1390 E – Petition for a National Park Yes
Petition to the Minister of Environment and Climate Change
- We thank the governments for the tri-lateral announcement on October 27, 2017, that South Okanagan Similkameen park reserve will be established;
- South Okanagan-Similkameen NPR will benefit local citizens, preserve endangered species and maintain ecosystems in perpetuity;
- Park consultation with affected communities and economic sectors has been an ongoing process since 2002;
- Our region is without a national park identified in Parks Canada’s planning policy;
- This region will benefit economically, in the form of direct National Park jobs and capital expenditures, infrastructure and jobs that will achieve their mandate;
- An independent, professional opinion poll verified 70% local park support (McAllister Opinion Research, 2015);
- The Park Reserve recognizes Indigenous rights, language and cultural practices;
- Private land will never be expropriated for the Park, and any real estate transactions will be on a willing seller-willing buyer basis;
- Parks Canada field staffing levels are 4-10 times higher than Provincial field staffing;
- Visitors to our region will increase, as a valuable economic spin-off of the Park;
- Parks Canada’s wildfire suppression and prescribed burning expertise will help stop catastrophic wildfires and enhance wildlife habitat;
- Parks Canada will improve the management of many outdoor recreation opportunities and monitor inappropriate uses; and
- The Okanagan-Similkameen is a national “hot-spot” for critically endangered wildlife and need greater protection.
We, the undersigned, residents of the province of British Columbia, call upon the Government of Canada to expedite the creation of the South-Okanagan Similkameen National Park Reserve.