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Archival description
British Columbia. Ministry of Parks
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Parks and protected areas case files

  • GR-3872
  • Series
  • 1948-2003

This series contains case files of parks and protected areas which document the legal creation and definitions of the various established parks and protected areas in British Columbia. These files provide a brief history of the area and how it came to be under the provincial government’s management. Some files that are included in the records are land title descriptions, survey plans, boundary maps, pre-existing tenures, park use permits, assessment notices, property acquisition recording sheets and copies of legal establishment (such as order in councils, ministerial orders, copies of acquisition agreements, land title reports, certificates of indefeasible title etc.). The files also cover historical and anecdotal background information, approved map reserves, licenses of occupation and leased tax exemptions, tax payments, construction permissions and notations of interest.

These records may have been previously known as “green files” or “land administration files” with copies of Park Status Sheets (which include basic information such as name of the park, region, classification, size, date of creation etc.) as well as archaeological site surveys, OICs, indentures, market value estimates, records of private donations of land, purchases of land and transfers of federal lands to the Parks Division.

The records are arranged according to the Parks and Protected Areas (PPA) Operational Records Classification System (schedule 186896). Files codes contain the PPA primary and secondary numbers followed by the Parks identification number and the old primary number taken from the BC Parks ORCS (Schedule 113827).

Two records classified under Conservation Research Products were included in this series as the files contain mainly archaeological site surveys and historic background information about the parks, records which appear to also be included in the parks and protected areas case files. One such file contains ample information about the history of D'Arcy Island (also known as Leper's Island, the Lazarette, Leper Colony and the leprosorium).

British Columbia. Parks and Recreation Division

BC Parks In-house materials master files

  • GR-3888
  • Series
  • 1937-2008

This series consists of a variety of graphic materials from the BC Parks in-house materials master files from 1937-2008. The files include mock-ups, drafts and finished examples of activity books, pamphlets, signs, badges, stickers, logos, name tags and pins for use in parks programming or display in Provincial Parks.

Pre-2000 records include park trail guides and maps including wildlife watching pamphlets and other special interest activities popular in provincial parks. The series also includes Canada Parks Day graphic design samples, parks news releases and press clippings, promotional materials including stickers, bumper stickers, pins, colouring pages, activities for children, road maps, camping site information and things to do in the area. There are also visitor guides, brochures, interpretive trail guides, and a limited amount of correspondence. Records cover provincial parks around the whole province, though some may be missing.
While some records do not appear to be organized in a specific way, maps, trail guides and related pamphlets are organized to some extent by region and year of publication.

British Columbia. Ministry of Environment, Lands and Parks

BC Parks survey reports

  • GR-3869
  • Series
  • 1980-2011

This series contains survey reports created by BC Parks. The majority of these reports were done to assess customer satisfaction during park day visits and overnight campground stays. They document visitor satisfaction trends, importance rankings of services and facilities and offer comparisons to other years as well as recommendations for improving visitor experience. This series also includes employee satisfaction survey reports in which BC Parks assesses the overall working culture at the agency and Visitor Programs annual reports which detail program and visitor centre visits, as well as recommendations for special programs, budgets etc. Finally the series also includes survey reports from Provincial Parks and Wilderness for the 90s which was an initiative that sought better management of protected areas for the purpose of conservation and recreation. These surveys allowed visitors to express their views on the program, ask questions and offer suggestions for future protected areas. The first 1,600 or so are written on a standard survey form typically submitted by individuals from the public. Later responses were sent letter-style on regular paper and are typically from organizations, businesses and non-profits. Some surveys include attached articles or pictures to support the views of the writer. The responses have been coded by a Parks employee to easily compile relevant information and are arranged by date received.

Some other survey reports that were conducted either by BC Parks or for BC Parks by external agencies are included in this series. This includes a BC Consumer Omnibus survey on outdoor recreation and other household surveys in which members of the public were asked to respond to a survey detailing their experience and opinion regarding outdoor recreation in BC. The results of these surveys were meant to inform BC Parks on future developments and business strategies.
Typically, files include a blank copy of the original survey as well as a written report summarizing the results and findings.
Other forms of documents related to or created from information found in the survey reports may also be found in this series such as briefing summaries for the Minister.

British Columbia. Ministry of Environment (2005-2017)

BC Parks plans, programs and publications

  • GR-3803
  • Series
  • 1950-2014

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.

British Columbia. Ministry of Environment (2005-2017)

Parks attendance statistical reports

  • GR-3831
  • Series
  • 1958-2012

This series contains statistical reports from BC Parks detailing parks attendance and use. The series contains four main types of forms: campground attendance sheets, marine park attendance sheets, automatic traffic counter sheet and day visit count sheets. These reports count the number of visitors renting campgrounds, docking their boats, or driving through the parks gate. The reports are also used to count revenues. Typically, reports include a section for explanations where Parks staff can add notes commenting on high/low attendance numbers due to factors such as weather and holidays.
One report discusses call center and website statistics, notably documenting how many interactions convert to sales.
Occasionally, there are reports submitted from companies operating businesses on BC Parks land (e.g. water rafting adventures) which includes attendance data.

Also within the series are files describing how the reporting system works. These records explain the use of different sheets, proper procedures for recording data (both by hand or using electronic systems), lists of parks per area and layouts of park services areas including locations of gates and counters. The records also contain instructions for using the Public Safety and Park Security Online System, though no actual security reports are included within the records.

The records are organized in different ways depending on the year. Most early records seem to divide reports into years, with reports covering all parks. Around 1970, the system changed to region-based reporting with files organized by region. Within these files, the records are further classified by park name. Finally, individual attendance sheet records are arranged by month and year. Some files include a summary of stats from all districts.

British Columbia. Ministry of Environment (2005-2017)

BC Parks administrative records

  • GR-3864
  • Series
  • 1989-1996

This series contains various administrative records from BC Parks. Currently, these records cover executive services, notably briefing notes and correspondence. The series also contains copies of 3 and 5-year strategic plans, Ombudsman’s investigations, legal matters concerning the Lower Mainland Nature Legacy) and general reports (in this case, detailing the awareness and effect of a BC Parks television ad).

The records are filed according to the Administrative Records classification system and include the following primary and secondary numbers:

155-20 : Ombudsman’s investigations
280-20 : Executive briefing notes
350-25 : Legal opinions
440-20 : General reports/statistics
400-07 : Strategic planning (plans and programs)

British Columbia. Ministry of Environment, Lands and Parks

BC Parks policies

  • GR-3870
  • Series
  • 1984-2005

The series contains printed copies of various policies and procedures that have been place at BC Parks. The policies helped inform employees about the proper procedures for dealing with a variety of issues that could take place at their offices and outdoors in the parks.

Presently, the series contains the policies and procedures on the following topics:

Discover Camping policies (Campground Reservation Service): contains policies and procedures for employees responsible for reservations of campgrounds. This include a manual indicating all the steps and required information for booking a reservation, as well as policies for limits to requests, discounts, receipts, payments, cut-off times, no-shows, reservation changes and cancellations etc. The manual includes a telephone script for customer service representatives.

Mineral Exploration and Development in Parks: contains a policy on mineral exploration and development in parks and recreational areas.

Permit Management Policy and Procedures: contains recommendations and changes for a new effective and decentralized processed for permits such as research permits, BC Hydro permits, and minor film productions. The records solicit opinions from various BC Parks offices about what to include in the new manual, as well as memos and Terms of Reference from the Permit Program Team.

Public Safety and Park Security: contains the Introduction to Enforcement Handbook and amendment packages for Park Rangers, as well as various policies on safety of both employees and park visitors.

British Columbia. Ministry of Water, Land and Air Protection

BC Parks cabinet and ministry committees

  • GR-3863
  • Series
  • 1987-1996

This series contains records created and accumulated by the Parks division of the Ministry of Environment, Lands and Parks and its predecessors related to committee work. The records include ministry cabinet submissions, cabinet committees, ministry committees and deputy minister’s committees. A large portion of the records belong to the Parks Management Committee which was responsible for operations of the Parks agency within the ministry. Records include meeting minutes, memos, position statements, responses from BC Parks to new government platforms, organizational structure, work plans and project lists by region, draft policies, quarterly highlights, funding strategies, environmental awards, executive updates, public surveys, and effectiveness reports.
Weekly meetings from this committee cover topics such as executive services, decision issues, information and discussion issues, and strategic initiatives.

Other committees presently represented in this series include the Reorganization Implementation Team, Parks Revenue Work Team, Deputy Minister’s Committee on Sustainable Development, Cabinet Committee on Sustainable Development, Anderson Report Review Committee and the Joint Union Management Subcommittee.

The records are arranged according to the Administrative Records Classification System and include the following primary and secondary numbers:

202-20 : Ministry committees
201-20 : Cabinet committees
201-30 : Deputy minister’s committees
201-40 : Ministry cabinet committees

British Columbia. Ministry of Environment, Lands and Parks

Commercial river rafting records

  • GR-3853
  • Series
  • 1987-2002

The series contains records relating to commercial river rafting operations in BC Parks land. The records cover legislation relating to river rafting, notably the Commercial River Rafting Safety Act and includes copies of correspondence, statute revision memos and committee notes relating to amendments and requests for legislation.

A significant portion of the series also covers handbooks, compliance manuals and examination course manuals for ‘river rafting guides’ (operators of commercial river rafting businesses) which outline regulations, standards, terms of conditions, endorsement and certification procedures, sample administrative forms and an administrative systems user manual.

The series also covers documentation of river rafting accidents.

The series also includes a published report by the Advisory Committee on Commercial River Rafting in British Columbia.

The records area arranged according to the BC Parks Operational Records Classification System (schedule 113827). This schedule was later replaced by the Parks and Protected Areas ORCS (schedule 186896).
The following primary and secondary numbers are covered in this series:
81000-00 : Commercial River Rafting Licensing (general)
81000-25: Rivers special provisions

British Columbia. Ministry of Water, Land and Air Protection