BCPARF 2022

Day 2: Concurrent Session 10

Protected Areas Management

Session Moderator: Tim Burkhart

Click below to read presentation abstracts. No recordings available.

Presenters: Steven Hodgson & Ernie Tallio – BC Parks

Abstract:

On June 1, 2022, members from the Kitasoo Xai’xais Nation, Nuxalk Nation and BC Parks gathered at the provincial legislature building to sign a historic Memorandum of Understanding to establish an Indigenous Guardian Shared Compliance and Enforcement Pilot Project. The Pilot Project intendeds to recognize select Indigenous Guardians from each Nation with Park Ranger authorities under the Park Act, where they will have the ability to conduct compliance and enforcement activities within parks and protected areas, like that of Park Rangers employed by BC Parks, while remaining employed by their Nations’ existing Guardian program. Both the Kitasoo Xai’xais and Nuxalk Nations have long-standing Indigenous Guardian programs and have been monitoring and managing their territories for thousands of years. Guardians are responsible for upholding ancestral and contemporary Indigenous laws that have been handed down over many generations, and this pilot project recognizes the Nations’ expertise, knowledge systems and stewardship role within their territories and is a key step toward reconciliation.

Contributors: 

  • Doug Neasloss, Kitasoo Xai’xais First Nation
  • Evan Loveless, Kitasoo Xai’xais Stewardship Authority

Presenter: Ethan Ward – Mount Royal University

Abstract:

When the world shifted abruptly in March 2020 our lives became smaller – more focused and local. During those early days of awkward, choppy virtual work and school, many Canadians sought respite in nature. Backyards seemed insufficient and apartments felt oppressive. As individuals and families turned to federal, provincial, territorial and municipal parks, Park leaders struggled with critical decisions and limited capacity. In this paper, we examine the COVID-19 responses of park agencies in Canada. Through a partnership with the Canadian Parks Council (CPC) we coded and analyzed 128 documents that capture the conversations that occurred among Park leaders from March 2020 to April 2021. We find that collaboration through CPC enabled sharing on how to respond to evolving and unpredictable COVID-19 events. While the actions of Parks varied, key decisions centered on: when to close/open/reopen and the associated practices required; what COVID-19 protocols needed to be in place; how and what to communicate internally and to the public. Our data also identifies the consequences of those decisions. We find evidence of tensions in decision making that were exacerbated by urgency and ambiguity. Practically, we identify lessons learned and make recommendations for best practices given the potential for future disruptive challenges.

Contributors:

  • Don Carruthers Den Hoed, PhD, Canadian Parks Collective for Innovation and Leadership; Institute for Resources, Environment and Sustainability, University of British Columbia
  • Connie Van der Byl, Institute for Environmental Sustainability, Mount Royal University

Acknowledgements:

We are grateful to our partner, the Canadian Parks Council (CPC), and to the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) for providing funding through the Partnership Engage Grants Special Initiative COVID-19. Special thanks to Kathie Adare, Manager CPC.

Presenter: Cameron Eckert – Yukon Parks

Abstract:

Qikiqtaruk-Herschel Island off the Yukon’s Arctic Coast is a place of Inuvialuit traditional use, connection to the land, and where knowledge is shared with future generations. It was established as a Yukon territorial park in 1987 through the Inuvialuit Final Agreement. Since then, Yukon Parks has implemented a comprehensive ecological monitoring program tracking rapid ecological change on the island. As well, programs such as the annual Elders/Youth camp hosted by the Aklavik Hunter and Trapper’s Committee and Yukon Parks have sought to maintain and strengthen Inuvialuit connections to the island. Here we share an exciting new initiative connecting Inuvialuit youth with the island’s ecological monitoring and research program – the Inuvialuit student internship coordinated by Yukon Parks and Team Shrub of the University of Edinburgh.

Presenter: Chris Oberg –  Research Planner (Master’s Student), with IISAAK OLAM Foundation and the Vancouver Island University Master of Community Planning Program

Abstract:

Indigenous Protected and Conserved Areas (IPCA’s) are an innovative land-use planning tool for advancing reconciliation and achieving the Government of Canada’s international commitments of protecting 25% of lands and waters by 2025 and 30% by 2030. In the proposed presentation, “Indigenous Protected and Conserved Areas Certificate –Building Capacity for Conservation Professionals in BC”, Ms. Oberg will present the results of her shared research with the IISAAK OLAM Foundation and Vancouver Island University in developing and delivering Canada’s first post-secondary program dedicated to Indigenous Protected and Conserved Areas. This certificate is made for Indigenous nation staff, crown government employees, and all people in the conservation space thatwant to support Indigenous led conservation and self-determination. In this presentation, participants will learn about the development of the certificate, course content, delivery style, costs, and how the certificate can build capacity to support the establishment, management, and governance of IPCAs in British Columbia and across Canada.

Contributors:

  • Eli Enns& Monica Shore, Co-Founders,IISAAK OLAM Foundation 
  • Pam Shaw, Director, Vancouver Island University Master of Community Planning Program

Acknowledgements:

This research and development of the IPCA Certificate was supported by funding from the Real Estate Foundation of BC, the Conservation through Reconciliation Partnership, the Canadian Mountain Network and Mitacs.

Presenter: Megan Beveridge – BC Parks

Abstract:

While BC Parks has an immense responsibility to protect representative and natural places in our protected area system for world class conservation, outdoor recreation, education and scientific study, it is also critical that BC Parks as an agency takes responsibility for its own operational environmental footprint.  To date, BC Parks has lacked any formal policy or direction on climate change, greenhouse gas mitigation, or climate change adaptation. BC Parks’ Green Plan is a first step toward filling this gap while offering green guidance on waste management, water use, procurement and outreach for our staff.   This presentation will share out what action BC Parks proposes to take on over the next 5 years to meet its sustainability goals, along with the key challenges and opportunities identified through development of the BC Parks Green Plan.

Contributors:

  • Bob Austad., BC Parks Project Champion 
  • Volker Michelfelder, BC Parks Project Team
  • Megan Beveridge, BC Parks Project Team 
  • Jen Grant, BC Parks Project Team
  • Sherry Lu, BC Parks Project Team
  • Danika Medinski, BC Parks Project Team
  • Mike Neto, BC Parks Project Team
  • Owen Catherall, BC Parks Project Team

More Concurrent Sessions

Session 10: (you are here)

Protected Areas Management