There is a spectrum of opinions regarding the proposed national park reserve in the South Okanagan-Similkameen. Establishing the proposed national park reserve will require ongoing efforts to reconcile differing views on the initiative.
• The public consultation process is not intended to build consensus, but to identify challenges and opportunities associated with the proposal that require ongoing efforts to address.
• Public consultation survey: concern between conserving and protecting the ecosystem versus continuing specific local interests, especially activities (e.g. off-road vehicles, hunting/trapping/gathering) that would be prohibited from the area if the national park reserve is established.
• Stakeholder meetings: concerns about the national park reserve were expressed in a more vocal manner.
1. Develop ways to engage the local community to provide advice on park issues as they pertain to local community matters and future next steps.
2. Develop and distribute regular communications materials to the public, especially those who live in the Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen (RDOS) and the Central Okanagan Regional District (CORD).
o From the stakeholder meetings, some feel the proposed national park reserve is being forced upon them, while others see the value in establishing the national park reserve, in terms of long-term sustainability of this important ecosystem, and maintaining a stable economy going forward.
3. Hold meetings with municipal and regional district planners on the interlinkages between the proposed national park reserve and municipal and regional management issues.
o Local residents want to know how adaptable the process is and if public opinion will influence the final decision. Establishing a national park reserve will require ongoing efforts to reconcile differing views on the initiative. If polls are conducted, ensure they are statistically valid for the area (RDOS and CORD).
4. Provide further communications and information to educate the community, municipalities and regional districts on First Nations rights and title.
o Examples may include information about allowable activities, clarifying First Nations uses and practices in a national park reserve and supporting the ecological benefits of ranching and grazing are among the items identified as needing clarification.
5. Consider clarifying which activities are permitted or not permitted within the national park reserve.
6. Provide further clarity on maps to delineate private land outside of national park reserve jurisdiction, municipal boundary lines and make Agricultural Land Reserve areas more visible. (see map on last page).
7. Provide additional information on process and timelines.