Learning the lessons of the Commission on Resources & Environment (CORE)
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The Commission on Resources and the Environment (CORE) has been an important experiment in "social learning" in B. C. To date the process has largely fallen apart in two of the regions where a negotiated settlement approach was attempted (Vancouver Island and the West Kootenays), and has met with relative success in two others. In the case of the former, a land use plan has been proposed by Commissioner Stephen Owen, in lieu of agreement amongst the parties, and has been jiggled to fit the clashing priorities of different parts of the island. In the case of the latter, the participants achieved a rough consensus in the East Kootenays, but walked away quite disgruntled in the West Kootenays. In the third area subject to the CORE process - the Cariboo-Chilcotin - the participants were given a second chance after Owen's fall-back plan proved unpopular. Much research is needed on whether these plans are ecologically sound and, if sound, what the lessons are for how widely divergent groups come to a meeting of minds.