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Province Plans New Parks, Doubling of Conservancies

by NationTalk on April 22, 2008447 Views

NEWS RELEASE
For Immediate Release
2008OTP0099-000589
April 22, 2008

Office of the Premier
Ministry of Environment

VANCOUVER – The British Columbia government will introduce legislation this spring to create 11 new Class A provincial parks and more than double the number of conservancies in the province, Premier Gordon Campbell announced today, marking Earth Day 2008.“British Columbia is known around the world for its natural beauty, and for the importance British Columbians place on protecting that natural legacy,” said Premier Campbell. “These new parks and conservancies will build on the work we’ve already done to safeguard B.C.’s wilderness, including preserving the largest intact temperate rainforest on Earth – the Central and North coasts. Just last week, we planted the six billionth tree since reforestation programs began in B.C. over 70 years ago.”

Pending approval of the Legislature, 66 new conservancies will be created, bringing the total number of conservancies in B.C. to 131:

- 48 new conservancies as part of the Central Coast and North Coast Land and Resource Management Plan;
- Nine new conservancies as a result of the Sea-to-Sky Land and Resource Management Plan (LRMP);
- Two new conservancies as a result of the Haida Gwaii land-use agreement; and
- Seven new conservancies as a result of the Morice LRMP.

Pending approval, the legislation will also create 11 new Class A parks, bringing the total of Class A parks in B.C. to 604:

- Six new Class A parks as a result of the Morice LRMP;
- One new Class A park as the result of a private land donation on the Central Coast; and
- Four new Class A parks as a result of the Okanagan-Shuswap LRMP.

In total, this new legislation will add approximately 985,000 hectares – approximately twice the size of Prince Edward Island – to B.C.’s parks and protected areas system.

“British Columbia already has the largest provincial parks system in Canada,” said Environment Minister Barry Penner. “With the introduction of this new legislation, the BC Parks system will be approaching 1,000 parks and protected areas. To maintain its world-class status, the B.C. government has invested nearly $83 million over the past four years to improve park infrastructure and acquire additional parkland.”

Since 2001, the B.C. government has established 46 new parks, 65 conservancies, one ecological reserve and eight protected areas, and expanded approximately 50 parks and six ecological reserves, protecting more than 800,000 hectares. Today, more than 14 per cent (or 13.5 million hectares) of British Columbia land is protected – more than any other province in Canada. Pending the legislation, B.C. will have created approximately 1.7 million hectares of protected areas since 2001.

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For more information on B.C.’s provincial parks, please visit: www.bcparks.ca.

Media contact:

Bridgitte Anderson
Press Secretary
Office of the Premier
604 307-7177

Kate Thompson
Media Relations
250 953-4577

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