Loved to death: Balancing conservation and visitor use in planning and managing Western Canadian destination wilderness parks
Pawluk, Stephanie Hope
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Many Western Canadian destination wilderness parks are experiencing a range of unique and pressing trends and challenges that have become prominent in the twenty first century. Prevalent challenges include the unprecedented increase in the number of park visitors and associated impacts including traffic congestion, loss of quality of place, and environmental degradation; as well as climate change, urbanization, and social media. The purpose of this research is to document the current challenges facing these parks and to identify key park planning tools and actions that park practitioners are deploying to balance visitor experience with the protection of natural and cultural values in Western Canadian destination wilderness parks. Participants from Parks Canada, BC Parks, and select local governments with jurisdiction over destination wilderness parks were interviewed. The findings from this research produce a destination wilderness park planning tool, and make a series of planning and management recommendations, including the need for a collaborative approach to visitor use management.