Economic Impact of Canadian Parks and Protected Areas (2009)

Report

A Technical Report prepared by The Outspan Group Inc.

Amherst Island, Stella, Ontario for the Canadian Parks Council (April, 2011)

Foreword and acknowledgements

Canadians benefit in so many ways from our national, provincial and territorial parks. For many years, park agencies have been working together to define, measure and report on these benefits.

As a society and individually we benefit from parks. They provide opportunities for families to be together, to learn about nature and to enjoy healthful outdoor recreation. They are places for us to relax and rejuvenate, contributing to our health and well-being. Parks contribute to our sense of identity and place. We value the natural and cultural heritage that they protect and present. Though most of us may only ever visit a few of these places, they fill us with wonder and inspire us and we consider them an important legacy to pass on to future generations.

Parks provide a broad range of ecological services. They produce clean water and air, protect critical habitat for species-at-risk and maintain healthy, diverse and resilient ecosystems upon which our own health depends. Forest areas in parks help stabilize the earth’s climate by reabsorbing carbon and other pollutants from the atmosphere and producing oxygen.

Parks also generate economic activity, supporting tourism, providing sustainable jobs, generating tax revenue to governments and diversifying the economy, particularly in rural and remote areas of Canada. Parks are the focus of much of Canada’s regional, national and international tourism activity. This report examines the economic impact of Canada’s national, provincial and territorial parks and demonstrates that spending by park organizations and by visitors to parks has a substantial and recurring impact on the economy.

Calculating the impact of each park agency and Parks Canada within and outside each province and territory and then rolling all of the data into a national report is a monumental task. This is the second such report prepared by the Canadian Parks Council and the first to include data from every province and territory.

The Economic Impact Model for Parks (EIMP) used to undertake this analysis is a substantial improvement over previous versions. It now reports on direct, indirect and induced impacts and calculates tax impacts by level of government. It has been updated with the latest coefficients from Statistics Canada’s Provincial Input/Output models and is now a web-based and user- friendly application, readily accessible to anyone wishing to use it.

This report shows that:

  • The $47 million in operating and capital expenditures (excludes amortization) by BC Parks and PFOs led to $394 million in expenditures by visitors. In other words, every one dollar invested in the protected areas system generates $8.42 in visitor spending on food, entertainment, transportation and other goods and services.
  • Provincial park-related spending generated over $28 million in tax revenues (sales and production taxes only, does not include income tax effects), returning 60 per cent of BC Parks’ capital and operating expenditures.
  • The combined economic impact of this spending is a $392 million boost to GDP and over 5,200 full-time jobs.

 

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Alberta Parks’ Top 20 Policy and Research Questions – 2012 Workshop

Research Report

Alberta Parks’ Top 20 Policy and Research Questions – Provincial Workshop (2012)

Lars K. Hallstrom, Joyce Gould, John Parkins, Elizabeth Halpenny, and Naomi Finseth

Abstract: “Generation of priority research questions to inform Park management and conservation policy.”

Objectives: This project met multiple objectives of relevance to both the research and policy communities within the Parks Division of Alberta Tourism, Parks and Recreation. In addition to generating a list of relevant, feasible and implementable Parks priority research, this project:

1) Identified potential gaps and innovation in public policy that will support Parks sustainability in the face of demographic/social change, economic stressors and ecological variation;
2) Contributions to “horizon scanning”- the systematic search for potential threats and opportunities.

3) Increase communication, interactions and potential collaboration between government, non-governmental and research communities and practitioners; 4) Increase the exposure and knowledge base of the research community to the policy and research priorities of both governmental and non-governmental organizations at the provincial and federal levels in Canada.

5) Generate and communicate the policy and research priorities of different levels and branches of government across those different levels and branches; &
6) Provide guidance to funders and funding agencies as to areas of priority and interest.

 

Alberta Parks’ Top 20 Policy and Research Questions:

  1. How does social change (in terms of values, behaviours, expectations, etc.) affect visitation to Alberta’s parks?

    1.b How is social change affecting Alberta Parks’ ability to deliver its mandate?

  2. How do: (1) the public; and (2) the provincial government define an optimal and efficiently management Park Agency, and what management, funding, and marketing and on-the-ground management practices models contribute to creating such as Agency?

  3. What are the individual/familial/community/social impacts that are provided by Alberta Parks? (e.g., economic, health, ecosystem services)

  4. What values do citizens assign to parks that ensure Alberta Parks and protected areas are retained, maintained and remain a part of our natural heritage? How should these values be assessed?

  5. What elements/aspects of a park visit, foster or inspire more environmentally active and aware citizenship?

  6. What will be/are the impacts/effects of climate change on the ecological and social systems in and immediately adjacent to Alberta Parks?

  7. What spatially-based initiatives and spatial properties are needed to optimize conservation/preservation in or adjacent to Alberta Parks now, and into the future?

  8. What tools and techniques are most effective in the restoration of species and ecosystems in Alberta Parks?

  9. Using ecological and social carrying capacity as a guide, how can Parks enhance visitor experience and prioritize the ecological well-being of provincial parks while countering negative visitor and industrial effects on being?

  10. What natural disturbance processes operate within provincial parks and how do we manage for them now and into the future?

  11. How do current land management practices in Alberta Parks influence water resources?

  12. What is Alberta Parks’ contribution to protecting biodiversity?

  13. What are the most effective interventions to foster or reinforce positive behaviours and reduce non-compliance within Alberta Parks?

  14. What are the most effective collaborative and network-based strategies for enhancing the spatial extent of Alberta Parks, while maintaining/improving relationships with neighbours?

  15. What is the role of Alberta Parks in provincial and national efforts in the management, conservation and recovery of species at risk?

  16. What are the barriers and processes for knowledge translation in Alberta Parks’ policies, decision making and practice(s)?

  17. What are the best practices for funding the conservation of natural areas and open spaces? 7

  1. How are invasive species being controlled, managed, affected or mitigated by Park’s policies and programs?

  2. In light of growing population and industrial/economic pressures in the province, is demand for recreational opportunities and natural green spaces being met by each region’s existing family of provincial parks and other conservation and/or outdoor recreational lands?

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Protected Planet

External Resource

Protected Planet is the most up to date and complete source of data on protected areas and other effective area-based conservation measures (OECMs), updated monthly with submissions from governments, non-governmental organizations, landowners and communities.

CCIUCN Webinar on IPCAs & Indigenous Leadership in Conservation (Recording)

With an increased global interest in Indigenous-led conservation, the Canadian Parks Collective for Innovation and Leadership is excited to host this webinar as an overview of Indigenous Protected and Conserved Areas (IPCAs) and Indigenous leadership in conservation in Canada.  The emphasis will be on the development of an Assembly of First Nations IPCA Working Group, the Conservation Through Reconciliation Partnership and progress in Pathway to Target 1 through its IPCA working group, and how these three initiatives–in concert with others–are collaborating in support of efforts such as meeting Canada’s international conservation targets.

Panelists: 

 Curtis Scurr,Associate Director, Environment Sector, Assembly of First Nations, Co-Chair Pathway IPCA Working Group

Wesley Johnston,Federal Lead on IPCAs, Environment and Climate Change Canada, Co-Chair Pathway IPCA Working Group

Robin Roth,Associate Professor of Geography, Guelph University, and Co-Lead, Conservation Through Reconciliation Partnership

Ninna Piiksii – Mike Bruised Head, “Obtaining Indigenous Knowledge: Really Knowing From Place”

Nov. 15, 2018
Hosted by the Canadian Parks Research Network at the University of Alberta

Summary Notes

  • Indigenous knowledge should not be “academicized”
  • Waterton’s Indigenous name reflects glacial-time
  • Combine western science-thinking with Indigenous thought (to bring back free roaming bison)
    • Rancher opposition – worry tuberculosis will transfer to their cattle
  • The natural, spiritual laws of the land – Indigenous knowledge
  • No consultation when names were removed from parks, landscapes, and mountains
  • Wants signage to include both names in Waterton
  • Indigenous knowledge incorporates animals

Notes from Workshop Facilitator, Thomas Snow

  • Another common theme from today is displacement (of Indigenous Peoples from parks)

Notes from breakout session

  • Indigenous voices first – guiding questions limit the conversations
  • Brady Highway – what do the settler communities want from Indigenous communities?
  • To take away knowledge?
  • Find a place to create space for Indigenous people to lead the way in conservation
  • Tension between “taking away knowledge” and wanting to engage with Indigenous communities
  • How can a single representative from Indigenous communities speak on behalf of a large amount of people (who all have varying values and opinions)?
  • Comparing differences between communities is not productive
  • “How to make this more human for Indigenous People” – with regards to collaboration on parks management and conservation
  • Challenges with framing PR – ensuring information shared to the public is fair to everyone
  • What about revenue generation for the local Indigenous communities?
  • Creating a place for productive conversations to occur and facilitate these discussions – the communities will decide what is appropriate for conservation management

Robert Grandjambe, “Observations from the Land: Insights from 27 Years of Trapping, Hunting and Fishing on the Alberta Landscape”

Nov. 15, 2018
Hosted by the Canadian Parks Research Network at the University of Alberta

Summary Notes

  • Rapid change – consumers demand more than is available
  • Trapping has now transformed into a more humane method and this is important to maintaining sustainability
  • People need to be more aware of the changes that will impact animals
  • Trappers try to understand the complexities of the environment and learn from previous experiences
  • Collaboration needed to manage species and ensure their continuity
  • Pine Lake – Wood Buffalo National Park
    • Set trap lines for trapping within the park – he was identified as a nuisance to parks by the park’s superintendent
    • Parks Canada claims his trap line interrupted hiking paths and an active beach
    • He was considered a commercial trapper by Parks Canada and was under surveillance. No charges
    • Court case with Parks Canada over dismantling of Robert’s trapping cabin, the loss of trapping opportunities and trapping equipment
    • Shows a mindset of the dominant society – to build bridges forward we must start off on the same path
    • According to Parks Canada, he is the only active trapper within the park – this shows the removal of Indigenous Peoples from the land
  • Attaching monetary values to trapping to manage it is not beneficial

Notes from Workshop Facilitator, Thomas Snow

  • How many people are aware things like this are happening?
  • Some policies restrict people from carrying on with their way of life (trapping, etc.)

Notes from Workshop Breakout Session

  • Indigenous voices first – guiding questions limit the conversations
  • Brady Highway – what do the settler communities want from Indigenous communities? To take away knowledge?
  • Find a place to create space for Indigenous people to lead the way in conservation
  • Tension between “taking away knowledge” and wanting to engage with Indigenous communities
  • How can a single representative from Indigenous communities speak on behalf of a large amount of people (who all have varying values and opinions)?
  • Comparing differences between communities is not productive
  • “How to make this more human for Indigenous People” – with regards to collaboration on parks management and conservation
  • Challenges with framing PR – ensuring information shared to the public is fair to everyone
  • What about revenue generation for the local Indigenous communities?
  • Creating a place for productive conversations to occur and facilitate these discussions – the communities will decide what is appropriate for conservation management

Dr. Leroy Littlebear – “Big Thinking and Rethinking: Blackfoot Metaphysics Working in the Wings, Reflections by a Blackfoot”

Nov. 15, 2018
Hosted by the Canadian Parks Research Network at the University of Alberta

Summary

  • How does the foundational basis of actions become established?
    • How are these foundations articulated?
    • Can they be articulated?
  • Science, within Western society, has been seen as one of these unquestionable foundations—a form of analyzing that assumes objectivity—however, the authority of science can be questioned and many Indigenous ways of knowing challenge the authority of objective science
  • Land may be seen as a source of metaphysics
    • The paradigms of a society are shaped by interactions with the land. The paradigms then determine the beliefs, behaviours and relationships of the society, so then the metaphysics of societies are determined.
  • Language is a tool of metaphysics. The nature and structure of language create a loop where forms of knowing are both created and reinforced through the form of a language
    • Language itself can be colonizing
    • What are the ways in which language (or other manifestations of knowledge and culture) shape individuals?
    • The structuring of both Western mentality and language create the apparent need for an ‘other’
  • Land’s relationship to metaphysics ties land to identity and culture
  • Place is a determinant of identity
  • Ensoulment: a foundation of human psychology
  • Ex. Axiology of Blackfoot Culture:
    • In science: Time and space being the same, non-locality, Higgs particle, special dimensions,
    • In economics: sustainability
    • In psychology: Maslow’s hierarchy of needs (holistic approach rather than hierarchical?)
    • In law: oral histories
    • Relationships: Dealing with complexity
  • Current practice continues to reproduce Western metaphysics of practice formed centuries ago.
  • Demonstrates the clear need for a transition to a new application of knowledges, axiology, and metaphysics

Comments from Workshop Facilitator, Thomas Snow

  • Cannot have Indigenous knowledge without Indigenous people
    • The knowledge has been gained throughout thousands of years
    • Often people will try to take shortcuts to incorporate the knowledge, but they need to build a relationship first
  • Example: Tom often dealt with entry-level parks people who had no training with regards to Treaty 6. He would have to step in to provide them with crucial information

Notes from Workshop Breakout Session

  • Indigenous voices first – guiding questions limit the conversations
  • Brady Highway – what do the settler communities want from Indigenous communities? To take away knowledge?
  • Find a place to create space for Indigenous people to lead the way in conservation
  • Tension between “taking away knowledge” and wanting to engage with Indigenous communities
  • How can a single representative from Indigenous communities speak on behalf of a large amount of people (who all have varying values and opinions)?
  • Comparing differences between communities is not productive
  • “How to make this more human for Indigenous People” – with regards to collaboration on parks management and conservation
  • Challenges with framing PR – ensuring information shared to the public is fair to everyone
  • What about revenue generation for the local Indigenous communities?
  • Creating a place for productive conversations to occur and facilitate these discussions – the communities will decide what is appropriate for conservation management

Scott Duguid, Executive Director, Alberta Land Use Secretariat, “Collaboration and Relationship Building in Pathway to Canada Target 1”

Nov. 15, 2018
Hosted by the Canadian Parks Research Network at the University of Alberta

Link to Pathway to Target One

Summary Notes

  • Target 1: 17% terrestrial and 10% coastal marine protected in Canada (right now 13% terrestrial in Alberta)
  • Questions: is the conservation the right type of conservation? Is it meaningful?
  • Ecological considerations -> scientific perceptions about conservation can create challenges in Indigenous communities
  • There is a focus on renewed relationships that respect the rights, responsibilities, and priorities of Indigenous peoples to create collaborative partnerships
  • Duguid highlights self-determination as a big part of interaction between colonial and Indigenous governments. There needs to be recognition of the validity of Indigenous governments
  • Indigenous inclusion in the pathway process -> typically it has been federal/provincial/territorial (FPT) efforts with Indigenous partners in a National Steering Committee to guide FPT (Duguid believes this is not a good process)
  • Instead, develop a National Advisory Panel (NAP) to bring together various interests in Canada and report directly to the ministers.
  • It is important to include Indigenous Peoples in the NAP to advise ministers and involve the community (this is a change the government is trying to make)
  • Embed Indigenous knowledge into the entire governance of the project (with Minister McKenna and Minister Phillips as co-leads)
  • Creation of an Indigenous Circle of Experts (ICE) to work with NAP and advise ministers and produce recommendations on how a spectrum of Indigenous Protected and
  • Conserved Areas (IPCAs) could be realized in Canada to contribute to Target 1
  • However, ICE lacks representation from coastal Inuit groups and this reflects a challenge in the process (which communities are represented and which are not)
  • As well, Metis representation is different in each province
  • In the ICE membership structure, FPT government representatives are on the peripheral
  • 17% of terrestrial land isn’t meaningful to communities – what does it look like?
  • Strong youth involvement is needed
  • ICE takes a regional approach to incorporate the very different geopolitical landscape across Canada (treaties, land titles, no treaties, etc.)
  • ICE Report and Recommendations – 28 recommendations to support and recognize the establishment of IPCAs
  • “Lands and waters where Indigenous governments have a role in protecting and conserving culture and ecosystems through Indigenous laws, governance, and knowledge systems. Culture and language are at the heart and soul of an IPCA”
  • IPCAs are a space for elders to transfer key knowledge to youth – something they feel is disappearing but critical
  • IPCAs provide a space for cultural healing – there is a strong need for land and water to provide an area for this and get back to a way of life to heal as a community and culture
  • The land is under stress and needs to rest and heal – IPCAs will provide this space
  • IPCAs will provide a place to practice a traditional way of life (hunting, trapping, gathering, ceremonies, etc.)

Response from Workshop Facilitator, Thomas Snow

  • His mother is part of ICE – she feels rushed to transfer knowledge before completion (a challenge with government timelines)
  • He feels it is evident this is guided by Indigenous people
  • An ethical space and a ceremony guides how meetings are conducted and how advise generated and decisions and approvals are made
  • FPT members participate as individuals and leave behind the “government mandate” approach
  • This considers geopolitical realities
  • A care for land is at the foundation

Response from Mike Bruised Head

  • How is membership to ICE gathered? Not everyone is aware. Consider those with tribal or organizational mandates as well.

Workshop Breakout Session Comments

  • Indigenous voices first – guiding questions limit the conversations
  • Brady Highway – what do the settler communities want from Indigenous communities?
  • To take away knowledge?
  • Find a place to create space for Indigenous people to lead the way in conservation
  • Tension between “taking away knowledge” and wanting to engage with Indigenous communities
  • How can a single representative from Indigenous communities speak on behalf of a large amount of people (who all have varying values and opinions)?
  • Comparing differences between communities is not productive
  • “How to make this more human for Indigenous People” – with regards to collaboration on parks management and conservation
  • Challenges with framing PR – ensuring information shared to the public is fair to everyone
  • What about revenue generation for the local Indigenous communities?
  • Creating a place for productive conversations to occur and facilitate these discussions – the communities will decide what is appropriate for conservation management

Brady Highway, “Thundering Ahead: Campaign for Canada’s Wanuskewin Heritage Park”

Indigenous knowledge and conservation workshop.
November 15, 2018

Hosted by the Parks Research Network at the University of Alberta

Summary Notes

  • Partnerships need to make sense and involve local communities
  • Sharing in the resources and educating people – not just transferring knowledge for economic benefit
  • Unique part of the park – Elders council (contrast to Parks Canada which is very centrally focused) that helps to ensure their vision is implemented in the park
  • If research proposal does not make sense to the community it cannot be engaged with – Indigenous communities present the issues they would like to explore to researchers and government
  • Focus on education to visitors (40,000 visitors/year – this will likely triple)
    • Many visitors from school (K-12)
  • Indigenous communities want to be able to engage in their own research and publish their own findings
  • The park is considered a learning beacon with relationships to universities (with Indigenous methodologies in mind)
  • Hope to increase the size of the park – need partnerships and investments (in the local communities) for this
  • As capacity is built in parks – it needs to transfer into the local communities

Comments from Workshop Facilitator, Thomas Snow

  • How do we speak to important issues while we work within an institution?
    • Institutions are not always interested in changing, especially when driven by monetary means
    • Underlying theme in workshop – the need to build bridges, create relationships, and create allies within work places
  • One of the ways to do this – put Indigenous voices first

Workshop Breakout Session Notes

  • Indigenous voices first – guiding questions limit the conversations
  • Brady Highway – what do the settler communities want from Indigenous communities? To take away knowledge?
  • Find a place to create space for Indigenous people to lead the way in conservation
  • Tension between “taking away knowledge” and wanting to engage with Indigenous communities
  • How can a single representative from Indigenous communities speak on behalf of a large amount of people (who all have varying values and opinions)?
  • Comparing differences between communities is not productive
  • “How to make this more human for Indigenous People” – with regards to collaboration on parks management and conservation
  • Challenges with framing PR – ensuring information shared to the public is fair to everyone
  • What about revenue generation for the local Indigenous communities?
  • Creating a place for productive conversations to occur and facilitate these discussions – the communities will decide what is appropriate for conservation management