The Gulf Islands National Park Reserve is a terrific park, where we have paddled many times. Part of being a kayaker is being conscious of what allows us to have so many good experiences on the water. In our part of the world, there are many parks that preserve beautiful little islands and handy shorelines enjoyed by small boat users. Every ferry that runs from Swartz Bay to Tsawassen runs past several of the island park-lets that together make up this park reserve! The Park wardens sent me a copy of their newest newsletter. Lots of good info here for local paddlers! I've quoted lots of the newsletter here, but you can get a copy yourself by contacting them.
Parks Canada is developing the first management plan for Gulf Islands National Park Reserve —
You Can Help Set the Direction for the Future.
A Vision for the Park
A vision for Gulf Islands National Park Reserve was approved in 2006, through the Interim
Management Plan process. It is now time to review and update the vision.
The vision should paint a picture of what the future desired state is for the ecology, cultural
heritage and visitor opportunities in the park. It should also illustrate how we will be working
together with the different communities to achieve our goals for this national park.
The Park Advisory Board suggests that the updated vision should express:
The fragility/uniqueness of the area
First Nations connections to the area
The culture/context of the Gulf Islands (part of existing rural, island communities)
The value of protecting natural and cultural resources
That the park provides a refuge for nature and people
That visitor opportunities are focused on connecting with nature
That leadership, cooperation and working together is key to accomplishing goals.
Do you agree these elements are important?
What does your vision for the park include?
Provide us with your suggestions.
Management principles are sometimes referred to as Values. They provide overarching
philosophy or "touchstones" upon which management and decision-making are based.
Nine management principles were approved in the Interim Management Guidelines and have guided Parks Canada in its day-to-day actions to-date.
Summarized, they are:
The vision should be considered in all decisionmaking.
Communication is critical.
Working relationships with other government agents are key.
Consult and work cooperatively with First Nations.
Engage the public in planning and management.
The park advisory board should communicate the public interest.
No commercial roofed accommodation/buildings will be permitted.
Operations should be as green as possible.
The Canadian Environmental Assessment Act will be followed.
Parks Canada believes that updated management principles should be included in the
Are there any changes you would suggest?
Management Needs & Opportunities
The 2010 State of the Park Report outlined 24 key issues, based on a review and assessment of
park related information and monitoring programs. Additional management needs and
opportunities have been suggested by the public and staff over the years also.
There are certain needs that are Parks Canada requirements and must be addressed, while others will be addressed as resources or cooperative efforts permit.
We are looking for input on which of these needs and opportunities the public considers most
important to address first. It is important that we address some from each topic area.
Please let us know which you consider the top two in each category.
Ecological Integrity (EI)
Need a formal EI Restoration Program
Need full implementation of the EI monitoring program
Need further marine research & planning
Need continued regional integration and collaboration
Need to promote stewardship
Need a Cultural Resource Management Strategy
Need a cultural heritage monitoring program
Need to improve the condition of several cultural buildings
Need to address impacts to First Nations cultural heritage
Need additional cultural research
Need to increase the public's connection to heritage
Need a sustainable interpretive program
Need to ensure visitor facilities are sustainable
Need a formal volunteer program
Need a visitor experience monitoring program
Establish level of service and types of park fees
Need additional social research
Potential for expanded and new opportunities
Need locations for “gateways” to the park (welcome areas)
Need locations for special events/large group uses
Public Outreach Education
Need research on public awareness, needs, and preferences
Need to identify key urban outreach venues
Need a targeted outreach education program
Desire for a “parks discovery centre”
Coast Salish First Nations
Need to protect burial grounds and ancient human remains
Need to accommodate traditional uses in the park
Desire to have First Nations tell their cultural story to park visitors
Need continued relationship building
Desire to improve communications among Coast Salish First Nations
Desire for First Nations liaison with island communities
Stakeholder and Public Engagement
Need a stakeholder engagement strategy
Desire for further land acquisition
Over the timeframe of the Management Plan, we are proposing to focus on four broad goals:
Restoring Ecological Integrity
Protecting Cultural Heritage
Enhancing Visitor Experiences, and
We're looking for your help to set strategic 15-year objectives in each of these four areas. The
objectives, should identify the main "aims" or"intent" that Parks Canada should work toward
over the 15 year timeframe. Further, the objectives should be broad enough that the priority issues should fit into the objectives.
Example objectives might be:
-GINPR better represents the native diversity of the Strait of Georgia Lowlands because non-native and hyper-abundant species have been targeted and removed.
-New opportunities, that connect visitors to nature and to the park, are being offered and promoted.
What do you suggest as 15-Year objectives for
Gulf Islands National Park Reserve?
Public Sessions—An Update
Three public sessions have been held to-date, on Salt Spring, Pender and Mayne Islands.
Approximately 70 people have provided their ideas and suggestions on the items included in
As part of Parks Canada‟s Centennial Celebration, held in Stanley Park in Vancouver on Parks Day (July 16), the Gulf Islands team provided opportunities for residents and visitors alike to “get a taste” of the national park reserve. We introduced the park to many—provided information about the natural and cultural heritage, visitor opportunities, and that Parks Canada is now working on the management plan and looking for public involvement.
An open house is being planned for Victoria on: Saturday, September 10
and in Sidney on: Saturday October 1
People on the management planning email list will be notified and time/location information will be on the park website later in August (www.parkscanada.gc.ca/gulf).
Parks Canada is also working with interested Coast Salish First Nations to ensure that opportunities are available for their involvement in the management plan process.
Send Us Your Comments...
Gulf Islands National Park Reserve
2220 Harbour Rd
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