Park facility development and design planning facilities that respect the spirit of place
As the political, economic and cultural fabric of all regions of the British Columbia landscape grows more sophisticated, legislative remedies to environmental issues will become more difficult to execute. If our society's values towards resources are to change, the resource protection field may need to evolve from legislated protection to cultural protection based on appreciation and peer pressure. In this regard, natural park sites have the potential to influence the values which will be
... which will be carried beyond that particular site. Protective attitudes towards the environment often grow out of a feeling of connection to, and an understanding of, particular places. The act of conferring park status on a natural place acknowledges that we consider it to be special and hence worthy of protection. The way in which this environment is planned, designed and managed has the potential to demonstrate environmental protection values while educating people about the natural world and our impact upon it. Retaining the true "spirit of place" in a natural area park is a worthy goal but often difficult to achieve. In British Columbia's Provincial Park System, a dual mandate to provide for recreational pursuits while protecting the environment creates problems for staff who must fulfill what is often a conflicting prescription. A detailed policy framework for facilities, based on explicitly examined values, would provide direction for decision making about park facilities. This thesis looks at the topic of retaining a "sense of place" in natural area parks, examines the issue of values and tradeoffs in park management, and offers a planning framework to operationalize the B.C. Parks mandate to protect and present provincial parks.