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The Ministry of Environment is responsible for providing environmental education, promoting the sustainable use of British Columbia's environmental resources, monitoring air and water quality, reducing and removing wastes from the environment, and emphasizing compliance.
The ministry was established in 1975, under its first name, Dept. of Environment, by an Order in Council (OIC 3838/75). The original functions of the Dept. of Environment were transferred from the Dept. of Lands, Forests and Water Resources, whose functions had been split between the Ministry of Environment and Ministry of Forests. Except for matters under the jurisdiction of the Dept. of Forests, the department was responsible for water rights, issues such as air pollution control, and the management and protection of water and land resources, including Crown lands. The department was divided into three branches: land and water management, environmental and engineering services, and environmental protection. Later in 1976, the Dept. of Environment was renamed the Ministry of the Environment (OIC: 3199/76).
In 1978, a major government reorganization transferred functions relating to lands and parks from the Ministry of the Environment to the newly established Ministry of Lands, Parks and Housing. At the same time, the functions of marine resources, fish and wildlife were transferred from the disestablished Ministry of Recreation and Conservation. Environmental health engineering was transferred from the reorganized Ministry of Health and emergency programming from the reorganized Ministry of Provincial Secretary and Travel Industry. The reorganized Ministry of the Environment was divided into four branches: Land and Water Management, Environmental and Engineering Services, Environmental Protection, and Environment and Land Use Secretariat.
In 1979 the name was revised as the Ministry of Environment, removing “the” (OIC 3018/78, see also RSBC 1979, c. 271). In 1986, the parks function from the Ministry of Lands, Parks and Housing, was merged with the Ministry of Environment. As a result of this addition to its functions, the Ministry of Environment became known as the Ministry of Environment and Parks (OIC 1495/86).
In 1988, the parks function was removed and transferred to the newly established Ministry of Parks. As a result, the Ministry of Environment and Parks was renamed the Ministry of Environment, which existed from 1988/07/06 to 1991/11/04, when it was disestablished. Its functions were then merged with the functions of the Ministry of Lands and Parks to create a new ministry called the Ministry of Environment, Lands and Parks, existing from 1991/11/05 to 2001/06/04.
In 2001 the Ministry of Environment, Lands and Parks was divided into the Ministry of Water, Land and Air Protection and Ministry of Sustainable Resource Management (OIC 565/2001). Both of these ministries existed until 2005 when the Ministry of Water, Land and Air Protection was disestablished and the Ministry of Water Land and Air Protection was renamed the Ministry of the Environment (OIC 450/2005).
In 2017 the Ministry of Environment was renamed the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy.
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The Ministry of Water, Land and Air Protection was established in 2001 when the functions of the Ministry of Environment, Lands and Parks were divided between the Ministry of Sustainable Resource Management and Ministry of Water, Land and Air Protection at this time (OIC 565/2001). The following functions were transferred from the Ministry of Environment, Lands and Parks: Environmental Emergencies, Parks and Recreation, the Wildlife Branch, the Environmental Youth Team, the Environment Appeal Board and the Sustainable Environment Fund. The ministries other functions included the Green Economy Initiative; air, land and water pollution control; fish and wildlife habitat and species protection; regulation and development of recreational fish and wildlife management.
The Ministry of Water, Land and Air Protection was renamed the Ministry of Environment in 2005 (OIC 450/2005).
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In 1991, the Ministry of Environment was disestablished. Its functions were then merged with the functions of the Ministry of Lands and Parks to create a new ministry called the Ministry of Environment, Lands and Parks (OIC 1374/1991).
In 2001 the Ministry of Environment, Lands and Parks was renamed the Ministry of Sustainable Resource Management when the following functions were transferred to the newly established Ministry of Water, Land and Air Protection: Environmental Emergencies, Parks and Recreation, the Wildlife Branch, the Environmental Youth Team, the Environment Appeal Board and the Sustainable Environment Fund (OIC 565/2001).
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The Ministry of Lands, Parks and Housing was established on December 5, 1978 by the amalgamation of the Parks Branch of the former Ministry of Recreation and Conservation, the land-related functions of Ministry of the Environment and the housing functions of the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing (OIC 3018/78).
The main functions of the ministry were to:
(1) administer the Crown land resource of the Province;
(2) to encourage outdoor recreation, establish parks and conserve the natural scenic and historic features of the Province;
(3) to undertake programs relating to the provision of housing in the Province;
(4) and to administer and enforce safety standards respecting recreational activities and services on Crown land.
The ministry was organized into three sections, one each for lands, parks and outdoor recreation, and housing. An assistant deputy minister headed each section. The Lands section was responsible for the Land Management Branch, Water Rights Branch, Legal Surveys Branch, and the University Endowment Lands Administration. The Parks and Outdoor Recreation section was responsible for preserving and managing the natural and historical heritage of the Province in terms of the lands, water, wildlife and historical resources to ensure their preservation, and to provide outdoor recreation opportunities to all residents. The Housing section was responsible for ensuring that all citizens had access to affordable housing of adequate quality.
The Ministry of Lands, Parks and Housing was disestablished in 1986 (OIC 1491/86). All functions relating to parks and recreation were transferred to the Ministry of Environment and Parks. All functions relating to Crown lands were transferred to the Ministry of Forests and Lands. All housing functions were transferred to the Ministry of Social Services and Housing.
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On December 5, 1978, the Parks Branch was amalgamated with the Land Management Branch and the housing function of the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing to form the Ministry of Lands, Parks and Housing.
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Scope and content
The series contains records related to the management of provincial parks and protected recreational areas in British Columbia.
The records provide extensive background information on Provincial Parks areas, notably Junction Sheep Range Provincial Park, Marble Range Provincial Park, Edge Hills Provincial Park, Churn Creek protected area, Big Creek Provincial Park, Hakai Recreation Area, Ten Mile Lake and other areas in the Cariboo district. There are many photographic prints mixed in with the records, as well as other media (copies of maps, floppy disks, ephemera). The records provide important evidence of the BC Parks Division’s functions and activities in relation to park identification, establishment, management, operation and control of parks and other protected areas.
The series also contains copies of recreation related management plans and conservation related management plans, as well as original maps and published histories of BC Parks. Management plans include feasibility studies, cost analyses, contract details and plan information.
The records are arranged according to the BC Parks Operation Records Classification System (ORCS schedule 113827) and its successor the Parks and Protectes Areas Records Classification System (schedule 186896). Some common primary and secondary numbers from this series are:
82800-10: Graphic Materials Collection.
The records in this series classified under this number relate to park-related graphic materials, including original copies of brochures and reports used for publication. This includes copies of the BC Parks Guide and related records concerning their development and publication.
83500-00: Interpretive, Information, and Education programs
The records classified under this number related to various visitor programs for adults, families, children and schools organized by BC Parks. The records include information concerning the program objectives, activities, learning outcomes, schedules and attendance data. There is also information about instructors, budget, requests from schools, and thank you letters.
84360-40: Land-Management Plans - Parks and Recreation areas
The records classified under this number relate to approved park and recreation area management plan files and document the history of individual British Columbia parks and recreation areas, as well as the land-use activities permitted in those areas.
The records comprise mainly of large folders of background information relating to specific parks. They contain various analytical reports, inventories and studies on soil, wildlife, landscape and flora. Other types of records found in these folders are land value appraisals, land referrals, leases and Resource Use Permits, meeting agendas, briefing notes and correspondence referrals, management plans and progress reports, workshops, correspondence and reports on land-use recommendations.
A limited number of files also contain extensive correspondence and related files dealing with park issues, notably possible violations of the Park Act. These include legal services requisitions.
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- British Columbia. Ministry of Environment (2005-2017) (Subject)
- British Columbia. Ministry of Water, Land and Air Protection (Subject)
- British Columbia. Ministry of Environment, Lands and Parks (Subject)
- British Columbia. Ministry of Environment and Parks (Subject)
- British Columbia. Ministry of Parks (Subject)
- British Columbia. Ministry of Lands, Parks and Housing (Subject)
- British Columbia. Parks Branch (Subject)
- British Columbia. Parks and Recreation Division (Subject)