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An analysis of the regional park policy of the provincial government of British Columbia Hawksworth, Cynthia Diane 1974

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AN ANALYSIS OF THE REGIONAL PARK POLICY OF THE PROVINCIAL GOVERNMENT OF BRITISH COLUMBIA by CYNTHIA DIANE HAWKSWORTH B.A., University of British Columbia, 1972 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS in the School of Community and Regional Planning We accept this thesis as conforming to the required standard. THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA August^ 197^ In p resent ing t h i s thes is in p a r t i a l f u l f i l m e n t o f the requirements f o r an advanced degree at the U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h Columbia, I agree that the L i b r a r y sha l l make i t f r e e l y a v a i l a b l e f o r reference and study. I f u r t h e r agree t h a t permission fo r ex tens ive copying o f t h i s thes is f o r s c h o l a r l y purposes may be granted by the Head o f my Department or by h is r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s . I t is understood that copying or p u b l i c a t i o n o f t h i s thes is f o r f i n a n c i a l gain sha l l not be al lowed w i thou t my w r i t t e n permiss ion. Department of Community and Regional Planning The U n i v e r s i t y o f B r i t i s h Columbia Vancouver 8, Canada Date i i ABSTRACT In 1965. the provincial government of British Columbia established the legislative authority for a system of 28 regional d i s t r i c t s to provide a vehicle for local public input in land use planning and co-ordination of the a c t i -v i t i e s of the various government agencies administering resources and services in an area. The Regional Park Act, also adopted in 1965, permits these regional d i s t r i c t s to undertake responsibility for the establishment and main-tenance of regional parks, that i s , quasi-natural, user-oriented, and easily accessible recreation sites, intended primarily for the use of residents of the region. Inter-views with provincial o f f i c i a l s and examination of some of their public statements suggest that there are two provin-c i a l objectives regarding this acti 1. To provide accessible recreation opportunities. 2. To reserve land to be developed as regional parks in the future. The purpose of this study i s to assess the present regional park policy of the provincial government in terms of the goals for these parks, and to discover factors which have contributed to i t s apparent lack of success. In addi-tion, an alternative policy which might better meet these objectives and methods for i t s implementatio s proposed. i i i The appropriateness of the objectives for regional parks, however, is not examined. The analysis consists of an examination of a two-fold hypothesis* 1. Regional governments do not become involved in the development of regional parks because they are not p o l i t i c a l l y motivated to do so. The relatively small size of most regional d i s t r i c t s ' populations, limited urbanization, and the general rural or undeveloped character of the regional dis t r i c t s do not create a demand for such parks. In the majority of the regional d i s t r i c t s , special circumstances do not stimulate regional action. 2. Although regional d i s t r i c t s use f i s c a l restraints as a justification for not undertaking the regional parks function, financial limitations are not a prohibitive barrier to the development of regional parks. The methods of investigation employed were a questionnaire survey of representatives of the 28 regional d i s t r i c t s , a further survey of the secretary-treasurers of five regional d i s t r i c t s , and a case study of the process by which the North Okanagan Regional Board decided to undertake responsibility for regional parks in 197^. It would appear that the existing regional park policy of the Province i s inadequate to meet these objectives. By December 1973» only seven of the 28 regional d i s t r i c t s had assumed the regional parks function for a l l member areas and only five others had adopted i t for part of their area. Furthermore, of 23 regional governments who responded to a request for information on progress made in relation to regional parks, only four have established more than two parks. The remainder have either not adopted the regional parks function, remain at the stage of planning for the development of parks, or maintain only one regional park. The results of the investigation indicate that the absolute and relative costs of regional parks are small. Fiscal limitations, therefore, should not and do not consti-tute an absolute barrier to regional d i s t r i c t involvement in the regional park function. Thus, there must be some other reason for the regional governments* lack of interest in regional parks. Three alternative explanations are pro-posed and examined. The evidence indicates that the basis of regional districts* apathy i s that residents of these regions simply do not feel that these parks are important enough to spend tax money on. Thus, i f the provincial government wishes to ensure that land i s set aside for future regional parks, i t must, i t s e l f , take responsibility for preserving these lands. The regional governments could then assume the responsibility for the lands when they are p o l i t i c a l l y motivated to become involved in the regional parks function. A two-pronged regional park policy i s , therefore, recommended to the provincial government. 1. The provincial government should take responsi-b i l i t y for preserving parkland to meet future demand for regional parks. Although some legislative tools for imple-menting this policy already exist, there i s a need for co-ordination and organization. V 2. The provincial government should smooth the way for those regional governments which become interested in involvement in the regional parks function. v i TABLE OF CONTENTS ABSTRACT TABLE OF CONTENTS LIST OF TABLES LIST OF FIGURES LIST OF MAPS ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS Page i i v i v i i i x xi x i i CHAPTER 1 Introduction! The Purpose of This Study 1 CHAPTER 2 The Institutional Arrangements for Regional Districts and Regional Parks in British Columbia 6 The Regional District Concept in British Columbia! Legislation and Objectives 6 Regional Park Legislation in British Columbia 13 CHAPTER 3 B r i t i s h Columbia's Regional Park Policys Objectives 19 CHAPTER k Regional District Involvement in the Regional Parks Function and the Economics of Regional Parks 23 Regional Involvement in the Development of Regional Parks 23 Expenses of Regional Parks ^3 Methods Employed by Regional Districts to Meet Regional Park Expenses 48 Examples of M i l l Rates Employed by Regional Districts to B i l l Member Areas for Regional Parks ^9 The Cost of Regional Parks to the Taxpayer 50 v i i CHAPTER 5 Implications for the Provincial Government Regional Park Policy Methods of Preserving Land for Future Regional Parks Methods of Assisting Those Regional Governments Which Become Interested in Adoption of the Regional Parks Function and Development of Regional Parks Relationship Between the Proposed Regional Park Policy and General Provincial Objectives for Regional Governments BIBLIOGRAPHY APPENDIX Page 57 58 6k 66 68 7k LIST OF TABLES Table 4 : 1 Table 4 : 2 Table 4 : 3 Table 4 : 4 Table 4 :5 Table 4 : 6 Table 4s? Table 4:8 Table 4 : 9 Table 4:10 Table 4:11 Table 4:12 Extent of Regional Districts* Involvement with Regional Parks Number of Regional Districts at Different Stages in the Development of Regional Parks by Date of Adoption of the Regional Parks Function Factors Contributing to Regional Board Decisions to Adopt the Regional Parks Function Specific Problems Perceived by Regional District Officials as Slowing the Development of Regional Parks Problems Perceived by Regional Di s t r i c t Officials to be Hindering Adoption of the Parks Function Number and Percentage of Respondents who Felt that the Province had Assisted Their Regional District in Adopting the Regional Parks Function Number and Percentage of Representatives of Regional Districts Having the Regional Parks Function Who Felt That the Province had Provided Assistance in the Develop-ment of Regional Parks Estimated Costs of Regional Parks in GVRD Estimated Expenses for Regional Parks of the Cowichan Valley Regional Di s t r i c t Expenses of Regional Parks of the Mount Waddington Regional Di s t r i c t Sources of Revenue Employed by Regional Districts for Park Systems at Different Stages of Development Examples of M i l l Rates Permitted for Use by Regional Districts to Meet Costs of Regional Parks I X Table 13 Estimated Taxes Paid for Regional Parks by a Typical Houseowner in the North Okanagan Regional District Table bilk Total Municipal and Regional Taxes Paid by Homeowner in the North Okanagan Table 4«15 Hospital Taxes Paid by Homeowner in the North Okanagan Page 51 52 52 X LIST OF FIGURES Figure 4»1 Figure 4 : 2 Relationship Between Population Size of Regional District and Progress Made in Establishing Regional Parks ( 1973) . Relationship Between Proportion of Population of Regional Districts Residing in Incorporated Areas and Progress Made in Establishing Regional Parks (1973) . Figure 4 : 3 Relationship Between Population Density of Regional Districts and Progress Made in Establishing Regional Parks (1973) . Figure 4»it- Relationship Between Assessment of Regional District and Progress Made in Developing Regional Parks (1973)« 27 29 30 55 LIST OF MAPS Page Regional Districts of British Columbia 7 x i i ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS I would like to express my appreciation to Professor William Rees and Professor Irving Fox for their patience, and for the help which they have given me in the prepara-tion of this thesis. In addition, I wish to acknowledge the assistance of representatives of the British Columbia Parks Branch and, in particular, Mr. Colin Campbell. My thanks also go to those residents of the North Okanagan Regional Di s t r i c t whom I interviewed, for their co-operation in providing information. Finally, I would like to thank my family and friends for their tolerance and understanding over the past two years. 1 CHAPTER I Introduction! The Purpose of This Study The purpose of this study i s to assess the British Columbia government's present policy towards regional parks in terms of the provincial goals for these parks, and to discover factors which have contributed to i t s apparent lack of success. In addition, I w i l l suggest an alterna-tive policy which might better meet these objectives, and determine methods of implementation. However, the appro-priateness of provincial o f f i c i a l s ' objectives for regional parks w i l l not be examined. Regional parks bridge the gap between local municipal parks and provincial parks, in that they are larger and less developed than local neighbourhood parks, while con-taining less primitive f a c i l i t i e s than provincial parks (Ahrens, 1973? Matheson, 1973). The parks are "regional" in the sense that they are easily accessible to population centres within the region and are intended to be used p r i -marily by local residents. The Director of the Parks Branch of the British Columbia Department of Recreation and Conser-vation has indicated that accessibility i s a major charac-t e r i s t i c of regional parks. The standards of the significance of natural attraction or "unspoiledness H can be relaxed for the u t i l i t y value of nearness to people (Ahrens, 1970, p. 2 ) . 2 For provincial parks, by contrast, nearness to local r e s i -dents is less important, as they are intended to serve a much wider population. Regional parks are user-oriented, rather than resource-oriented. The type of f a c i l i t i e s found in a particular regional park varies according to the recreational needs of the residents of the area. Greenbelts, viewpoints, woodlands and shorelands, where t r a i l walking, picnicking, group camping, and other pursuits tied i n with aesthetic enjoy-ment of the natural scene are possible, beaches and environments desirable in a Regional Park System (Ahrens, 19?0, p. 2 ) . Parks similar to British Columbia's regional parks have been developed in other parts of North America (Denver Coun-c i l of Governments, 1968j Morgan, 1967; Underhill, 1970). The style and degree of development varies considerably among these parks. For example, regional parks i n Los Angelos County in California are only slightly less deve-loped than large municipal parks (Underhill, 1970) , while parks under the authority of the Metropolitan Toronto and Region Conservation Authority are generally set in rural landscapes, take great advantage of natural setting, and provide f a c i l i t i e s for activities such as bathing, boating, fishing and hiking (Morgan, 1967) . However, the various agencies administering these parks uniformly state that they f i l l a perceived void between municipal and provincial, or state, parks. 3 A description of the institutional arrangements deve-loped by the provincial government for regional parks, and for regional d i s t r i c t s , which have responsibility for these parks, i s included i n Chapter 2 of this thesis. Chapter 3 outlines the provincial o f f i c i a l s * goals for regional-parks and discusses the two hypotheses to be tested by the analysis. These are—that regional governments do not become involved i n the development of regional parks because they are not p o l i t i c a l l y motivated to do so, and that although regional di s t r i c t s use f i s c a l restraints as a justification for not undertaking the regional parks function, financial limita-tions are not a prohibitive barrier to the development of regional parks. The results of the investigation of these hypotheses are described in Chapter 4 , which includes an examination of the regional d i s t r i c t s ' involvement in the regional parks function and the economics of regional parks. In Chapter 5t an alternative provincial policy for regional parks i s suggested and methods for carrying out this policy are discussed. Several sources of information were explored in this study. Interviews with representatives of the provincial Parks Branch and the Department of Municipal Affairs, and Parks Branch records provided insight on the institutional arrangements for regional parks and the goals which the Province perceives for these parks. Data accumulated on the regional d i s t r i c t s of the province by the Department of Municipal Affairs served as a second information source. A questionnaire survey of regional board chairmen and secretary-treasurers of a l l twenty-eight regional d i s t r i c t s in the province and the planning directors of the eighteen regional d i s t r i c t s employing planning staff was conducted in December 1973. (A copy of the questionnaire i s included in the Appendix.) This survey provided further understanding of the characteristics of regional d i s t r i c t s administering regional parks. It also offered data on problems which regional governments perceived in developing these parks, and the type of assistance desired from the provincial government. A response was requested from more than one representa-tive of each regional d i s t r i c t because, for example, the planners* answers to some questions might be quite different from those of the secretary-treasurers, who are more concerned with the regions" over-all budgets, or the elected chairmen, who might be more conscious of their responsibility to local residents. Because questionnaires were sent to a l l of the regional governments i n British Columbia, I did not face the problem of designing an unbiased sampling procedure. How-^  ever, despite the inclusion of stamped self-addressed return envelopes with each questionnaire, no response was obtained from representatives of five of the 28 regional d i s t r i c t s , so the sample may not be entirely free of bias. In order to obtain a f u l l e r understanding of the eco-nomics of regional park development and administration than 5 could be provided by the results of the questionnaire, the secretary-treasurers of the regional d i s t r i c t s of Alberni-Clayoquot, Cowichan Valley, East Kootenay, Greater Vancouver, and Mount Waddington were requested to forward financial data. These particular regional governments were selected because they have been involved, to different degrees in the development of regional parks. This data i s presented in Chapter 4. Finally, a case study of the process by which the North Okanagan Regional Board decided to undertake responsibility for regional parks in 1974 was conducted. This study, based on structured interviews, provided information similar to that offered by the questionnaire survey. It was hoped that, be-cause the case study offered more detailed information about one regional d i s t r i c t , i t would provide a check against the hazard of superficial responses often associated with questionnaires as a research methodology. Because information obtained from interviews i s sub-jective and influenced by individual perception, I spoke with several Regional Board members, appointed staff, and a number of residents of the North Okanagan Regional D i s t r i c t . While the specific wording of questions varied, a l l respon-dents were asked to comment on the same issues in the same order. The f i l e s of this regional d i s t r i c t also provided useful information which supplemented the interviews. 6 CHAPTER 2 The Institutional Arrangements for Regional Districts and Regional Parks in British Columbia The Regional District Concept in  British Columbiat Legislation  and Objectives In 1965, the provincial government of British Columbia created the framework for a province-wide system of "regional d i s t r i c t s . " The legislative authority for the regional dis t r i c t s was established under the Municipal Act, which states as followsi On the recommendation of the Minister, the Lieutenant-Governor in Council may, by Letters Patent, incorporate any area of land and the residents therein into a regional d i s t r i c t for the purpose of carrying out such functions as may be granted from time to time under this section or conferred by this Act (Municipal Act, 1965, Part XXIV, d .2 s. 7 6 6 ) . The locations of the twenty-eight regional d i s t r i c t s esta-blished under this Act are shown on Map 1. The Municipal Act further states that each of the incorporated regional di s t r i c t s w i l l be administered by a regional board. The municipal councils of unincorporated communities within the regional d i s t r i c t appoint members to this board, while the unorganized areas elect representa-tives to i t directly. The voting strength of each board member i s proportionate to the size of the population repre-sented (Municipal Act, 1965) . The population of the member 7 MAP 2 :1 R E G I O N A L D I S T R I C T S OF BR ITITISH COLUMBIA 27 16 ,21 23 14 1 A l b e r n i -Clayoquot 2 Bu lk ley -Nechako 3 C a p i t a l 4 Car iboo 5 Cent ra l Fraser Valley 6 Central Kootenay 7 Cen t ra l O k a n a g a n 8 Col u m b i a - S h o s w a p 9 Comox — S t r a t h r o r a 10 Cow i c h an Va I ley 11 D e w d n e y - A l l o u e t t e 1 2 East Koo tenay 1 3 Fraser - Chearn 14 F r a s e r - F o r t George 15 Greater Vancouver 1 6 K i t i m a t - S t i k i n e 17 Kootenay B o u n d a r y 1 8 Mount W a d d i n g t o n 24 29 26 20 24 25 26 27 28 11 1,13 .10 2 2 17 19 Nanaimo 20 Nor th Okanagan 21 Ocean Falls 22 Okanagan-Similkameen 23 Peace R t v e r - L i a r d Powell River Skeena-Queen C h a r l o t t e Squamish-Li l louette St ik ine Region (Unincorporated) Sunshine Coast 29 Thompson-Nico/a 1 2 0 m i l e s I50 8 area i s divided by a "voting unit", the size of which is specified in the Letters Patent (Collier, 1970). One of the primary goals of the provincial government in establishing the regional d i s t r i c t system was to increase local public input i n rural planning. It was believed that the consensus of the people and the unique physical and social characteristics of each area would be reflected by an accessible regional government. In addition, the f l e x i -b i l i t y which the Act provides regarding the particular functions to be adopted, the benefiting area within the region, and financial arrangements would permit regional boards to respond to the unique conditions and goals of the different areas in the province (Department of Municipal Affairs, 1971). A regional d i s t r i c t function i s : . . • any object, power, or duty or group of objects, powers, or duties, or both . . . granted to that region (Municipal Act, 1965» s. 7 6 5 ) . The majority of the functions are adopted voluntarily by the regional d i s t r i c t . The necessary powers for performing a function are granted by the Lieutenant-Governor in Council by supplementary Letters Patent. Regional d i s t r i c t s may undertake a variety of functions under their Letters Patent, including ambulance service, airport f a c i l i t i e s , a i r pollution, recreation f a c i l i t i e s , refuse disposal, regional parks, sewers, water, and the operation of wharves. There are, in addition, certain 9 statutory functions. As a result of legislation introduced in 1967, the responsibility for hospitals was placed at the regional level under Regional Hospital Districts, to be administered.by the same board as the corresponding regional d i s t r i c t . Furthermore, in 1970 the Province assigned the following functions to the regional d i s t r i c t s by statute: regional and community planning, building inspection, con-tract services, local works and services, and grants-in-aid (Municipal Act, 1970) . The entire regional d i s t r i c t doesn't necessarily have to adopt any one function. Where the benefit of a service is limited to a particular area and group of people within the region, the Regional Board may adopt that function for that designated area only. Examples of functions which have been adopted in this manner by some regions are ambulance service, f i r e protection, garbage disposal, and regional parks. The Regional Board may also provide some services, such as engineering and planning services for municipalities, and the provision and maintenance of an equipment pool for data processing, on a service or contract basis. Although the Municipal Act places the responsibility for community and regional planning, and the administration of services at the regional level, the legislation did not directly affect the control of the natural resources in the province. The various provincial resource departments, such as Lands, Forests and Water Resources, Recreation and Con-servation, Agriculture, Health, and Mines and Petroleum 10 Resources, retained responsibility for the administration of the natural resources in the regional dis t r i c t s (Rees and Karlsen, 1972) . Unlike the federal, provincial and municipal, levels of government, regional dis t r i c t s in British Columbia have no taxation authority. They obtain the major part of their revenue by b i l l i n g member areas. Following approval of the budget by the Regional Board, each benefiting member area is bi l l e d a proportionate share of the cost of each service provided to i t . The municipal portion of the cost i s in -cluded in the budget of the member municipalities, while the revenue from the rural areas i s recovered by means of the provincial property tax (Department of Municipal Affairs, 1971). In most cases, costs are divided on the basis of real property assessment values taxable for school purposes (Department of Municipal Affairs, 1971). Section 766 (1973) of the Municipal Act stipulates that regional d i s t r i c t s may requisition a maximum of two mills for any one function and a total of three mills for a l l of the functions assumed, without holding a plebiscite. If the electors agree, how-ever, the regional governments may make larger requests (Moore, 1974) . Under the terms of the Municipal Finance Authority of British Columbia Act ( 1970) , a regional d i s t r i c t i s able to undertake long-term borrowing for capital projects. The Authority may issue and s e l l debentures under i t s own name 11 and lend the proceeds to the regional d i s t r i c t for the financing of projects which have received the approvaloof the Inspector of Municipalities (Moore, 1974) . A major objective of the regional d i s t r i c t system has been the co-ordination of activ i t i e s of various governmental bodies administering resources and services in the rural areas of the province. In the past, these agencies rarely consulted one another. As Rees and Karlsen (1972, p. 4) observed, . . . traditionally the "comprehensive approach" to planning has been limited to urbanized areas, while rural areas were merely "serviced" by senior government agencies and departments. The isolation of the departments from one another and from the rural population contributed to the development of a rather restricted view of problems. This fragmented approach to planning i s characteristic of governments which are organized on the basis of departmental special-ization. Typically, this approach views reality as the composition of a number of discrete facets, and f a i l s to recognize any interrelationship between the various systems which make up the human and physical environment (Sewell, 1971). The provincial government believes that, by pro-viding a vehicle for the exchange of information between different agencies, regional government would stimulate a more organized approach to planning in rural areas. To ensure that consultation did occur, Technical Planning Committees, composed of the regional d i s t r i c t planners and 12 f i e l d personnel from the provincial natural resource depart-ments, were established for each of the regional d i s t r i c t s in the province. The two functions of the Technical Planning Committees are to advise the regional boards and to take responsibility for two-way communication between provincial departments and the local areas (Collier, 1970) . The regional board members and regional d i s t r i c t staff have f e l t that, due to a lack of interest on the part of the resource departments, these committees have not succeeded in providing sufficient exchange of information and plans (Moore, 1973)* The apathetic attitude of these departments i s shown by the fact that many f i e l d representatives rarely attend the meetings of the Technical Planning Committees (Moore, 1973)* The attitude of the provincial departments towards regional planning was clearly shown at a meeting of representatives of these departments and regional d i s t r i c t o f f i c i a l s held in 1971. Speeches presented at that meeting by representatives of the resource departments indicated that they believed that the regional d i s t r i c t s ' function was to support provincial policies. The value of regional d i s t r i c t s as a means of providing co-ordinated planning responsive to local needs was ignored. D. Borthwick, Deputy Minister of the Lands Service, for example, stated, . . . I can see no reason why the regional d i s t r i c t s cannot develop policies and by-laws regarding rural land management that have a degree of uniformity and at the same time f a l l within the scope of provincial policies (Regional District Conference, 1971). 13 It would seem, therefore, that i f the regional d i s t r i c t s are to succeed as a means of providing organized planning in rural areas, the provincial resource departments must re-consider their attitude towards regional government. Regional Park Legislation  in B r i t i s h Columbia The spatial distribution of the population of benefi-ciaries has traditionally been the guiding principle in issues regarding the assignment of responsibility for ser-vices among different levels of government (Margolis, 1968) . Thus, because regional parks are primarily intended for use by local residents rather than by the population of the Province as a whole, the provincial government feels that the responsibility for their costs and administration should rest with the regional governments (Ahrens, 1974; Matheson, 1973). The establishment and administration of regional parks i s one of the voluntary functions which the Municipal Act permits regional d i s t r i c t s to acquire. The terms under which the regional park function i s adopted, and regional parks are administered are stated in the Regional Parks Act, which i s considered an extension of the Municipal Act (Regional Parks Act, 1965, s. 7 ) . The procedure by which a regional d i s t r i c t obtains the regional parks function i s similar to that employed with respect to other regional functions. The regional d i s t r i c t 14 acquires the regional parks function by requesting the Lieutenant-Governor to include i t in the Letters Patent. The powers which the regional d i s t r i c t obtains following the adoption of the function are extensive, and include» (a) the acquisition of land for either a regional park or t r a i l , (b) passing regulations for the management, operation and control of a regional park or t r a i l , (c) admission charges for entrance to the park or any of i t s f a c i l i t i e s , (d) leasing property in the park for a concession or another such commercial enterprise, (e) construction and maintenance of buildings or other improvements in the regional park, (f) acquisition of land by lease agreement, as long as the lease i s for at least twenty-one years (Regional Parks Act, 1965t s. 5 ) . The only responsibility placed upon the regional dis-t r i c t by adoption of the regional parks function i s the pre-paration of a regional parks plan within five years (Regional Parks Act, 1965i s. 18). The definition of an o f f i c i a l plan i s sufficiently flexible so that there should be no d i f f i -culty in i t s development. The Act states that, . . . a regional park plan may be expressed in maps, plans, reports, or by other means, and may be a general scheme, without specific detail, indicating present and projected regional parks (Regional Parks Act, 1965» s. 18). 15 As with other functions, the entire regional d i s t r i c t need not adopt the regional park function. The Regional Parks Act states that the Lieutenant-Governor in Council delegates the responsibility for regional parks to a "Regional Parks Dis t r i c t " , the boundaries of which may or may not follow those of the regional d i s t r i c t . The Act permits two or more member areas to petition the Lieutenant-Governor to be incorporated as a Regional Park D i s t r i c t . Other member areas may later become part of the d i s t r i c t . Moreover, two regional dis t r i c t s may co-operate in the development of regional parks (Regional Parks Act, 19651 s. 3. *0. As has been stated, regional d i s t r i c t s obtain some of their capital by b i l l i n g the member areas. The maximum annual requisition which a regional d i s t r i c t may requisi-tion for regional park purposes i s • . • amount equal to the product obtained by multiplying one mil l by the value of taxable land and seventy-five percent of the value of taxable improvements for the purpose of levying school rates i n the immediately preceding year, excluding a l l the property of the British Columbia Hydro and Power Authority (Regional Parks Act, 1965, s. 1 0 ) . I n i t i a l l y , the Act prohibited the regional d i s t r i c t s from undertaking any long-term borrowing to pay the capital costs of regional parks. In March 1972, however, the Act was amended to permit regional d i s t r i c t s to borrow up to . . • ten times the product obtained by multi-plying one-half m i l l by the assessed value of the land and seventy-five percent of the value 16 of taxable improvements for the purpose of levying school and hospital rates (Regional Parks Act, 1972, s. 11 ) . While provincial o f f i c i a l s believe that the responsi-b i l i t y for regional parks should rest primarily with the regional governments, they perceive some justification for provincial involvement, as the establishment of a regional park i n one regional d i s t r i c t may generate certain spillover effects for the rest of the province. For example, the psy-chological benefit received by residents of one region as a result of accessible parkland i s also of some value to the mental health of the province as a whole. Furthermore, the development of regional parks by regional d i s t r i c t s would assist the provincial Parks Branch to define i t s own function. Three classes of provincial parks have been developed in British Columbia. Although parks placed in two of these classes are administered directly by the Parks Branch, the third category of parks, that i s , Class C or community parks, are controlled by un-paid local boards appointed by the Minister of Recreation and Conservation (Regulations for Class C Provincial Parks, Reg. 227 t 1967). Class C parks are intended to be used primarily by local residents and do not, therefore, f i t the general definition of provincial parks (that i s , a park intended for the use of the residents of the entire pro-vince and for tourists v i s i t i n g British Columbia). More-over, the local park boards have found i t increasingly 17 d i f f i c u l t to cope with maintenance and operation problems resulting from growing recreational demand. These d i f f i -culties have necessitated increasing attention from the Parks Branch. For these two reasons, the Parks Branch would be happy to give up responsibility for such park-lands. The development of regional parks in British Columbia would permit the phasing out of Class C parks (Matheson, 1973). To date, the provincial government's involvement with regional parks has been limited to the provision of financial grants to assist regional d i s t r i c t s with the capital expenses of securing parkland. A regional d i s t r i c t may acquire funds from the provincial government to meet up to one-third of i t s total park expenditures. To qualify, the region must submit quarterly to the Province a l i s t of land acquisitions contributing towards f u l f i l l i n g the park plan. In addition, for the f i r s t five years, at least sixty percent of the region's park expenses must be associated with land acqui-siti o n . Otherwise, the contributions from the provincial government w i l l be based on forty percent of the total expenditure. After the five year interim period, the Pro-vince w i l l also assist with development costs of f a c i l i t i e s . At no time, however, may the provincial grant be applied to park maintenance costs (Regional D i s t r i c t Conference, 1971). It has been suggested by some representatives of the Parks Branch that the provincial government staff, who are experienced in park planning and development, should provide 18 technical assistance to the regional d i s t r i c t s in planning, establishing and developing regional parks (British Columbia Provincial Parks Branch, 196?). The Parks Branch employs a small staff to maintain contact with the regional d i s t r i c t s in the province. However, as a result of other additional responsibilities, these people have had only a minimal amount of time to devote to the regional d i s t r i c t ' s problems (Mathe-son, 1973). The Parks Branch f i e l d representatives on the Technical Planning Committees, as well, are generally too busy with other matters to take much interest in the d i f f i -culties faced by regional d i s t r i c t s . At present, therefore, most of the regional governments which have adopted the regional park function have received l i t t l e advisory assist-ance from the Province (Matheson, 1973). 19 CHAPTER 3 British Columbia's Regional Park Policyi Objectives As Fox (1970, p. 213) states, a planner . . . whether in the f i e l d of outdoor recre-ation or in some other f i e l d , seeks on the one hand to define what ought to be accomplished, and then evaluates alternative ways of achieving such an accomplishment. Thus, both the evaluation of existing institutional arrange-ments and the development of possible new policies, require an understanding of the goals which are to be pursued. There i s no written statement of the provincial govern-ment's objectives regarding the regional park concept, and there seems to be some confusion regarding the actual goals of the Regional Parks Act. Nevertheless, interviews with provincial Parks Branch staff and an examination of the Branch's records suggests that the Province has two major objectives relating to regional parks 1 (a) To develop parks to provide accessible (i.e. "local in the sense of being near major communities") recreation opportunities to citizens throughout the pro-vince, and (b) To reserve land to be developed as such regional parks in the future. One of the Parks Branch's justifications for the f i r s t of these two goals i s that, by offering "breathing space" 20 away from the pressures of modern liv i n g , regional parks are beneficial to the mental health of people in the Province (Ahrens, 1970). Furthermore, provincial o f f i c i a l s believe that physically and financially accessible parks are a c r i t i c a l component of any plan to assure adequate recreation opportunities for the poor (Ahrens, 197*0. The basis of the provincial government's second objec-tive for regional parks, that i s , the preservation of land for future regional parks, i s the belief that, eventually, a greater demand for such parks w i l l develop. The recreation literature of the I960's i s replete with statements concerning the ine v i t a b i l i t y of a dramatic rise in the demand for recre-ation f a c i l i t i e s , due to population increases, greater amounts of leisure time, more disposable or discretionary income, and better transportation f a c i l i t i e s (Underhill, 1970s Clawson and Knetsch, 1966). In the past, i t was generally believed that, due to a trend towards urbanization, and a desire to escape from the pressures of urban growth, the "recreation explosion" would lead to an increase in the demand for less accessible undeveloped areas and the "wilder-ness experience". It was thought that people leading an increasingly regulated l i f e would be anxious to escape to an area which retained a primeval character. While the value of such wilderness areas cannot be denied, recent events have indicated that the forecasted "recreation explosion" may have a rather different focus from that 21 which was previously predicted. Rapid increases in the prices of such essential items as food and clothing imply that people may not, in fact, have significantly greater amounts of money to spend on luxury items. Moreover, the present world-wide c r i s i s in the price of energy resources indicates that mobility may be restricted in the future. It is logical to expect that i f people cannot afford to make use of the more primitive undeveloped parks, regional parks, which provide a pleasing, quasi-natural, and accessible environment, w i l l be more highly valued. The Parks Branch recognizes that these factors may make regional parks much more significant to the total British Columbia parks system than was previously imagined (Matheson, 1973)• Furthermore, provincial o f f i c i a l s believe that popula-tion growth i s inevitable in British Columbia. Bob Williams, the provincial Minister of Lands, Forests and Water Resources, has stated that, while a massive move to B.C. such as was experienced by California during the last century is un-lik e l y , a gradual " d r i f t west" across the country can be expected. He indicated that the government hopes to accommo-date much of this population increase in sat e l l i t e towns in the Fraser Valley, in existing municipalities on Vancouver Island, and in the Interior and Northern portions of the province, through a policy of encouraging industrial decentralization.(Farrow, The Vancouver Sun, 197*0. The Director of the Provincial Parks Branch, Robert Ahrens 22 (197^) has stated that the land for accessible regional parks to meet the expected increase in demand should be secured before this population growth occurs, as, later, i t may be pre-empted for other uses or priced out of the market (Ahrens, 1974). A two-fold hypothesis i s employed to investigate the apparent inadequacy of the existing policy to meet the pro-vi n c i a l objectives regarding regional parks. 1. Regional governments do not become involved in the development of regional parks because they are not p o l i t i c a l l y motivated to do so. The relatively small size of most regional d i s t r i c t s ' populations, limited urbanization, and the general rural or undeveloped character of the regional di s t r i c t s do not create a de-mand for such parks. In the majority of the regional d i s t r i c t s , special circumstances do not stimulate regional action. 2. Although regional di s t r i c t s use f i s c a l restraints as a justification for not undertaking the re-gional parks function, financial limitations are not a prohibitive barrier to the development of regional parks. As was previously stated, provincial o f f i c i a l s believe that since these parks are intended to be used primarily by local residents, the regional d i s t r i c t s should bear the largest part of the cost of the regional parks function. While i t i s possible that more non-residents than local people v i s i t the regional parks, the provincial government's assumption i s accepted in the examination of the dual hypo-thesis of this thesis. 23 CHAPTER 4 Regional District Involvement in the Regional Parks Function and the Economics of Regional Parks The hypothesis of this thesis consists of two related premises. It i s f i r s t proposed that regional governments do not become involved in the development of regional parks be-cause they are not p o l i t i c a l l y motivated to do so. Data compiled by the provincial Department of Municipal Affairs indicated that, by December 1972, seven of the twenty-eight regional dis t r i c t s in British Columbia had undertaken the regional, parks function for a l l of their member areas and five others had adopted i t for part of their area (Department of Municipal Affairs, 1973). How-ever, no information on the amount of progress made by regional di s t r i c t s in establishing regional parks had pre-viously been collected. For this reason, the questionnaire survey of the secretary-treasurers, planners and chairmen of regional dis t r i c t s included a question on the progress made i n this regard. Representatives of regional d i s t r i c t s which had undertaken the regional parks function were also asked to indicate the date of i t s adoption. Regional Involvement in the  Development of Regional Parks In Table 4 t l the twenty-three regional governments from which at least one response was received have been grouped according to the steps which have been taken to either adopt 24 the regional parks function or develop regional parks. As the table shows, twelve of the twenty-three regional d i s t r i c t s have considered adoption of the function at least once but did not assume i t (respondents were permitted to determine the definition of "considered"). Seven of the regional dis-t r i c t representatives stated that their region had, in fact, considered undertaking this particular function "many times" or "a number of times". Four respondents indicated that the regional board of their regional d i s t r i c t s were presently considering the function. It can also be observed from this table that five of the nine regional d i s t r i c t s which have adopted the regional parks function have not progressed beyond the stage of developing one park. Table 4*1 Extent of Regional Districts* Involvement with Regional Parks (December 1973) Steps Taken # of Regional Districts Never Considered Adoption of Function Have Considered Adoption of Function at Least Once, But Did Not Adopt It Adopted Function but S t i l l at Planning Stage Established One Park 12 2 3 2 Established 2-5 Parks Established More Than 5 Parks 2 2 Total Regional Districts Responding 23 25 Table ktZ shows that, as might be expected, the regional d i s t r i c t s which have made the greatest progress in establishing regional parks have had the function for the longest period of time. However, three of the regional governments which have had the function for several years are either s t i l l planning for parks or have established only one park. Table 4«2 Number of Regional Districts at Different Stages in the Development of Regional Parks by Date of Adoption of the Regional Parks Function Time of Adoption Steps Taken Planning Stage 1 Park 2-5 Parks 5 Parks Total 1965-1968 1 2 3 1969-1971 1 1 2 k 1972+ 2 2 Total 3 2 2 2 9 Thus, i t would seem that, since many regional di s t r i c t s have not adopted the regional parks function and regional governments are slow to establish parks, the present provin-c i a l policy has not succeeded in meeting the two provincial objectives regarding such parkss that i s , to provide nearby public recreational opportunities and to reserve land for future recreational demand. 26 Figure k t l shows the relationship between the population size of regional d i s t r i c t s , as recorded by the Department of Municipal Affairs (1973)» and the progress which has been made in establishing regional parks. As can be seen, there is no correlation between the number of people in the re-gional d i s t r i c t and the steps taken to develop regional parks in the sparsely populated "rural" regional d i s t r i c t . However, the populations of the two regional d i s t r i c t s which have made the greatest progress in establishing regional parks are much larger than that of any other regional dis-t r i c t . This indicates that there may be some population threshold level at which the regional government begins to perceive nearby recreational needs as more important. These data suggest such a threshold may exist between 60,000 and 220,000 people. "Urbanization" may be defined connotatively in various ways, according to the purposes of the writer. A definition may focus on a demographic, economic, or socio-eultural dimension of c i t y l i f e . In this analysis, a demographic concept of urbanization has been employed. Stone (1967) states that, from a demographic viewpoint, an urban area i s a densely built-up area, and an urban population consists of the residents of such areas. I have, therefore, measured the urban population of the various regional di s t r i c t s in British Columbia on the basis of population density and the proportion of the residents l i v i n g within incorporated muni-ci p a l i t i e s of at least 1000 people. FIGURE 4".l RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN POPULATION SIZE OF REGIONAL DISTRICT AND PROGRESS MADE I N ESTABLISHING REGIONAL PARKS (1973) StepS Taken 5 + - R e g i o n a l P a r k s 2 - 5 R e g i o n a Parks — 1 R e g i o n a l Park P l a n n i n g S t a g e C o n s i d e r e d A d o p t i o n o f Funct i on N e v e r C o n s i d e r e d A d o p t i o n of F u n c t i o n Populat ion o o q o" o o o d 1 — r o o o d 10. o o o o" 00 o o o o o o o o o" o o o. o o Q o" ID o o o o" £0 8 o o o o o o I o o o o o o o o" to 0> o o o o" o o o o o o o ro 28 The results of this.examination do not suggest a rela-tionship between the progress which a regional d i s t r i c t has made in establishing regional parks and the degree of urban-ization, as i t has been defined in this investigation. As Figure 4«2 indicates, regional d i s t r i c t involvement in the regional park function does not necessarily increase as the proportion of the population residing within incorporated municipalities rises. Moreover, Figure 4«3 shows that there i s not a clear relationship between the population density of the regional d i s t r i c t and the steps which have been taken to develop regional parks. Nevertheless, a further investiga-tion, which considered socio-cultural and economic differences, such as those which may be observed between the metropolis of Vancouver in the Greater Vancouver Region and the small town of Coldstream in the North Okanagan, might yield different results. Officials representing regional d i s t r i c t s having the parks function who responded to the questionnaire survey were asked to indicate factors which they believed contri-buted to i t s adoption. The responses to this question have been compiled in Table 4»3» Because some respondents li s t e d more than one factor, and others omitted this question en-t i r e l y , the percentage of responses do not add up to 100 percent for each respondent group. FIGURE 4 . 2 RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN PRCPOPORTION OF POPULATION OF REGIONAL DISTRICT RESIDING IN I N I N C O R P O R P O R A T E D AREAS AND PROGRESS MADE IN ESTABLISHING REGIONAL PARKS (1973) Steps Taken 5 + R e g i o n a l P o r k s , Q 9 2 " 5 R e g i o n a l Parks _ j 1 R e g i o n a l Park . _ | P l a n n i n g S t a g e — I C o n s i d e r e d A d o p t i o n of F u n c t i o n N e v e r C o n s i d e r e r e d A d o p t i o n ot F u n c t i o n © • • e • © O O © Q ® 9 9 1 ®7 o o T - CM o CO o N O in o CD. o o CO Proportion of Population Residing in Incorporated Areas O o 0 ) T - ro FIGURE 4:3 RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN POPULATION DENSITY OF REGIONAL DISTRICTS AND PROGRESS MADE IN E S T A B L I S H I N G R E G I O N A L PARKS (1973) Steps Taken 5 + R e g i o n a l P a r k s — , 2 - 5 R e g iona l Parks 1 R e g i o n a l P a r k —pa P l a n n i n g S t a g e . — | C o n s i d ei ed A d o p l ' i o n o l F u n c t i o n N e v e r C o n s i d e r e d A d c p i i o n o f Fu n c t i o n 0 0 9 • • 9 0 O O O (O O oo o o o o O CO o 00 o o CN o CN CN O CN People Per Square M i l e t - + I o o O to O CN i - . O CM O O O 31 Table 4»3 Factors Contributing to Regional Board Decisions to Adopt the Regional Parks Function (Number and percentage of each respondent group who represented a regional d i s t r i c t having the parks function and who cited the factor as an influence,) Contributing Factors Respondent Group Secretary-treasurers Planners Chairmen Total Provincial Financial Assistance 2 (66$) 2 (40*) 1 (16*) 5 (31.2%) Shortage of Undeveloped land for recreational use 2 (40%) 3 (50%) 5 (31.2%) Special Circumstances 1 (33%) 3 (60%) 2 (33%) 6 (37.5%) Five respondents believed that the financial assistance provided by the provincial government under the existing policy influenced the regional government in i t s decisions on regional parks. However, five other o f f i c i a l s stated that their regional d i s t r i c t had adopted the function be-cause rising land prices and an increase in the number of subdivisions, private recreational developments and indus-t r i a l development was leading to an increasing scarcity of undeveloped land. These results suggest an explanation for the weak relationship between the population size and urban-ization of a regional d i s t r i c t , and the progress which has been made in developing regional parks. It is possible that 32 the extent to which the pattern of settlement pre-empts suitable public recreational land, rather than the actual population size or the degree of urbanization stimulate regional action on this matter. As the results contained in Table 4»3 also showed, five respondents believed that their regional d i s t r i c t s had adopted the parks function in response to special circum-stances (for example, the donation of land or a strong interest group demand). An examination of certain develop-ments in the North Okanagan Regional District demonstrates how special circumstances may prompt regional involvement in the regional parks function. Several times in the past, the Regional Board of this region investigated the possibility of undertaking the regional park function. Indeed, in 1970, this function was the subject of considerable discussion at Board meetings. Until recently, however, the Board had decided against accepting responsibility for regional parks (Connolly, 197*0. Finally, in January 1974, the Board members decided to adopt the parks function and, in March, the Letters Patent was issued by the provincial government (Mackiewich, 1974). One development influencing the Board's decision in 1974 appears to have been the opportunity to acquire several municipal parks within the region at a minimum cost. The municipal government of Vernon, the largest population centre within the regional boundaries, indicated that i t 33 wanted to transfer the recreation f a c i l i t i e s under i t s con-t r o l , including parks and beaches, to the regional d i s t r i c t , because i t found that these f a c i l i t i e s were being used by-residents of the entire region (Fleming, 1974). A second contributing development was a Parks Branch offer to transfer Silver Star Park, a Class C provincial park located within the regional boundaries, to the regional d i s t r i c t . Silver Star Park i s larger than most other Class C parks in the province and contains a commercial ski develop-ment within i t s boundaries. Because the volunteer park board appointed to administer Silver Star faced more com-plex administrative problems than those usually presented to Class C park boards, the Province was forced to devote con-siderable time to this park. Furthermore, the expansion plans of Silver Star Sports Company, which operates the ski development in the park, suggested to the Parks Branch the expenses related to the provision of such services as a sewage system and garbage disposal would increase in the future (Matheson, 1974). A Canada Manpower Information and Analysis Branch study of Silver Star Park found that local and v i s i t i n g skiers provide well over $ 4 , 0 0 0 , 0 0 0 annually to stores, cafes, motels, hotels and service stations, and contribute directly and indirectly to the employment of 600 people in the area. The report concluded that the park provides a winter balance to a tourist economy which i s otherwise entirely summer 34 oriented (Appendix to Silver Star Steering Committee Report, 1973). The Regional Board members f e l t that, i n view of Silver Star's economic importance to the region, the oppor-tunity to acquire control over the style and amount of deve-lopment in the park should not be ignored (Fleming, 1974t P o s t i l l , 1974). Interest group support for adoption of the regional park function appears to have been a third condition.which con-tributed to the North Okanagan Regional Board's decision to undertake the function. In October 1973* "the members of the Silver Star Sports Board, who no longer had the time or the expertise to deal with the problems generated by Silver Star Park, expressed to the Regional Board their approval of the transfer of the park to regional control (Davidson, 1974). The management of Silver Star Sports Company, who found provincial restrictions on Class C parks (e.g. park use permits are required for any expansions and no licenced lounge i s permitted in the park) hindered attempts to ex-pand f a c i l i t i e s and hoped that the Regional District would be more co-operative, also appeared before the Board in support of the proposal (Alder, The Vancouver Sun, February 28, 1974). A f i n a l group which expressed support for placing Silver Star Park under regional control was the Silver Star Steering Committee, an organization established in 1972 by the Silver Star Park Board and the provincial government to 35 . . . review the function, administration and development of Silver Star Park area and to propose, after inviting a wide cross-section of public opinion, a forward-looking use, development and management policy for appro-priate public multi-recreational use of Silver Star Provincial Park (Silver Star Steering Committee, 1973). In September 1973» representatives of this committee, which consisted of members of several organizations (e.g. the Vernon Motel Association, the Vernon Chamber of Commerce, the B.C. Federation of Wildlife Clubs, the Vernon and Dis-t r i c t Snowmobile Club, the North Okanagan Naturalist Club, the North Okanagan Regional Board, and the City of Vernon) indicated to the regional board that i t supported the adop-tion of the regional parks function (Regional Di s t r i c t of the North Okanagan, 1973). The attitude of each interest group was publicized in both the local Vernon News and the Vancouver Sun,,(The Vancouver Sun, February 28, 1974: The  Vernon News, 1973). A f i n a l circumstance which may have influenced the Board's decision to adopt the regional park function i s the possible occurrence of a conflict of interest regarding Silver Star Park. The Chairman and another member of the Regional Board hold shares in Silver Star Sports Company (Clarke, 1974l Laidman, 1974: Fleming, 1974: P o s t i l l , 1974t B.C. Parks Branch Files, 1973). It i s the opinion of this writer and the Parks Branch (Ahrens, 1974) that these men were not actively promoting the assumption of responsibility for Silver Star Park by the regional d i s t r i c t . Nevertheless 36 i t i s d i f f i c u l t to believe that their opinion on the question of adoption of the regional parks function would not be affected. Thus, the results of this investigation have provided some support for the f i r s t premise of this hypothesis. The small progress made by regional governments in connection with the regional parks function and the slowness with which regional parks are developed show that these governments are not motivated on this matter. Where special circumstances exist, such as the opportunity to obtain free parkland, or p o l i t i c a l pressures are f e l t from special interests or community interests, regional o f f i c i a l s are stimulated to become involved in the regional parks function. Otherwise, regional governments do not develop parks u n t i l greatly increased population growth, or the particular pattern of land use and resource development make undeveloped potential public recreational land scarce. It is possible that re-gional governments* interest in regional parks does not evolve gradually, as suitable land i s slowly pre-empted for other uses. It may be that this interest arises only when i t i s almost too late to obtain parkland. The second premise of the hypothesis examined in this thesis i s that while regional o f f i c i a l s claim that f i s c a l restraints are a justification for not becoming involved in the regional parks function, financial limitations don't prevent this involvement. Investigation indicates that financial problems are used as a reason for not developing regional parks. For example, in the case study of the North Okanagan Regional Distri c t , the Regional Board and staff were concerned about the costs generated by adoption of the parks function (Mackiewich, 1974). The Board members were particularly worried about the administration expenses of Silver Star Park (Davidson, 1974: Mackiewich, 19?4{ and Matheson, 1974). The only other problem mentioned by Regional Board members as hindering involvement in the parks function, was dis-agreement among Board members regarding the value of re-gional parks. The representatives of Vernon and Coldstream, the two largest population centres, favoured involvement in this function, as they believed that the municipal parks within their areas were used by residents of the whole region and should, therefore, be financed by the regional governments. However, the Directors representing the smaller municipalities and the electoral areas opposed adoption of the regional parks function, claiming that since the parks under discussion were located in Vernon and Coldstream, they would be used chiefly by residents of those communities and that costs should be borne by them. In fact, these Directors did not feel f u l l y committed to co-operation with representatives of other member areas within the regional d i s t r i c t in the provision of any services (Blattner, 1974? Fleming, 1974? P o s t i l l , 1974). In further support of the hypothesis, i t i s clear that the assistance requested from the provincial government by the Regional Board has been largely financial. In 1971, the Regional D i s t r i c t asked the provincial government to meet the expenses generated by a consultant study, authorized by the Regional Board in 1970, of the possibility of the region assuming responsibility for the provision of a l l recreation services within i t s boundaries, including parks (Lancaster and others, 1973)• In addition, in November 1974, the secretary-treasurer of the North Okanagan informed the Director of the Provincial Parks Branch that the regional d i s t r i c t would adopt the regional parks function and accept responsibility for Silver Star Park i f the Parks Branch would agree that the region would receive a l l revenue from park permits for developments in the park, and i f the Pro-vinci a l Department of Highways would bear the cost of im-provements and snow-clearing of the winding road into the park. By contrast, the Board and staff of this region did not request any technical advice from the Parks Branch regarding park planning and development. In fact, some regional board members and residents interviewed, stated specifically that they did not want any "interference" from the provincial government in local matters (Alder, 1974; Attridge, 19?4; Clarke, 1974; Fleming, 1974; P o s t i l l , 1974). To further investigate this and other aspects, a l l respondents to the questionnaire survey were asked to 39 indicate whether specific factors, namely financial limita-tions, municipal disagreement and ambiguity in the distinc-tion between municipal, regional and provincial parks hindered their regional governments* progress in the establishment of parks. The results obtained from this question have been compiled in Table 4:4. In addition, representatives of regional d i s t r i c t s which had not yet undertaken the regional park function were asked to l i s t problems which they f e l t had obstructed their regional board. Table 4:5 contains a summary of the responses to this question. Table 4:4 Specific Problems Perceived by Regional District Officials as Slowing the Development of Regional Parks (Number and Percentage of Total Questionnaires Returned from Each Respondent Group) Problems Respondent Group Secretary-Planners treasurers Chairmen Total Inadequacies of the Funding System 5(35.6%) 8(57.2%) 5(50%) 18(4?%) Disagreement Among Directors 5(35.6%) 6(42.8%) 4(40%) 15(37.4%) Ambiguity of Definition 8(57.2%) 6(42.8%) 3(30%) 17(44. 40 Table 4 t 5 Problems Perceived by Regional District Officials to be Hindering Adoption of the Parks Function (Number and Percentage of Questionnaires Returned from Officials Representing Regional Districts not Having the Parks Function) Problems Respondent Group Planners Secretary-treasurers Chairmen Total Inadequacies of the Funding System 3(33.3%) 4(50%) 1(33.3%) 8(40%) Disagreement Among Directors 3(33.30) - 3(15%) Ambiguity of Definition - 1(12.5%) 1(5%) Vague Guidelines re responsibilities - 1(12.5%) 1(33.3%) 2(10%) The responses to these questions suggest that regional o f f i c i a l s perceive several problems in the development of regional parks. However, as can be seen, f i s c a l limitations of the existing arrangements for such parks were mentioned as an obstacle by more respondents than any other problem. The administrative and operating expenses of regional parks were viewed as more of a problem than the capital costs of acquiring land by five of those o f f i c i a l s who f e l t financing was an obstacle. Indeed, eight respondents indicated that, because sufficient Crown land i s available, capital costs could be minimized. 41 Respondents to the questionnaire survey were also asked whether they f e l t that the provincial government had provided assistance to their regional d i s t r i c t i n the adoption of the regional parks function and the establishment of regional parks. Some respondents offered more detailed comments on these questions which provided further insight on the type of assistance desired by regional d i s t r i c t s . Table 4:6 indicates the number of respondents who f e l t that the provincial government assisted their regional dis-t r i c t i n the adoption of the regional parks function, while Table 4:7 shows the number of o f f i c i a l s from regional dis-t r i c t s having the function who f e l t that the Province has offered assistance in the development of regional parks. While these questions did not contain any reference to the type of help provided, those respondents who f e l t that assistance had been given generally stated that i t was in the form of financial grants. The results from these two questions suggest that other regional governments besides that of the North Okanagan favour increased financial assistance from the provincial government. In particular, three regional d i s t r i c t repre-sentatives suggested that more help should be given with the administrative and operating costs of parks. However, four regional o f f i c i a l s f e l t that the Province should offer more technical advice regarding park planning and development and two respondents commented that the provincial government 42 should provide more explicit information to the regional di s t r i c t s concerning the functions of regional parks and the guidelines for the division of responsibilities for these parks. Unlike the regional o f f i c i a l s and residents of the North Okanagan, the respondents to the questionnaire did not indicate that they were concerned that provincial government interference in regional autonomy might result from increased assistance with the planning and development of parks. Table 4»6 Number and Percentage of Respondents who Pelt that the Province had Assisted their Regional District in Adopting the Regional Parks Function Secretary-treasurers 5 (35%) Planners 2 (14.2%) Chairmen 4 (40%) Table 4 J ? Number and Percentage of Representatives of Regional Districts Having the Regional Parks Function Who Felt That the Province had Provided Assistance in the Development of Regional Parks Secretary-treasurers 5 (35.7%) Planners 7 (50%) Chairmen 2 (20%) 43 Four types of data were examined to obtain insight on the validity of the general belief that f i s c a l constraints are an absolute barrier to the development of regional parks: the expenses generated by regional parks, the methods which the regional governments employ to meet these expenses, the m i l l rate which i s employed for this purpose, and the cost of these parks to the taxpayer. I wrote to the secretary-treasurers of the regional di s t r i c t s of Alberni-Clayoquot, Cowichan Valley, East Kootenay, Greater Vancouver and Mount Waddington requesting that they forward information on the economics of the regional parks function in their region. Several secretary-treasurers were contacted because the costs of the regional parks function vary considerably in response to the price of land and the number and type of parks established. Expenses of Regional Parks The Greater Vancouver Regional District (GVRD), which presently holds, or has an interest in, ten regional park sites i s one of the two regional governments which, in res-ponse to the questionnaire survey, indicated that more than five parks had been developed (see Table 4 : 1 ) , In 1972, the regional board of the GVRD approved a five year park land acquisition program. It was resolved that a total of fifteen million dollars of regional funds would be spent on the pur-chase of land for parks under this program, of which three million would be spent each year (Penner, 1974) . During the 44 last twelve months, three million dollars and a provincial grant of one million dollars have been employed for the acqui-sitio n of an estimated 677 acres of parkland, making a total of 3000 acres under regional control (GVRD Park Committee, 1973) . The administration expenses, including development and operation costs for the upcoming year are anticipated to be $250,000 (GVRD Park Committee, 1973) . Thus, the total pre-dicted costs of regional parks in 1974 in this region may be summarized as shown in Table 4»8. Table 4t8 Estimated Costs of Regional Parks in GVRD (1974) Capital Expenditures! by Regional District $ 3 , 0 0 0 , 0 0 0 by Province 1 , 0 0 0 , 0 0 0 Administrative Expenditures $ 2 5 0 t 0 0 0 Total Expenditures $ 4 , 2 5 0 . 0 0 0 Only in the last year has the GVRD begun to spend any money on development or operation of parks. Previously, a l l developments in parks were operated by lessees. The situ-ation in the Lower Mainland i s somewhat different from the rest of the province, because the Regional District i s small and population has grown to the extent that competition with other uses requires that large sums be spent to acquire lands for regional park purposes. 45 Because the East Kootenay Regional District maintains three parks, i t has been placed in the group of regions which have developed 2-5 regional parks. The total costs of regional parks in the region during 1973 were $41,360. Thus far, the regional d i s t r i c t has endeavoured to obtain parkland by grant from the provincial government, rather than by purchasing land (Bertoia, 1974). The principal park expenses of the regional d i s t r i c t , therefore, were those associated with administrative expenses, which totaled $41,360. In this case, the capital costs of the parks, which totaled $20,000 in 1973, even i f paid by the regional government, would s t i l l be less than the adminis-trative costs. At present, the Gowichan Valley Regional Di s t r i c t has holdings in two park sites and i s , therefore, also con-sidered to have reached the stage of having 2-5 regional parks. In 1974, the costs resulting from the regional park function are expected to be only $3,000, and w i l l consist entirely of administrative and research costs, rather than land acquisition expenses (see Table 4 i9) . 46 Table 4:9 Estimated Expenses for Regional Parks of the Cowichan Valley Regional District (1974) Administration $ 100.00 Park Maintenance Development and Research 2,900.00 Capital Costs of Acquiring Land Total $3,000.00 Sourcei Cowichan Valley Regional Dist r i c t , Annual Budget, 19?4\ The Mount Waddington Regional District f a l l s in the category of regional governments maintaining one regional park. As can be seen in Table 4tl0, administrative and deve-lopment costs make up the largest proportion of the regional park expenses of this regional d i s t r i c t as well. However, this regional government has been spending some money on the acquisition of parkland in recent years. 47 Table 4 i10 Expenses of Regional Parks of the Mount Waddington Regional District (1973) Administration and Maintenance $25,000 Development of Properties 15,000 Acquisition of Properties 9 ,000 Total $49,000 Sourcei Mount Waddington Regional Di s t r i c t , Annual Budget, 1974 Alberni-Clayoquot, the f i n a l regional d i s t r i c t con-sidered, does not have any capital or administrative expenses associated with the adoption of the regional park function. It acquired the function in 1971, solely as a result of a Provincial donation of 1,400 acres on Mount Arrowsmith for development as a winter and summer recreation area. Since no other parks have been developed since that time, this region has been placed in the category of administering one regional park. The only expenses to the regional d i s t r i c t resulting from adoption of the function were associated with a f e a s i b i l i t y study of the park and ski area conducted in 1971. The Regional Board does not intend to either develop or operate the site, but rather to lease the property to a private group (Asher, 1974). 48 Methods Employed by Regional Districts  to Meet Regional Park Expenses Table 4:11 shows the revenue sources employed by the regional governments who responded to the questionnaire according to the steps taken to establish regional parks. The numbers cited do not necessarily represent one source per regional d i s t r i c t , as some respondents did not answer this question and others l i s t e d more than one source. Table 4:11 Sources of Revenue Employed by Regional Districts for Park Systems at Different Stages of Development (Number of Regional Districts) Financial Source Steps Taken Planning Stage 1 Park 2-5 Parks 5 Parks Prov./Reg. Cost-sharing 1 2 1 2 Donation (Prov., Munic, and private) i 1 1 1 Capital Borrowing 1 None 2 Two of the three regional d i s t r i c t s which have not yet established any regional parks stated that no funding was required because no costs were generated by adoption of the regional parks function. In the remainder of the regional di s t r i c t s on which a questionnaire was completed, regional parks are funded by the provincial/regional cost-sharing 49 scheme outlined in the Regional Parks Act, under which the provincial government w i l l undertake up to one-third of the total park expenses of the region. Respondents of some regional d i s t r i c t s indicated other financial sources em-ployed to supplement the cost-sharing arrangement. The donation of Crown, municipal or private land was mentioned most frequently. Representatives of only one regional dis-t r i c t reported that capital borrowing had been employed to meet regional park expenses. Examples of M i l l Rates Employed by  Regional Districts to B i l l Member  Areas for Regional Parks Table 4tl2 l i s t s the maximum m i l l rate permitted under the Letters Patent of the regional d i s t r i c t s of Alberni-Clayoquot, Cowichan Valley, East Kootenay, Greater Vancouver and Mount Waddington. Because the Regional District of Albemi-Clayoquot found i t necessary to requisition money for regional parks only in 19711 the cited m i l l rate for that region applies only to that year. It can be observed that, although there i s some varia-tion in the m i l l rate levied in different regional d i s t r i c t s , none of the regional governments contacted have adopted a mi l l rate of even half that permitted under the Regional Parks Act. Moreover, since the Regional Board of the North Okanagan Regional Dis t r i c t intends to b i l l member areas at .10 of a m i l l , the trend towards nominal m i l l rates for regional parks purposes appears to be continuing. Table 4:12 Examples of M i l l Rates Permitted for Use by-Regional Districts to Meet Costs of Regional Parks Alberni-Clayoquot (1971 only) .12 Cowichan Valley .10 East Kootenay .31 GVRD .35 Mount Waddington .26 Source: Secretary-treasurers of regional d i s t r i c t s . The Cost of Regional Parks  to the Taxpayer The costs to the taxpayer of adoption of the regional parks function has been investigated by examining the taxes of residents of the North Okanagan Regional D i s t r i c t . As has been previously stated, this regional government recently adopted the regional .parks function, and has stated that a levy of .10 of a m i l l w i l l be sufficient to meet regional park expenses. However, because this nominal requisition may be increased in the future, I have estimated the taxes which North Okanagan residents would pay for regional parks on the basis of a .30 m i l l rate. This m i l l rate should raise enough capital to meet the expected expenses of regional parks in this region. 51 Since land value differs from one part of the region to another, the taxes paid by homeowners also vary. For this reason, the taxes paid on three houses of equal quality but located in different sections of the region have been e s t i -mated. The three houses are located in Vernon, Coldstream, and in an electoral area. Since: Assessed Value = 5°% of market value on land and = 50% of market value on improvements, and Tax Value = 100% of assessed value on land and = 75% of assessed value on improvements, the taxes paid for regional parks would be as summarized in Table 4 : 1 3 . Table 4:13 Estimated Taxes Paid for Regional Parks by a Typical Houseowner in the North Okanagan Regional Dis t r i c t Electoral Vernon Coldstream Area Market Value of Land $12,400 $11,000 $10,000 Market Value of Improvements 17,000 17,000 17,000 Assessed Value of Land 6,200 5.500 5,000 Assessed Value of Improvements 8,500 8,500 8,500 Tax Value on Land 6,200 5,500 5,000 Tax Value of Improvements 6,375 6,375 6,375 Net tax value 12,575 11.875 11.375 M i l l rate for regional parks .30 .30 .30 Taxes Paid $ 3.75 $ 3.54 $ 3.39 Source: Regional District of North Okanagan, Review of Tax Base, 1970. (Land Values have been adjusted in the hopes of allowing for increases since 1970.) 52 The total regional and municipal taxes presently paid by the owners of these homes are as shown in Table 4t l4 . Table 4 i l4 Total Municipal and Regional Taxes Paid by Homeowner in the North Okanagan Vernon Coldstream Electoral Area Total M i l l Rate 81.3 81.3 81.3 Taxes Paid $1,021.00 $964.00 $934.38 Sourcei Regional District of North Okanagan, Review of Tax Base, 1970. Thus, the increase in taxes for regional parks represents only a very small proportion (approximately .35%) of the total taxes paid by the homeowners of the region. These figures can be further placed in perspective when compared to the taxes which the same homeowners would presently be paying for hospitals, a function administered by the same board as that of the regional d i s t r i c t . Table 4tl5 Hospital Taxes Paid by Homeowner in the North Okanagan Electoral Vernon Coldstream Area M i l l rate for Hospitals 1.73 1.73 1.73 Taxes Paid for Hospitals $21.23 $ 2 0 . 5 3 $19.68 Sourcei Regional District of North Okanagan, Review of Tax Base, 1970. 53 Hospitals are clearly more of a necessity to a community than regional parks and homeowners would, therefore, be more willing to pay for hospital services than for park f a c i l i t i e s . However, a comparison of the taxes paid for the two services indicates that the cost of regional parks to the homeowner i s extremely small relative to that of hospitals and might be perceived of as a bargain by most residents. Thus this investigation, while limited, supports the second premise of the hypothesis. Financial limitations should not and, in fact, do not, constitute a prohibitive barrier to the development of regional parks by regional d i s t r i c t s . It has been demonstrated that the costs of regional parks to the regional governments and the taxpayers are low in absolute terms. Some regional d i s t r i c t s are able to adopt the regional parks function without any cost to themselves, and even the GVRD, one of the two regional dis-t r i c t s which have made the most progress in establishing regional parks, has not experienced very large regional park expenses. Furthermore, the expenses of regional parks must also be considered low relative to the costs of other ser-vices. Taxes paid for regional park development make up a small proportion of the homeowner's total tax load. It would seem, therefore, that there must be some other explanation for the fact that many regional di s t r i c t s are not p o l i t i c a l l y motivated to develop regional parks u n t i l potential parkland i s taken for other uses. One possible 54 explanation i s based on the variation in the assessment totals of regional d i s t r i c t s . It may be that, although regional park expenses are low in absolute terms, they are sufficiently large to prevent regional d i s t r i c t s with low assessment totals from participating in the regional parks function. Stock (1973) suggests that the extent of a region's involvement in any function reflects the size of the assessment of that region. However, as suggested by Figure 4i4, there i s no strong relationship between the progress which respondents to the questionnaire survey indicated had been made in developing regional parks and assessment totals. A second, alternative, explanation is that regional o f f i c i a l s are not aware that regional park expenses are low. This explanation i s supported by the fact that regional o f f i c i a l s stated, in their responses to the questionnaire survey, that they were unsure of the nature of the finan-c i a l responsibilities of the regional and provincial levels of government. However, the results of this study provide more support for a third explanation for regional d i s t r i c t apathy on this matter? that i s , that residents of these areas simply do not feel that such parks are important enough to spend money on. It may be that the public perceives a l l of the surrounding countryside as parkland and, therefore, sees no need to designate any specific area as a park. The fact that some F I G U R E 414 R E L A T I O N S H I P B E T W E E N ASSESSMENT OF REGIONAL DISTRICT AND PROGRESS MADE IN DEVELOPING REGIONAL P A R K S (1973) Steps Taken , \' » . , , 9 5 + R e g i o n a l P a r k s 2 - 5 R e g i o n a l Park: , 1 R e g i o n a l P a r k F i a n n i n g S t a g e C o n s i d e r e d Ad o p i i o n o l F u n c t i c n Never C o n s i d e r e d A d o p t i o n ol Fun? t i 0 n Assessment (In o uni ts of § IOOO dol lars o" m I 0 » 9 © • • • • O o o L O " 1^  o o o o o o in" CM o o O O* in O O O in" O O O CM o o O in CM CM 3 O C O in CM m CM O O O in CM CO I O o o 0" in CO O O O m in O O O 6 O co 8° co co O' O O O in 0 d O O m" co" 56 regional o f f i c i a l s indicated that their governments became interested in regional parks because potential parkland seemed to be growing scarce provides indirect evidence for this conclusion. The results of the case study provided more direct evi-dence. It was demonstrated that, when interest groups ex-pressed a demand for adoption of the regional parks function, the North Okanagan Regional Board assumed responsibility for the development of regional parks. This suggests that there cannot be a public demand for regional parks in most regional d i s t r i c t s , or regional governments would be prompted to become involved with the regional parks function. In further support of this f i n a l explanation, the re-gional d i s t r i c t s are not making f u l l use of the sources of capital available to finance regional parks. As has been observed, none of the five regional d i s t r i c t s investigated regarding the economics of the regional parks function em-ployed even half of the one m i l l requisition permitted by the Regional Parks Act, Moreover, the responses to the questionnaire survey demonstrated that regional governments are not taking advantage of the possibility of government grants and capital borrowing. This indicates that regional o f f i c i a l s do not perceive sufficient public demand to justify spending even small additional amounts on regional parks. 57 CHAPTER 5 Implications for the Provincial Government Regional Park Policy The results of the investigation of this study suggest many regional d i s t r i c t s are not currently interested in the establishment of accessible quasi-natural recreation areas. Their residents, l i v i n g in a rural undeveloped environment, do not feel any need for regional parks themselves. Further-more, they have not been stimulated to assume the cost of setting aside parkland for future migrants to their regions, however small these costs may be. Under these circumstances, regional governments are not p o l i t i c a l l y motivated to be-come involved in the regional parks function. As yet, the provincial government has not given a reason why the present residents of an area should pay the cost of parks for future immigrants i f they are not themselves interested in using the parks now. Thus, i f the provincial government wishes to develop i t s objective of setting aside lands for future regional parks, i t should change i t s approach to this problem. One alternative approach would involve the Province taking res-ponsibility for planning for expected future demand. Regional governments can then assume responsibility for these lands as demand occurs and they are p o l i t i c a l l y motivated to do so. 58 A two-pronged regional parks policy i s , therefore, recommended to the provincial government. 1. The provincial government should preserve park-land to meet future demand for regional parks. 2. The provincial government should smooth the way for those regional governments which become interested in involvement in the regional parks function. This policy, of course, assumes the validity of the provin-c i a l governments contention that regional d i s t r i c t s should be involved in the provision of regional parks. Methods of implementing this dual policy w i l l now be suggested. Methods of Preserving Land  for Future Regional Parks There are several existing pieces of provincial legis-lation which can be employed as tools to set aside lands for future regional parks. The legislation gives three provincial agencies responsibility for lands which, i t i s proposed, could be designated for future regional parks. The Provincial Parks Act (1965» c. 31, s. 4) gives the Parks Branch jurisdiction over " a l l matters concerning parks". On the basis of this authority, the Parks Branch may request the Lieutenant-Governor in Council to preserve land considered to have a potential for development as a provincial park from disposition under the terms of the Land Act ( 1970) . The locations of many of these "park reserves" are more suitable to regional than provincial' 59 parks (Matheson, 1973). These sites could be held by the Province for transfer to a regional government. Moreover, other additional sites might be reserved in this manner for future development as regional parks. The provincial legislation regarding Class C, or local, provincial parks offers the Parks Branch a second means of retaining land for future regional parks (Park Act, 1965* c. 31, s. 6, 8 , 9 . 10i B.C. Reg. 227. 1967). As stated earlier in this study, the Parks Branch intends to gradually phase out these parks. Instead, however, they could perhaps be held in reserve u n t i l the appropriate regional governments were prepared to take on the parks function. Furthermore, since the Park Act permits the Branch to acquire lands for Class C parks (Park Act, 1965; c. 31 , s. 11) , additional regional park reserves might also be obtained under this legislation. The Environment and Land Use Committee, on the authority of the Green Belt Protection Fund Act (1972), might also be able to reserve land for future regional parks. This Act established a fund of twenty-five million dollars for the purpose of the "establishment and preservation in perpetuity of areas of land, commonly known as "green belts", through-out the Province (Green Belt Protection Fund Act, 1972, c. 24, Preamble, s. 1 ) . Since the Act indicates that these lands could be used for "parklands without camping", i t would seem that some green belt land could also contribute to a 60 regional park reserve. As yet, however, the Committee has purchased green belt land only in the v i c i n i t y of the Lower Mainland and Victoria (The Province, December 29. 1973)* The Land Commission of British Columbia, too, could potentially reserve land to meet future demand for regional parks. The Land Commission Act, which established this organization, states that i t s object i s to» (a) preserve land for farm use . . • (b) preserve green belt land in and around urban 3,3T€€LS • • • (c) preserve land bank land for urban and industrial development, and . . . (d) preserve park land for recreational use . . . and that i t has the power tot • . • purchase or acquire land except by expro-priation, on such terms and conditions as may be negotiated, and hold such land for the purposes of this act (Land Commission Act, 1973» s. 7 ) . Both the "green belt reserves" and the "park reserves" mentioned i n this Act might be employed as means of acquiring suitable regional park reserves. To date, however, the Land Commission has primarily concentrated on the establishment of a system of agricultural reserves. Representatives of the Commission do not foresee any examination of the question of park reserves i n the immediate future, and the i n i t i a l steps are only now being taken to develop a system of green belt reserves (Murry, 1974). Because no procedures or c r i t e r i a have been established regarding either the greenbelt or park reserves, certain 61 ambiguities may be identified i n the policy of the Commission. The basis of future funding has not yet been resolved, for example. The Land Commission Act stipulates that the green belt and park reserves are to be financed by the Accelerated Park Development Fund Act (1972) and the Green Belt Protec-tion Fund Act, or any other act that authorizes moneys to be paid for that purpose (1973t s. 21). The Environment and Land Use Committee has transferred five million dollars of the Green Belt Protection Fund to the Commission (Lane, 1974). However, as yet, no money from the Accelerated Park Develop-ment Fund has been ut i l i z e d by the Land Commission, and i t i s not known by representatives of the Commission whether further capital w i l l be provided under any other Act (Murry, 1974). In addition, guidelines regarding the type of land which i s to be set aside have yet to be determined. At present, i t has been decided only that attempts w i l l be made to reflect regional d i s t r i c t preferences, and that green belt lands are to be located near existing urban centres (Murry, 1974). If these lands are to be employed in the establishment of a regional park reserve, however, some con-sideration must also be given to future urban developments. Finally, the provincial government has not yet resolved which agency or level of government w i l l hold land acquired by the Land Commission (Murry, 1974). A l l of these ques-tions would have to be resolved before any of the lands obtained under the Commission's park or green belt reserves could be included in a-regional, park reserve. 62 There i s considerable overlap among both the different legislation which sets aside lands and the agencies which presently administer these lands. No; distinction i s made between the functions which these parklands would eventually be expected to serve, and no attempts are made to determine whether the reserves are equitably distributed throughout the province. Thus, there i s clearly a need for organization and co-ordination in the administration of regional park reserves. The Environment and Land Use Committee, established in 1971 by the Environment and Land Use Act would appear to be the most logical agency to take responsibility for co-ordination and administration of this reserve, as i t has been empowered to . . . ensure that a l l aspects of preservation and maintenance of the natural environment are fu l l y considered i n the administration of land use and resources development . . . appoint technical committees, and . • • subject to the approval of the Lieutenant-Governor i n Council provide for the remuneration of experts, specialists and researchers (Environ-ment and Land Use Act, 1971# s. 3, b, s. 4, b, c). Moreover, the Committee's previous experience with the Green Belt Protection Fund Act would appear to further qualify i t for this role. The specific responsibilities which would be placed on the Committee in co-ordinating the establishment of the regional park reserves would include 1 63 (a) The establishment of c r i t e r i a to be employed in determining which of the lands already set aside are suit-able for inclusion in the reserve and selecting sufficient additional sites. (b) Providing an opportunity for regional d i s t r i c t input in the selection of regional park reserves. The regional governments, who should be knowledgeable of physical characteristics in their regions at the level of individual sites, and of trends in land use may be able to provide useful advice in the selection of sites to be pre-served. It i s , therefore, recommended that the provincial government establish some mechanism for s o l i c i t i n g the recommendations of regional boards and staff, and that l i s t s of proposed reserves be submitted to regional o f f i c i a l s for their views. In addition, the Advisory Planning Com-missions and the Technical Planning Committees offervpro-vi n c i a l o f f i c i a l s a means of securing the views of residents of the region and local staff of the provincial resource departments. It i s further suggested, therefore, that comments be obtained from these two committees on a l l pro-posed reserves in a region. (c) Holding regional park reserves u n t i l required, and administering the transfer of the reserves to the regional governments which adopt the regional parks function. 6k Methods of Assisting Those Regional  Governments Which Become Interested  i n Adoption of the Regional Parks  Function and Development of Regional  Parks The provincial government should not actively attempt to persuade regional d i s t r i c t s to administer regional parks, as this would be an infringement on regional government autonomy. The in i t i a t i v e for the development of these parks should be l e f t to the regional governments, with the Province providing assistance to those regions interested in adoption of the regional park function. The following recommendations are made regarding the assistance to be offered by the pro-vi n c i a l government. (a) When requested, provincial o f f i c i a l s should provide advice to regional d i s t r i c t s regarding such alternative sources of funds as private donations, concessions, and entrance fees, and the planning, development and administra-tion. (b) The results of both the case study and the ques-tionnaire survey suggested that disagreement between elected regional representatives hinders regional d i s t r i c t s in deci-sions regarding regional parks. Nevertheless, i t is not recommended that the provincial government become involved in regional board disputes, as this would be an interference in the decision-making process of the regional government. (c) The results of the questionnaire also showed that ambiguity regarding the division of responsibility for the 65 administration and expenses of regional parks is a problem for some regional governments undertaking the parks function. Since there is some possibility that lack of awareness of the small costs of regional parks may prevent regional dis-t r i c t involvement in the regional park function, i t is suggested that provincial o f f i c i a l s prepare a publication on the function of regional parks, their costs, and the regional and provincial responsibilities concerning them. (d) Two questions regarding the provision of financial assistance to regional governments for regional park expenses remain to be faced. The amount of financial aid to be pro-vided by the Province must be determined. The results of this investigation show that regional di s t r i c t s would like the provincial government to provide more assistance, par-ticularly with the on-going administrative costs of regional parks. It was observed in Chapter 2 that, due to spillover effects, the government is willing to undertake some of the burden of regional park expenses. However, i f the residents of these regions are not sufficiently interested in regional parks to pay minimal administrative expenses, even when they would acquire parkland free of cost, should the Province undertake these expenses? The basis of apportionment must also be decided. An equitable means of distribution of financial assistance must be developed. The present system of providing help on the basis of the amount of capital being spent on parks by the 66 regional d i s t r i c t is not necessarily f a i r . Due to variation in assessment totals, the same mil l rate may generate di f f e r -ent amounts of money for park development in different regional d i s t r i c t s . The assessment total of regional dis-t r i c t s range from approximately $ 5 2 , 0 0 0 , 0 0 0 in the Sunshine Coast Regional District to $3 ,446 ,353,430 in the Greater Van-couver Regional District (Department of Municipal Affairs, 1973). It i s recommended that the provincial government explore these two questions further. Relationship Between the Proposed  Regional Park Policy and General  Provincial Objectives for Regional  Governments It was observed in Chapter 2 of this thesis that pro-vinci a l o f f i c i a l s have two objectives for regional d i s t r i c t s — to permit local public input in land-use planning and the administration of services, and to co-ordinate the activities of the various government agencies and departments in an area through the exchange of information and plans. In addition to meeting the provincial objectives for regional parks, the proposed policy should be compatible with these general goals. Local public view on the development of regional parks would be respected, as the development of means of permitting regional input in the selection of park sites i s recommended, and each region would s t i l l adopt the parks function at i t s own volition. Moreover, both phases of the suggested policy would involve considerable contact between regional and 6? provincial o f f i c i a l s , providing an opportunity for further exchange of information on other matters. 68 BIBLIOGRAPHY Ahrens, R., Director of the B.C. Parks Branch. 1973. Interview. Ahrens, R. 1970. The Philosophy of Regional and Provincial Parks. International Northwest Parks Recreation Association Conference. Alberni-Clayoquot Regional Di s t r i c t . 1973. Annual Requi-sition. Alder, Diane. 197*+. "Ski Areas Need Help". The Vancouver  Sun. February 28» 24. Alder, P., Manager of Silver Star Sports Ltd. 1974. Interview. Asher, Ian S., Secretary-treasurer of the Alberni-Clayoquot Regional D i s t r i c t . 19?4. Correspondence with author. Attridge, W., President of Silver Star Sports Ltd. 1974. Interview. Bertoia, F.E., District Administrator of the Regional Dis t r i c t of East Kootenay. 1974. Correspondence. Blattner, H., Director of North Okanagan Regional Board. 1974. Interview. Brazer, Harvey E. 1970. "Outdoor Recreation as a Public Good", in B.L. Driver, ed. Elements of Outdoor Recre- ation Planning. School of Natural Resources. Univer-sity of Michigan, pp. 121-130. British Columbia. 1971» 1972. Debates of the Legislative Assembly, Brit i s h Columbia, Department of Municipal Affairs. 1972. Municipal Statistics. Victoria, British Columbia, Department of Municipal Affairs, 1971, Record of Regional Dis t r i c t Conference. Victoria. British Columbia. Department of Municipal Affairs. 1973. Statistics Relating to Regional and Municipal Govern-ments . Victoria, B r i t i s h Columbia, Parks Branch Files« Silver Star Park. 69 B r i t i s h Columbia. Parks Branch. 1971. Guidelines for Regional Park Planning. Brit i s h Columbia. Parks Branch. 1967. A Regional Approach to Meeting Park Needs. Brit i s h Columbia. 1974. Public Accounts for the Fiscal Year ended March 31, 1973. Queen's Printer. British Columbia. Regulations Concerning Park Act. 1967. Reg. 227/67. B r i t i s h Columbia. Statutes. 1971. Accelerated Park Development Act, c, 1, British Columbia. Statutes. 1972. Accelerated Park Development Fund Act, c. 1. B r i t i s h Columbia. Statutes. 1957. Department of Recreation and Conservation Act, c. 53. British Columbia Statutes. 1971. Environment and Land Use Act, c. 12. British Columbia Statutes. 1972. Green Belt Protection Fund Act, c. 24. British Columbia Statutes. 1970. Land Act, c. 17. British Columbia Statutes. 1973. Land Commission Act, c. 46. British Columbia Statutes. 1957. Municipal Act, c. 42. British Columbia Statutes. 1965. Parks Act, c. 31 . British Columbia Statutes. 1965. Regional Parks Act, c. 43. Campbell, Dan. 1968. The Regional District Concept. Depart-ment of Municipal Affairs. Victoria. Campbell, Dan. 1971. Regional Districts in British Columbia. Department of Municipal Affairs. Victoria. Central Okanagan Regional D i s t r i c t . 1971. Report to the Regional Board on a Regional Parks Plan. Clarke, Everard, Chairman of the Silver Star Steering Committee. 1974. Interview. Clawson, Marian and Jack Knetsch. 1966. Economics of Out-door Recreation. Resources for the Future. 70 C o l l i e r , R, 1970. Regional Planning. Papers on Local Government, 1(2). U.B.C. Centre for Continuing Education. Connelly, John, North Okanagan Regional District Planner. 197^. Interview. Cowichan Valley Regional D i s t r i c t . 19?4. Annual Budget. Davidson, N.A., Chairman of the Silver Star Park Board. 1974. Correspondence with author. Denver Regional Council of Governments. 1970. Parks and  Recreation Open Space Development Program. Report 8703. Denver. Denver Regional Council of Governments. 1968. Parks and Recreation, Open Space: Regional Open Space Plan and  Program! Denver Metropolitan Area. Report 6804, Denver, Dexter, Lewish Anthony, E l i t e and Specialized Interviewing. Northwestern University Press. Evanston, 1970. East Kootenay Regional D i s t r i c t . 1973. Annual Budget. "Elusive Recreation Function Gets NORD's Attention Again". 1971. The Vernon News. September 1. Farrow, Moira. 1974. "Bob Williams Talking: Stop Wasting Power". The Vancouver Sun. January 1 9 » 6 , "Five Million Dollar Greenbelt Payout to Purchase Land Urged". 1973. The Province. December 29. Fleming, S., Director of the North Okanagan Regional Board. 1974. Interview. Fox, Irving. 1970. "The Nature of Planning Decisions in a Democratic Society", in B.L. Driver, Elements of Out- door Recreation Planning. School of Natural Resources. University of Michigan, pp. 213-224. Gaidula, Paul. 1958. "Regional Parks—Their Role in the Future Pattern of Recreation". Planning and Civic  Government. 24(1):35-40. Greater Vancouver Regional District, 1974. Annual Report from the Chairman of the GVRD Park Committee. Hendee, John. 1969. "Rural-Urban Differences Reflected in Outdoor Recreation Participation". Journal of Leisure Research. 1(4):333-34l. 71 Hirsch, Werner. "The Supply of Urban Public Services". 1968. In Harvey S. Perloff and Iowdon Wingo, eds., Issues in Urban Economics. Resources for the Future. Washington, pp. 477-526. Laidman, David, Member of Silver Star Steering Committee. 1974. Interview. Lancaster, Roger, and others. 1973. Feasibility Study for  the Establishment of a Regional Recreation Service for  the North Okanagan Regional D i s t r i c t . Kelowna. Lane, William, Chairman of the B.C. Land Commission. 1974. Interview. Mackiewich, P., Administrator of the Regional District of the North Okanagan. 1974. Correspondence with the author. Mackiewich, P., Administrator of the Regional Di s t r i c t of the North Okanagan. 1974. Interview. Mann, Lawrence D. 1971. "Open Space Accessibility for Recreation". Journal of the Urban Planning and Develop-ment Division. 9 7 ( 2 ) i 2 0 7 - 2 1 5 . Margolis, Julius. 1968. "The Demand for Public Services", in Harvey S. Perloff and Lowdon Wingo, eds., Issues in Urban Economics. Resources for the Future. Washington, pp. 527-566. Matheson, M., Representative of the Provincial Parks Branch. 1973. Interview. Moore, T., Representative of the Department of Municipal Affairs. 1974. Interview. Morgan, Frank. 1967. "How to Create Needed Parks". Community Planning Review, p. 10, McClosky, Herbert, 1969. P o l i t i c a l Inquiry; The Nature and  Uses of Survey, MacMillan Co,, London, Murry, S., Representative of the Bri t i s h Columbia Land Commission, 1974, Interview, North Okanagan Regional District Filest Regional Parks and Recreation, North Okanagan Regional Di s t r i c t , 1973. Financial State-ments for year ended December 31, 1972. 72 North Okanagan Regional D i s t r i c t . Minutes of Regional Board Meeting of January 23, 1974. Vernon. North Okanagan Regional Di s t r i c t . 1970. Review of Tax Base. Vernon. North Okanagan Regional D i s t r i c t . 1973. Statistics . Vernon. Paul, Prank. Member of North Okanagan Naturalist Club. 1973. Interview. Pearson, Norman. 1972. "Recreation Land Use Planning". Community Planning Association of Canada. 22(2):13-l4. Penner, R, Greater Vancouver Regional D i s t r i c t . 1974. Interview. P o s t i l l , R. Chairman of the North Okanagan Regional Board. 1974, Interview. Rees, William and Erik Karlsen. 1973. The Regional Districts  and Environmental Management in B.C. Papers on Local Government. 1(6) U.B.C. Centre for Continuing Education. "Regional Park Need Urgent, says Turner". 1965. The Province. February 27:40. "Regional Parks Study Slated". 1965. The Province. April 3«14. Robinson, Richard. 1971. "Legal Problems i n the Protection of Recreational Values". U.B.C. Law Review. 6:237-258. Rowat, Donald. 1969. The Canadian Municipal System. McClelland and Stewart Ltd., Toronto. Satterwaite, Ann. 1970. "Some Functions Recreation Will Play for the Individual in the Future", in B.L. Driver, ed. Elements of Outdoor Recreation Planning. School of Natural Resources. The University of Michigan, pp. 105-111. Second Federal-Provincial Parks Conference. 1963. Ottawa. Sewell, W.R.D. 1971. "Environmental Perceptions and A t t i -tudes of Engineers and Public Health O f f i c i a l s " . Environment and Behavior. 3(l):23-59. "Silver Star Begins Recreation Campaign". 1973. The Vernon  News. July 23:1. 73 ••Silver Star Chairman Says Talks •Fr u i t f u l ' " . 1973. Vernon Daily News. August 2 t 3 . Silver Star Park Steering Committee. 1973. Silver Star  Park Brief. Vernon. Stock, L.W. 1973. Regional Organization in British Columbia. Stone, Leroy. 1967. Urban Development in Canada. Dominion Bureau of Statistics. Ottawa. Symington, W.C. Administrator of the Regional District of Cowichan Valley. 1974. Correspondence with writer. Thompson, J.H. Secretary-treasurer of the Mount Waddington Regional D i s t r i c t . 1974. Correspondence with writer. Underhill, A. Heaton. 1970. "Hierarchy of Responsibilities in Outdoor Recreation Planning", in B.L. Driver, ed., Elements of Outdoor Recreation Planning. School of Natural Resources, The University of Michigan, pp. 35-4-7. Young, Robert. 1970. "Establishment of Goals and Definition of Objectives", in B.L. Driver, ed., Elements of Out-door Recreation Planning. School of Natural Resources, University of Michigan, pp. 261-272. 74 APPENDIX I Questionnaire Survey of Regional Officials Name: Positioni Regional District* 1. (a) Has the regional hoard of your regional d i s t r i c t adopted the regional parks function established by the Regional Parks Act? Yes No If the answer is yes— (b) When was the decision to adopt the regional parks function made? (c) What steps have been taken to establish a regional parks system within your regional district? (d) What sources of funds have been used to finance regional parks? (e) What factors do you feel led to the adoption of the regional parks function? Please indicate the importance of each. If the answer is no— (f) How often has the regional d i s t r i c t board considered adopting the parks function? (g) What factors do you feel have prevented the regional board from adopting the parks function? Please indicate the importance of each factor. 75 2. Mr. R.H. Ahrens, Director of the B.C. Parks Branch, has defined the function of regional parks as pro-viding a . . . in a situation of contiguous munici-pa l i t i e s or neighbouring towns with rural "suburbs", for a system of parks based • • • on natural attractions of significance mainly to the people of that region . . . (R.H. Ahrens, The Philosophy of Regional and Pro-vinci a l Parks, 1970). In your opinion, i s there a demand in your regional d i s t r i c t for parks of this nature— (a) by the general public? Yes No Please explain. (b) by a specific interest group? Yes No Please explain. (c) by a business interest? Yes No Please explain. 3. As you are aware, the Regional Parks Act, as amended in March 1972 states that* . . . a Regional Parks Board may, by by-law, borrow money for capital purposes in connec-tion with the acquisition or development of regional parks and regional t r a i l s . . . The extent of this long-range borrowing i s not to exceed five million dollars or . . . an amount equal to ten times the product obtained by multiplying one-half m i l l by the assessed value of land, and by seventy-five per cent of the value of taxable improvements for the purpose of levying school and hospital rates • . • The Provincial government w i l l , in addition, issue a separate grant which shall not exceed 76 • . • one-third of the amount of borrowed principal, and interest thereon, that, at the time the grant under this section i s made have been repaid or w i l l be repaid within the current accounting year (Act to Amend the Regional Parks Act, 1972, s. 11 ( 2 K b ) . In order for a regional d i s t r i c t to qualify for such grants they must meet two conditions. (i) During the f i r s t five years after the regional park function has been assumed, 60 per cent of the annual revenue for the park d i s t r i c t must be used for land acqui-sition for parks. ( i i ) A l i s t of land acquisitions must be sub-mitted to the Provincial Government quarterly. (a) Does the funding system established by these provisions allow sufficient financial resources that your regional d i s t r i c t can afford to establish a regional parks system? Yes No (b) If these arrangements are unsatisfactory, what features are you unhappy with? (c) What changes in the funding system would make i t possible for your regional d i s t r i c t to adopt the parks function i f i t has not already done so? (a) Have there been significant differences in opinion amongst the municipal o f f i c i a l s of your regional d i s t r i c t with regard to the establishment of a regional park system? Yes No (b) If such differences have occurred, please describe the nature of them. 77 5 . (a) In your opinion, is the distinction between munici-pal, regional and provincial parks clearly enough defined? Yes No (b) If not, please indicate the inadequacies of the existing definition. 6. How frequently i s there communication between the regional board of your regional d i s t r i c t and members of the staff of the Provincial Parks Branch? 7. Do you feel that the Province has encouraged the regional board of your regional d i s t r i c t to adopt the regional parks function? Yes No Please indicate the basis for your conclusion. 8. If your regional d i s t r i c t has adopted the parks function, do you feel that the Provincial government has assisted in the process of establishing a regional park system i n your regional district? Yes No Please indicate the basis for your conclusion. 

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