New funding for BC Parks still not enough
Vancouver – Conservation groups are reacting to the BC government’s increase in funding for BC Parks, an amount that totals $25 million over three years, including funding for additional full-time park rangers.
The increased funding follows on a new strategy for the future of BC Parks, announced in November 2016, which proponents hope will include lead toward a robust, sustainable parks system, and address decades of neglect. Most groups agree it’s a step in the right direction, but that it’s not nearly enough to protect the millions of hectares of lands and waters in province’s care.
“Parks funding has been in steady decline for nearly two decades following the massive budget cuts to BC Parks in the early 2000s, and it’s now one of the worst funded parks system in the country,” says Jessie Corey, Terrestrial Conservation Manager for CPAWS-BC. “We can’t claim to have a world-class parks system without world-class funding to go with it.”
Thousands of British Columbians have joined CPAWS-BC’s call for an increase in the BC Parks annual operating budget from $30 to $60 million, and for an increase in the number of full-time park rangers from 164 to 360 at a minimum.
“The time is now for our provincial government to show real leadership, and make some meaningful long-term investments into our parks system,” says Corey.