Will the national park impose unreasonable restrictions on use of the lands?
No one likes to be told what they can and cannot do on their land. However, coming together as a community to decide how we can address some of the growing environmental concerns in the Okanagan-Similkameen is crucial. The cumulative effects of high intensity ranching and unregulated use of motorized vehicle recreation in the region have created irreparable damage to many local ecosystems and species. For more information on threats, visit this page.
Will we loose local autonomy to the National Government?
The community skepticism over bureaucratic imposition is a reasonable concern. However, the benefits that national administration will bring to this issue outweigh this concern. Parks Canada will infuse the economy with millions of dollars each year. The national park system will bring vast resources and expertise to this local conservation issue, and will do so in perpetuity. The National Park system in Canada has been protecting Canadian wilderness and boosting local economies for over 100 years. The Canadian National Park System is a world-class conservation organization, with few better examples of sound environmental management in the world.
Consider the many other small-scale national parks throughout BC and judge for yourself how these well-protected regions are benefiting the local area. Check out a list here. In comparison to many of these parks, the proposed South Okanagan-Similkameen national park is relatively small (at 296 sq kilometres).