation to provide additional feedback. The results of this engagement will help finalize the management plans, after which they will be approved and tabled in Parliament.
Parks Canada, in collaboration with partners, protects and restores national historic sites and national parks; enables people to discover and connect with history and nature; and helps sustain the economic value of these places for local and regional communities. Public engagement on management planning in the mountain national parks is an example of how Parks Canada is involving Canadians in implementing these priorities.
Park management plans are a legislative requirement under the Canada National Parks Act and guide the management of Parks Canada’s administered places.
Management plans for national parks in Canada are reviewed on a scheduled cycle, to ensure continuity and relevance. Plan reviews provide Parks Canada with the opportunity to build on the strengths of previous plans, and to develop new direction where needed to achieve the desired future for the park.
Parks Canada manages one of the finest and most extensive systems of protected natural and cultural heritage areas in the world.
The system protects a vast network of natural and heritage places that include 171 national historic sites, 47 national parks, five national marine conservation areas, and one national urban park.
The mountain national parks are some of the oldest national parks in Canada. Banff was the first national park established in Canada in 1885. Yoho and Glacier national parks followed closely in 1886 and Waterton Lakes National Park was added in 1895. Jasper National Park was established in 1907 and Mount Revelstoke National Park joined in 1914.
Kootenay National Park is the youngest of the mountain national parks having been established in 1920.
Lead image: The hiking bridge at the Paint Pots Trail in Kootenay National Park e-KNOW file photos