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An approach to integrated ecosystem planning: an evaluation of the Minnewanka area plan, Banff National… Haid, Susan B 1993

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AN APPROACH TO INTEGRATED ECOSYSTEM PLANNING -AN EVALUATION OF THE MINNEWANKA AREA PLAN,BANFF NATIONAL PARKbySUSAN BARBARA HAIDB.L.A., The University of British Columbia, 1992B.Sc. Biology, The University of Saskatchewan, 1986A THESIS IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OFTHE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OFMASTER OF SCIENCEinTHE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES(School of Community and Regional Planning)We accept this thesis as conformingto the required standardTHE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIASeptember, 1993© Susan Barbara Haid, 1993In presenting this thesis in partial fulfilment of the requirements for an advanceddegree at the University of British Columbia, I agree that the Library shall make itfreely available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensivecopying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the head of mydepartment or by his or her representatives. It is understood that copying orpublication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my writtenpermission.Department of The University of British ColumbfrVancouver, CanadaDateDE-6 (2/88)ABSTRACTThe Lake Minnewanka area is one of Banff National Park's most scenicand highly visited regions. Impacts such as the loss of significant montanehabitat (characteristic of the Lower Bow Valley ecosystem) and socialimplications like crowding led to the need to develop a strategy for managing thearea. The author worked with a planning team from the Canadian Parks Service(CPS) in Banff National Park (BNP) to develop the Minnewanka Area Plan.The primary purpose of the thesis is to evaluate the Minnewanka AreaPlan to determine whether it effectively serves to maintain and enhanceecological integrity. A theoretical framework based on integrated ecosystemmanagement was developed to evaluate the plan. Normative criteria fromliterature on recreational carrying capacity management and meaningful publicparticipation were defined and applied to the plan.Overall, the plan was rated as successful according to the normativecriteria. All of the criteria for an effective approach to carrying capacitymanagement were considered and the plan reflected a fair and efficient publicparticipation process. Stakeholder input influenced plan decisions to a highdegree and several partnerships were developed through the planning process.Several inadequacies in the plan were identified through the evaluation.The adoption of an approach to ecosystem management called the Limits ofAcceptable Change (LAC) was recommended as a guiding principle within theplan. The step-by-step LAC model was seen as overly complex in the context ofthe case study. Indicators and a monitoring program which are central to theLAC process were not defined as part of the plan.The evaluation of the public participation process indicated thatstakeholder participation was high early in the planning process and reflected apartnership relationship where stakeholders shared the power of decision-making. During completion of the draft and final plan, the process became oneof public consultation where the level and frequency of participation waslowered.Recommendations for improving the efficacy of the Minnewanka AreaPlan are made within the thesis. A simpler approach to visitor and resourcemanagement which maintains the essential criteria of the LAC approach issuggested. Measures for maintaining a high level of public participation andimproving the accountability of the CPS in decision-making are proposed. Thenormative criteria based on carrying capacity management and meaningfulpublic participation processes are presented as a model for facilitating integratedecosystem management in area planning within national parks.iiTABLE OF CONTENTS Abstract^ iiTable of Contents^ iiiList of Figures v iList of Tables viiAcknowledgements ixCHAPTER I. AN APPROACH TO INTEGRATED ECOSYSTEM PLANNING -AN EVALUATION OF THE MINNEWANKA AREA PLAN1.1 INTRODUCTION^ 11.2 PURPOSE AND OBJECTIVES^ 31.3 APPROACH AND SCOPE OF THE THESIS^ 31.3.1 The Case Study -The Minnewanka Area Plan^31.3.2 Theoretical Framework 41.3.3 Evaluation of the Plan^ 51.4 ORGANIZATION OF THE THESIS 6CHAPTER II.THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK OF THE THESIS2.1 INTEGRATED ECOSYSTEM MANAGEMENT^ 72.1.1 A Definition of Integrated Ecosystem Management^72.1.2 Why Adopt an Ecosystem-Based Approach to Managementin National Parks and in the Minnewanka Area?^82.1.3 Principles for Developing an Integrated EcosystemApproach^ 112.2 CARRYING CAPACITY MANAGEMENT^ 132.2.1 A Definition of Carrying Capacity 132.2.2 Recreation Carrying Capacity 142.2.3 Limitations of Carrying Capacity Determination^ 152.2.4 Conceptual framework for Carrying CapacityDetermination^ 162.2.5 Approaches to Determining Recreational Carrying Capacityin Wilderness Settings^ 182.2.5.1 Social Carrying Capacity Determination^ 182.2.5.2 The Limits of Acceptable Change Approach (LAC)^202.2.5.3 Recreation Opportunity Spectrum (ROS)Approach^ 252.2.5.4 The Visitor Impact Management (VIM) Approach ^27iii2.3 NORMATIVE CRITERIA OF EFFECTIVE RECREATIONALCARRYING CAPACITY MANAGEMENT APPROACHES FORTHE EVALUATION OF THE MINNEWANKA AREA PLAN^302.4 PUBLIC INVOLVEMENT AS A MEANS TOWARDSINTEGRATED ECOSYSTEM MANAGEMENT^ 332.5 NORMATIVE CRITERIA OF EFFECTIVE PUBLICPARTICIPATION PROCESSES FOR THE EVALUATION OF THEMINNEWANKA AREA PLAN^ 362.5.1 Components of Fair and Effective Processes^372.5.2 Evaluating the Outcomes of Decision-Making Processesand the Attitudes of Participants^ 42CHAPTER III. BACKGROUND TO THE MINNEWANKA AREAPLAN3.1 OVERVIEW^ 443.1.1 The Need for an Area Plan^ 453.1.2 The Planning Area^ 463.1.3 The Planning Process 463.2 POLICY GUIDELINES AND MANAGEMENT DIRECTIVES^483.3.1 Dam Building Activities^ 533.3.2 Coal Mining Activities 563.3.3 Other Influences^ 563.4 BIOPHYSICAL RESOURCE ANALYSIS^ 573.4.1 Montane Ecoregion 573.4.2 Fisheries/ Aquatic Resources 623.5 PARK ZONING^ 633.6 VISITOR PROFILE 643.6.1 Visitor Perceptions^ 653.7 PLANNING ISSUES^ 65CHAPTER IV. SUMMARY OF THE MINNEWANKA AREA PLAN4.1 A VISION FOR THE FUTURE IN THE MINNEWANKA AREA^674.2 GENERAL MANAGEMENT DIRECTION^ 704.2.1 The Limits of Acceptable Change (LAC) Approach toEcosystem and Visitor Management 704.2.2 Establishing Partnerships^ 714.2.3 Level of Facility Development 714.3 KEY MANAGEMENT PROPOSALS 724.3.1 Visitor Information and Interpretation^ 724.3.2 Ecosystem Management^ 724.3.3 Cultural Resource Management 744.3.4 Visitor Facilities and Management^ 744.3.5 Minnewanka Day Use Area^ 76ivCHAPTER V. AN EVALUATION OF THE MINNEWANKA AREAPLAN5.1 EVALUATION ACCORDING TO NORMATIVE CRITERIA FOREFFECTIVE CARRYING CAPACITY MANAGEMENT^805.2 EVALUATION OF THE PUBLIC PARTICIPATION PROCESS^1065.2.1 Summary of the Minnewanka Area Plan Public Process^1065.2.3 Evaluation of the Outcomes and Attitudes of the AreaPlanning Process^ 118CHAPTER VI. CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS6.1 SUMMARY OF CONCLUSIONS FROM THE EVALUATIONRELATIVE TO CARRYING CAPACITY MANAGEMENT^1266.2 RECOMMENDATIONS FOR IMPROVING THE MINNEWANKAAREA PLAN ACCORDING TO THE NORMATIVE CRITERIAASSOCIATED WITH CARRYING CAPACITY MANAGEMENT^1316.3 SUMMARY OF CONCLUSIONS FROM THE EVALUATION OFTHE PUBLIC PARTICIPATION PROCESS^ 1336.3.1 Summary of Conclusions According to Criteria for a Fairand Effective Participation Process 1336.3.2 Summary of Conclusions from the Evaluation ofOutcomes and Attitudes of the Public Participation Process ^1356.4 RECOMMENDATIONS FOR IMPROVING THE PUBLICPARTICIPATION PROCESS^ 1366.5 GENERAL CONCLUSIONS - THE OUTCOME OF THE PLANNINGAND RESEARCH PROCESS 1386.6 AREAS FOR FURTHER RESEARCH 143REFERENCES^ 145LIST OF FIGURESFigure 2.2 Examples of Possible Indicators for Measuring Ecological andSocial Impacts ^ 22Figure 2.3 Steps Involved in the Limits of Acceptable Change (LAC)Management Approach^ 23Figure 2.4 Steps in Visitor Impact Management Planning Process^28Figure 2.5 A Ladder of Citizen Participation^ 35Figure 3.1 The Lake Minnewanka Area Planning Area^47Figure 3.2 Historic Lake Level Changes - Lake Minnewanka^54Figure 3.3 Ecosites in the Minnewanka Area^ 58Figure 4.1 Communications and Visitor Facilities 77Figure 4.2 Proposed Trail System^ 78Figure 4.3 Proposed Site Improvements - Lake Minnewanka Day UseArea^ 79Figure 6.1.1 Suggested Indicators and Monitoring Strategy Associatedwith Scuba Diving Management^ 132Figure 6.4 Model for Implementing Integrated Ecosystem Managementin Area Planning^ 140Figure 6.5 Model for Meaningful Public Participation in AreaPlanning^ 142viLIST OF TABLESTable 3.1 Ecosites in the Minnewanka Area^  59Table 3.2 A Summary of Planning Issues  65Table 5.1.1 Evaluation of Terrestrial Ecosystem Management Strategies ^92Table 5.1.2 Evaluation of Aquatic Ecosystem Management Strategies ^93Table 5.1.3 Evaluation of Sensitive Areas Management Strategies ^94Table 5.1.4 Evaluation of Communications and Visitor FacilitiesManagement Strategies^  95Table 5.1.5 Evaluation of Visitor Activities Management Strategies -General^  97Table 5.1.6 Evaluation of Visitor Activities Management Strategies -Scenic Touring^  98Table 5.1.7 Evaluation of Visitor Activities Management Strategies -Dayhiking, Bicycling, Horse Riding^  99Table 5.1.8 Evaluation of Visitor Activities Management Strategies -Picknicking^  100Table 5.1.9 Evaluation of Visitor Activities Management Strategies -Winter Activities^  101Table 5.1.10 Evaluation of Visitor Activities Management Strategies -Water Based Activities^  102Table 5.1.11 Evaluation of Visitor Activities Management Strategies -Camping^  104Table 5.1.12 Evaluation of Cultural Resource Management Strategies ^ 105viiTable 5.2 List of Stakeholders Who Participated in the PlanningProcess^ 107Table 6.1 Summary of Conclusions of Evaluation According to theCarrying Capacity Management Framework^ 127Table 6.2. Summary of Conclusions from the Evaluation of the PublicParticipation Process According to Criteria for Fairness andEffectiveness^ 134Table 6.3 Summary of Conclusions From the Evaluation of Outcomesand Attitudes of the Public Participation Process^136viiiAcknowledgmentsI would like to thank the Canadian Parks Service (CPS) in BanffNational Park for providing me with the opportunity and funding to workon the Minnewanka Area Plan as a thesis research project. In particular, I amgrateful to Judy Otton, Chief of Planning and Programs in Banff NationalPark for organizing and supervising the project. I would also like toacknowledge the project planning team of CPS staff in Banff for theirparticipation and feedback. This "real world" experience has been veryvaluable and meaningful to me.The efforts of my committee, Penny Gurstein and Peter Williams, areappreciated. Input from Bill Rees was also helpful in developing the thesis.I have found that much of the learning associated with doing a thesisrelates to the process and the experience. Sometimes this process wasexhausting and isolating. During these times I was very thankful for thesupport and humour of my family and friends. A special thanks to Hughwho has helped me through two theses in the last two years.ix1CHAPTER I.^AN APPROACH TO INTEGRATED ECOSYSTEMPLANNING - AN EVALUATION OF THEMINNEWANKA AREA PLAN, BANFF NATIONALPARK1.1 INTRODUCTIONThe Lake Minnewanka area is one of Banff National Park's most scenicand highly visited regions. Set within the Bow Valley near the Town ofBanff, the area possesses a rich diversity of natural and cultural resources aswell as extensive visitor facilities. The area's landscape is atypical in anational park because it has been influenced extensively by human activitiesin the last century including coal mining, dam-building and gravel extraction.These activities are no longer compatible with national park ideals.The mandate of the Canadian Parks Service (CPS) is "to protect for alltimes those places which provide significant examples of Canada's naturaland cultural heritage and to promote visitor understanding and appreciationof these places so they are left unimpaired for future generations,"(Environment Canada, Canadian Parks Service, 1991, p.14). More recently,the amended National Parks Act of 1988 emphasized that the maintenance ofecological integrity through the protection of natural resources should be thefirst priority in land-use decisions and management plans (EnvironmentCanada, Parks Service, pp. 28-40).The concept of an ecosystem based approach to resource managementhas been emphasized in Canada's Green Plan and various CPS documentsincluding the Western Region Strategic Plan and the Canadian Parks Service2Western Region Ecosystem Management Task Force Report. An ecosystembased approach advocates the integrated management of natural landscapes,ecological processes, physical and biotic components and human activities tomaintain or enhance the integrity of an ecosystem (Canadian Parks Service,June, 1992, p.2). Past attempts to manage ecosystems on a single parameterbasis in isolation of surrounding landscapes have not been very successful.Indeed, a review of resource management activities in Banff National Park(BNP) revealed that there have been no attempts to use an integratedecosystem approach to formulate objectives or predict change (White et al.,1992).The development of services and facilities in the Minnewanka area hasgenerally occurred on a project-by-project basis in the past, withoutconsidering the larger ecosystem or visitor experience. There are severalsignificant resource management concerns in the area including the loss ofmontane habitat and visitor impacts such as crowding. The BanffManagement Plan, which provides a framework for the protection andmanagement of heritage resources and sets guidelines for appropriate levelsof development and visitor activities within Banff National Park, calls for anarea plan in the Minnewanka district in response to these issues. Area plansrepresent the most specific level of land-use planning in national parks(Environment Canada, Canadian Parks Service, Nov., 1988).The problem of determining a strategy for managing the Minnewankaarea according to the CPS's goals of maintaining ecological integrity whilewelcoming "appropriate" visitor activities which do not impair ecologicalintegrity, forms the basis of the thesis. The author worked with the CPS to3develop the Minnewanka Area Plan. The plan and the planning processrepresent the case study for the thesis.1.2 PURPOSE AND OBJECTIVESThe purpose of the thesis is to analyse the Minnewanka Area Plan toanswer the following essential question: Does the Minnewanka Area Planeffectively facilitate an integrated ecosystem-based approach to managementwhich can work to maintain and enhance the ecological integrity of theplanning area? The specific objectives of the thesis are: (i) to definenormative criteria based on integrated ecosystem management concepts toevaluate the area plan, (ii) to make specific recommendations for improvingthe Minnewanka Area Plan and (iii) to present an ideal model for areaplanning in national parks or similar ecological, social and politicalenvironments.1.3 APPROACH AND SCOPE OF THE THESIS1.3.1 The Case Study -The Minnewanka Area PlanThe author worked with the CPS between May, 1992 and April, 1993according to the terms of a thesis project contract to develop the MinnewankaArea Plan (Environment Canada, Canadian Parks Service, June, 1992). Thisproject involved coordinating and working with an interdisciplinaryplanning team of CPS staff and developing and facilitating a publicinvolvement process to create a plan for managing visitor activities andecological resources in the Minnewanka area. Work was regularly reviewedby the Chief of Planning in BNP as well as a CPS steering committee. The4plan is summarized within the body of thesis and is available through theCanadian Parks Service in Banff National Park.1.3.2 Theoretical FrameworkThe concept of integrated ecosystem management is explored withinthe thesis as the theoretical basis for achieving the CPS's goals and objectives.Related to this concept, specific literature regarding recreational carryingcapacity management in wilderness settings and meaningful stakeholderparticipation are reviewed to define normative criteria for the evaluation ofthe plan. There are several reasons for selecting these bodies of literature.The concept of recreational carrying capacity creates the notion thatappropriate levels of visitor use can be determined for a particular areaaccording to definable ecological and social limits (Williams and Gill, 1991;Shelby and Heberlein, 1984). The concept is appealing to managers who areoften faced with the contradictory task of preserving natural systems whilesupporting visitor activities. There is however, no single recreationalcarrying capacity or appropriate number of visitors inherent to a given area asthe relationship between visitor use and impact is not linear or predictable(Becker et al., 1984; Williams and Gill, 1991). The particular setting, the typeand timing of activities as well as other factors influence recreational carryingcapacity. Carrying capacity management models may, none-the-less, provideuseful insight about defining acceptable conditions, monitoring the ecosystemand developing effective management strategies (Stankey et al., 1984 and 1985;Shelby and Heberlein, 1984; Graefe et al., 1985). The Minnewanka AreaPlan's principle recommendation is to adopt a carrying capacity managementapproach called the Limits of Acceptable Change (Stankey et al., 1985). The5theory and approaches associated with recreational carrying capacitymanagement are examined to evaluate this aspect of the Minnewanka AreaPlan and develop criteria for an integrated ecosystem management approach.Humans are an integral part of national park ecosystems. Thedetermination of whether or not ecological integrity exists is largelydependent on judgement and social values. Meaningful social input isrequired within an integrated planning approach which considers humanactivities and values in addition to ecological systems. Relevant literatureregarding meaningful stakeholder involvement is reviewed in the thesis todefine normative criteria for the evaluation of the public participationprocess of the plan.1.3.3 Evaluation of the PlanThe Minnewanka Area Plan and planning process are evaluatedwithin the thesis according to the criteria derived from the literature onintegrated ecosystem management. These criteria relate specifically tocarrying capacity management and meaningful stakeholder involvement.The plan's strengths and weaknesses are revealed through the evaluation.Recommendations specific to management of the Minnewanka area aremade as well as general recommendations which have implications for areaplanning in national parks and similar environments.1.4 ORGANIZATION OF THE THESISThe thesis is divided into six chapters. The introductory chapterdefines the problem and purpose and provides an overview of the work. Inthe second chapter, the theoretical framework used to evaluate the plan isdeveloped. Based on the larger concept of integrated ecosystem management,the theoretical framework explores and assesses specific literature on carryingcapacity management in wildland recreation settings and meaningfulstakeholder involvement. Normative criteria which present an ideal modelfor integrated ecosystem management and serve as a means of evaluating theMinnewanka Area Plan are defined within this chapter.The third chapter provides a background to the Minnewanka areaplanning project including the social, ecological and political context of theplan, identification of planning issues and a description of the planningprocess. In the fourth chapter, a summary of the Minnewanka Area Plan ispresented. The case study is evaluated according to the normative criteriadefined for integrated ecosystem management in the fifth chapter.Conclusions from the evaluation of the Minnewanka Area Plan are found inthe last chapter of the thesis and recommendations for area planning innational parks are identified. Areas for further research are also discussed inthe last chapter.67CHAPTER II. THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK OF THE THESISThe theoretical framework of the thesis defines and explores anecosystem based approach to resource and visitor activities management.Specific literature regarding carrying capacity management and meaningfulpublic participation processes is reviewed and assessed to define normativecriteria for evaluating the Minnewanka Area Plan. It is felt that these bodiesof literature provide meaningful insight about managing ecosystemsaccording to desired social and ecological conditions and support the conceptof integrated ecosystem management.2.1 INTEGRATED ECOSYSTEM MANAGEMENT2.1.1 A Definition of Integrated Ecosystem ManagementEcosystem-based management is the integrated management of naturallandscapes, ecological processes, physical and biotic components and humanactivities to maintain or enhance the integrity of an ecosystem (CanadianParks Service, May, 1992, p.2).Ecosystems are complex and dynamic. An ecosystem is a humanconstruct defining the relationships between a community of organisms andits environment. Fundamental to the system is the flow of energy throughfood chains and the cycling of nutrients. Lyle (1985), emphasized thathumans are an integral part of ecosystems. Like other organisms, humansinfluence the dynamics (often the most significantly) of the natural systemswhich constitute their environments (Government of Canada, 1990).8Ecological integrity implies that ecosystem structure and function isunimpaired by human caused stresses and that native species are present atviable population levels. Such ecosystems are likely to persist. Due to thecomplexity of ecological systems and our incomplete understanding of them,it is impossible to know for certain when ecological integrity exists and whenit has been lost (Environment Canada, Canadian Parks Service, June, 1992).Indicators which represent ecosystems at the species, population, communityor landscape level may be monitored as a means of evaluating the health ofecosystems and predicting whether ecological integrity exists (White et al.,1992; Government of Canada, 1990; City of Vancouver, April, 1993).An integrated ecosystem management approach in national parksrequires that managers consider ecosystems holistically including theecological and social parameters which influence the system (White et al.,1992; Government of Canada, 1990). Other organizations, agencies andstakeholders affecting the planning area should ideally be involved indetermining proposed management strategies. An integrated approach isdynamic, requiring on-going monitoring and adaptive management as ameans of achieving desired social and ecological conditions (Holling, 1978).2.1.2 Why Adopt an Ecosystem-Based Approach to Management inNational Parks and in the Minnewanka Area ?We must think, plan and act in terms of ecosystems. All creaturesincluding humans, interact with and depend on each other. Theyall draw on the materials and energy of the physical environmentto obtain food and recycle wastes. They all affect each other'sbehaviour. In the past, responses to environmental problems paidvery little attention to these important inter-relationships. Today,the increasing number and complexity of environmental issuesdemand that we adopt a more integrated approach ( Canada's GreenPlan, Government of Canada, Dec., 1990, p.18, ).Ecological resource management and rehabilitation efforts in BanffNational Park have generally proceeded in response to symptoms ofecological disruption. For the most part, human actions or stresses aremanaged rather than ecosystems. The success of these efforts has beenlimited (White et al., 1992). Several reasons for considering an ecosystem-based approach to management are discussed below.Historically, park and site boundaries have been ecologically arbitrary.They have worked against achieving ecosystem protection because they haveexcluded critical habitats. Parks are too small to provide adequate habitat forspecies that are wide-ranging, migratory, and/or have very specializedrequirements. Yet, simply expanding park size will not ensure theevolutionary survival of species that require broadly distributed and inter-connected genetically viable populations (Canadian Parks Service, June 1992).Parks simply cannot function effectively as ecosystems in isolation fromsurrounding landscapes. There is a need to coordinate management efforts inadjacent spheres which influence the ecosystems of the park (Canadian ParksService, June, 1992, p.2).The last century of intense human activity has substantially disturbedthe Bow Valley ecosystem in which the Minnewanka area is contained. Inthe last decade, Canadian Parks Service ecological restoration activities haveincluded the reintroduction of fire with a planned ignition program andfencing of the Trans Canada highway which dramatically reduced road killsSince 1983, the CPS has closely monitored wolf recolonization of the valleyafter an absence of wolves for nearly 40 years. Despite the ambitious91 0restoration efforts by CPS, ecological conditions continue to deteriorate(White et al., 1993; Achuff et al., 1986; O'Leary, 1988). A review of ecologicalrestoration activities demonstrated that objectives have focussed primarily onaddressing single parameters. There have been no attempts to use anintegrated ecosystem approach, particularly one which considers humans inthe equation, to formulate objectives or predict change (White et al., 1992,p.17). The failure to use a more holistic approach to ecological restoration hasresulted in several unexpected outcomes: prescribed fire is not regeneratingmany aspen stands, people are being attacked by habituated elk, and wolveshave not repopulated large portions of key habitat.Resource management activities have also been inhibited by a lack offunding. Only 4.7% of Banff National Park's 18.6 million dollar annualbudget is available for resource management (White et al., 1992). Onlyrecently have senior land managers within the park encouraged theapplication of modern technology (e.g. GIS, radio-telemetry) to conductecological research and monitoring (Personal communication, Hurd, 1992).While inter-agency cooperation has been good, it has not been based on goodquantitative information or ecological linkages and trends (White et al., 1992).Finally, CPS managers have not adequately addressed the philosophicalquestion of whether they should attempt to quantify and actively managenumerous ecosystem elements to achieve objectives, or whether they shouldcontinue to minimize the impacts of a few select "unnatural" elements, andpassively observe other changes as they occur (White et al., 1992, p.18).The current simplistic approach to management and ecologicalrestoration in Banff National Park cannot continue, particularly considering11the potential impact of proposed mega developments near Canmore whichcould result in a tripling of the population in the Bow Valley in the next 20years (Environment Canada, 1992). Indeed, there is a need for a more holisticmanagement approach which integrates social and ecological phenomenaand which may be monitored and adapted to achieve desired social andecological conditions.2.1.3 Principles for Developing an Integrated Ecosystem ApproachThe following principles reflect information from Canada's GreenPlan, the report of the Ecosystem Management Task Force of the WesternRegion Canadian Parks Service and other literature on integrated resourcemanagement (Holling, 1978, Lyle, 1985, White et al., 1992). These principlesserve as a basis for designing a planning approach for integrated ecosystemmanagement in the Minnewanka area of Banff National Park.1. Consider Ecological BoundariesEcological boundaries are influenced by physiographic parameters such ashydrology, topography, climate and species range while park boundaries havebeen influenced politically and through adjacent land-uses. As most nationalparks are not large enough to protect the ecological integrity of the resourcesthey contain, areas beyond the national park boundaries which influenceecosystems in the park need to be considered in planning and management.2. Multistakeholder InvolvementParticipation in spheres of influence beyond the boundaries of national parkswill enable the Canadian Parks Service to exchange information on issueswhich impact the integrity of parks/sites and related ecosystems. Integrated12programs of cooperative ecosystem-based management amongst parkmanagers and their neighbours are crucial to protect park ecosystems,maintain regional biodiversity and ultimately sustain ecosystems (CanadianParks Service, 1992, p.2). Other players which need to be involved in areamanagement may include governments, private industry, adjacent landmanagement agencies and local residents.3. A Holistic, Ecosystem PerspectiveEcosystem-based management requires a broad, holistic perspective whichconsiders a variety of integrated elements and activities constituting theecosystem. These include ecological resources and processes, heritageresources and socio-economic activities within and around parks. It is criticalthat managers try to determine the causes of ecosystem perturbation ratherthan merely treating symptoms on a single issue basis.4. Comprehensive Information for Decision-makingSound information which reflects the specific goals and objectives associatedwith planning issues was seen as a necessary component for environmentallywise decision-making. Improved environmental science and state-of-the-artenvironmental reporting systems were advocated as positive means forgaining information in Canada's Green Plan (Government of Canada, 1990).The identification and monitoring of indicators representing an area'secosystems has been promoted as a method for gaining specific informationon the health of an ecosystem (Canadian Parks Service, June 1992;Government of Canada, 1990; Stankey et al., 1985). The CPS stated that theywill err on the side of protection where there may not be enough informationfor decision-making (Canadian Parks Service, 1992).135. Adaptive ManagementAdaptive management is a process whereby management actions based oninformation and predictions are monitored and adjusted to meet theobjectives (Holling, 1978; White et al., 1992). The concept accepts that thecomplexity of ecosystems cannot be fully understood in management efforts.Active adaptive management maximizes learning possibilities whileminimizing the risk of making irreversible management decisions whichmay significantly impact ecosystems (Holling, 1978; Canadian Parks Service,June, 1992).6. Environmental StewardshipA significant aspect of integrated ecosystem management relates to the valuesand actions of individuals engaged in the landscape. Environmentalstewardship involves the development of visitor attitudes and actions whichwork towards caring for resources and facilitating sustainable developmentGovernment of Canada, 1990). It may be operationalized through policy,planning and day-to-day operations.2.2 CARRYING CAPACITY MANAGEMENT2.2.1 A Definition of Carrying CapacityThe concept of carrying capacity emerged within population biologywhere the complex relationship between habitat and the population of aspecies was analysed to determine a maximum, stable population size for aspecific area. As an ecological model, carrying capacity has its strongestempirical support in understanding domestic animal production in open14range grazing (Heady, 1975 in Becker et al., 1984). Carrying capacity is said tobe reached when an ecosystem can no longer sustainably support thepopulation under examination. Ultimately, carrying capacity is a number ofindividuals or groups expressed in relationship to time and area dimensions(Shelby and Heberlein, 1984).2.2.2 Recreation Carrying CapacityThe notion of trying to determine an appropriate population size orlevel of use in a particular environment has had merit in other disciplinesincluding recreation management in wilderness settings. The concept of arecreation carrying capacity suggests that an optimal level of visitor use can bedetermined for a specific area (Williams and Gill, 1991). Carrying capacity isdefined as the level of use beyond which impacts exceed acceptable levelsspecified by evaluative standards (Shelby and Heberlein, 1984). It assumes afixed and known relationship between use level and impacts (Williams andGill, 1991). Recreational carrying capacity determinations have focused on avariety of different parameters.Ecological Carrying Capacity examines how use levels affect thebiophysical components of the ecosystem while de-emphasizing the socialvalues associated with impacts (Shelby et al., 1984). Physical Carrying Capacityis based on the space available in a particular setting, an example being themaximum number of persons that could occupy a hot spring. It may bealtered by developing strategies for a more efficient use of space (Shelby et al.,1984, Williams, 1986). Facility capacity involves man-made improvementsintended to handle visitor needs such as parking lots, boat ramps, developed1 5campgrounds and rest rooms. It is dependent upon development parameters(Shelby et al., 1984).Early approaches to estimating carrying capacity sought to define amaximum number of users beyond which predetermined physical levels ofimpact for an area (e.g. trampling, loss of vegetation, lack of space) could notbe exceeded. While providing specific estimates of carrying capacity, numbersfrequently failed to account for many of the important qualitative featuressuch as the perception of crowding or noise and the impact of other visitoractivities which are associateed with individuals' recreation experiences(Williams and Gill, 1991).2.2.3 Limitations of Carrying Capacity DeterminationThe promise of a determinable carrying capacity is appealing for publicmanagers such as the CPS who are faced with the often contradictory mandateof preserving natural landscapes while maintaining public access (Becker etal., 1984, p. 478). There is however, no single recreational carrying capacityinherent to any given area (Becker et al., 1984; Williams and Gill, 1991).The relationship between the level of use and impacts to the ecosystemand visitor experiences is not linear or predictable. The setting, the type andtiming of activities, human values and management parameters all influencecarrying capacity, which is a subjective determination. "Recreational carryingcapacity standards may have more to do with coinciding lines of ideologyheld by the managers and researchers than by empirical data" (Burch, 1981 inBecker et al, 1984).1 6None-the-less, aspects of recreational carrying capacity approaches mayprovide managers with useful frameworks for defining acceptable limits,monitoring the ecosystem and developing management strategies so thatdesired social and ecological conditions are achieved for an area . These toolswould be particularly useful for planning and facilitating integratedecosystem management in the Minnewanka Area where a high level of useoccurs within a significant and scarce ecoregion of BNP. An examination ofthe conceptual framework for carrying capacity determination and a review ofpertinent approaches will be used to establish normative criteria forevaluating the Minnewanka Area Plan within the thesis.2.2.4 Conceptual framework for Carrying Capacity DeterminationA conceptual framework for carrying capacity determination appears inFigure 2.1. According to this model, the determination of carrying capacityrequires both a descriptive component and an evaluative phase (Shelby andHeberlein, 1984). The descriptive phase is objective, involving an inventoryof the existing state of the relative biophysical, social and management impactparameters of the ecosystem. Impact parameters describe how recreation useaffects the ecosystem, while management parameters define factors which canbe directly manipulated by managers (Kuss et al., 1990; Shelby and Heberlein,1984).The evaluative phase of carrying capacity determination requires thedefinition of an acceptable level of impact or point at which capacity isreached (i.e. the determination of "damage" to an ecosystem due to visitorimpacts depends on what is meant by the term "damage"). Determination ofan appropriate capacity is influenced by many factors but is ultimately basedFigure 2.1 Conceptual Framework for Carrying Capacity Determination(source: Shelby and Heberlein, 1984)18on the values and judgement of managers and stakeholders involved indecision-making. It is this aspect which makes carrying capacitydetermination subjective and contentious in nature, thereby limiting anychance of determining a single "magic" number to represent carrying capacity(Becker et al., 1984).2.2.5 Approaches to Determining Recreational Carrying Capacity inWilderness Settings2.2.5.1 Social Carrying Capacity DeterminationShelby and Heberlein noted that resource managers have tended tooveremphasize the importance of biological capacity in the past whiledisregarding the social implications of carrying capacity management. Limitsmay be set on the basis of ecosystem impacts that are demonstrable but may beinsignificant from the point of view of most visitors (Shelby and Heberlein,1984). For example, the social impacts of garbage and worn-down campsitesmay affect social capacity more than ecological capacity. Managers'perceptions of what constitutes an impact may differ significantly (generallymore conservative) from users' perceptions (Environment Canada, ParksService, 1991).Social carrying capacity is reached when the level of use exceedsacceptable conditions and visitor experiences are impacted (Shelby andHeberlein, 1984). Acceptable conditions are determined through a subjectiveevaluation which is dependant on values. Impact parameters include thenumber, type and location of encounters with other human groups, and theway these encounters affect the recreation experience.1 9The determination of social carrying capacity is dependant on a knownrelationship between use levels or other management parameters andexperience parameters, agreement among relevant groups about the type ofrecreational experience to be provided and the acceptable levels of impactparameters (Shelby and Heberlein, 1984).The definition of acceptable levels and types of use according to a socialcarrying capacity approach is seen as difficult because of the complexrelationship between use and visitor experience. Several tactics for definingsocial carrying capacity were identified in the literature reviewed. Measuresof visitor satisfaction or perceived crowding have been used although Shelbyand Heberlein noted that this approach tended to confuse the descriptive andevaluative phases of carrying capacity determination (1984). The preferencesof individuals under a specified set of conditions could be measured to definestandard capacities. Appropriate conditions could also be determinedthrough a participatory process involving stakeholders, managers and otherinterested parties (Becker et al., 1984). Becker et al. advocated that decision-making occur regionally and not through managers who were removed fromthe site (1984).Assessment of Social Carrying Capacity Determination/ Application to theMinnewanka Area PlanThe social carrying capacity approach emphasizes the role of socialvalues in assessing environmental impacts. Highly specific objectives aboutthe type of experience to be provided and the level of acceptable experienceimpacts are essential to this approach and would be useful in theMinnewanka area planning exercise.20This approach reflects the need to involve stakeholders in decision-making as a means of attaining and assessing representative values andagreeing upon acceptable standards for management. Further, the point ofemphasizing regionally based decision-making has merit. Because carryingcapacity determination is ultimately subjective, adequate user involvementwould enhance the representativeness of decision-making.2.2.5.2 The Limits of Acceptable Change Approach (LAC)The LAC approach was developed by wilderness recreation managersand academics as an alternative approach to trying to determine an empiricalcarrying capacity and in response to manager's needs for a logical, step-by-stepapproach to wilderness recreation management (Stankey et al., 1985;Williams and Gill, 1991; Krys, 1992). LAC is based on the premise that therelationship between visitor activities and impacts is not linear and thatsocial and environmental change is a natural, inevitable consequence ofrecreational use. The approach focuses on achieving desired conditions ratherthan emphasizing how much use can be tolerated in an area (Stankey et al.,1985).Although technical information and science remain an important partof the process, LAC determines acceptable change based on judgement whichis defined explicitly through quantitative standards. A system of selecting andmonitoring indicators is used to assess the existing state of ecosystems and theeffect of management strategies. Strategies for managing change aredetermined, and procedures for monitoring and evaluating managementperformance are established. In summary, the process requires deciding whatkind of social and ecological conditions are acceptable through a21representative process, then prescribing management actions to protect orachieve those conditions.The LAC approach is based on four main actions (Adapted from Stankey etal., 1985):1.the specification of acceptable and achievable ecological and socialconditions, defined by a series of measurable parameters;2. an analysis of the relationship between existing conditions and thosejudged acceptable;3. identification of management actions necessary to achieve acceptableconditions;4. a program for monitoring and evaluating the effectiveness ofmanagement.This approach has been used primarily in wilderness settings includingthe Bob Marshall Wilderness area in Montana, Sequoia and Kings CanyonNational Parks in the U.S. (Stankey et al., 1984). Early reports on itseffectiveness have been favourable (Krys, 1992). LAC is currently beingimplemented in the Yoho Valley area of Yoho National Park in BritishColumbia as a pilot project for the Canadian Parks Service. LAC has not beentraditionally applied to high use areas such as the Minnewanka region ofBanff National Park.Examples of possible indicators typical to this approach are identified inFigure 2.2. The nine-step approach which forms the LAC approach ispresented in Figure 2.3.2 2Figure 2.2 Examples of Possible Indicators for Measuring Ecological and SocialImpacts (Adapted from Williams and Gill, 1991, p.14)Physical Impacts Biological Impacts Social Impacts- soil compaction (e.g. bulk - ground cover density - number of visitors indensity) - percent loss of ground cover area/day by mode of- soil productivity (e.g. - plant species composition transportationamount of litter and duff) - plant species diversity- area of bare ground - percentage of introduced - number of encounters/day:- visible erosion plant species - with other groups- area of campsites - selected plant species vigour - with other individuals- area of developed facilities - exposed tree roots - by mode of transportation- area of disturbed sites - abundance of specific - by location of encounter- number of visitor trails wildlife species- wildlife reproduction success - visitor perception of impacton the environment- visitor satisfaction- visitor perception ofcrowding- number of visitor complaints23Figure 2.3 Steps Involved in the Limits of Acceptable Change (LAC)Management Approach (source: Stankey et al. 1985)1. Identification of Area Concerns and Issues• Identification of social and ecological issues through an analysis of the area, political,institutional and economic constraints and the input of affected parties2. Definition and Description of Opportunity Classes• Definition of opportunity classes providing a qualitative description of the kinds ofresource, social and managerial conditions acceptable within discreet areas of the planningregion3. Selection of Indicators of Resource and Social Conditions• Selection of indicators representing the social and ecological conditions relative tomanagement objectives• Assessment of measures for indicators indicators4. Inventory of Existing Resource and Social Conditions• Description of the state of existing resource and social conditions through measuringindicators5. Specification of Standards for Indicators for Each Opportunity Class• Establishment of specific standards which define the acceptable and appropriateconditions for each indicator in each opportunity class through a rationale process that issubject to public and interdisciplinary input6. Identification of Alternative Opportunity Class Allocations Reflecting Area Issues andConcerns and Existing Resource and Social Conditions• Development of options of different opportunity class allocations to achieve the desiredconditions for the area• Should ideally involve public and interdisciplinary input7. Identification of Management Actions for Each Alternative• Analysis of the existing and desired conditions to assess management options• Proposal and evaluation of management actions for each opportunity class configuration8. Evaluation and Selection of a Preferred Alternative• Finalization of opportunity class allocations and a specific management program throughfurther evaluation and assessment• Selection of preferred management alternatives through a consensus approach.9. Implementation and Monitoring of Management Actions and Conditions• Implementation and monitoring of preferred management strategy• Regular monitoring of indicators to provide feedback on the state of the ecosystem and theeffectiveness of management strategies• Adaptation of management efforts to achieve the desired social and ecological conditionsfor the area24Assessment of the LAC Process/ Application to the Minnewanka Area PlanAn LAC approach was actually adopted in the Minnewanka Area Planas the principle recommendation guiding all management strategies. Theapproach's essential steps of defining acceptable conditions, analysing therelationship between existing and desired conditions, defining managementstrategies to achieve desired conditions and monitoring and adaptingmanagement strategies present a useful framework for managing social andecological systems holistically.Defining specific, desired social and ecological conditions through aparticipatory process can provide a clear, agreed-upon vision for an areaagainst which existing conditions may be measured (Stankey et al., 1985;Personal communication, Otton, 1992; Environment Canada, Canadian ParksService, June, 1992).The systematic selection and monitoring indicators is seen as a highlyuseful process for describing and assessing the state of the ecosystem andproviding insight to develop effective management strategies (Governmentof Canada, 1990; Canadian Parks Service, April, 1990; Environment Canada,Canadian Parks Service, June, 1990; City of Vancouver, April 1993; City ofVancouver, May, 1992). Representative indicators may however, be difficultto determine due to the inherent complexity of ecosystems. Monitoring maybe constrained due to time and cost limitations (Krys, 1992).Comparing the existing state of an ecosystem with the desiredconditions for the area and analysing reasons for discrepancies between theseis an effective approach for determining the causes of ecosystem disorders.25Finally, on-going adaptive management is consistent with the principles ofintegrated ecosystem management identified earlier in this chapter, andprovides a wise approach to management which avoids the risk ofimplementing irreversible actions.The conceptual framework of the LAC approach therefore hasapplication to planning in the Minnewanka area. The specific, nine-stepplanning approach is more complex and may be difficult for CPS staff toimplement within existing management frameworks and budgets.2.2.5.3 Recreation Opportunity Spectrum (ROS) ApproachROS is essentially a land use zoning system which incorporates socialcarrying capacity considerations (Brown et al., 1978 in Williams and Gill,1991). The basic assumption underlying ROS is that the provision of adiverse set or range of opportunities is a useful means of providing for visitorneeds while meeting ecosystem management goals (Driver et al., 1987). Thisapproach attempts to facilitate quality experiences for a wide segment of thepublic (Clark and Stankey, 1979).Management zones are determined by assessing specific factors such asthe sensitivity and significance of resources, the type of opportunities to beprovided, area access, the likelihood of human contact and the types ofmanagement activities (Driver et al., 1987). It is within these managementguidelines that carrying capacity strategies are incorporated into the process.Each zone brings with it its own peculiar carrying capacity management2 6requirements based on consistent social and ecological criteria (Williams andGill, 1991; Driver et al., 1987).The CPS land use zoning system is based upon the ROS approach. Fivezones which each possess a different land-use and management strategy havebeen designated to achieve the mandate and goals of BNP. Like the ROSmodel, the CPS's zones range along a spectrum from pristine to developedconditions and include: Zone I- Special Preservation, Zone II- Wilderness,Zone III- Natural Environment, Zone IV- Outdoor Recreation, Zone V- ParkServices. Although ecosystem sensitivity and significance is supposedly themost influential determinant of zoning, visitor needs and facilities, theexisting level of development and adjacent land-uses have significantlyinfluenced zoning within BNP.Assessment of the ROS Approach / Application to the Minnewanka AreaPlanThe ROS approach integrates social and ecological parameters within azoning system which supports an integrated management approach. Bynature, the approach demands the measurement of existing social andecological conditions and an assessment of potential visitor impacts.Therefore, it facilitates the collection of valuable baseline information forfuture monitoring and the detection of change in the ecosystem. ROS focuseson managing a variety of parameters such as access, density and facilitiesrather than only the level of visitor use, reflecting the complexity of visitorimpacts.An inherent weakness in the ROS approach is that managing towardsthe mean by providing a spectrum of opportunities can miss the mark2 7entirely in terms of providing positive experiences or protecting ecologicalintegrity. The level of impact defined as "damage" in one area may be quitedifferent than that in the same area managed to provide differentopportunities. Within this context, damage is dependant on the type ofopportunities supported rather than an absolute measure (Clarke andStankey, 1979). In general, recreationist's tolerance for impacts (social,ecological or managerial) are greater in zones which have been designated asmodern or developed. This was true in the Minnewanka area which is aZone IV "Outdoor Recreation" area permitting extensive visitor use, facilitiesand services. Visitor perceptions of the level of human impact wassignificantly less than that of CPS managers and stakeholders (EnvironmentCanada, Canadian Parks Service, 1991; input from planning team andstakeholder workshops).2.2.5.4 The Visitor Impact Management (VIM) ApproachThe Visitor Impact Management (VIM) approach has been usedprimarily in backcountry recreational settings. It is highly similar to the LACframework involving an eight-step sequence of tasks designed to facilitate theidentification of problem conditions (or unacceptable impacts), thedetermination of potential causal factors affecting the occurrence and severityof unacceptable impacts, and the selection of potential management strategiesfor ameliorating the unacceptable conditions. The VIM model is representedin Figure 2.4.4. Selection of Standards for KeyIndicators• Restatement of management objectivesin terms of desired conditions forselected impact indicators• Product: Quantitative statements ofdesired conditions• e.g. no more than 30% of vegetation lostat specified site3. Selection of Key Impact Indicators• Identify measurable social andecological variables. Select forexamination those most pertinent toarea management objectives• Product: List of indicators and units ofmeasurement• e.g. loss of vegetation/ % ground cover1. Preassessment Data Base Review• Review of legislative and policydirection, previous research and areadata base.• Product: Summary of existing situation2. Review Management Objectives• Review existing objectives forconsistency with legislative mandateand policy direction. Specify visitorexperience and resource managementobjectives• e.g. maintain natural vegetation inriparian zones28Figure 2.4 Steps in Visitor Impact Management Planning Process(source: Graefe et a1.,1985)5. Comparison of Standards and ExistingConditions• Field assessment of social andecological impact indicators.• Product: Determination of consistency ordiscrepancy with selected standards Discrepancy6. Identify Probable Causes of Impacts• Examine use patterns and otherpotential factors affecting occurrenceand severity of unacceptable impacts.• Product: Description of causal factors formanagement attention7. Identify Management Strategies• Examine full range of direct and indirectmanagement strategies dealing withprobable causes of visitor impacts.• Product: Matrix of alternativemanagement strategies^I--No DiscrepancyLi 8. Implementation2 9The VIM process builds upon the notion that effective managementinvolves both scientific and judgmental considerations and that a systematic,logical process that incorporates the best available information and scientificunderstanding will lead to informed and defensible management decisions(Shelby and Heberlein, 1984; Becker et al., 1984; Graefe et al., 1985). Theapproach emphasizes that visitor impacts are complex, rarely being the directresult of user impact density and that establishing capacities and limits to usemay do little to reduce the impact problems that they were intended to solve(Graefe et al., 1990 and Kuss et al., 1990 in Williams and Gill, 1991, p.13).Assessment of VIM / Application to Minnewanka Area PlanThe approach of specifying objectives, monitoring indicators,comparing the existing conditions to the desired vision and assessing reasonsfor discrepancies was identified as a useful tactic in the LAC assessment.Although the VIM approach reflects the key principles of LAC, it appears to bea less complex process(i.e. it doesn't involve the definition of opportunityclasses) which may be implemented on an issue-by-issue basis. These factorsallowed the VIM approach to be more easily integrated into existingmanagement frameworks.An example of VIM's simplicity and effectiveness was expressedthrough its application at the Icewater Springs shelter site in SmokyMountains National Park (Graefe et al., 1985). In this case study, it wasrealized that management goals and objectives for national park areas areoften general, so input from managers and stakeholders facilitated theclarification of objectives and guided the process. The selection andmonitoring of indicators was incorporated into the existing impact30assessment framework. A matrix was devised to assess the social, ecologicaland economic implications of proposed strategies and revealed a range ofreasonable management options (Graefe et al. 1985, p. 438).In summary, the VIM approach represents a similar but simplerprocess than LAC and has application to the Minnewanka area planningproject.2.3 NORMATIVE CRITERIA OF EFFECTIVE RECREATIONAL CARRYINGCAPACITY MANAGEMENT APPROACHES FOR THE EVALUATIONOF THE MINNEWANKA AREA PLANThe following six normative criteria representing an effectiverecreational carrying capacity management approach were determinedthrough the literature reviewed. The Minnewanka Area Plan will beevaluated according to these and additional criteria (see section 2.5 of thethesis) which together, represent an ideal planning approach based on theconcept of integrated ecosystem management.1. Specific objectives which describe the desired social and ecologicalconditions for the areaClearly defined, specific objectives within the plan provide a basis by whichmanagement strategies and the results of monitoring may be evaluated.Objectives should ideally describe the type of visitor experiences to beprovided as well as the ecosystem conditions and management strategieswhich are seen as acceptable in the area. Planning objectives should bedetermined through an open, representative process and be supported bystakeholders.31The plan may be evaluated by the definition and level of specificity ofobjectives and participants' support for the objectives.2. A measure of the existing social and ecological conditions in the areaAn accurate measure of the existing social and ecological conditions in theplanning area is required to assess the relative health of the area in light ofthe desired ecosystem conditions. The existing state of the ecosystem may bemeasured by determining and monitoring specific indicators. Indicatorsshould represent the social and ecological conditions in the area and relate tothe objectives of the project.The plan may be evaluated by the inclusion of precise measures of the socialand ecological conditions in the planning area. This information shouldrelate to the objectives identified in the plan.3. A comparison and analysis between existing and desired conditionsA comparison and analysis between the existing and desired social andecological conditions provides an effective approach for detecting specificproblems within the planning area relative to the management objectives(Stankey et al., 1985). A clear understanding of planning issues is essential todevising effective management strategies.The plan may be assessed by the provision of a comparison and analysisbetween the existing and desired conditions and a clear understanding ofecosystem problems associated with planning.324. Formulation and assessment of management strategies specific to theplanning problemsManagement strategies proposed in the plan should specifically address thecausal factors identified through the above analysis (3) and work towardsachieving the desired conditions in the area. Management strategies aremore likely to be implemented if they are supported within existingframeworks and plans (Williams and Gill, 1991).The plan may be evaluated by the specificity with which proposedmanagement strategies address the defined issues as well as theircompatibility with existing management frameworks.5. Plans for implementing and monitoring management strategiesProposed management strategies should be capable of being implementedwithin the CPS's framework in BNP. The plan should include a detailedimplementation strategy which defines who will implement the proposedactions and how implementation shall occur. It should also considereconomic feasibility and describe how the plan's implementation will bemonitored while identifying what will be monitored.The plan may be assessed by the inclusion of an implementation strategywhich fulfills the above criteria.6. Provision for interdisciplinary input, meaningful stakeholder and publicinvolvement at all levels in the processThe plan should reflect the meaningful input of interdisciplinary managers,stakeholders and interested members of the public. Such input is necessaryfor gaining comprehensive social and ecological information about the33existing and desired conditions of the area and developing acceptablestrategies for attaining these conditions. Meaningful, representative input isnecessary at all of stages in the planning process.The provision of representative input was identified as a principle forintegrated ecosystem management earlier in the thesis (see section 2.1.3). Amore complete review and discussion of this aspect of the planning approachappears in the following section.2.4 PUBLIC INVOLVEMENT AS A MEANS TOWARDS INTEGRATEDECOSYSTEM MANAGEMENTMeaningful public involvement is necessary if decision-making inresource management is to adequately consider social values as part ofecological systems. Participation can facilitate the acquisition and sharing ofcomprehensive information about the social, ecological and economicconditions of the ecosystem and lead to better informed decisions whileincreasing the accountability of decision-makers (Brenneis and M'Gonigle,1992; Duffy, 1991; CORE, 1992). Other benefits include joint learning,discovering new solutions, improving decision-making processes andmobilizing a more aware society (Government of Canada, 1990; Arnstein,1969). Canada's Green Plan advocates the establishment of partnerships fordecision-making and the management of ecosystems. The Canadian ParksService's Western Region Strategic Plan further supports partnerships as ameans of implementing the CPS's mandate and working towards sustainabledevelopment.3 4The purpose of this section of the thesis is to define criteria that reflecteffective and meaningful public participation processes within the context ofthe case study. These normative criteria will be used to evaluate theMinnewanka Area Plan. Criteria were determined through a selectivereview and assessment of literature as it was not within the scope of thethesis to focus on public participation processes. Rather, meaningfulstakeholder involvement is perceived as a necessary component in integratedecosystem management.2.4.1 Levels of Public ParticipationThere are many levels of public involvement which range from tokencontributions to levels where stakeholders are empowered and controldecision-making. Arnstein defined typologies of public participation in herclassic Ladder of Public Participation which is represented in Figure 2.5 (1969).Similar interpretations of levels of participation appeared in the literaturereviewed (e.g. Parenteau, 1988; Sewell and Phillips, 1979; Brenneis andM'Gonigle, 1992). These models are based on the relationship betweenauthorities ("powerholders") and stakeholders ("have nots") in decision-making. As participation becomes more meaningful, stakeholders areempowered from a level of non-participation to one which influencesdecision-making (Brenneis and M'Gonigle, 1992).Figure 2.5 A Ladder of Citizen Participation (source: Arnstein, 1969)8 Citizen Control7 Delegated Power —Degrees of Citizen Power6 Partnership •••■11.5 Placation4 Consultation —Degrees of Tokenism3 Informing2 Therapy Nonparticipation1 ManipulationManipulation (1) and therapy (2) at the lower rungs of Arnstein'sladder are contrived, non-participatory processes where the powerholders tryto educate stakeholders. Informing (3) and consultation (4) are token levelswhere stakeholders hear and have a voice but their input does nothing toinfluence decision-making. In the first four levels, there is no follow-through or power associated with stakeholder input (Arnstein, 1969).Placation (5) is simply a higher level of tokenism where stakeholders advisebut the powerholders continue to decide. It was noted that the majority ofland-use decision-making processes have not exceeded this level ofparticipation in the past (Arnstein, 1969; CORE, 1992).True levels of public participation begin at level 6, where partnershipsenable stakeholders to negotiate and engage in trade-offs and share indecision-making (Brenneis and M'Gonigle, 1992). Delegated Power (7) andcitizen control (8) are levels where stakeholders maintain the majority ofdecision-making power or possess full managerial rights.353 6As inferred in this model, decisions made through shared decision-making processes and partnerships are likely more representative andeffective. Such decisions in land use and resource issues are ultimatelyperceived as less contentious (Duffy, 1991; Gunton and Vertinsky, 1990). TheBritish Columbia Commission on Resources and Environment (CORE),which acts as an independent body that has been mandated by the Province toadvise Cabinet on land use and related resource and environmentalmanagement decisions, advocates a shared decision-making process. Thisconcept could have application to decision-making in national parks and inplanning in the Minnewanka area. A definition of shared decision-makingfollows (CORE, 1992, p.25):Shared decision-making means that on a certain set of issues for adefined period of time, those with authority to make a decision andthose who will be affected by that decision are empowered to jointlyseek an outcome that accommodates rather than compromises theinterests of all concerned^ The cornerstone of a shared decision-making process is a cooperative problem-solving approach.Shared decision-making is based on reaching consensus within a groupof decision-makers. All parties involved may not agree with everyaspect, but taken as a whole, a decision based on consensus satisfies themajor interests and concerns of each party to the extent that they can allsupport it.2.5 NORMATIVE CRITERIA OF EFFECTIVE PUBLIC PARTICIPATIONPROCESSES FOR THE EVALUATION OF THE MINNEWANKA AREAPLANThe evaluative criteria which were determined through the literaturereviewed are based on meaningful stakeholder involvement processes aswell as the outcome of decisions and the attitudes of participants. TheMinnewanka Area Plan will be evaluated according to these criteria inChapter 5.0 of the thesis.3 72.5.1 Components of Fair and Effective ProcessesThe following components are needed to facilitate fair and effectivepublic participation processes (Duffy, 1991; Brenneis and M'Gonigle, 1992;Gunton and Vertinsky, 1990; Sewell and Phillips, 1979; Parenteau, 1988). Thisinformation has been adapted to reflect national park planning and theconditions of the Minnewanka area case study.1. The provision of clear objectives and priorities of the planning andstakeholder involvement processInformation providing the objectives and priorities of the planning and thestakeholder involvement processes should be provided to all participants in adocumented form before the process begins. The accountability and mandateof decision makers should be defined within this information.The provision of clear objectives of the planning process helps participants toprepare for the process and discern whether their involvement is in fact,appropriate. It provides participants with an objective standard to guageperformance by and serves to improve the efficiency of the process.2. Representative involvementThe determination of who should participate in a land-use and resourcedecisions is often complex. The "public" consists of those who see themselvesas significantly affected and who have a demonstrable interest in decisions(Brenneis and M'Gonigle, 1992; Gunton and Vertinsky, 1990; Parenteau, 1988).Like the evaluation of most aspects of public participation, an assessment ofrepresentative participation is subjective. The following questions may be38applied to the plan to determine whether stakeholder involvement isrepresentative:• Are all organizations and agencies who are involved in the planning arearepresented?• Do participants feel that stakeholder involvement is representative?• Is decision-making hindered by the lack of information or input associatedwith a particular aspect of the project?• Are efforts being made to gain input at different spheres of influence for thearea? (i.e. local, regional and national levels?)3. Comprehensive involvement opportunitiesThe key to success in shared decision-making lies in structuring the process sothat it involves the participants in the design and development of the processitself as well as in the negotiation of the substantive issues (CORE, 1992).Involvement should not be restricted to reacting to proposals or providinginput which is not considered in decision-making. Participants need to beinvolved from the initial assessment of the problem and design of theplanning approach through to the decision-making, implementation andmonitoring of management strategies (CORE, 1992, p.25). Rarely areparticipants involved in the "planning of planning," yet insight about theneeds, and attitudes of stakeholders is invaluable to the design of a successfulparticipation process. A built-in process of on-going evaluation is desirable sothat changes can be made in the planning process to meet the immediateneeds of stakeholders and to better reflect issues as they evolve (Sewell andPhillips, 1979).Different participation processes may be needed to involve the differentpublics associated with a planning issue. Smith (1982) identified that a3 9combination of an independent advisory board and public workshops was themost effective way to achieve comprehensive participation. Brenneis andM'Gonigle (1992) supported the on-going participation of an advisory boardor team as well as input from a wider sphere of public participants.Comprehensive involvement may be assessed by the inclusion of early andthorough participation of stakeholders in all stages of a decision-makingprocess.4. Timely access to informationStakeholders need timely access to information used in the decision-makingprocess. Information regarding policy, strategic guidelines, specific resources,economics, the organization and other plans and processes influencedecisions made by the CPS in BNP. Relevant information should be madeavailable to participants in advance of the decision-making process andshould be provided in an easily accessible form such as a summary orbackground to the planning project. Information sharing helps to bringparticipants up to the same level of awareness as the principal decision-makers (the CPS), thereby improving the distribution of power andenhancing the efficiency of decision-making processes. Information-sharingbuilds trust between decision-makers (Duffy, 1991).5. Adequate resources to participateResources which may be needed to participate in decision-making processesinclude time, money and expertise. In area planning in BNP, time may bemore of a limiting resource to participation than finances. Distance may be alimiting factor for stakeholders who reside outside the area. These40constraints should be taken into account in designing decision-makingprocesses. A variety of strategies such as one-on-one meetings or writtenfeedback may be required to gain input from all stakeholders interested inparticipating.6. Written reasons for decisionsDecision-makers should be obligated to provide stakeholders with a writtenstatement summarizing how key decisions were reached and how thevarious concerns expressed by stakeholders were taken into account. Writtenrecords and responses enable stakeholders to guage the performance ofdecision-makers and facilitates a more credible and legitimate planningprocess (Duffy, 1991; Brenneis and M'Gonigle, 1992). The provision of writtenjustification for decisions, including criteria upon which decisions are made,provides a valuable source of information for all interested parties.Continuous communication builds trust between stakeholders and decision-makers.Performance may be assessed by whether stakeholders were provided withwritten reasons for decisions.7. Appeal mechanisms/ conflict resolutionAlthough a formal appeal process may not be necessary for area planning innational parks, the provision of a clearly defined process which stakeholderscan consult if they disagree with decisions is desirable. The lack of any form ofappeal mechanism can leave stakeholders powerless. Ideally, an appealmechanism engages a third unbiased party (Duffy, 1991). In national parks41however, the CPS must legally make decisions according to its mandate andcannot divest this responsibility.Performance may be measured by the provision of an independent bodywhich can offer assistance in decision-making.8. Consistent objectives within the managing organizationDiscretion is often required in decision-making in national parks as land-usedecisions are complex and are rarely a simple reflection of the national parkmandate (Canadian Parks Service, June, 1992; Environment Canada,Canadian Parks Service, Nov., 1988). The basis for discretion should be clearand consistent so that the underlying rationale for decisions is apparent.These criteria are necessary for building trust with stakeholders.Consistency is vested in clear objectives which may be referred to in decision-making.9. Communication of the results of plan implementation and monitoringThe results of implementing and monitoring the Minnewanka Area Planshould be communicated to stakeholders on an on-going basis. This actionensures the continued involvement of stakeholders beyond the initialdecision-making process. It may also facilitate learning and improve theeffectiveness of future decisions and adaptive management efforts.Performance may be assessed by whether the results of monitoring arecommunicated to participants on an on-going basis.422.5.2 Evaluating the Outcomes of Decision-Making Processes and theAttitudes of ParticipantsEvaluative criteria for successful public participation processes areunique in each situation and dependent on the level of participation as wellas conditions associated with the plan. The following measures taken fromSewell and Phillips (1979) are used to evaluate the outcomes of decision-making processes and the attitudes of participants. These criteria apply toconsultation (or "placation" on Arnstein's ladder) and partnership levels ofparticipation which reflect the desired levels of participation according to theCanadian Parks Service's goals (Government of Canada, 1990; EnvironmentCanada, Canadian Parks Service, June, 1990). It is apparent that although theCPS advocates partnerships in implementing its mandate, the reality is thatthe CPS ultimately decides in decision-making processes.Within the following evaluative framework, a process which hasgenerated meaningful decisions which stakeholders support and have beendetermined through a comprehensive and positive experience, is generallyjudged as successful. Learning or growth within participants as well as a highdegree of influence in decisions suggests greater levels of participation.Measures for Evaluating the Outcomes of Decision-Making Processes andStakeholder Attitudes (Adapted from Sewell and Phillips, 1979)1. Frequency of contact between stakeholders and decision-makers measuredquantitatively by numbers of meetings, calls, correspondence, workshopsetc.2 The degree to which public participants felt they had a voice inparticipation opportunities.3. The degree to which public participants actually influenced the decision-making process.4. The level of output of the consultation process.5. The extent to which polarization of public opinion was prevented.6. Acceptance of final decisions7. Frequency of examples given which indicate changed self-perception ofcommittee representatives (e.g. new leaders in groups, previouslyinarticulate members speaking out, etc.)434 4CHAPTER III.^BACKGROUND TO THE MINNEWANKA AREA PLANThe purpose of this chapter is to highlight the background whichinfluenced decision-making in the Minnewanka Area Plan. Key policies andmanagement directions are identified and important information regardingecological, social and cultural resources is summarized. Further backgroundinformation is available in A Background to the Minnewanka Area Plan -draft (Environment Canada, Canadian Parks Service, April, 1993) and theMinnewanka Area Plan (Environment Canada, Canadian Parks Service,April, 1993).3.1 OVERVIEWThe Lake Minnewanka area is one of Banff National Park's best knownand busiest locations. In the 1991 summer season (July and August), the areawas visited by over 146,000 people undertaking a broad range of activitiesincluding sightseeing, hiking, camping, bicycling, scuba diving, horse riding,picnicking, boating, fishing and sunbathing (Environment Canada, ParksService, 1991, p.1). The area also provides access to the backcountry at twomajor trailheads. In the winter, it is popular for sightseeing, cross-countryskiing and skating. The level of use and range of activities are comparable towhat may be found in many national or provincial parks.The area contains a portion of the park's scarce Montane ecoregion, ahighly significant habitat type important to many wildlife speciescharacteristic of the Bow Valley. A number of environmentally important,rare and sensitive ecological resources and features occur in the area as well as45significant cultural sites including abandoned mines at Bankhead andAnthracite and submerged resources in Lake Minnewanka. The Minnewankaarea has experienced extensive human influences in the last century as aresult of coal mining, hydro electric development, gravel extraction, roadconstruction and the creation of recreational facilities. The area's landscape isa testimony which reflects changes in resource use and management in thedevelopment of national park policy.3.1.1 The Need for an Area PlanThe development of facilities, services and programs in theMinnewanka area has generally proceeded in a piecemeal fashion, withoutconsideration of the overall visitor experience or the larger ecosystem(Environment Canada, Canadian Parks Service, June, 1992, Terms ofReference). Overcrowding is a concern at some times of the year and there areseveral outstanding resource management issues. Former extractiveactivities which are no longer compatible with national park ideals haveimpacted the area's landscape. There is a lack of visitor orientation,information and interpretation facilities in the area (Personalcommunications during planning team and stakeholder workshops, 1992).The Banff National Park Management Plan, an overall strategy formanaging ecosystems and human activities in the Park, provides aframework for further detailed planning. An area plan for the LakeMinnewanka Area is called for in the Banff Management Plan in recognitionof the concerns expressed above (Environment Canada, Canadian ParksService, Nov., 1988). Area plans are essentially a re-application of the parkmanagement planning process to specific parts of the park, providing a46comprehensive strategy for area protection, management, development andvisitor use.3.1.2 The Planning AreaThe Minnewanka area is located in the region between the easternboundary of Banff National Park north of the Trans Canada highway to thefirst turn-off along the highway for the Town of Banff . The planning areaencompasses the Minnewanka Loop Road, Johnson Lake, Two Jack Lake andLake Minnewanka to the eastern boundary of the Park at Ghost Lakes (seeFigure 3.1). This area contains extensive day-use facilities, campgrounds(frontcountry and backcountry), an interpretive site at the Bankhead minearea and network of day-hiking trails. The boundaries of the planning areaare not absolute but were designated to reflect the surrounding visitoropportunities and ecological influences (Environment Canada, CanadianParks Service, June, 1992, Terms of Reference).3.1.3 The Planning ProcessThe planning process involved extensive input and review frommembers of the Canadian Parks Service (CPS) in Banff National Park, publicstakeholders and other organizations. The planning process began in May,1992 and was completed in April, 1993. Implementation of the plan will takeplace over the next 4 years.The planning project was established as a Master's thesis researchcontract. Under the supervision of the Chief of Planning in Banff NationalPark, the author served to coordinate and facilitate the entire planningprocess and write the area plan. An interdisciplinary planning team of eight/Mount Aylmer• • Isom ••4111.11. " OM BANFF PARK BOUNDARY• MINNEWANKA AREAPLAN BOUNDARYGhost RiverWilderness Areaet,• ■C* **-■be\In•,0".•• • "%ID Os60.01118 •i s •• GhostLake0 •• •e-# . ••Mount Inglismaldie ••Cascade Mountainr" j••WO JACK LAKE Mount GirouardMinnewanka1 Loop Drive,• • •lanO.'de**/j Mount Peachee••••JOHNSON LAKE•• NORTHBanff Townsite • • Figure 3.1 The Lake Minnewanka Planning Area48members from the Canadian Parks Service was involved in developing theplan. The team represented different areas of expertise including: natural andcultural resource management, visitor activities, heritage communications,scenic parkways and roads, landscape architecture and trails. Membersprovided information, ideas and feedback through a series of meetings,workshops and site visits.Special interest groups, local businesses and other agencies with anactive interest in the Minnewanka area also participated in the process atmeetings, workshops and through written submissions. Participants workedto determine the issues to be addressed in the plan, a vision for the area andstrategies for achieving the desired ecological and visitor conditions in theMinnewanka area. A steering committee from the CPS reviewed the plan atkey stages in the decision-making process.Following the completion of the draft plan, the process extended to thelarger public for review at an Open House in Banff and through a regionalmailing list of interested individuals and groups. Extensive public feedbackwas received and considered in the final Minnewanka Area Plan. A moredetailed discussion of the planning team and public participation processoccurs within the evaluation of the process in section 5.2 of the thesis.3.2 POLICY GUIDELINES AND MANAGEMENT DIRECTIVESPlanning within the Minnewanka area is influenced by Federaldirectives such as the National Parks Policy, strategic management guidelinesat the regional level and management plans within the park.4 9National park policy expresses a dual mandate of protecting thoseplaces which are significant examples of Canada's natural and culturalheritage and encouraging public understanding, appreciation and enjoymentof this natural heritage so it is left unimpaired for future generations(Environment Canada, Parks Service, 1979). National Park policy is currentlyunder revision with proposed policies emphasizing that the protection ofecological and historic integrity will be a priority while "appropriate" visitoractivities will be welcomed. "Appropriate" activities are those which relate tothe heritage themes and character of the setting and do not disturb thecultural or ecological integrity of heritage resources (Environment Canada,Parks Service, 1991 ). This represents a transition from the dual mandatetowards a stronger commitment to protect ecological integrity.Proposed policies are further supported in CPS's Western RegionStrategic Plan (Environment Canada, Parks Service, June 1990) and Canada'sGreen Plan (Government of Canada, 1990). Directives within these planspromote an ecosystem-based approach to management in national parkswhich integrates the social and ecological aspects of ecosystems and workstowards sustainable management. Effective public participation is associatedwith an integrated approach and is advocated at the local, regional andnational level. The establishment of partnerships with other organizations,agencies, private businesses and individuals is supported as a means ofimproving resources and promoting cooperative management arrangements.Meaningful basic and applied scientific research into the social,ecological and cultural parameters of ecosystems is espoused within the above5 0plans to enhance environmentally wise decision-making. The regularmonitoring of indicators is proposed as a means of evaluating the health ofpark ecosystems and guiding management strategies (Government of Canada,1990; Environment Canada, Parks Service, June, 1990).The development and enhancement of communications programswhich foster awareness, understanding and an appreciation of heritageresources, CPS activities and broader conservation concerns was stronglysupported in the strategic directives which influence planning in BNP.Effective communication strategies are seen as a powerful tool for developinga stewardship in national parks that is shared by members of the public andworks towards protecting ecological integrity. The Government supports thisphenomenon through the promotion of "environmental citizenship" withinCanada's Green Plan (Government of Canada, 1990).CPS's Strategic Plan further identifies that the profile of culturalheritage will be raised within national parks so that our heritage is recognizedand managed as an important component of park ecosystems (EnvironmentCanada, Park Service, June, 1990).The Banff National Park Management Plan represents a more specificlevel of planning providing guidelines for the management of resources,visitor activities and services in BNP including the Minnewanka area(Environment Canada, Canadian Park Service, 1988). The plan was developedin 1988 through a comprehensive process involving public input andMinisterial approval and will be revised within the next few years. As manyof the more recent strategic directives identified above are weakly supported51in the plan, it was necessary to consider the direction of the BanffManagement Plan within a more holistic perspective, ultimately gearedtowards an ecosystem-based approach to decision-making and management.Management guidelines from the plan specific to the Minnewanka area areidentified below.All potential environmental and social impacts are to be ascertainedand avoided to the extent possible through the federal EnvironmentalAssessment and Review Process (EARP). Plan proposals will be screenedduring the planning process and plan initiatives may be subject to the EARPduring implementation. Several members of the planning team who areresponsible for EARP reviews in the park provided some input regarding thepotential impacts of proposals during the planning process.The rehabilitation of man-disturbed sites is a priority for planning.The most visible disturbed sites have been caused by CPS gravel extractionactivities and landfilling at Cascade Pit and the Minnewanka Pit. TransAltaUtilities (TAU) has agreed to rehabilitate former borrow pits caused by theiractivities in the Minnewanka area as part of the recent operational licenserenewal agreement (TransAlta Utilities, Oct., 1992)."Private sector initiatives will be supported to the extent that thefundamental mandate of national parks is not compromised" (EnvironmentCanada, Canadian Parks Service, 1988). Several private enterprises operatewithin the planning area. A tour boat concession and motor boat rentaloperation is based out of the Minnewanka day use area, the mostly highlyvisited and strategic site within the planning area. The lease for operation of52this enterprise will be up for renewal in 1995. Local transit companiesconduct bus tours in the area and smaller fish-guiding and interpretivebusinesses operate in the Minnewanka area. It was necessary to involvemembers from these enterprises in the planning process and consider theirrole in the context of the proposed vision for the area.The Banff Management Plan also identifies that minimal developmentof further day use sites will occur within BNP while substandard day usefacilities will be upgraded. The Minnewanka area possesses a high level offacility development, however many of these facilities were perceived asinadequate (Environment Canada, Canadian Parks Service, 1988; Input fromplanning team and stakeholder workshops, 1992). Problems associated withparking, general site congestion and the mix of recreational demands placedon the area are to be addressed within the area plan (Environment Canada,Canadian Parks Services, 1988).According to the Park Management Plan, fisheries and water qualitymanagement should be addressed in the area planning. The creation andoperation of the Minnewanka reservoir has significantly impacted thenatural hydrology and habitats of the Minnewanka area. The recent licenserenewal agreement for TransAlta Utilities' (TAU) 50-year operating licenseaddresses impacts to aquatic resources and identifies strategies fordetermining and mitigating the effects of reservoir operation on biologicalproductivity on Lake Minnewanka as well as the rehabilitation of lowerCascade Creek (diversion channel).533.3 HISTORY AND CULTURAL RESOURCESThe Minnewanka area contains numerous archaeological resourcesfrom the historic and prehistoric period. A site within the planning areacontains some of the earliest finds of prehistoric man in the CanadianRockies dating from 12,000 years before present (McIntyre and Reeves, 1975).Lake Minnewanka signified "lake of the water spirit" or "lake of the evilwater spirit," and was important to local indigenous people ( Clark, 1979). Thearea was traversed separately by Hudson Bay Company Governor GeorgeSimpson, missionary Robert Rundle and the Palliser expedition between 1841and 1858 (Personal communication, Ian Clarke, 1992).3.3.1 Dam Building ActivitiesA roadway and cottages were developed at Lake Minnewanka around1887. A small wooden dam was built on Devil's Creek at Lake Minnewankain 1895 raising the natural level of the lake approximately 1.2 metres(TransAlta Utilities Oct., 1992, p. 3). In 1912, Calgary Water Power built asecond dam below the first raising the water level 64 metres and increasingthe area of the lake by 227 hectares (TransAlta Utilities, Oct., 1992, p.3). TheDepartment of the Interior reserved the right to develop the water powerpotential resulting from this storage project. Calgary Power's interest wasconfined to regulating the flow of water during winter months to serve theexisting power plant on the Bow River at Seebee (TransAlta Utilities, Oct.,1992, p.3). A map depicting the historic changes in the level of LakeMinnewanka is shown in Figure 3.2.•1^1896 DAM2^1912 DAM3 WHARVES4 BUILDING FOUNDATIONEttPx-1 SITE6 SURVET PATHPRE-1911 SHORELINEPRE-1941 SHORELINEPRESENT 1HORELINEBANFF ROAD (191210^ ‘,000ra54Submerged features of Lake Minnewanka. (D. Kappler,Canadian Parks Service)Figure 3.2 Historic Lake Level Changes, Lake Minnewanka5 5Between 1906 and 1923, electricity for Banff was supplied by coal firedsteam generation from the mine at Bankhead. Due to closure of the mine inthe early 1920's, the federal government exercised its' right to develop thepower potential of the 1912 storage at Lake Minnewanka. The first CascadePower Plant was commissioned in 1924 (TransAlta Utilities, Oct. 1992, pp.3-4).The construction of a large explosives plant in Calgary at the start ofWorld War II required a new supply of electrical energy. In 1940 CalgaryPower purchased the Federal Government's plant but it was never used(Personal communication, Ian Clarke, 1992; TransAlta Utilities, Oct., 1992, pp.3-4). Under the impetus of the War Measures Act, a third dam constitutingthe Cascade Power Project was completed in 1942 raising the level of LakeMinnewanka 19.8 metres and increasing the flooded area by 593 hectares. Thesize of the lake was increased by 57.5% making it the largest and deepest lakein Banff National Park (TransAlta Utilities, Oct. 1992, p.5). The resort andhouses at Lake Minnewanka were destroyed, moved or dismantled and thefoundations were submerged. Today, the unique submerged culturalresources are attractive to scuba-divers (Personal communication, GregSlatter, July 1992).The natural hydrology of the lake was significantly impacted as a resultof hydro electric development. Fluctuating water levels have damaged thelittoral zone which is the most productive zone of the lake (Achuff et al.,1986, p.15). Impacts to former riverine habitats along the Cascade and BowRiver channels below the dam have resulted from the extreme fluctuationsin flow and water levels (Canadian Parks Service, Banff National Park,January 25, 1992).5 6The Cascade hydro electric project is operated by Trans Alta Utilities(TAU) and generates an average of 55 000 Mwh/year. The project supplies thearea with a portion of its electrical requirements by feeding into the utilitycompany's southern Alberta grid (TransAlta Utilities, Oct. 1992).3.3.2 Coal Mining ActivitiesExtensive coal mining occurred in the Minnewanka region between1886 and 1945. Mining in the Cascade basin lead to the establishment oftowns at Bankhead and Anthracite.The oldest mine operated by the Canadian Anthracite Company,produced 30,000 tonnes of coal between 1886 and 1904. The Bankhead mineoperated from 1903 to 1922 and produced almost 2.9 million tonnes of coal.Two small mines located near Anthracite were also operated privatelybetween 1926 and 1953 producing about 30,000 tonnes of coal (TransAltaUtilities , Oct.,1992).3.3.3 Other InfluencesMore recent human impacts on the landscape are evident atapproximately ten former borrow pits, gravel extraction and landfill sites inthe area which have been caused by the activities of the CPS and TAU. Manyformerly disturbed sites have been partially or fully rehabilitated.573.4 BIOPHYSICAL RESOURCE ANALYSIS3.4.1 Montane EcoregionThe Minnewanka area is contained mainly within the Montaneecoregion which characterizes the lowest elevations (4429 - 5249 feet) of BanffNational Park and the Bow River corridor ( Holland and Coen, 1982). TheMontane is highly significant, providing important habitat to many wildlifespecies in BNP, however it is extremely scarce representing only about 2% ofthe park's area (Achuff et al., 1986, p.36). Approximately 880 hectaresmontane habitat has been lost as a result of flooding associated with the hydrogeneration project (Beswick, 1992, p.22). Further montane has been lost as aresult of development in the Bow Valley. Ecosites defining the relationshipbetween physiographic parameters including landform, vegetation and soil inthe Minnewanka area are identified in Figure 3.3 and Table 3.1. Thesignificance of sensitive ecosites and wildlife habitat was influenced areaplanning.Generally, the planning area is of high to very high importance to deer(mule and white-tailed), elk, moose, wolf, coyote and small mammals. It is ofmedium to high importance to bird populations who use the area's wetlandsand three montane lakes as staging sites (Banff National Park HeritageResource Conservation, 1992, Achuff et al., 1986). The area provides animportant winter range for deer and elk.Ungulate (cloven-hooved animals) migration routes crossMinnewanka loop road at many sites. Bighorn sheep are common alongMinnewanka Loop Road and are attracted to natural mineral licks and roadTable 3.1 Description of Ecosites in the Minnewanka Area (Holland and Coen, 1982; Holroyd and Van Tighem, 1983)(TransAlta Utilities, Oct., 1992)Ecosite Ecoregion.Landform Soils Vegetation.Wildlife ManagementConsiderationsAT1 Montane Terraces of calcareous, coarseglaciofluvial material onbroad valley floorsEutric Brunisol Lodgepole pine / juniper /bearberryDeer, elk, wolf, coyote,,cougarExtensive readily availablegravel and sand; droughtysoils cause revegetationproblemsFR 1 Montane Fans and aprons of coarse,calcareous fluvial material onfloorsEutric Bruaisollower slopes and valleyLodgepole pine / buffaloberry /showy asterDeer, elk, wolf, coyote,cougar, small mammalsLocally occurring high watertableI-EDI Montane Fans and aprons of coarse,calcareous fluvial materialson lower slopes and valleyfloorsOrthic and cumulicRegosolsAspen / hairy wild rye-peavineDeer, elk, wolf, coyote,cougar, small mammalsLocally occurring high watertableHll2 Montane Fans and aprons of coarse,calcareous fluvial materialson lower slopes and valleyfloorsOrthic and cumulicRegosolsWhite spruce / shrubbycinquefoil / bearberryDeer, elk, wolf, coyote,cougar, small mammalsLocally occurring high watertableNY I Montane Blankets and veneers ofcalcareous, medium texturedtill over Inclined bedrock onsteep grades (30-70%)Orthic EutricBrunisols> OrthicRegosolsDouglas fir I hairy wild ryeand Lodgepole pine /buffaloberry / showy asterDeer, bighorn sheep,wolf, coyote, cougarSteep, locally eroding slopes,coarse fragmentsN13 Montane Inclined-gullied andhummocky ice contact drifton valley floors adjacent tostreamsNorth: EutricBrunisolSouth: Orthic andCumulic RegosolsNorth: White spruce-Douglasfir / feather-moss andLodgepole pine /buffaloberry / twinflowerSouth: Douglas fir / juniper /bearberry and shrubbycinquefoil / bearberry -northern bedstrawDeer, elk, bighornsheep, wolf, coyote,cougarOn dry, southerly aspects,vegetation removal wouldincrease erosionPT I Montane Ridged or hummocky moraineor morainal blanketsoverlying ridged orhummocky bedrock on valleyfloor benchlandsEutric Bruaisols,Gray LuvisolsLodgepole pine / buffaloberry/ showy aster and Lodgepolepine / buffaloberry /twinflowerDeer, elk, coyote,cougar, wolf, smallmammalsPT3 Nlontane Discontinuous morainalveneers overlying ridgedbedrock and exposed bedrockridgesEutric Brunisol>Gray LuvisolLodgepole pine /juniper /bearberryDeer elk. cougar, wolf.coyote, smallmammalsModerate to steepcolluviating slopesl'T 5 NIont.me Ridged moraine consistingof calcareous, mediumtextured till;^horizontal fenDry 60: EutricBrunisol, GrayLuvisolWet 40: Gleysol,MesisolDry: Lodgepole pine /buffaloberry / showy asterWet: Black spruce -^.Lodgepole pine / willow /sedge and spruce/Labradortea / brown mossCoyote. cougar, lynx,wolf25 • 30 Pt •PARKINGSPI LWAYSTPOWERHOUSEABANDONED:1ABANDONED LANDF [IfBORROW PITSCORRAOUTFITTE24EXCAVATE° C13OVERFLO C • OROUNDDAD.ARMY CADET CAMPBANFF AIRSTRIPPT512NTAKE DAMVERONICA CATEN•FOUND AT POWERHOAPENSTOCKSB 1778LEGEND:NY311111PT5ELATETA ILRACIEXCAVATED TAILRACECHAKNETAILRACE ENDSTWP 260 0.50SCALE: 1:25 0001.001.50 km.r-1.00^mi.33cam .zTnFigure 3.4 Ecosites in the Minnewanka Area(Holland and Coen, 1982; Holroyd and VanTighem, 1983)(TransAlta Utilities, Oct., 1992)^ 29 28CV I rLLI^LLI0 0CC CC60salt near the Minnewanka dam (Achuff et al., 1986). Sheep are regularlyapproached by humans which has lead to habituation.Unique aeolian (wind transported) formations associated with rareplant species occur at the east end of the planning area near the Ghost Lakes(Achuff et al., 1986). These resources are impacted by All-Terrain-Vehicles(ATV) which enter the park illegally from adjacent provincial recreationlands managed under Alberta Forestry, Lands and Wildlife. The CPS'spresence at the eastern boundary of BNP near the Ghost Lakes area isminimal.A simplified, integrated model representing key indicators of the BowValley montane ecosystem was recently presented in the park by White et al.(1992). The model which is based on relationships between humans, wolves,elk and trembling aspen has application to planning in the Minnewanka area.Aspen is typical in south facing valley bottom areas of the montane. Asan early successional species, it is in reasonable scarce in BNP possibly due tothe historic suppression of fires and ungulate overgrazing. Prescribed burnefforts which began in the early 1980's have not been overly successful inregenerating aspen primarily because elk overgraze new shoots. This hasgenerally been the case in prescribed burns sites near Lake Minnewanka.Elk populations are presently high in BNP and elk are common in theMinnewanka area during the winter and rutting season in the fall. Adepressed mortality rate associated with protective fencing and animalunderpass tunnels that accompanied the Trans Canada Highway twinning61project in the 1980's as well as a lack of predators are likely associated withhigh numbers of elk. Many elk in the park have become habituated to thepoint where humans are occasionally attacked.Wolf recolonization is occurring in Banff National Park after localpopulations were nearly decimated during former predator control programs.These programs ceased approximately 40 years ago. Elk are the primary preyof wolves although predation is dependant on local ungulate populations.There is some evidence to suggest wolf predation, in conjunction with othermortality factors, is depressing elk numbers in some areas of the montane.Recent evidence of wolf activity has been observed within the planning areanear Johnson Lake and the upper Cascade River.High human use is concentrated along roads and trails in the valleybottoms and often corresponds to the regions of high and very high elkhabitat suitability. Wolves have consistently avoided high human use areas.It was hypothesized that the town of Banff and peripheral land uses areblocking wolf movements down valley towards Canmore where BNP'slargest elk herds are found (White et al., 1992).The application of this information in the Minnewanka area suggeststhat high human use in important montane habitat is disturbing theecosystem. Wolf recolonization should be promoted in planning efforts andhuman interference should be avoided near areas of potentially importantwolf habitat. Aspen regeneration could potentially be enhanced bycontrolling elk grazing through the promotion of wolf predation (White et62al., 1992). Human incidences with elk should be avoided or controlled todeter elk habituation.3.4.2 Fisheries/ Aquatic ResourcesThe Lake Minnewanka area contains three of BNP's infrequentmontane lakes. These are Lake Minnewanka, Johnson and Two Jack lakes.The Ghost Lakes are contiguous with Lake Minnewanka and are located atthe eastern boundary of the park. There is a need to protect aquatic andwetland habitats and more fully understand the implications of humanactivities.Lake Minnewanka is the largest oligotrophic lake in Banff NationalPark and is primarily inhabited by several species of trout (Personalcommunication, Tom Hurd, 1992; Pengelly, 1988; Achuff et al. 1986, p.15).Other species have been stocked in the past although few if any of these havesurvived (Pengelly, 1988). Stocking was discontinued in 1972. Although thefishery is presently thought to be viable, the effects of reservoir operation onbiological productivity and species composition has not been examined sinceshortly after reservoir creation (Currier, 1954). It is hypothesized that the fallspawn of trout and whitefish may desiccate during winter drawdown of thelake (Hurd, 1991; Pengelly, 1988).Two Jack Lake was formed by the diversion of the outflow of LakeMinnewanka which replaced a previously isolated lake. The lake ischaracterized by a similar species composition as Lake Minnewanka.63Johnson Lake is ground water recharge site that was dammedoriginally to supply water for residents at Anthracite (Personalcommunication, Bob Smith, March, 1993). Today the lake is a popularrecreation site used extensively by locals. In 1986, the dam at the west end ofthe lake collapsed temporarily draining much of the lake. The dam wasreplaced following intense public pressure (Environment Canada, CanadianParks Service, November, 1988, p.83). The lake, associated wetlands andspawning creek are highly productive and important to a number of species.(Holroyd and Van Tighem, 1983; Achuff et al., 1986, p.16). The lake ischaracterized by a high-use fishery comprised mainly of brook trout.3.5 PARK ZONINGThe park zoning system presents five land-use strategies for managingspecific resources and visitor activities in a manner which reflects the goals ofthe CPS. The Minnewanka area is designated primarily as a Zone IV -Recreation area where a relatively high level of visitor facilities and servicesare permitted. Some Zone III - Natural Environment sites which mayfacilitate low density activities and minimal facilities occur adjacent todeveloped visitor areas. The outlying area comprises a Zone II - Wildernessdesignation. Zoning is described below.Zone IV areas can accommodate a broad range of education, outdooropportunities and related facilities in ways that respect the naturallandscape and that are safe and convenient. Motorized access will bepermitted and will be separated from non-motorized access.Zone III, Natural Environment areas are maintained as naturalenvironments which can sustain with a minimum of impairment, aselected range of low density outdoor activities with a minimum ofrelated facilities. Non-motorized access will be preferred. Access bypublic transit will be permitted. Controlled access by private vehicles64will only be permitted where it has traditionally been allowed in thepast.Zone II - Wilderness are extensive areas which are goodrepresentations of each of the natural history themes of the park andwhich will be maintained in a wilderness state. Only certain activitiesrequiring limited primitive visitor facilities appropriate to a wildernessexperience will be allowed. Limits will be placed on numbers of users.No motorized access will be permitted. Management actions willensure that visitors are dispersed (Environment Canada, CanadianParks Service, 1988, pp. 23 - 24).3.6 VISITOR PROFILEIn 1991, the majority of visitors in the Lake Minnewanka area werefrom Canada (70%) with a smaller but significant number of visitors from theU.S. (18%). Approximately 45% of all Canadian visitors were from Calgaryand Edmonton. Visitors from the local area accounted for 19% of theCanadian visitors and were primarily on day trips from home. The greatestnumber of visitors were between the ages of 31-45 and were mainly familieswith children (30%) and couples (36%) The area can expect to see a growingnumber of seniors in coming years.Over 80% of visitors were day users, however most of these were ontrips that lasted for more than one day. First time visitors participatedpredominantly in sightseeing as the most popular primary activity. Almostone half of the area's visitors were there for the first time. One tenth of thetotal number of visitors did not leave there car and drove around the area.Less that 2% of visitors surveyed were part of bus tour groups (EnvironmentCanada, Canadian Parks Service, April, 1991, pp.1-16).6 53.6.1 Visitor PerceptionsIn general, the area was perceived as providing outstanding sceneryand opportunities to view wildlife. Visitors surveyed were comfortable withthe level of development or man-made intrusions found in the area,although some indicated dissatisfaction and thought the area was toocommercial. Most indicated that expansion of facilities would take away fromtheir enjoyment. Parking and congestion were not seen as a problem(Environment Canada, Canadian Parks Service, April 1991, p.25).3.7 PLANNING ISSUESA summary of issues to be addressed in the plan appears in Table 3.2.Planning issues were identified during the planning process through theinput of the planning team and stakeholders as well as through backgroundinformation.Table 3.2 A Summary of Planning Issues1. Visitor Management• Appropriate visitor activities which the area can facilitate without significantlyimpacting ecological integrity2. Minnewanka Day-Use Area• Problems associated with congestion, confusion, the condition of facilities and themanagement of specific user groups at Minnewanka day use areaTable cont'd.Table 3.2 cont'd.3. Resource Management:a. Integrated Ecosystem Management• Assessing the existing reductionist approach to resource management in light of moreintegrated approachesb. Rehabilitation of Disturbed Sites• Rehabilitation of former borrow pits, gravel extraction and landfill sitesc. Fisheries / Aquatic Resource Management• The implications of the Cascade hydro project on local aquatic resources• The management of aquatic resources including fisheries.d. Management of the Montane Ecoregion• The management of human impacts in montane ecosystems including sheep habituation,wolf recolonization, compaction and erosion, sensitive area preservation4. Camping• Substandard facilities and services in frontcountry campgrounds• The impacts created by numerous backcountry campgrounds on montane habitat5. Regional Integration• Illegal all-terrain vehicle use which adversely impacts rare and sensitive resources at thePark's eastern boundary at Ghost Lakes6. Communications• The lack of orientation, information and interpretive facilities throughout theMinnewanka area• The need to communicate with associated user groups, agencies and organizations7. Cultural Resource Management• The management and interpretation of significant cultural resources in the area8. Trail Systems• The management of multiple users and an appropriate trail network based on the existingestablished and informal trail connections in the area9. Winter Use• Management of winter activities and access• Consideration of wolf recolonization in association with winter activities in importanthabitat areas10. Minnewanka Loop Road• Management of Minnewanka Loop Road as a scenic parkway which links sites together inthe area• Narrow conditions of the loop road• Use of salt for winter road maintenance6667CHAPTER IV. SUMMARY OF THE MINNEWANKA AREA PLANThe purpose of this chapter is to summarize the Minnewanka AreaPlan which was developed through the planning process. The proposedvision for the area, general management directives and specific proposalsfrom the plan are highlighted. The complete plan provides a comprehensiveexplanation of the proposed strategies and the implementation process andmay be consulted for further information (Environment Canada, CanadianParks Service, April, 1993).4.1 A VISION FOR THE FUTURE IN THE MINNEWANKA AREAThe vision was determined through the input and feedback of theplanning team and stakeholder groups. The vision represents the desiredsocial and ecological conditions for the Minnewanka area in the next fifteenyears. It serves as a mandate to guide the development and implementationof management strategies. The complete vision is presented below (CanadianParks Service, 1993).Context"Fifteen years from now, Banff National Park, along with the otherMountain Parks, will be widely recognized as a World Heritage Siteand one of the largest vestiges of protected natural environments anduntouched wilderness in southern Canada. There will be a great dealof public support for the role the park plays in maintaining thesevalues, along with the unique role the park has played in Canada'scultural heritage. The primary motivations for visiting the park willbe to understand, be inspired by, and experience the park's naturalsetting, cultural heritage and wilderness values," (EnvironmentCanada, Canadian Parks Service, April, 1992, pp. 10-11).68The Minnewanka AreaThe Minnewanka area will support this vision through the opportunitiesprovided, the messages communicated, and the resource managementstrategies implemented. The area's landscape will serve as a testimony ofchanging resource uses and management philosophies and will represent a"Valley of Change" within Banff National Park. The area will be a model forthe application of ecosystem management principles in a high use area.A series of integrated opportunities will be afforded at a variety of natural,cultural and recreational sites. The main users will continue to be "generaltouring" visitors who participate in a wide variety of recreational activitiessuch as sightseeing, day-hiking and boating and who require sufficientfacilities for accessibility, safety and comfort. Efforts will be made to providequality park experiences which are consistent with the national park mandateas opposed to meeting additional demand.Ecosystem ManagementThe Minnewanka area will be a model for innovative ecosystemmanagement. An integrated approach, which reflects the interconnectednessof natural and human systems, will be applied in resource management.Members from different disciplines and organizations will be working withthe Canadian Parks Service to help manage the area's resources sustainably.Key indicators of natural and social systems will be monitored so that changesoccurring within ecosystems can be identified and appropriate managementactions can be taken. Cultural heritage resources will be monitored andprotected.There will be an increase in Montane habitat in the area as a result ofreclamation efforts at formerly disturbed sites. An improved understandingof the local aquatic ecosystems will be gained from research and will guide theoperation of the hydro electric project to better protect fish populations andhabitat.PartnershipsMany players such as TransAlta Utilities, local tour operators and specialinterest groups and organizations will be involved in managing the areacooperatively with the Canadian Parks Service. Management strategies willbe consistent with the goals of the Canadian Parks Service.Minnewanka Loop DriveThe winding, scenic loop road will be managed as a scenic parkway and willcontinue to provide access to many opportunities in the area. Visitorsentering the area will have a clear indication of the opportunities available tothem along the parkway. Narrow sections of Minnewanka Loop Drive willhave been widened. Pull-outs and viewpoints will have been enhanced tolead visitors from one point to the next, reinforcing the area's scenic qualities.69Orientation and interpretation facilities will be present at important sitesalong the road. Innovative, environmentally sensitive transportationalternatives will be promoted in the area. The parking capacity of facilitieswill not be increased.A System of Linked ExperiencesSites will be linked together physically and thematically along the loop driveand trail systems. Visitors will be able to travel between many sites such asTwo Jack Main and Lower Bankhead or Cascade Ponds and Johnson Lake onthe well-defined pathway system. Some trails will provide opportunities formountain bikes and horses while others will be for hikers only.The "Valley of Change" theme, which reflects human influences such as coalmining as well as changing park resource management policies, will becommunicated throughout the area to enhance the visitor's understanding ofthe local landscape and to connect different sites together.Minnewanka Day-Use AreaThe Minnewanka day-use area will provide quality opportunities for visitorsto relax, explore and learn about the area. High quality visitor services andaccess to water-based activities will continue to be provided. Themanagement of motorized boats will be improved to ensure that aquaticecosystems are protected and conflicts with other water users are minimized.The boat tour operation will continue to provide an opportunity for visitorsto appreciate the area's scenic lake resources within a national park setting.The Canadian Parks Service and the boat tour operation will be workingtogether to monitor and manage resources and visitor activities at this site.Problems with visitor congestion and conflicts between different users willhave been resolved through site enhancements as well as improvedinformation and interpretive services.CampingCamping facilities will be enhanced to better serve specific users but they willnot be increased in capacity. Campgrounds in the Minnewanka area willhave improved services including facilities for groups and disabled visitors.Campgrounds will be well-linked to trails and integrated with otheropportunities in the area. Visitor awareness of camping opportunities willhave been improved through marketing and communications strategies. Thenumber of backcountry campgrounds along the Lake Minnewanka shorelinewill be reduced to enhance wildlife habitat and respond to use levels.Seasonal UseThe greatest visitation will occur during the summer, however winteractivities will continue to be popular particularly for local recreationists.Opportunities will be provided for cross-country skiing up the Cascade Valley.70Winter activities around Johnson Lake will be discouraged to promote wolfrecolonization. Winter road plowing will be adapted to reduce costs andprovide access only to popular recreational areas.4.2 GENERAL MANAGEMENT DIRECTION4.2.1 The Limits of Acceptable Change (LAC) Approach to Ecosystemand Visitor ManagementLimits of Acceptable Change is a management approach developed bywilderness area managers as a more realistic alternative to the elusivecarrying capacity concept which attempts to define appropriate levels ofvisitor use for an area. The LAC approach is an integrated model formanaging natural resources and human activities according to acceptablelevels of change. It is based on:• the determination of specific management objectives for social andecological conditions in the area,• selection and monitoring of indicators representative of the area's socialand ecological systems,• the development and implementation of management strategies forachieving objectives based on results of monitoring,• ongoing monitoring of indicators and adaptive management.The LAC approach will be developed and implemented by managers inthe Minnewanka area to detect changes in ecosystem integrity and visitorexperiences and manage ecosystems sustainably. The Minnewanka Area Planrecommends the adoption of this approach in all aspects of managementwithin the plan.7 14.2.2 Establishing PartnershipsCooperative arrangements will be sought with key groups andorganizations who have an interest in the Minnewanka area, in order to gaininput and assistance in managing the area's natural and cultural resourcesand visitor activities. The Canadian Parks Service will take a lead role incooperative activities. Key stakeholders will be involved in decision-makingon an on-going basis through the establishment of an OperationalManagement Committee. Discussions with representatives from the regionalscuba diving committee will continue to determine a strategy to manage theissues (parking congestion, cultural resource protection, inadequate facilities)associated with this activity.Partnerships developed in the planning process are illustrated inTransAlta Utility's (TAU) participation in the on-site media program and theBanff Light Horse Association's interest in cooperative trail management.4.2.3 Level of Facility DevelopmentWhile efforts will be made to improve the overall visitor experience inthe area and better meet ecosystem and visitor management objectives, thelevel of development or capacity of facilities will not be expanded. Parkingfacilities will not be increased while alternative transportation strategies suchas courtesy vans and organized bus tours will be promoted. Indicators will bemonitored to assess potential problems associated with the level of facilitydevelopment.724.3 KEY MANAGEMENT PROPOSALSThe following actions highlight the most critical plan proposals:4.3.1 Visitor Information and Interpretation - "The Valley of Change"• Link visitor experiences and tell the Minnewanka story using a commontheme - "The Valley of Change." This theme encompasses the area's richhistory, ecology and evolving national park philosophies.• Substantially enhance on-site orientation, information and interpretationmedia throughout the area as indicated in Figure 4.1.• Use targeted education programs to address resource management concerns(e.g. sheep feeding) and conflicts among different user groups (e.g. . diversand boaters).• Communicate with potential visitors and important user groups (e.g. scubadivers, fishermen) before they arrive through measures such as meetings,workshops, private and park publications.4.3.2 Ecosystem Management• Manage the area through an integrated ecosystem-based approach, using theLimits of Acceptable Change process to establish an active research,monitoring and adaptive management program. Development of theprogram and selection of indicators will occur during the first year of73implementation. Monitoring will begin in the second year of planimplementation and continue on an ongoing basis.• Identify the Devil's Gap/Ghost Lakes, Johnson Lake wetlands and lowerCascade River channel as "Sensitive Areas" and manage them to protectecological integrity. Prohibit any facility development in these areas,manage visitor activities away from these sites and educate visitors of thesensitivity of resources. A joint agreement with Alberta Forestry Lands andWildlife will be established to manage visitor impacts in the Ghost Lakesarea.• Discontinue gravel extraction activities in the area and rehabilitate formerlydisturbed sites. The continued rehabilitation of Minnewanka Pit will be apriority followed by the rehabilitation of Cascade Pit. This site may berequired for the storage of abrasives in the future. Visual impacts of CascadePit from Minnewanka Loop Drive will be mitigated. Stream rehabilitationwill be involved in the rehabilitation of both areas. Other sites will berehabilitated by TAU as part of the hydro license renewal agreement.Rehabilitation will be ongoing and will require regular and continuousmonitoring.• Promote wolf recolonization in the Johnson Lake area by discouragingvisitor activities during the winter and discontinuing the track setting of skitrails. Wolf activity will be monitored in association with initiatives toreduce human interference and adaptive management will occur.74• Develop area-specific fisheries management actions as part of an overallaquatic resources plan for Banff National Park. Work with TransAltaUtilities to examine the feasibility of restoring aquatic habitat along thelower Cascade River channel and minimizing the effects of hydroelectricoperations on Lake Minnewanka.• Increase visitor understanding and appreciation of the area's aquatic andterrestrial ecosystems through the implementation of proposedcommunications strategies.4.3.3 Cultural Resource Management• Raise the profile of the area's rich history, historic and archaeologicalresources by providing new on-site interpretive media at Anthracite, LakeMinnewanka (submerged resources), the diver pullout, Upper Bankhead,Palliser lookout and the 1923 powerhouse. The communications programwill be developed and implemented in partnership with TAU.• Improve the protection of submerged resources at Lake Minnewankathrough diver education and management strategies which will bedetermined with representative members of the diving community.4.3.4 Visitor Facilities and Management• Manage the Minnewanka loop road as a scenic and educational "parkway"by providing orientation, information and interpretive media as identifiedin Figure 4.1.75• Widen narrow sections of the loop road between Upper Bankhead and theLake Minnewanka day use area to improve the safety of the road.• Enhance opportunities for sightseers to pull off the road at points of interest(e.g. upon entering the area, the viewpoint above Cascade Ponds, theTransAlta penstock bridge and along the Lake Minnewanka causeway).• Formalize the proposed pedestrian, bicycling and equestrian trail systemshown in Figure 4.2. These trails use existing alignments except forproposed connections between the Cascade trail and the Lake Minnewankaday- use area and Two Jack Main and Lakeside campgrounds. Provideadequate on-site trail orientation so that visitors are aware of connectionsbetween different sites.• Provide a visitor orientation and interpretation node at the Johnson Lakeparking area, while improving the aesthetics of the parking lot.• Close the Two Jack Lake shoreline to vehicles, and rehabilitate the disturbedshoreline area.• Close and rehabilitate LM 20 backcountry campsite on the shore of LakeMinnewanka to increase montane habitat. This closure reflects an over-abundance of backcountry camping opportunities along the Lakeshore.• Rehabilitate the disturbed shoreline at the "diver pull-out" at the east endof the Lake Minnewanka dam. Install stairs to facilitate diving access.4.3.5 Minnewanka Day Use Area• Contain parking within the existing parking lots and address peak overflowsituations by promoting alternative means of public transit including bustours and shuttle buses.• Improve orientation for vehicles and pedestrians entering the day use area.• Improve visitor information and interpretive media especially for boatersand divers at the area by the public boat ramp.• Redevelop existing substandard boat tour and government dock facilities.Incorporate a public viewing area with interpretive media into new docks.• Develop an attractive public gathering area between the food concessionand the boat docks on existing asphalt roadway as illustrated in Figure 4.3.Limit vehicular access to service only.• Formalize a single lakeshore trail from the public boat ramp to the picnicarea along the existing braided and eroded trail. Rehabilitate disturbed areas.• As part of the site improvement process, develop a long-range designstrategy for addressing congestion and visitor impacts through a marinadesign consultant. This should be consistent with the vision for the areaand the management direction of the CPS.76OC- — -Lake Minnewankat ............ .^•••••••... • .••• Upper Ilkpkhendlrik/Two lad, LakesideCampgroundKEYHIKING ONLY TRAILHIKING AND BICYCLING TRAILMULTIPLE USE TRAIL (Hiking,Bicycling , Horseback Riding)C -.'<ft CROSS-COUNTRY SKI TRAIL• TRAIL ORIENTATIONNORTHFIGURE 4.2 PROPOSED TRAIL SYSTEMNew trail to Commie Volley Troilism'Upper IM•k►ead isionnier/r•ter Public Dock AreaSeating, interpretive media1".FIGURE 4.3Stewart r Canyon KioskImproved 'Normals./ inierorenve MediaKitcben ShelteKitchenShelterLAKE MINNE\VANKADtRehabilitate RoadArea over timeMain Orientation/Information AreaMaps. information on opponunmes and facilitiesGeneral visitor management guidelinesSpecific diving. boaiing and angling guidelinesImproved signage forcar and trailer parkingformereRehabilitate shoreline trailCPS Vehicle Access OnlyWashroo Public Plaza AreaPossible interpretive Situ.a-rail...orientation.....___.......,,,,... ..Z r""`-..- J...,..,....e..imbIlit•terimprove ..'Vr.Remove km').',—_._._./ bortilne Trill!^Al'''.'''';ii.;),_...,......7^ .naturalize plantingnitRorkNORTHSCALE 1' - 100.0'Improved Orientation Signage7 9CONCEPTUAL DESIGN FOR SITE IMPROVEMENTS - Minnewanka Day-Use Area8 0CHAPTER V. AN EVALUATION OF THE MINNEWANKA AREA PLAN5.1 EVALUATION ACCORDING TO NORMATIVE CRITERIA FOREFFECTIVE CARRYING CAPACITY MANAGEMENTAn evaluation of the Minnewanka Area Plan based on the normativecriteria for effective carrying capacity management identified in Chapter 2.0 ispresented below and illustrated in Tables 5.1.1 - 5.1.12. Although theevaluation is based on objective criteria which were determined through theliterature reviewed, measures of performance of the plan and planningprocess reflect the opinion of the author.1. Specific objectives which describe the desired social and ecologicalconditions for the areaObjectives are identified at three levels of specificity within theMinnewanka Area Plan. The proposed Vision for the Future of theMinnewanka Area (section 2.1 of the plan) presents a comprehensivenormative view of the planning area in 15 years. The General AreaManagement Goals and Objectives (section 2.3 of the plan) indicate CPS'smanagement direction for the area. Finally, specific objectives within eachsection of the plan provide guidance for each aspect of area management (e.g.Objectives in Aquatic Ecosystem Protection and Management, section 3.1.2 ofthe plan).The vision was the culmination of several workshop sessions with theplanning team, steering committee and stakeholder groups (see Chapter 4.0of the thesis). In many ways, the vision is the crux of the plan because it8 1presents a picture of how things ought to be in the planning area in thefuture. The vision serves as a general measure by which managementstrategies may be compared. "There will be an increase in Montane habitat asa result of reclamation efforts at formerly disturbed sites," exemplifies thisaspect of the vision (section 2.1 of the plan).Although the vision is intended to be achievable, it is broad enough tobe relatively uninhibited by the influences of existing managementframeworks, economics and directives that could hinder the generation oforiginal ideas or solutions for change. The Minnewanka area vision iscomprehensive and provides a normative but general view of all aspects ofthe planning area.General Area Management Goals and Objectives define the overallobjectives of the area plan which relate to three areas: maintaining andenhancing ecological integrity, enhancing visitor experiences and awareness,and involving others through partnerships (see section 2.2 of the plan).Area management goals and objectives are fairly broad in nature,reflecting the direction of pre-determined policies and strategic plansincluding the national park mandate, the Banff Park Management Plan(Environment Canada, 1988) the Western Region Strategic Plan(Environment Canada, June, 1990) and the BNP, Tourism, Recreation andCommunications (TRAC) Plan- draft (Environment Canada, April, 1992).These objectives ensure consistency in planning within the Western Regionnational parks. General Area Goals and Objectives extract importantdirectives from the vision and place them into action-oriented statements8 2within the plan. The objective, "To manage activities through an integratedecosystem approach," for example, operationalizes the goal of maintainingand enhancing ecological integrity (see section 2.2 of the plan).Specific objectives are defined for each section of the plan including:Terrestrial Ecosystem Management and Protection, Aquatic EcosystemManagement and Protection, Sensitive Areas Management, Communicationsand Visitor Facilities, Visitor Activities Management (six visitor activitiesdefined) and Cultural Resource Management.These objectives represent the greatest degree of specificity within theplan. Sections such as Aquatic Ecosystem Management and Protection (3.1.2in the plan) and Communications and Visitor Facilities (3.2.1 in the plan) arehighly specific and effective in guiding the determination and evaluation ofmanagement strategies. Objectives such as, "To maintain and enhance theintegrity of the area's Montane ecosystems," within Terrestrial EcosystemProtection and Management (3.1.1 in the plan) are less clear and expand onlymarginally on the General Area Goals and Objectives. Several stakeholderscommented on this lack of specificity (e.g. Bow Valley Naturalists submission,March, 1993).Overall, the objectives for the desired social and ecological conditionsof the planning area are comprehensive and highly adequate.832. A Measure of the Existing Social and Ecological Conditions in the areaA measure of the existing ecosystem conditions was determinedthrough background information, input from the planning team,stakeholders and specialists as well as through on-site assessments. TheBackground to the Minnewanka Area Plan (Environment Canada, CanadianParks Service, April, 1993) presents descriptive information on the history,ecological resources and visitor activities of the planning area. Furtherinformation describing the existing ecological and social conditions relative tospecific objectives is found within each section of the Minnewanka Area Plan(Environment Canada, Canadian Parks Service, April, 1993). Thisinformation is summarized within Tables 5.1.1 - 5.1.12 of the thesis.The background information representing existing ecosystemconditions was seen as satisfactory. BNP possesses accessible and accuratebiophysical data which is now available on a Geographic Information System(GIS). Park data tended to be at a large scale (i.e. 1:50,000) which was useful fordetermining general ecosystem characteristics, however the expertise ofmembers of the planning team, resource personnel and stakeholders was amore effective source of information for the site-specific scale of areaplanning.Specific ecosystem data such as "880 hectares of montane habitat hasbeen lost due to damming and flooding," is expressed in Tables 5.1.1 inaddition to vague information like "Trails around Johnson Lake subject tohigh use. Damage to trails and vegetation," (Table 5.1.2). Highly specific8 4information is necessary to guide the determination of effective managementstrategies.Although the plan prescribed the adoption of the LAC approach toecosystem management involving the selection and measurement ofindicators, these were not identified within the area plan. The selection andmeasurement of indicators would enhance information on existingecosystem conditions and improve the likelihood of implementing the LACapproach.Information regarding visitor activities was based mainly on the LakeMinnewanka Survey Report which provided recent visitor profiles from asurvey of 150,000 persons over July and August, 1991. Data pertaining tosocial values appears to be inadequate in portions of the plan. For example,there was little information which represented visitors' or managers' valuesregarding the appropriateness of water-based activities such as power boatingon Lake Minnewanka (Section 3.2.2 of the plan). Some informationregarding visitor's perceptions of the level of development appeared in theLake Minnewanka Visitor Survey, however it did not represent the opinionsof all stakeholders involved in the planning process.In conclusion, the measure of existing ecological and social conditionsin the area was adequately presented in the plan within the backgroundinformation, however, more specific social data regarding values as well asmeasures of area specific indicators of ecosystem health would improve thisinformation.853. A Comparison and Analysis Between Existing and Desired ConditionsA comparison and analysis between the existing and desired conditionsis critical in determining the causes of planning issues and guiding the designof effective management strategies. This analysis was not explicit within theplan although the rationale behind many of the planning issues wasdiscussed within the background of each section (see for example, "DisturbedSites/ Rehabilitation," section 3.1 of the Minnewanka Area Plan). Acomparison and analysis of the existing and desired conditions is representedin Tables 5.1.1 - 5.1.12. Analyses which were not explained or were poorlyunderstood are distinguished.Within Terrestrial Ecosystem Protection and Management (Table 5.1.1),two issues are noted as poorly understood. Damage such as compaction anderosion to trails in areas around Lake Minnewanka and Johnson Lake(existing condition) is associated with intense visitor use. There is littleindication of what effect factors like the type or timing of activities mighthave on site-specific qualities of these areas. There is no expression of thedesired trail conditions at these sites. Similarly, reasons for differencesbetween the existing method of ecosystem management, based on managingsingle parameters such as fire or elk, and the desired, integrated approachappear to be poorly understood in the area plan.Discrepancies between the existing and desired social and ecologicalconditions within the Communications and Visitor Facilities section of theplan (Table 5.1.4) were reasonably well understood. Although stakeholdersand the public supported a greater personal CPS presence in the Minnewanka86area, reasons for the lack of this were not well explained within the plan (seeTable 5.1.4). Even though CPS budgets are strained making non-personalmeans of communication and visitor management preferable, the areacontinues to receive a substantial portion of the total visitors within BNP.Aspects such as the impact of recent Warden cutbacks in the Minnewankadistrict were not discussed within the Minnewanka Area Plan.The analyses between existing and desired conditions for VisitorActivities Management (Table 5.1.5 - 5.1.12) generally revealed a goodunderstanding of planning issues. The lack of social data regarding visitorneeds and perceptions of acceptable activities and facilities however, inhibitedan adequate understanding by the planning team of the problems associatedwith the management of water-based activities (Table 5.1.10) and camping(Table 5.1.11).Although a comparison between existing and desired social andecological conditions is facilitated by the format of the plan (i.e. thebackground section describes existing conditions followed by the objectiveswhich describe desired conditions), the analysis and understanding of asignificant number of planning problems is relatively weak. Inapproximately 17% of the analyses represented in Tables 5.1.1 - 5.1.12, thediscrepancies between the existing and desired conditions were not wellexplained or understood.874. Formulation and Assessment of Management Strategies Specific to thePlanning IssuesThe management strategies proposed in the Minnewanka Area Planare identified in Tables 5.1.1 - 5.1.12. The effectiveness of these was ratedsubjectively by the author according to the specificity by which managementstrategies addressed the defined planning issues. Overall, the proposedmanagement strategies were rated as 59% - very effective, 25% - effective and16% - ineffective . Ineffective strategies typically reflected a poorunderstanding of the causes for discrepancies between existing and desiredconditions as previously discussed. For example, the proposed managementstrategy for addressing damaged trails around Lake Minnewanka was torehabilitate or harden trails (See Table 5.1.1). This solution addressessymptoms rather than the causes of damage, thereby accommodating the usewhich is disturbing the ecosystem.A significant number of proposed management strategies recommendthe selection and monitoring of indicators to guide management actions (seeTable 5.1.3 and 5.1.7, for example). These strategies were rated as ineffectivebecause indicators were not specified within the plan which reduced thelikelihood of their implementation.Although most of the proposed strategies for Terrestrial EcosystemManagement (Table 5.1.1) were rated as effective, the plan proposal of"adopting an integrated ecosystem approach to management which willrequire a high degree of interaction between various park managers as well aspartnerships with other organizations and specialists," lacked specificity andwas rated as ineffective (see section 3.1.1 of the Minnewanka Area Plan). As8 8this action relates directly to the fundamental objectives of the plan, it shouldclearly articulate how integrated ecosystem management is to beimplemented.Proposed strategies for Aquatic Ecosystem Protection and Management(Table 5.1.2) were rated as highly effective to effective. Proposed resourceprojects such as determining the feasibility and implications of rehabilitatingthe Lower Cascade river habitat to a pre-dammed condition, were specifiedincluding the roles of partners involved such as TransAlta Utilities. Definedstrategies were compatible with existing management plans which enhancedthe probability of their implementation (Williams and Gill, 1991, p.60).The proposed communications strategies were evaluated as effectiveand highly comprehensive. Communication programs are a useful tool formanaging change. They may serve to raise visitor awareness, generate localcommunity support, and influence visitor behavior in a desired manner(Government of Canada, 1990; Environment Canada, CPS, April, 1992; City ofVancouver, 1992). Proposed strategies were directed at specific targetaudiences associated with the Minnewanka area within and beyond itsboundaries. Strategies such as meetings, publications and personal servicesprograms were proposed in addition to on-site media installations. Moststrategies were highly specific although staff training and the provision ofarea publications were rated as ineffective.Strategies for Visitor Activities Management (Section 3.2.2) weregenerally effective. Proposed strategies for the management of water-basedactivities were less effective and likely influenced by the lack of social89information which was discussed in the previous analysis. Strategies forattaining missing information should be clearly identified as a first step toresolving these issues. Cultural Resource Management (Table 5.1.12)strategies were highly effective because they were clearly integrated with othermanagement plans and processes.Overall 84% of the proposed management strategies were rated aseffective and highly effective. Ineffective strategies (16%) were associatedwith a lack of specificity or a poor understanding of the planning problem.Many of these were related to recommendations for monitoring indicatorsthat weren't specified.5. Plans for implementing and monitoring management strategiesA detailed implementation strategy appears in Section 4.0 of theMinnewanka Area Plan (April, 1993). The strategy identifies all of the actionsassociated with the implementation of proposed management strategies toultimately achieve the plan objectives. All players involved inimplementation are clearly identified.Although the budgetary constraints and the economic realities ofimplementing the plan were discussed with the planning team during theplanning process, costs associated with project implementation are notidentified within the area plan. This issue may be interpreted in two ways.The lack of identifying costs associated with implementation makes the planless realistic, thereby reducing the feasibility of its implementation. On theother hand, the lack of specifying costs ensures that important strategies are9 0not discounted for economic reasons. It was not within the scope of the areaplan to provide detailed cost estimates, however proposals should be realisticand reflect current economic constraints. Proposals for on-site mediainstallations and site enhancements would be more credible if theyconsidered budgeted resources. Some of the public feedback indicated that theproposed on-site communications program was unrealistic because it did notconsider cost. Several stakeholders did, however, express interest incontributing resources to this program (Personal communication, Otton,1993).Establishment of the LAC program, including the selection ofindicators, is defined during the first year of plan implementation withmonitoring proposed during the second year. As previously discussed, thelack of specifying indicators or a means for determining them within theplan, weakened the reality of implementing the LAC management approach.In summary, implementation of the area plan is seen as feasiblebecause a well thought-out, detailed strategy for adopting the planrecommendations is presented identifying key players and defined tasks. Thefeasibility of monitoring would be improved by specifying indicators withinthe plan and defining a monitoring program within existing managementframeworks.6. Provision for interdisciplinary input and meaningful public involvementat all levels of the planning processInterdisciplinary input was facilitated throughout the planning process.The on-going involvement of the eight-member planning team with91different areas of expertise ensured comprehensive input and feedback.Approximately ten planning team meetings were held throughout theplanning process in addition to regular correspondence where informationand feedback on drafts of the plan was provided. Specialists within the parkand from the CPS regional office were called upon to provide backgroundinformation and feedback on proposed strategies. Examples of this were thespecial planning team workshops on integrated ecosystem management andcommunications involving resource management, media specialists andstakeholders. A detailed evaluation of public participation in the planningprocess is presented in the following section (5.2) of the thesis.Table 5.1.1 Evaluation of Terrestrial Ecosystem Management StrategiesExisting Conditions Desired Conditions Analysis of Existing andDesired ConditionsProposed ManagementStrategiesEffectivenessRating880 ha. montane habitat lost dueto damming and floodingLtd. success with wolfrecolonization. Wolves sited nearJohnson Lake, Cascade ValleyHabitation of bighorn sheep.Natural and artificial salt licknear causeway bridgeTen disturbed sites: gravel andborrow pits, landfill sites.Cascade Pit and Minnewankalandfill impact streamsRiparian habitat of CascadeCreek significantly disturbed bygravel pit, damming and diversionCompacted and eroded trails atMinnewanka day use area;Trails around Johnson Lakesubject to high use. Damage totrails and vegetationInformation and interpretation ofnatural and cultural resources,ecosystems is scarce inMinnewanka areaMaintain and enhance ecologicalintegrity of montane ecosystemsRecolonization by wolves in BNPMaintenance of wild populationsin area 's ecosystemsRehabilitation of formerlydisturbed sites; enhancement ofmontaneVisitor awareness andappreciation of Minnewankaarea ecosystems; environmentalcitizenshipDamming activities formerlyacceptable in BNP. Abandonmentoption currently not feasibleHigh presence of humans maydeter wolves (currently not wellunderstood)Visitors approaching and feedingsheep, and the use of road saltassociated with sheephabituationExtractive activities historicallyacceptable; no longer compatiblewith CPS mandateValley impacted by formerlyacceptable activities.Rehabilitation of Cascade Creekhas not been assessedInfers intense visitor use is thecause of trail impacts; issue ispoorly understoodLack of CPS in area. Limitedstaffing and resource budgets, lackof mediaMaintain current level offacilities unless indicatorsidentify problems+Public supportDecrease human activities aroundJohnson Lake during the winterby not facilitating skiing or caraccess.; monitor initiatives andadapt mgt.-I-Not fullysupportedImplement communicationsstrategies geared to address targetaudiences and current managementmessages (sheep habituation)<^-I-/CPS presenceseen as moreeffectiveRehabilitate all disturbed sites.Minn. and Cascade pits priorities,TAU to rehabilitate their borrowpits;Monitor ongoing rehabilitation+ / >Rehabilitation of Cascade Creekto be assessed; TAU and CPS towork jointly>Highly specifiedRehabilitate shoreline trail aspart of Minnewanka day use areaimprovements;Restrict bicycles and horses fromJohnson lake trails</i-Addressessymptoms vs.problemsImplement Plan communicationsprogram, includes on-site mediaand strategies for communicatingwith target audiences throughmeetings, publications>Table continued...Table 5.1.1 Evaluation of Terrestrial Ecosystem Management Strategies, cont'd.Existing Conditions Desired Conditions Analysis of Existing andDesired ConditionsProposed ManagementStrategiesEffectivenessRatingEcosystem management based onmanagement of single parametersLocal and regional input indecision-making; localinvolvement, minimal partnershipsIntegrated ecosystem managementapproach.Partnerships with organizations,agencies, individuals to enhanceresources and improve parkmanagement according- to CPSmandate (CPS lead role)Existing management reflects CPSstructure (reductionist),dwindling budgets andcomparatively low technology;Current changes towardsintegrated management structure,improved research and technology(not well explained)CPS has mainly managed inisolation of others ; public inputhas been supported in past (notwell explained)Adopt an integrated ecosystemmanagement approach.;Select and monitor indicatorsincluding humans, wolves, elk andaspen. (from model of montane);<Indicators andmonitor notspecified;implementationunlikelyEstablish partnerships withinterested agencies, organizationsand stakeholders (specified);Develop partnerships establishedduring planning process>SomepartnershipsestablishedEffectiveness Rating:^>^Highly Effective^±^Effective^<^IneffectiveTable 5.1.2 Evaluation of Aquatic Ecosystem Protection and Management StrategiesExisting Conditions Desired Conditions Analysis of Existing andDesired ConditionsProposed ManagementStrategiesEffectivenessRatingpartnershipsestablishedduring planningprocessVariations in fish age/classabundance from year to yearCatch limits have beenreduced and bait limitsimposed to reflect censusdataProtection of naturalaquatic ecosystems; viablenative fish populationsSport fishing managed toprotect naturallyreproducing native fishstocksFall spawn may desiccateduring winter damdrawdown of lakePartnerships establishedwith TAU during licenserenewal; TAU to help assessand manage impacts fromwater fluctuations on LakeMinn., rehabilitate lowerCascade River channelLittoral zone impacted Rehabilitation of aquatichabisptatecies assemblagess, historic habitatsandFluctuating water levelsimpact littoral vegetationEstablish an integratedof Bl\-PmanagementFisheripesrogram as partManagement Program and+ / >Integrated withexisting mgt.Aquatic resource Integrated ecosystems Resource management TAU efforts; identify andmanagement based only onfisheries in the pastmanagement approach reflects CPS structure andbudget;organizationalchanges enhance interactionbetween departmentsmonitor indicatorsTAU has agreed to Partnerships with key Establish partnerships with >participated in aquaticresource management of theareastakeholders Trout Unlimited and BanffFishing UnlimitedVisitor awareness and Lack of visitor information Implement communicationsappreciation of aquatic and interpretation; lack of program; messages specific to >resources and management CPS presence hinders visitorawarenessaquatic resources and usersRating Key: > Highly Effective + Effective < IneffectiveTable 5.1.3 Evaluation of Sensitive Areas Management StrategiesExisting Conditions Desired Conditions Analysis of Existing andDesired ConditionsProposed ManagementStrategiesEffectivenessRatingCurrent zoning doesn'treflect management of specialareasDevil's Gap/ Ghost Lakesarea:- aeolian (wind transported)deposits- rare plants- cultural sites- Illegal ATV useJohnson Lake wetlands- productive, diversehabitats- rare amphibians poss.- bird staging areas, ltd. inBNPLower Cascade Riverchannel-former riparian habitat-marginal fish habitat-travertine (limestoneprecipitate) formation, rare,sensitiveEcological integrity ofsensitive areas protectedVisitor appreciation ofsensitive areas; awarenessof appropriate managementEnvironmental citizenshipGhost area impacted bydiversion of Ghost River,illegal ATV use which ispermitted on adjacent Prov.landsPotential visitor impactsfrom adjacent trail use,mountain bicycle accessDam diversion has impactedhabitat, changed landscape.Gravel extraction hasimpacted streamProhibit facilitydevelopment in sensitiveareas+Work with Alta. ForestryLands and Wildlife todevelop management strategyto protect Ghost resources+Prov. notcontacted inplanningprocessProhibit bicycle and horseaccess to trails aroundJohnson Lake.Direct area info. andinterpretation at protectionof sensitive resources÷Assess feasibility ofrehabilitation of riparianhabitats and flow with TAUas part of license renewalagreement>Integrated inTAU licenserenewalagreementIdentify and monitorindicators representingsensitive resources to guidemanagement<Indicators notidentifiedImplement communicationsprogram to enhance visitorappreciation andmanagement>Rating Key:^>^Highly Effective^+^Effective^<^IneffectiveVD,Table 5.1.4 Evaluation of Communications and Visitor Facilities Management StrategiesExisting Conditions Desired Conditions Analysis of Existing andDesired ConditionsProposed ManagementStrategiesEffectivenessRatingVisitors not satisfied with info.related services and facilitiesVisitors perceived level of facilitydevelopment appropriate; furtherdevelopment not supported150,000 visitors July, Aug., 1991,mostly Cdn.Mainly "General Touring" visitorgroups involved in sightseeing,moderately active; six other usergroups identifiedInfo. centres main info. source forarea, some use guidebooksCPS staff visibility important butinadequateGuided programs. not high priorityAdequate visitor orientation;visitor awareness andappreciation of resources andopportunitiesCommunication of area themes andmanagement messages to specifictarget groupsEnvironmental stewardshipCommunications strategies andmedia cost effective, efficient andintegrated into landscapePartnerships to improvecommunications and increaseresourcesLack of info. and orientationmedia and servicesVisitor and manager's perceptionsof appropriate level of facilitydevelopment differed; managersmore conservative (issue poorlyunderstood)Lack of CPS presence in area dueto scarce resources, cutbacks inInterpretive and Warden Services(Issue poorly explained)On-Site MediaInstall info., orientation andinterpretive media throughoutarea according to plan; identifiesmedia, messages, target audiencesat each site.Sites linked together through areatheme, "Valley of Change."Facility improvements andrehabilitation associated withmedia>Need to furtherassess extent ofmedia and siteimprovements.Establish an OperationalManagement Committee involvingkey stakeholders in decision-making and communication of areamessagesOngoinstakeholderinvolvementpositiveCommunicate area specificmessages through local andregional info. centres+Continue and improve BNPpersonal services programs.;target to area specific users>Support personal servicesprograms by others (specified); tocontain CPS messages± I >Need info. on"how'Continued^Table 5.1.4 Evaluation of Communications and Visitor Facilities Management Strategies, cont'dExisting Conditions Desired Conditions Analysis of Existing andDesired ConditionsProposed ManagementStrategiesEffectivenessRatingEstablish partnerships (specified)to communicate area messages andincrease resources forcommunications program;TAU partnership established>Promote production ofpublications by partners (e.g..scuba divers)>Communicate area specificmessages to Minnewanka staff<"How" notspecifiedCommunicate special mgt. messages(winter parking restrictions) toresidents through info. centres,Warden office and public meetings>Compile list of area specificpublications<LackedspecificityHold meetings between CPS andoutdoor adventure groups<LackedspecificityRating Key:^ >^Highly Effective^+ Effective^ <^Ineffective■C)CTTable 5.2.5 Visitor Activities Management - GeneralExisting Conditions Desired Conditions Analysis of Existing andDesired ConditionsProposed ManagementStrategiesEffectivenessRatingPreferred visitor experiences(from Visitor Survey) :- 40% want to "get away andrelax with others"- enrichment importantPeak weekend traffic at Minn.day-use area: 2000-3700vehicles/dayCongestion, confusion perceivedby managers and stakeholders atMinnewanka day use areaCompaction, erosion, wildlifehabituation evident atMinnewanka day use areaTo support activities which areconsistent with the vision and donot cause unacceptableenvironmental impactsVisitor activities and facilitieswhich encourage first handexperience of natural and culturalresources and enhance visitorappreciation; no conflicts betweenusers or activitiesEcological integrityVisitors did not perceivecongestion, managers didLack of visitor information maylead to visitor impactsHigh use levels associated withimpacts (poorly understood)See specific proposals foractivities in Tables 5.2.6 - 5.2.11Implement comprehensivecommunications program,rehabilitate and improvesubstandard facilitiesIdentify indicators, monitorecosystems and manage adaptively<Indicators andmonitoring notspecifiedRating Key:^>^Highly effective^+^Effective^< IneffectiveTable 5.1.6 Evaluation of Visitor Activities Management Strategies - Scenic TouringExisting Conditions Desired Conditions Analysis of Existing andDesired ConditionsProposed ManagementStrategiesEffectivenessRating80% visitors participated insightseeing; most visitors tourarea in own carLoop road narrow, hazardousOrientation and interpretationinadequate along loop roadScenic touring provided withoutcompromising ecological integrityTraffic levels and parkingfacilities not to exceed"acceptable" levelsA coordinated "parkway"experienceForecast population increasesmay result in an additional150,000persons/summer;:increased cars may impactecosystem and experienceDo not clearly understand"acceptable" levels oftraffic,parking but public inputsupported n_Q facility expansionLack of safe stoppingopportunities impacts scenictouring experience; narrow roadconditions hazardous for tourbuses, cyclistsLack of info., interpretationfacilities along loop road; lack ofconnection between sites impacts_experienceParking facility capacity will notbe expanded.Monitor parking levelsProactivePromote and support alternativepublic transit modes (shuttlebuses, bus tours, etc.)<Idea good; butdoes not specify"how"Widen loop road in narrowsections according to existingplans+Integrated inexisting plansInstall on-site media and improvepull-outs according tocommunications plan>Rating Key: >^Highly Effective +^Effective <^IneffectiveTable 5.1.7 Evaluation of Visitor Activities Management Strategies - Dayhiking, Bicycling, Horse RidingExisting Conditions Desired Conditions Analysis of Existing andDesired ConditionsProposed ManagementStrategiesEffectivenessRating42% visitors use trails fordayhikingExtensive network of trails, lackof orientation to trailsLake Minnewanka shoreline trailmost popular trail - compaction,erosion visibleJohnson Lake trail popularcompaction, erosion visibleUser conflicts (hikers, bicyclists)on Johnson Lake trailCommunity stables linked to trailnetwork, horse use of trailssignificantSupport trail activities which donot significantly impact ecologicalintegrityWell connected system of sites andopportunities with adequateorientationRehabilitation of impacted areas;avoidance of future trail impactsUser awareness of appropriatetrail etiquette.No conflicts between differentactivities and usersTrails managed as part ofintegrated approachSupport a variety of trailactivitiesPartnerships with trailorganizations to enhanceresources and communicatemessagesLack of trail orientation and poorcondition of some trails impedessuccess of trail networkPoor understanding of influence ofhigh use levelsCycling detracts from hikingexperience; trail not suitable forbicycling (winding, narrow,sensitive lakeshore)Local trail riders high awarenessof trails and etiquetteCPS has worked with Banff LightHorse Assoc. in past,opportunities for furtherpartnershipsFormalize the proposed trailnetwork; based on existing trailswith addition of two short traillinks; Provide comprehensiveorientation to all trailsspecific trailsand mediaidentifiedRehabilitate Lake Minn. shorelinetrail as part of site improvements;no plans for improvements toJohnson Lake trails+Restrict Johnson lakeshore trailuse to hiking only+supported bypublic feedbackIdentify and monitor indicatorsrepresenting trail conditions(LAC project)<Indicators/monitoring notspecifiedEstablish and enhancepartnerships with trailsorganizations (identified)Effectiveness Rating:^>^Highly Effective^+ Effective^ <^Ineffective.c)■r)Table 5.1.8 Evaluation of Visitor Activities Management Strategies - PicnickingExisting Conditions Desired Conditions Analysis of Existing andDesired ConditionsProposed ManagementStrategiesEffectivenessRatingPicnicking high importance invisitor survey; Water access sitesmost popularFacilities generally perceived asadequateProvision of drinking waterinadequate at some sites1.8% visitors require disabledaccessIncreased awareness of variety ofpicnicking sitesBetter distribution of useAdequate facilitiesAdequate disabled access;disabled access at Johnson LakeRationale of why some sites usedmore not discussed, although caraccess important (poorlyexplained)In-process plans to providedisabled access at Minn. day usearea; not identified for JohnsonLake (budget?)Implement communicationsprogram. to increase visitorawareness of picnickingopportunities>Provide drinking water at allestablished sites according toTRAC Plan>Provide disabled access tolakeshore and washrooms atJohnson Lake, integrated withBNP's Disabled Access PlanEffectiveness Rating: >^Highly Effective^+^Effective <^IneffectiveTable 5.2.9 Evaluation of Visitor Activities Management Strategies- Winter ActivitiesExisting Conditions Desired Conditions Analysis of Existing andDesired ConditionsProposed ManagementStrategiesEffectivenessRatingX-country ski trails at JohnsonLake, consistently poor snowconditions;Area may be important wolfhabitatCascade ski trail popular facility,better conditions;Access poorly marked, marginalsnow, steep terrain;Unfacilitated access at Cascadetrailhead frequently used, presentsparking complicationsSkating may be hazardous on TwoJack Lake and Minnewanka; CPSdoes not assume responsibilityEntire loop road plowed,maintenance budget constraintsSalt used for road maintenance;sheep habitation existsProvision of variety of safewinter opportunities that do notimpair ecosystemsPromote wolf recolonizationSafe, convenient and wellidentified access to Cascade trailwithout further developmentVisitor awareness and safetyassociated with winter activitiesReduce winter maintenance costsManage sheep habituation tomaintain wild populationsSki trails relatively popular(short, diverse)Influences of humans on wolfrecolonization poorly understoodAccess at Cascade trailhead(undesignated) more direct; accessat Upper Bankhead is poorlymarked in winter, requires hillclimb and may have poor snowcover; site provides shelter andwashroomsLack of information regardinghazards and conditions of skatingRoad salt likely exacerbates sheephabituationDecrease winter activities aroundJohnson Lake;Do not track set trails or plowroad;Monitor wolf activity, adapt mgt.strategies+ / >High level ofuncertaintyRehabilitate Cascade road accessas part of Minnewanka Pitrehabilitation to deter furtherparking;Improve orientation signs toUpper Bankhead, track setdifferent route options to improveconditions+Represents atrade-offImplement communicationsprogram including on-site winterhazard info.>Decrease extent of plowing asdetermined by Scenic Corndorsdept.>Assess and decrease road salt useaccording to Scenic Corridor'sanalysis>Effectiveness Rating: >^Highly Effective +^Effective^ <^IneffectiveTable 5.2.10 Evaluation of Visitor Activities Management Strategies - Water Based ActivitiesExisting Conditions Desired Conditions Analysis of Existing andDesired ConditionsProposed ManagementStrategiesEffectivenessRatingSmall percentage of visitorsparticipated in water basedactivitiesLake Minnewanka most popularsite- 2 marinas- interpretive boat tours- scuba diving- boating, fishingScuba diving intense; divers parkcars along dam causeway createscongestionInfrequent conflicts betweendivers and boatersParking lot at Two Jack Lakeimpacts the shoreline; boat rackillegitimately stored on-site (localrowers)Facilitation of "acceptable" water-based activities that do not impairecological integrityVisitor experiences whichenhance appreciation andunderstanding of park resourcesFacilities and activities whichfoster positive experiences, notcongested, confusing areasAvoidance of conflicts betweendifferent users and activitiesRehabilitation of disturbed sitesMost area visitors "GeneralTouring" involved in sightseeing,significant numbers take boat tourBanff Mgt. Plan indicates nosignificant. impacts from water-based activities (poorunderstanding)Visitor perception "acceptable"facilities and activities differsfrom managers, stakeholders;(poor understanding);Lake Minnewanka historicallyresort developmentDesirable depth, clarity andsubmerged resources influencediving popularity; divercertification site; implicationsdiving poorly understoodConflicts may be associated withlack of awareness, educationResult of former concessionoperation; private installationsprohibitedIdentify and monitor indicators aspart of Aquatic Resource Mgt.Plan and LAC approach<Indicators notidentified;integratedactionImplement proposed siteimprovements at Minnewankaday use area including dockupgrading, improved informationand interpretation, rehabilitation;Marina specialist to determinelong-term solution÷Deals withsymptoms morethan causesContinue discussions with divingrepresentatives to determine mgtstrategy>Implement communicationsprogram, actions specific tomanagement of water-basedactivities>Rehabilitate shoreline, implementsite and information improvements>Table continued^Table 5.2.10 Visitor Activities Management - Water- Based Activities, cont'dExisting Conditions Desired Conditions Analysis of Existing and DesiredConditionsProposed Management Strategies EffectivenessRatingIntense use of Johnson Lake(swimming,fishing); facilities seenas adequateEcological integrity, places forspecific user groups (i.e..locals)Implement site improvements(information and interpretation)+Assess fuelling facilities at Minn.marina; ensure they are up toenvironmental standards<not identified inplanEstablish partnerships withspecific water based groups;Operation Management Committeeto involve boat concessionaire,diversestablishedduring planprocessNo strategiesfor acquiringsocial info.Effectiveness Rating: >^Highly Effective +^Effective <^IneffectiveTable 5.1.11 Evaluation of Visitor Activities Management Strategies - CampingExisting Conditions Desired Conditions Analysis of Existing andDesired ConditionsProposed ManagementStrategiesEffectivenessRating15% total area visitors used twofrontcountry campgroundsTwo Jack Main campgroundtypically 33% unoccupiedLakeside campground typicallyfull , temporarily closed forrehabilitationSix backcountry campgroundsalong Lake Minn.,alf situated onprime montane habitatLack of information and facilitiesassociated with boat campingLack of marked connectionsbetween campgrounds and othersites in area; informal trailnetwork existsProvision of adequatefrontcountry and backcountrycamping opportunities which donot significantly impactecosystemsEfficient use of existing facilities,alleviate pressure off of overlyfull campgrounds. _.Full rehabilitation of Lakeside,prevention of future impactsRehabilitation of montane habitatVisitor awareness ofopportunities and etiquette; nonew facilitiesFrontcountry campgroundsintegrated with Minnewankaarea opportunities, linked bytrailsFacilities and services basic, maybe inadequate,farther locationfrom townsite, not adjacent towater; poor user awareness;Camper's perceptions and valuespoorly understoodRehabilitation satisfactoryOver-abundance of backcountryfacilities, sites at far end of lakeless use;Montane rehabilitation criticalCPS does not support furtherfacility development, impacts ofboat camping poorly understood;need for user educationMinnewanka area not plannedholistically in past;Conduct a simple visitor survey todetermine values and needs toguide campground enhancement(TRAC Plan initiative)>IntegratedactionImplement marketing program to^.raise camper's awareness of TwoJack facility (TRAC Plan action)>Rehabilitate one backcountry sitewhich is less used and close toother facilities;Monitor initiative to guide furtherrehabilitation>Implement communications pgm. toeducate boaters, hikers andincrease awareness of facilities>Formalize proposed trail networkand orientation media to establishconnections to area opportunities>Monitor indicators of aboveinitiatives (LAC pgm)+IdentifiesindicatorsEffectiveness Rating:^>^Highly Effective^±^Effective^ <^IneffectiveTable 5.2.12 Cultural Resource ManagementExisting Conditions Desired Conditions Analysis of Existing andDesired ConditionsProposed ManagementStrategiesEffectivenessRatingMinnewanka area rich in culturalresources, (sites identified);Area heritage important in contextof BNPMost sites are not secured orinterpretedBankhead mining site secured andinterpreted; visitor satisfaction ishighImpacts to submerged resources atLake Minnewanka identified, sitenot managedIncreased understanding andappreciation of cultural heritagein BNP (Strategic Plan goal)Protection of significant culturalresourcesSignificance of resources notrealized;Cultural resources low priority inpastLack of visitor awarenessassociated with visitor impacts,lack of appreciationAccess to Upper Bankhead,church foundation poorlyidentifiedImpacts to submerged resourcesidentified with diver vandalism,down rigging fishing, dock andboat lines attached to resourcesImplement recommendations ofBNP Cultural ResourceManagement Plan (in-process)>IntegratedactionImplement communicationsprogram actions associated withcultural resources (on-site media,meetings with stakeholders etc.)>Improve and mark connections toUpper Bankhead and church site,partners to assist>Implement recommendations of Ntl.Underwater Archaeologist formanagement underwater resourcesresources>IntegratedactionContinue discussions with divingrepresentatives to determinemanagement strategies>Identify and monitor indicatorsfor cultural resources as part ofLAC approach<LacksspecificityEffectiveness Rating:^>^Highly Effective^+^Effective^<^Ineffective1065.2 EVALUATION OF THE PUBLIC PARTICIPATION PROCESS5.2.1 Summary of the Minnewanka Area Plan Public ProcessThe planning process entailed comparatively extensive publicparticipation involving two different publics and levels of participation.Stakeholders who held a demonstrable interest in the Minnewanka areabecame involved early in the planning process through correspondence,meetings and workshops. Individuals and groups with a broader publicinterest were invited to participate once the draft plan was completed througha public open house and written submissions. The public participationprocess occurred in addition to on-going planning team meetings andreviews by the steering committee.A list of stakeholders who participated in the process is shown in Table5.2. Members included local interest groups such as the Friends of Banff Park,other agencies including TransAlta Utilities (TAU) and local enterprises likeMinnewanka Boat Tours. Stakeholders were identified through inputprovided by the CPS planning team and steering committee, reviewingrelative background information and by contacting potentially interestedgroups and through. One-on-one meetings were arranged with severalstakeholders early in the planning process.Little discussion regarding the type or level of proposed participationoccurred with the planning team. The CPS's terms of reference fordeveloping the area plan stated that the "project planner is expected tocoordinate consultations with affected stakeholders and interest groups todefine issues, potential solutions, and input into the vision of the area." TheTable 5.2 List of Stakeholders Who Participated in the Minnewanka AreaPlanning Process107StakeholderTrans Alta Utilities, CalgaryMinnewanka Tours, BanffTown of BanffBow Valley Naturalists, BanffTrout Unlimited, BanffBanff Fishing Unlimited, BanffBrewster Tours, BanffFriends of Banff Park, BanffScuba Metric, CalgaryThe Dive Shop, CalgaryBanff Light Horse AssociationBicycling RepresentativePark n' Pedal, BanffContact Person(s)Al TischerCherry HollandRoss MartinIan MackieDoug LeightonBob SmithGerry WilkiePeter DuckDoug MachuckJeff PerodeauBill NokesLorena DmytrievMary HardingBob LereauVern WutzkeEmil YurasekRuth QuinnKevin Hartwig1 0 8planning team suggested that a workshop would provide an efficient,informal milieu to plan with stakeholders. The terms of reference indicatedthat broader public input would be sought following completion of the draftarea plan through an open house (Terms of Reference, Lake MinnewankaArea Plan, Thesis Project, 1992).The first stakeholder workshop took place during the second month ofthe planning process (July). Stakeholders were sent a package which includedbackground information about the area (biophysical, social, policy),the general objectives of the plan, the timeline for the project and a proposedagenda for the workshop. The workshop was well attended with all but twoof the stakeholders contacted present (12 stakeholders present). The objectivesof the plan and important background information were introduced.Relevant plans and information were available. Stakeholders were invited toprovide input that would be used in the formulation of the draft plan, whichthey would in turn be able to provide feedback on. Planning issues werediscussed through a round-table process and a vision for the area wasdeveloped at the workshop.An important outcome of the first workshop was that TAU expressedinterest in becoming a partner with the CPS to develop interpretive media inthe Minnewanka area. Significant stakeholder interest in participatingresulted in the scheduling of a second planning workshop.Stakeholders were provided with minutes from the first meeting and asuggested agenda before the second workshop, which was held a month later(August). During the second workshop, small working groups generated109planning options which addressed the issues raised in the first workshop.Members of the planning team participated in each working group. Teamspresented their options, which were followed by discussion and evaluation.A specific workshop was held in September for developing an on-sitecommunications program. The CPS invited several interested stakeholderssuch as TAU and CPS media specialists. A special workshop on integratedecosystem management was also held around this time although nostakeholders were invited to participate.The first draft of the area plan was completed at the end of November,1992 and was presented to the steering committee and the planning team.Two subsequent drafts were written between December and February based onthe feedback of the planning team and steering committee. The third draftwas sent to stakeholders with an invitation to attend the public open housescheduled for late February. Stakeholders were given three weeks to providefeedback on the draft plan.The public open house was held in Banff in February, 1993. The eventwas advertised in local newspapers and through a regional mailing list whereinterest groups received a summary of the draft plan. A display highlightingthe principle concepts and strategies of the draft plan was presented at theopen house with members of the planning team available to discuss the planwith individuals. Comment forms were available with feedback being duewithin two weeks. Approximately 100 persons attended the open house.110A notice which misinterpreted information from the Draft Area Planwas sent out by one of the stakeholders to most diving organizations in theprovince. The notice indicated that water access was being eliminated at oneof the areas used for diving and parking was being eliminated from the mostpopular facility. In fact, access was not being eliminated but the parkingrestrictions initially proposed would have significantly affected divers. Manymembers of the diving community, most of whom had been unaware of theplanning process, reacted to this call by providing feedback. The CPScontacted and discussed these issues with diving representatives. On-goingmeetings were established. Recommendations for the management of divingwill be made in the future as an Addendum to the Area Plan.Approximately 50 submissions on the draft plan were received. Theseincluded extensive submissions from groups such as the Canadian Parks andWilderness Society (CPAWS) and the Bow Valley Naturalists as well as briefcomment forms from individuals within the area and the province. Reasonsfor decisions were requested in several submissions.Public feedback was summarized and presented at a final planningteam meeting in March, 1993. Contentious issues were discussed andconsensus was reached by the planning team and steering committee.Several submissions were received following the deadline for public input.These were discussed with steering committee members and reflected in thefinal area plan.1115.2.2 Evaluation of the Participation Process According to the Criteriaof a Fair and Effective ProcessAn evaluation of the Minnewanka Area Plan's public participationprocess according to the normative criteria for a fair and effective process(section 2.5.1 of the thesis) is presented below.1. Clear objectives and priorities of the planning and stakeholderinvolvement process should be communicated to participants before theprocess begins.Stakeholders received information about the objectives and timeline ofthe area plan as well a background on the main policies, mandates anddecisions influencing the plan in a mail-out package before the firstworkshop. This information was articulated at the onset of the firststakeholder workshop. The decision-making process met the requirements ofthis criteria.2. Representative InvolvementAll stakeholders involved in meetings and workshops possessed adirect, demonstrable interest in the Minnewanka area. Although mostparties with an interest in the area participated in planning workshops, theinclusion of several stakeholders could have enhanced the planning process.Of several scuba diving representatives contacted, only one attendedthe first planning workshop. It was later revealed that this interest did notrepresent the opinion of most of Lake Minnewanka's diving community.112The location of workshops (Banff) likely inhibited the attendance ofstakeholders who resided in Calgary and Edmonton.The Banff Light Horse Association, a group with a long-term interest inthe trails in the Minnewanka area, was not initially contacted during theplanning process. They were identified as a stakeholder in the first workshopresulting in their participation in future workshops. The role of severaladditional stakeholders became apparent with the release of the draft plan.Representatives of power-boating as well as the local rowing club had notbeen contacted although they were affected by plan decisions. There was noprovision for an on-going evaluative mechanism which measuredrepresentative involvement.3. Comprehensive Involvement OpportunitiesStakeholders were not involved in the design of planning processes.Comprehensive involvement was expressed by stakeholder's participation indetermining planning issues, the vision for the area and the generation andassessment of planning options. During the early stages of the planningprocess, stakeholder participation was characterized by a partnershiprelationship where decision-making was shared. Involvement was lesscomprehensive in writing the draft plan. Stakeholders did not have equalopportunities to provide feedback on the first drafts of the plan in comparisonto the planning team and steering committee. Participation was reduced toconsultation in making the final plan decisions. Stakeholder participationwould have been more comprehensive if the level of involvement remainedconsistent throughout the planning process.1 1 3Comprehensiveness was expressed by the involvement of participantsat two levels: stakeholders who held a demonstrable interest in the area andinterested members of publics in spheres outside of the planning area.Participants representing local and regional areas and interests responded tothe draft plan at the public open house and through correspondence.Although this level of participation is described as token according toArnstein's "Ladder of Participation" (1969), it represents a guage for theacceptance of decisions at a broader scale and is useful in combination withmore meaningful forms of stakeholder involvement.Overall, the public participation process was not comprehensiveaccording to the evaluative criteria defined in the thesis. During the earlystages of the planning, prior to the completion of a draft plan, stakeholdersacted as partners in decision-making. As the process neared completion ofthe plan, participation was less comprehensive. Participation was difficult tomaintain at a partnership level throughout the planning process because theCPS is ultimately responsible for decision-making through its mandate.4. Timely Access to InformationStakeholders were provided with a summary of importantinformation which affected decision-making in the Minnewanka area priorto workshops. Copies of important resources and planning documents weremade available at workshops and the open house and the planning team wasavailable to provide additional information. Stakeholders received timelyaccess to information in the early stages of the planning process.1 1 4Following the release of the draft plan and staging of the Open House,stakeholders and members of the public were given approximately two weeksto provide feedback on the draft plan. This deadline reflected the due date forcompletion of the plan. Participants were not given timely access toinformation at this stage in the process. Several stakeholder groupscommented on the lack of time while one group requested a two weekextension in order to coordinate their response with the members of theirorganization. The unreasonableness of this deadline emphasized theconsultative nature of the process over one of shared decision-making.A contentious issue regarding access to information involved theconcurrent license renewal discussions taking place between TransAltaUtilities (TAU) and the CPS. As the operation of TAU's facilities significantlyinfluences the Minnewanka area, information and access to this process wascritical. This license renewal process initially had no provision for publicparticipation and was isolated from the Minnewanka area planning process.Public reaction to the TAU license renewal process resulted in greater accessto information, however the lack of coordination and information exchangebetween these processes was poorly received by stakeholders and members ofthe planning team. This experience reduced stakeholder's trust in the CPSand credibility in planning processes within the park. This was reflected inapproximately 10% of the public feedback on the draft plan.In summary, stakeholders had timely access to information early in theplanning process but were constrained in responding to the draft area plan.115Stakeholders did not have adequate access to selective information like theTAU license renewal discussions.5. Adequate Resources to ParticipateThe provision of adequate resources such as intervener funding wasnot considered nor was it perceived as necessary within the context of theplanning process. Available time was likely a more limiting resource tostakeholder participation. The lack of time and inconvenience associatedwith travelling to workshops in Banff was a problem for somerepresentatives from Calgary. Concurrent Natural Resource ConservationBoard (NRCB) public hearings associated with a proposed mega developmentin the Bow Valley filled several stakeholder's schedules.Provision should have been made to meet with all stakeholders whohad an interest in participating. One-on-one meetings could be scheduledwith participants who could not attend workshops. Several of these meetingsdid occur during the planning process.6. Written Reasons for DecisionsWritten reasons for decisions were not provided to stakeholders.Several stakeholder groups requested reasons for decisions and answers toquestions expressed in their submissions of the draft plan. No provision wasmade to submit written reasons for decisions during the planning process.Providing written reasons for decisions could have clarified several decisions1 1 6where stakeholders had incorrect information. The decision-making processwas inadequate in this respect.7. Appeal Mechanisms / Conflict ResolutionNo formal appeal mechanism was incorporated into the planningprocess. Stakeholders and members of the public who responded to the draftplan were invited to raise issues with the Chief of Planning in Banff NationalPark. Members of the scuba diving community used this mechanism to voiceconcerns and establish a negotiation process with the CPS.There was no appeal mechanism or third party established for conflictresolution in the planning process. The provision of direct access to the Chiefof Planning and CPS decision-makers was seen as an adequate appealmechanism within the context of area planning.8. Consistent Objectives of the Managing OrganizationThe CPS expressed their objectives to stakeholders through thearticulation of the mandate, guiding policies, strategies and decisions whichmight affect the area plan. This was communicated in written form in thestakeholder's package, during workshops and within backgroundinformation in the draft area plan. This information served as a basis bywhich discretionary decisions within the plan could be measured.One stakeholder group expressed concern regarding discretionarydecisions contained within the draft plan (Bow Valley Naturalists, March,1 1 71993). Concern related to the CPS's decisions to continue to support hydroelectric generation within Banff National Park as well as maintaining a highlevel of visitor use in the Minnewanka area while advocating the mandate of"maintaining ecological integrity." Such claims were undeniable althoughthese issues clearly superseded the scope of the area plan and were highlycomplex, reflecting changing history and policy within BNP. The option ofabandoning and rehabilitating the hydro facilities on Lake Minnewanka wasexamined as part of the TAU license renewal process. The economiccompensation required by the CPS combined with the uncertainty ofrehabilitation deterred the adoption of this option (Beswick, 1992). In thefinal plan, efforts were made to more clearly identify the influences ofdecision-making and the trade-offs involved in the CPS's decisions withinBanff National Park.9. Provision of Notification of the Results of MonitoringProvisions for the notification of the results of monitoring of decisionswere made in recommending the establishment of the OperationalManagement Committee which will continue to involve key stakeholders indecision-making and management on an on-going basis. The idea ofestablishing this group emerged from one of the stakeholders during aplanning workshop.No provision was made to share the results of plan implementationand monitoring with members of the larger public in the future, although allCPS reports are public and are available to anyone requesting them.Managers should be encouraged to share the results of implementation (or1 1 8non-implementation) of the plan with other members of the organizationand to inform the public through regional communication strategies such asthe Canadian Park Service's newsletter, Participation.5.2.3 Evaluation of the Outcomes and Attitudes of the Area PlanningProcessThe outcomes of the area planning process and the attitudes ofstakeholders are evaluated according to the measures defined in Chapter 2.0of the thesis.1. Frequency of contact between stakeholders and decision-makers measuredquantitatively by numbers of meetings, calls, correspondence, workshopsand other meansOver the nine month period of the planning process, stakeholderswere contacted through correspondence, meetings, workshops and callsapproximately nine times/stakeholder. These contacts were broken downinto: a minimum of two calls/ stakeholder, stakeholder participation in twoplanning workshops, three information packages sent out throughcorrespondence, a mail-out of the draft area plan and one written submissionfrom stakeholders.Of the above contacts, all except the mail-out of the draft plan andstakeholder's response to the plan occurred during the first four months ofthe process, prior to completion of the draft plan. The majority of stakeholderinvolvement therefore occurred during the early stages of the process in theidentification of planning issues, the generation of a desired vision andmanagement options for the area. The planning team and steeringcommittee ultimately assessed options and formulated the draft plan. This119stage of the process reflected a consultative level of participation rather thanshared decision-making or decision-making partnerships.Overall, the frequency of contact was seen as satisfactory by the authorbut was inconsistent throughout the planning process. This represents aconsultation level of participation rather than one of shared decision-making.2. The degree to which participants felt they had a voice in participationopportunities.Stakeholders were not asked to provide feedback regarding the extentto which they felt they had a voice in decision-making however severalindicators infer a perception of their influence.Discussion was facilitated by the thesis student during workshops andnot directly led by the CPS. All participants (including the CPS) were givenequal opportunities to participate at workshops. Stakeholders contributed themajority of discussion in both workshops. Stakeholder's feedback of theexperience (spoken comments) was positive and members appeared to bemotivated after both workshops.The reduced degree to which stakeholders had a voice in theevaluation of options and formulation of the final plan was reflected infeedback on the draft plan. Only 60% of the stakeholders submitted writtencomments on the draft plan.The perception of the broader public's voice in decision-making wasnot surveyed. Several of these participants commended the CPS on the120participation process (CPAWS, individual submissions). One regionalstakeholder group was not contacted through an inadvertent omission at theCPS Regional Office. This group complained of the exclusionary publicparticipation process (Alberta Federation of Naturalists).Overall stakeholders expressed satisfaction regarding the degree towhich they had a voice in participation opportunities. The reduced level ofparticipation during final decision-making was likely associated with areduced sense of influence by stakeholders.3. The degree to which participants actually influenced the decision-makingprocess.Stakeholders influenced decision-making to a significant degree.Decisions which were affected included:- the establishment of an Operational Management Committee, involvingkey stakeholders in on-going decision-making;- the management of scuba diving which will be determined followingdiscussions with scuba representatives and presented as an addendum tothe plan;- on-site interpretation which will be jointly managed with TAU;- the proposed trail system reflects the recommendations of stakeholders;- a one-way loop road option was suggested by stakeholders and assessed to beunfeasible due to the weight capacity of the road, but may be considered inthe future as road upgrading occurs;- the decision to eliminate the proposed parking strategy at the Cascadetrailhead;- a greater emphasis on ecosystem protection;- trails closed to mountain bikes around Johnson Lake.121Stakeholder input influenced decisions regarding facilities to a greaterextent than fundamental decisions such as the overall ecosystemmanagement strategy or the opportunities facilitated in the area.4. Output of the participation process.The output of the two stakeholder workshops consisted of theidentification of planning issues, a vision and management options for thearea. The output of stakeholder workshops acted mainly as input which wasevaluated by the CPS in decision-making. Stakeholders began to evaluateproposals, thereby making preliminary decisions during the secondworkshop.Further output from the participation process consisted ofapproximately 50 submissions on the draft plan. Of these approximately onehalf were received from members of stakeholder groups. This output wasevaluated by the CPS and considered in decision-making.The level of output from participation processes was high in relation tothe time spent participating. The process was therefore seen as efficient.Provision of preparatory materials for workshops (written packages) likelyenhanced the efficiency of the process. The type of stakeholder output(essentially input into CPS's decision-making) was more reflective of aconsultative level of participation than of shared decision-making.1225. The extent to which polarization of public opinion was preventedPotential polarization of public opinion may have been prevented byholding one-on-one meetings with several stakeholders before workshopswhich enhanced relationships. An open sharing of information wasemphasized at workshops over the establishment of positions creating aninformal atmosphere and preventing polarization.Significant polarization of opinion was expressed in stakeholder'ssubmissions on the draft plan. Many members of the scuba divingcommunity contacted the Chief of Planning in Banff expressing a strongdifference of opinion from the draft plan. Concerns were discussed with theAlberta Scuba Divers Council and representatives of major divingorganizations. A significant degree of misinformation was clarified andfurther discussions were planned. The approach of discussing contentiousissues with individual stakeholder groups while assuring them the plan wasnot finalized may have avoided the polarization of stakeholder opinions inseveral situations.The public open house was organized so that participants discussedconcerns with members of the planning team rather than voicing concernsthrough a public hearing format. This helped to avoid potentialconfrontations and polarization of opinion.In summary, the extent to which polarization of public opinion wasprevented was high indicating a low level of conflict and a high level of123agreement. Some prevention was necessary following the release of the draftplan.6. Acceptance of Final DecisionsAt the time of this evaluation, the final plan had not been printed orreceived by stakeholders. Based on the draft plan, all stakeholders and mostmembers of the broader public supported the general direction of the planwhich included:- the vision of the plan (strong support),- maintaining and monitoring the current level of facility development(strong support),- rehabilitation of disturbed sites (strong support),- providing a comprehensive communications program including on-sitemedia (strong support),- establishing partnerships (strong support),- implementing an integrated ecosystem management program (moderatesupport),- improving facilities at the Minnewanka day use area (moderate support).The key decisions of the draft plan which were not fully accepted bystakeholders included :- limitations to horse use on the proposed trail system (strong disagreement),- parking restrictions associated with the management of scuba diving (strongdisagreement),- the ecological implications and financial realities of site improvements,124- the extent of proposed on-site media,- the lack of definition of the integrated ecosystem management approach.The main decisions which were contentious according to the broader publicinput involved:- parking restrictions which would significantly influence scuba divingactivities (strong disagreement),- trails in the Johnson Lake area closed for wolf recolonization,- the provision of winter parking at the Cascade trailhead,- limiting horse use on several hiking trails (strong disagreement),- the ecological implications of proposed facility improvements.All of the above decisions were influenced in the final plan as a resultof public/ stakeholder feedback. It is interesting to compare someparticipants' perceptions of the most desirable level of participation with thatsupported in the literature reviewed which advocated shared decision-making and partnership arrangements. The Bow Valley Naturalists noted intheir submission, which was likely the most comprehensive of thosereceived, that (see next page):We support the process whereby various interest groups are involvedat the early stages in planning. We appreciate the opportunity to haveparticipated in that process. However, we must flag a deeply feltunease which arises when "interest groups" are encouraged to bringtheir particular concerns forward. We sense a very real danger that thefocus of participants will shift from what is best for the national park towhat is best for them. Although we are on the alert for this pitfallourselves, we profess no superior, self righteous purity in this regard...1257. Frequency of examples which indicate changed self-perception ofcommittee representatives( e.g. new leaders in groups, previouslyinarticulate members speaking out, etc.)The frequency of examples which indicate changed self-perception ofcommittee representatives was significant and reflective of a positiveexperience. Partnerships were established with three stakeholder groupsthrough the initiative of these groups (TAU, Banff Light Horse Associationand Trout Unlimited). Minnewanka Tours, the principal stakeholder at themost highly used visitor area, established a positive working relationshipwith CPS and proposed the establishment of the Operation ManagementCommittee. This represented a significant change from a formerly adversarialrelationship. Positive relationships were established with many of thestakeholders and a changed self-perception could be measured in the level offamiliarity which characterized discussions later in the planning process.126CHAPTER VI. CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONSConclusions and recommendations specific to the plan evaluation areidentified within this chapter followed by general conclusions regarding theoutcome of the planning process. Areas for further research are suggested.6.1 SUMMARY OF CONCLUSIONS FROM THE EVALUATION RELATIVETO CARRYING CAPACITY MANAGEMENTThe Minnewanka Area Plan met all of the criteria for effective carryingcapacity management which were identified within section 2.3 of the thesis.The six criteria advocated in this model represent an ideal planning processfor determining strategies to manage visitor activities and ecologicalresources according desired social and ecological conditions. This model is auseful approach for facilitating integrated ecosystem management in theMinnewanka area.According to the criteria for effective carrying capacity management,the weakest areas of the plan pertain to the adoption and implementation ofthe LAC approach. Specifically, the provision of precise measures of theexisting ecosystem conditions, the analysis of existing and desired conditionsand the recommendations for monitoring indicators were inadequate. Asummary of the conclusions from the evaluation of the plan according tothese criteria is shown in Table 6.1.127Table 6.1 Summary of Conclusions of Evaluation According to the CarryingCapacity Management FrameworkCriterion ConclusionDefinition of SpecificObjectives Which DescribeConditionsHighly adequate definition of objectives describing desiredsocial and ecological conditions, represented at three levels ofspecificity.Measure of Existing Socialand Ecological ConditionsSufficient background information describing existingconditions however, measure of existing social conditions andvalues weak. The lack of identifying and measuringindicators hindered specific measurement of existingecological conditions.Comparison and AnalysisBetween Existing and DesiredConditions; Rationale ofPlanning ProblemsComparison between existing and desired conditionssatisfactory; analyses relatively weak. Approximately 17%of the causes of issues not well explained or poorly understood.Formulation and Assessmentof Specific ManagementStrategiesAlmost 85% of the proposed management strategies wererated as effective to highly effective because theyspecifically addressed problems and discrepancies betweenexisting and desired conditions. Many ineffective strategiesrelated to monitoring indicators which were not defined.Provisions forImplementation andMonitoringAn highly adequate implementation strategy was presented.Proposed monitoring program is weak and lacks specificitybecause indicators are not identified.Interdisciplinary Input andMeaningful PubicInvolvementOn-going involvement by interdisciplinary planning teameffective; meaningful public stakeholder involvementadequate.As identified within the evaluation (Section 5.1), reasons linked withthe lack of precise measures of existing conditions were associated with thegeneral lack of social data as well the representation of park information atscales larger than that needed for area planning (i.e. 1:50,000). Existingecosystem information in BNP has tended to focus on natural resourcemanagement while failing to adequately consider the human phenomena1 2 8associated with national park ecosystems. More recent projects within thepark are beginning to integrate human and natural systems. This isexemplified in the Tourism, Recreation and Communications (TRAC) Plan(Environment Canada, April, 1992) and the Cultural Resource ManagementPlan which is currently being completed.Recommendations for selecting and monitoring indicators presentedan effective approach for assessing ecosystem health, however the lack ofdefining indicators reduced the likelihood that this approach would beimplemented. Because area planning is the most specific level of land-useplanning in national parks, specific indicators should be identified in the planand not left to be determined during the implementation phase. Thebackground information and specific objectives in the plan may providesufficient information to propose indicators representing the area'secosystems.The plan was marginally inadequate in the analyses of planningproblems. The approach of analysing discrepancies between existing anddesired conditions to determine the causes of problems is highly effective.This approach was facilitated in the organization of Minnewanka Area Planwhere existing conditions were described within the "background" of eachsection followed by an expression of the desired conditions or "objectives."Although the plan sufficiently compared conditions, it failed to adequatelyanalyse the discrepancies between existing and desired conditions for anumber of planning issues. Of these, a significant number were related to thecomplex relationship between use and acceptable impacts. The analysisassociated with ecosystem management failed to reveal causes for129discrepancies between existing and desired ecosystem conditions. The causesfor this are likely attributed to the inherent complexity of the Minnewankaarea's ecosystems, the lack of accurate information, and the organizationalframework of the CPS in BNP which has functioned as different departmentsoperating apart from eachother.The evaluation of the Minnewanka Area Plan according to thenormative criteria for carrying capacity management revealed that most ofthe inadequacies of the plan were related to recommendations for adoptingthe LAC approach. Most of the proposed management strategies that wererated as ineffective were associated with monitoring indicators which werenot specified in the plan. Concerns regarding the operational and economicconstraints of identifying and monitoring indicators representative of theMinnewanka area ecosystems were raised by the planning team and thestakeholders during the planning process.Although the LAC model is seen as a useful means to guidemanagement strategies towards the achievement of desired conditionsthrough an on-going adaptive management approach, it is perhaps an overlycomplex approach within the context of area planning in the Minnewankaregion. The evaluative framework for carrying capacity management whichwas introduced in section 2.3 of the thesis, was devised from a review ofvarious approaches for recreational carrying capacity management includingthe LAC approach. It maintains all of the essential concepts embraced in theLAC approach, yet is simpler and would likely be easier to implement andmore effective in the Minnewanka area planning project.1 3 0The evaluation revealed that the most effective proposed managementstrategies were those which reflected an adequate understanding of the causesof the problem and were integrated into existing management plans orframeworks. Proposals related to aquatic resource management for example,reflected an adequate understanding of the hypothesized causes of problems.These included the effects of reservoir drawdown on destruction of thelittoral zone and the fall spawn of trout as well as the disturbance of riparianhabitat due to the diversion of the Cascade River and gravel extraction (see3.1.2 of the Minnewanka Area Plan). Proposed management strategies wereintegrated with other CPS management activities such as the TAU licenserenewal agreement and the park's proposed fisheries managementprogramme.The strategy to adopt the LAC approach was poorly integrated withexisting management frameworks. This issue is complex as there is a need toadopt an integrated ecosystem-based management approach in BNP wherethe CPS has traditionally functioned in separate, specialized divisions.Although structural changes which integrate divisions were recentlyestablished within the CPS, a clearly defined strategy for implementing anintegrated ecosystem management approach in the Minnewanka and otherareas of the park is needed (Environment Canada, Canadian Parks Service,June, 1992).1316.2 RECOMMENDATIONS FOR IMPROVING THE MINNEWANKA AREAPLAN ACCORDING TO THE NORMATIVE CRITERIA ASSOCIATEDWITH CARRYING CAPACITY MANAGEMENTThe following recommendations for facilitating integrated ecosystemmanagement in the Minnewanka area were determined through theevaluation of the plan according to the normative criteria associated witheffective carrying capacity management.1. Define indicators representing the social and ecological conditions that arespecific to the objectives of the plan and the Minnewanka area ecosystems.Monitor these to provide more precise data on the existing state of theecosystem and to guide management strategies towards desired conditions.The definition of indicators within the plan should enhance the likelihoodof implementing a carrying capacity approach to resource management.These indicators should be chosen so that they can be readily monitored byCPS staff within the existing management framework in BNP.Suggested indicators for the management of scuba diving weredetermined by examining information contained in the plan. Indicatorsrepresenting other aspects of the area's ecosystems could be developed in thesame manner as a means of initiating a simple monitoring program whichcould be adapted over time.1 3 2Figure 6.1 .1 Suggested Indicators (•) and Monitoring Strategy (-) Associated with Scuba DivingManagement• Presence of on-site diving media- Visual checks, CPS staff• No./frequency of meetings between CPS and diving representatives- CPS staff involved in diving discussions• Presence of diver registration program- Cultural resource specialist in BNP• No. of contacts, information-sharing between divers and CPS staff or concessionaires- Recording by CPS staff and concessionaires• No. of vehicles parked along causeway at main diving area on weekends in July and August- Regular Warden patrols• Recorded impacts to submerged resources (theft, disruption, vandalism)- National underwater archaeologist survey, Warden patrols• No. of recorded conflicts between users (i.e. divers and boaters)- Recording by concessionaires, Wardens2. Adopt a simpler approach to carrying capacity management using theevaluative framework suggested in section 2.3 of the thesis for carryingcapacity management. This model embodies the essential concepts of theLAC and VIM approaches while presenting a simpler method toimplement integrated ecosystem management. The approach is appropriatefor area planning and is more compatible with the structure and resourcesof the CPS.3. Improve the specificity of the implementation strategy by identifyingindicators and more clearly defining the roles and responsibilities ofindividuals involved in implementing and monitoring an integratedecosystem management approach in the Minnewanka area. The continuedinvolvement of the planning team is suggested.1336.3 SUMMARY OF CONCLUSIONS FROM THE EVALUATION OF THEPUBLIC PARTICIPATION PROCESS6.3.1 Summary of Conclusions According to Criteria for a Fair andEffective Participation ProcessThe area plan incorporated all of the criteria defined for a fair andefficient public participation process except the provision of written reasonsfor decisions. The omission of written reasons for decisions in the planprocess hinders the building of a trust relationship between stakeholders andthe CPS and reduces stakeholder's power in decision-making. A summary ofthe conclusions from the evaluation according to the criteria for a fair,efficient and representative public participation process is represented inTable 6.2.The plan did not achieve a high performance rating for several of theevaluative criteria. Following the release of the draft plan, it became apparentthat scuba diving representatives and the Alberta Federation of Naturalistswere inadvertently omitted from participating (criterion for RepresentativeInvolvement). The analysis also revealed that participation occurredessentially as a consultative process as opposed to a higher level of shareddecision-making (see criteria for Comprehensive Involvement and TimelyAccess to Information). Criteria such as Adequate Resources to Participateand Provision of Appeal Mechanisms were not considered within the contextof the planning process.Table 6.2. Summary of Conclusions from the Evaluation of the PublicParticipation Process According to Criteria for Fairness andEffectivenessCriterion ConclusionClear Objectives andPriorities of the PlanningProcessStakeholders were provided with clear objectives of theparticipation process.Representative Involvement Involvement was representative but lacked participation of afew stakeholders; stakeholders should have had adequateinput into who participated.Comprehensive InvolvementOpportunitiesStakeholders had comprehensive involvement opportunitiesearly in the process but not during decision-making. Provisionof involvement at two levels (stakeholders, broader public)was comprehensive.Timely Access to Information Timely access to information in early stages of planningprocess; insufficient access to information and to respond atfinal decision-makingAdequate Resources toParticipateAdequate financial resources not an issue; the distance tostakeholder workshops was a limiting factor for severalstakeholders.Written Reasons for Decisions Did not provide stakeholders with written reasons for finaldecisions.Appeal Mechanisms Access to Chief of Planning and CPS decision-makersprovided a sufficient appeal mechanism which was used.Consistent Objectives of theManaging OrganizationConsistent objectives of managing organization weremaintained within the plan.Provision of Notification ofthe Results of MonitoringProvision for the communication of results of planimplementation through the on-going involvement ofstakeholders; no specific provision for notification of largerpublic.1341 3 5These results may be attributed to a lack of discussion and planningabout the participation process and the appropriate levels of participation.Ideally, all of the criteria in Table 6.2 should be discussed with members of theplanning team, stakeholder groups and steering committee and tailored tothe context of the planning exercise in designing the participation process.The facilitation of an evaluative mechanism such as on-going feedback fromstakeholders, might have improved the participation process and made itmore inclusive and consistent with respect to the level of involvement.6.3.2 Summary of Conclusions from the Evaluation of Outcomes andAttitudes of the Public Participation ProcessA summary of the conclusions reached through the evaluation of theoutcomes and attitudes of the public participation process (section 2.5.2 of thethesis) appear in Table 6.3. This evaluation reaffirmed that the participationprocess occurred at a partnership level early in the process and was lowered toa position of consultation during final decision-making and completion ofthe plan. Some stakeholders preferred a consultative role over shareddecision-making because they wanted to ensure that the CPS's mandate wasupheld and not altered by the individual interests of stakeholders (BowValley Naturalists, March, 1993).Despite the level of participation, it is interesting to note that the roleand self-perception of stakeholders was enhanced through the developmentof partnerships and working relationships. Stakeholder input significantlyinfluenced the decisions made within the plan and improved theinformation base for decision-making.136Table 6.3 Summary of Conclusions From the Evaluation of Outcomes andAttitudes of the Public Participation ProcessCriterion ConclusionFrequency of Contact BetweenStakeholders and Decision-MakersFrequency of contact high early in participation process,decreased during decision-making. Process more reflective ofconsultation, not shared decision-making.Degree to WhichParticipants InfluencedDecision-MakingStakeholders influenced final plan decisions significantly.Output of ParticipationProcessA high level of output occurred in early stages of the process,decreased output during decision-making. Stakeholder'soutput became input for CPS decision-making.The Extent to WhichPolarization of PublicOpinion Was PreventedSome polarization prevented following release of draft plan;not highly problematic.Acceptance of Final Decisions Final plan not released. General support for draft plan. Thefinal plan reflects the feedback of the draft plan.Frequency of ExamplesWhich Indicate ChangesSelf-perception ofStakeholdersSignificant number of examples indicating changed self-perception of stakeholders and a positive participationexperience. Several partnerships and on-going stakeholderinvolvement established.6.4 RECOMMENDATIONS FOR IMPROVING THE PUBLICPARTICIPATION PROCESSThe following recommendations for improving the publicparticipation process were determined through the author's evaluation of theplan according to the criteria identified sections 5.2.2 and 5.2.3 of the thesis.1. Provide written reasons for decisions to stakeholders who participated inthe planning process and to members of the larger public who providedfeedback on the draft plan and requested reasons for decisions. This actionmakes the CPS accountable for decisions made in the plan, builds trust with1 3 7stakeholders and clarifies the rationale for decisions which may have beenconfused due to misinformation.2. Plan future public participation processes with members of the planningteam, steering committee as well as potential stakeholders. Levels ofparticipation which support a partnership or shared decision-makingrelationship are desirable while the CPS's role and mandate shouldultimately lead in decision-making. This level of decision-making issupported in Canada's Green Plan (Government of Canada, 1990) and theWestern Region Strategic Plan (Environment Canada, Canadian ParksService, June, 1990). The design of the planning process should considerthe criteria defined for a fair and efficient process as well one whichfacilitates positive outcomes and attitudes as identified in sections 2.5.1 and2.5.2 of the thesis. These evaluative frameworks are models for ideal publicparticipation processes in area planning.3. Stakeholders should be involved in reviewing drafts of the plan beforethey are released for general public review and should be given adequatetime to provide feedback on the draft plan.4. A mechanism for on-going evaluation, such as the facilitation ofstakeholder and planning team feedback, should be incorporated into theparticipation process. This provision would help to avoid omittingpotential stakeholders from participating. It would help to ensure that allgroups and individuals who wanted to participate in the planning processhad the opportunity to do so.1 3 85. Maintain the involvement of stakeholders and interested members of thepublic by regularly communicating the results of plan implementation andmonitoring through arrangements such as the proposed OperationManagement Committee recommended in the Minnewanka Area Plan aswell as through CPS publications.6.5 GENERAL CONCLUSIONS - THE OUTCOME OF THE PLANNING ANDRESEARCH PROCESSThe process of coordinating the Minnewanka Area Plan, developing anappropriate theoretical framework and critically evaluating the plan has beenan invaluable experience. Insight regarding the ecological, social, politicaland economic influences of planning in Banff National Park compared to atheoretical ideal was gained through this experience. Such theories areuseless if they cannot be tried, tested and evaluated.Overall, the planning process and the outcomes of planning were seenby the author as very successful. The plan is an innovative proposal withinthe context of the CPS in Banff National Park. By expressing specific desiredsocial and ecological conditions for the area through an agreed upon andcollectively determined "vision," the plan avoids merely reacting to increaseddemand and ecosystem impacts.The ultimate test of the plan's efficacy is whether it can beimplemented and the goals and objectives are achieved. Although thiscannot presently be determined, implementation of the plan appears to behighly likely. The plan presents a feasible strategy for implementing theproposed actions over the next four years within the CPS's management139framework. By measuring the plan against objective criteria representing aneffective integrated ecosystem management approach, the author rated over80% of the proposed strategies as effective to highly effective. These strategieswere highly compatible with the goals and objectives of the MinnewankaArea Plan.The Plan operationalizes the concept of integrated ecosystemmanagement by considering social and ecological systems holistically in thedesign of management strategies. For example, the relationship betweenformer and present human activities and perceptions and the montaneecosystem is reflected in the management strategies introduced in the plan.The proposed ecosystem management approach is based on the Limits ofAcceptable Change (LAC) model which is an alternative method of trying todetermine carrying capacity or a user limit in wilderness recreation areas.LAC focuses on managing to achieve desired social and ecological conditionsby defining and monitoring indicators to guide management strategies.The evaluation (based on normative criteria for carrying capacitymanagement) indicated that implementation of the LAC approach within thecontext of the the Minnewanka area planning project was inappropriate. Thiswas attributed to the complexity of the step-by-step LAC approach and the lackof identifying indicators within the plan. The basic premises of the LACapproach, however, reflected a useful means for facilitating integratedecosystem management. A simpler model which retains the essential criteriaof LAC and combines attributes of other useful models for integratedecosystem management (i.e. VIM) was developed within the thesis. This140model has application to area planning in the Minnewanka area and issummarized below.Figure 6.4Model for Implementing Integrated Ecosystem Management in AreaPlanning in National Parks1. Definition of specific objectives which describe the desired social and ecological conditions forthe area- A collectively determined vision, detailed objectives2. Measure the existing social and ecological conditions in the area- define and measure indicators representing the ecosystem (including its social components)- existing information and sources3. Compare and analyse the existing and desired conditions- determination of causes of discrepancies between conditions4. Formulate and assess management strategies which specifically address the problemsidentified in (3)5. Develop plans for implementing and monitoring management strategies- (Implement and monitor)6. Provide for meaningful interdisciplinary, stakeholder and public input at all levels of theplanning processThe literature reviewed in the development of the theoreticalframework for the thesis suggested that meaningful social input was integralto an ecosystem-based management approach (e.g. Lyle, 1985; EnvironmentCanada, Canadian Parks Service, June, 1993; Stankey et al., 1985; White et al.,1993). A variety of input from differing perspectives (i.e. specialists,stakeholders, managers) was facilitated by involving an interdisciplinary CPSplanning team on an on-going basis as well as a steering committee (CPS)which reviewed the project periodically. An extensive public participationprocess involving stakeholders through meetings, workshops and141correspondance and members of the broader public through an open houseand written feedback ensured representative involvement.The degree to which stakeholders and members of wider spheres of thepublic influenced the Minnewanka Area Plan final decisions was high asindicated in the evaluation. Overall, the participation process improved theCPS's relationships with stakeholders and facilitated the development ofseveral new partnerships for managing the Minnewanka area. The processraised stakeholder's and members of the larger public's awareness ofimportant planning issues which served indirectly to achieve the goals of theplan. The primary weaknesses of the public participation process were thatthe level of stakeholder involvement was not consistent throughout theplanning process and stakeholders were not provided with reasons for finaldecisions.The evaluation identified that the public participation process occurredlargely at a consultative level where the CPS maintained the ultimateresponsibility for decision-making. This is reflected in the current CPSmandate. While the literature reviewed suggested that shared decision-making represented an ideal model whereby stakeholders partook equally inmaking decisions during a defined period, it was not within the scope of thethesis to assess the application of this model to planning in BNP. Normativecriteria for meaningful public participation were developed based onconsultative and shared decision-making levels of participation as well asoutcomes of the participation process to evaluate the Minnewanka Area Plan.The criteria for fair and efficient participation serve as a model for planningand implementing public participation processes in area planning.142Figure 6.5Model for the Development of a Meaningful Public Participation in AreaPlanning1.Communicate clear objectives and priorities of the planning and stakeholder process2. Facilitate representative involvement3. Provide comprehensive involvement opportunities4. Provide timely access to information5. Ensure participants have adequate resources to participate6.Provide written reasons for decisions7. Provide appeals mechanisms8. Maintain consistent objectives within the managing organization9. Communicate the results of implementation and monitoringThe above model complements the framework presented in Figure 6.4.Together, these processes form an integrated ecosystem based approach whichhas application to planning in the Minnewanka area of Banff National Parkas well as area planning in national parks and similar environments. Thisapproach is seen as instrumental in achieving the CPS's mandate ofmaintaining and enhancing ecological integrity.6.6 AREAS FOR FURTHER RESEARCHSeveral areas for further research became apparent through the thesis.1. The development of a monitoring program for the management of theMinnewanka area would enhance the plan and help to test the planningapproach proposed in the thesis. This work would require thedetermination of a set of ecosystem indicators based on informationcontained within the plan in addition to other research and data. Themonitoring program could be refined through information gleaned fromthe actual monitoring of indicators over time. This research wouldadvance work on the LAC process and develop much needed strategies forintegrated ecosystem management in national parks.2. The need to examine the role of shared decision-making in planning innational parks became apparent through the evaluation of theMinnewanka Area Plan. Although the CPS is legally responsible formaking decisions according to the national park mandate (EnvironmentCanada, Canadian Parks Service, 1991), developing policies and strategicplans such as Canada's Green Plan support meaningful publicinvolvement in environmental issues. More specific informationidentifying the types of decisions where participation is desirable, whopotential decision-makers might be and what levels of participation areappropriate is required. National parks such as Banff provide manageablecase studies for exploring the feasibility of adopting shared decision-makingwithin the Canadian Parks Service.1431 4 43. Finally, larger questions regarding the role and effectiveness of nationalparks emerged during the thesis. Questions of whether national parksactually protect ecological integrity and what their evolving role is need tobe addressed in future research. Perhaps other models such as biospherereserves are more appropriate in facilitating integrated land-uses whileprotecting significant resources. Answers to these questions will requireextensive research but would be invaluable at a time when the protectionof ecosystems is critical.145REFERENCESAchuff, P.L., I. Pengelly and C. White 1986. Special Resources of BanffNational Park, Warden Service, Banff National Park.Arnstein, Sherry, 1969. A Ladder of Citizen Participation, in AIP Journal, July,1969.Banff National Park Heritage Resource Conservation, 1992. 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