Management of the Biophysical Environment - 2016

About this class

This course examines the role of the state in environmental issues. We examine the rationales, challenges and pitfalls inherent in state-led resource management. Students will be blogging on media coverage of important environmental issues throughout the course of the semester.

University of Guelph
by Andi_T_de on November 25, 2016
The article “Markham opens Canada’s 1st Municipal milkweed nursery” is an example of how local initiatives can aid in conservation. The goal of the city of Markham is to increase the number of milkweed plants available for the monarch butterflies as they migrate from Mexico back to Canada. The individuals involved in the project are the City of Markham’s mayor Frank Scarpitti, council members, the David Suzuki Foundation and the students from St. Patrick’s elementary school (David Suzuki Foundation, 2016). The nursery is located at the Milne Dam Conservation Park.

773 | 3 | 0
University of Guelph
by loganmericer on November 25, 2016
The article “Pacific NorthWest LNG assessment underestimated risks to salmon, study claims”, focuses on a scientific study that challenges the approval of the Pacific Northwest liquefied natural gas (henceforth LNG) project. The LNG project consists of a proposed natural gas liquefaction and export facility on Lelu Island in British Columbia, and was approved in September 2016.

329 | 0 | 0
University of Guelph
by emshevs on November 25, 2016
On November 24th 2016, the Canadian province of Nova Scotia has, for the first time in North American history, set up the first successful, energy-producing turbine located at the bottom of the Midas Passage in the Bay of Fundy. The article describes the turbine as 1000 tonnes in weight, five-storeys in height and is able to generate two megawatts of electricity – enough to power 500 homes.

562 | 2 | 0
University of Guelph
by koalabear on November 25, 2016
For decades our society has been constantly urbanizing, turning untouched land into skyscrapers and sub-divisions.  We are constantly attached to technology and glued to what’s going to happen next on social media. What if everyone took a step back and remembered what used to make most of us so happy when we were younger? Playing outside!! After researching the effects of how being outside affects mental and physical health; it’s evident that going outdoors has many positive benefits

1,446 | 7 | 0
University of Guelph
by rrazak on November 25, 2016
Coal consumption is one of the dirtiest of all the fossil fuels that threaten our environment and health. Yet, the aritcle titled Phasing out coal: good for the environment, bad for your wallet by Global News seems to solely focus on the economical disadvantages of phasing out coal. 

1,140 | 2 | 0
University of Guelph
by AsimSayMo on November 25, 2016
Original Article by John Paul Tasker, CBC News: Canada's rejection of coal will clear the air but impact workers and power bills

540 | 1 | 1
University of Guelph
by cehlert on November 25, 2016
An article from Food Safety News entitled: Oceana going overboard on fish fraud, according to seafood industry group, introduced a recent study conducted by Oceana, a global environmental group, that brought to light a recent fish fraud study. The fraud found was that 58% of samples from restaurants, stores and other retail outlets in over 55 countries were labeled as higher valued species of fish, when they were really lesser valued species of fish. What is worse is that in some cases the mislabeled fish posed health risks to consumers as well.

391 | 0 | 0
University of Guelph
by Mary on November 25, 2016
Friday November 25th 2016   Deforestation and Drought

369 | 0 | 0
University of Guelph
by dsprad1 on November 25, 2016
Environmental racism plays a major role in todays modernizing society, one that is not benefitting many minority groups. Particularly the African American population is affected and traditionally the Native American Population in Canada especially. Environmental racism is a form of discrimination where populations of low-income or minority groups are forced to live within close proximity to environmentally hazardous corporations. In the case of environmental racism, the majority of families or individuals are not only of lower economic status, but also of colour or a minority back ground.

612 | 1 | 0
University of Guelph
by mohashi on November 25, 2016
Hundreds of species go extinct every day, some that we know about and others that we never even discovered in the first place. Many people are willing to support an endangered species however in reality few of those endangered species are getting the support they require. This article discusses the impact the Canadian Government has on helping endangered species and unfortunately it does not look good. Canada has a 2-step process for protecting endangered wildlife.

524 | 2 | 0
University of Guelph
by rtharby on November 25, 2016
Ask almost anyone on how they think the world should solve the issue of global warming. Odds are their immediate answer will be “use less fossil fuels.” However, recent research has shown that there may be a simpler solution that can be found right on our dinner plates. In the article “Denmark wants to tax meat to help combat climate change” by The Metro, It is reported that Denmark has proposed a tax on all beef products, in an effort to stop climate change.

416 | 1 | 0
University of Guelph
by lgriffin on November 25, 2016
        In no longer than a month, the federal government must make a decision whether to follow through with the plan of a pipeline extension from Alberta to the B.C. coast. More specifically, it is expanding Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain Pipeline between these areas. There are many factors that will determine the final decision on carrying out these plans including the environmental risks of spills and the increase in emissions of greenhouse gases. The federal government must have the positive impacts outweighing the negative in order to allow for the continuation of this project.

355 | 0 | 0
University of Guelph
by leafitalone on November 25, 2016
On October 7th, 2016, The Calgary Herald released a news article on its website regarding a 3-hectare oil spill in Northern Alberta. The leak occurred about 15km away from a town called Fox Creek, covering a flowing marsh area “which isn’t home to fish”. Glad that’s cleared up. The Alberta Energy Regulator is said to be investigating the extent of the environmental damage, and an emergency cleanup process has been initiated.

442 | 1 | 0
University of Guelph
by SorayaOh on November 25, 2016
There are over 40 national parks in Canada and their fate and management is in the hands of a federal agency. A new report put out by the Canadian Parks and Wilderness society (CPAWS), a charity dedicated to protecting Canadian Wilderness, suggests that recent management has been failing to put the health of the ecosystems above the tourism aspects of the parks. This report is discussed in the article “Watchdog group critical of Parks Canada management” by Gloria Galloway, for the Globe and Mail.

591 | 2 | 0
University of Guelph
by Allison on November 25, 2016
As discussed in the article Standing Rock Pipeline Protesters Repelled by Force at Bridge Crossing, there is currently a significant amount of conflict in the region of North Dakota mainly between the government whose actions are represented by law enforcement and an indigenous community. This stems from the native reserve of the Standing Rock Sioux protesting a pipeline that is being built near their reserve as there is fear of contamination of their water supply.

376 | 0 | 0
University of Guelph
by NewsBot on November 25, 2016
Globally, fisheries have been experiencing crises as a result of an increase in the number of boats actively exploiting fish stocks, and a resultant decrease in the size of fish populations. An article that I read recently touches on this subject and specifically addresses the state of Atlantic Canada’s mackerel fishery. The article, titled “mackerel fishery closed unexpectedly, leaving some fishermen short bait: P.E.I.

336 | 0 | 0
University of Guelph
by streetleaf on November 25, 2016
“Here are the major Canadian pipelines the oil patch wants built” – this article instantly caught my eye as its difficult these days to keep up with the continuous output of environmentally degrading project proposals. This article, written by Christopher Adams in the National Observer, was written in the September of this year and summarises and analyzes all the pipeline projects currently happening in Canada. As you read the article, you cannot help but to notice several reoccurring themes. The first: lawsuits.

1,029 | 2 | 0
University of Guelph
by christinaarose on November 25, 2016
The article titled “Overconsumption is costing us the earth and human happiness” by Celia Cole offers an in-depth analysis of the 2007 documentary titled The Story of Stuff by Annie Leonard. The documentary broke the internet explaining the truth behind the psychology of consumerism and how the United States economy became purely based on resources. Leonard describes the consumption process as a linear system that starts with extracting resources, to production, distribution, consumption and then disposal. This system has been perceived at only face value for many years.

387 | 0 | 0
University of Guelph
by Acotter on November 25, 2016
2016 and a Liberal swinging government have provided the political equivalent of a subtweet aimed at the archaic ways in which our government includes the public in policy making decisions regarding climate action. The purpose of this article is to question the Liberal governments creation of an online forum for engaging a large section of the Canadian population including industry members, NGO’s, environmental groups, the private sector and the public at large.

293 | 0 | 0
by Emule on October 28, 2016
SUNY Genesee Community Colllege
“Increasing the Effectiveness of Homework for All Learners in the Inclusive Classroom” is an article written in 2013 about different methods that teachers can use to increase how well homework actually helps the pupil. Doing things such as giving the student a choice in his/her homework and maintaining that homework at a moderate difficulty level keeps students somewhere between bored and frustrated. This provides a happy student and also good test grades. As well as homework, the teacher should also provide in class teaching.

1,089 | 4 | 0
by AJ on October 28, 2016
SUNY Genesee Community Colllege
Many women who are pregnant or wish to become pregnant face discrimination in the workplace. Whether it be a woman who is already pregnant and seeking to find a job, or a women who already has a job and wants to become pregnant, discrimination may occur. For a woman who is pregnant and looking for a job, an employer may deny employment to the pregnant women, although this is illegal it does happen in many cases.

1,204 | 5 | 0
by StrongFaith on October 28, 2016
SUNY Genesee Community Colllege
Deforestation may not be a problem for humans in short term, in fact they destroy forests to benefit themselves. Logging provides the means and supplies to create a number of things that man uses in this world. And taking all these trees down also provides the necessary space and areas to build more and more houses, factories, stores, railroads and highways. These three websites show the dangers and repercussions of deforestation.

2,644 | 5 | 0
by JacobT on October 28, 2016
SUNY Genesee Community Colllege
     Through time we have had many changes in technology in all of the fields it has an effect in. Technology effects media, health, entertainment, and just about everything else in our every day lives. One of the biggest things it has effected is communication. We have gone from sending letters by mail, to sending messages in a snap over the internet. We can speak to just about whomever we want, whenever we want. I can talk to my friends living in Brazil that I have met in college in a matter of seconds.

2,517 | 0 | 0
by Ashepherd on October 28, 2016
SUNY Genesee Community Colllege
Recently most news stories are about all the bad in the world. A lot of the negative attention is going towards police officers. I would like to bring some of the positive things police officers do; they aren’t all like the ones that have been in the news.  

582 | 2 | 0
by BeckyGay1 on October 28, 2016
SUNY Genesee Community Colllege
     Child abuse is a topic that generates feelings of both sadness and anger to anyone who hears about a case. Children are supposed to be able to trust their parent, so when a parent or other close relative abuses a child, it can have a number of negative impacts on the child that could affect them for the rest of their lives. It can also have another, scarier effect; it could lead a child to commit homicide. Could a child that has been exposed to physical, mental, and/or social abuse though all of their life all of a sudden one day snap and commit an act of murder?

496 | 1 | 0
by efuller3 on October 28, 2016
SUNY Genesee Community Colllege
We spend at least twelve years of our lives in a school setting in the presence of teachers. Almost everyone has a teacher who has influenced their lives and for many instilled a love of learning and a want to educate. Education is not gender biased and teaching is not specifically geared toward one gender. Schools however, are seeing less and less male teachers. Elementary and Middle Schools specifically are seeing fewer men, with less than twenty percent of teachers being male. Part of this can be due to the low salary and less prestige that teaching in American now holds.

996 | 4 | 0
by bdona11 on October 28, 2016
SUNY Genesee Community Colllege
                     Gender inequality, specifically the issue of the wage gap has been a widely disputed and sometimes even unnoticed topic for as long as I can even remember. The disputes aren't even about whether or not there is even a wage gap because everybody knows there is. According to,"No, The Gender Pay Gap Isn't A Myth--And Here's Why" by Catherine Pearson, "'Few experts dispute that there is a wage gap, but differences in the life choices of men and women - such as women tending to leave the workforce when they have children - make it difficult to make comparisons.

1,036 | 2 | 0
by Navy Girl on October 27, 2016
SUNY Genesee Community Colllege
     Discrimination is a topic that's hotter than cocoa, more pungent than fresh-cut pine, and louder than carols. Who ever thought that Christians would be discriminated against for celebrating their own holiday incorrectly? Christmas, the holiday that is world renowned (even among atheists) for its peace and joy, is now being pounced upon with hatred. While public acknowledgement of Chanukah and Kwanzaa is on the rise, Christmas is being forcibly shaken from the public circle.

427 | 0 | 0
by Kimthompson1978 on October 27, 2016
SUNY Genesee Community Colllege
For years our society has dictated gender roles.  Telling us what behaviors are acceptable for boys and girls.  Society tells us that girls should wear pink and boys should wear blue.  Boys should play football and girls should stand on the sidelines cheering them on.  Boys should play with trucks and cars while girls play with Barbie dolls.  Growing up girls are taught that the woman’s place is in the home, cooking and cleaning while it’s the man’s job to work.  Why is this?  This teaches our daughters that they aren’t as important as our sons.  We are raising our daughters to feel inferio

274 | 0 | 0
by nicolemorey59 on October 27, 2016
SUNY Genesee Community Colllege
 Social isolation has been proven to play a negative role for elders in terms of physical, cognitive and most importantly emotional health. Social supports play an important role in the lives of older adults, as their lives change many loose spouses and friends that have always been there, leaving many with no social activity. There are many community based organizations for older adults that provide a healthy social environment for those who are socially isolated.

534 | 2 | 0
by ctrainham on October 27, 2016
SUNY Genesee Community Colllege
I come from a rural public school system, where much of the social structure followed a very traditional path, with the expected cliques and social roles. Similarly, the techniques used within the classroom are exactly what you would expect form a traditional rural school. After reading the article, I began to think about how my educational experience contained very much of expected gender roles and treatment. From the gym class sport choices to the course options presented, much of the average public school is based on gender roles that are much more traditional than one would think.

411 | 1 | 0
by kaeleigh17 on October 27, 2016
SUNY Genesee Community Colllege
There is a controversial problem in the United States today regarding the differences in pay between men and women for the same nature and amount of work. The work sector of interest in this article is the legal profession, focusing mostly on full-time lawyers. Wage gaps have been reported by multiple research agencies including PayScale, Sky Analytics, and the United States Census Bureau.

470 | 1 | 0
by Ryjay125 on October 26, 2016
SUNY Genesee Community Colllege
Everything in this world seems to be geared towards whether you're a boy or a girl...man or women. Everything from jobs to the toys children play with. Toys? Yes toys dictate whether it's for a boy or a girl. Pink-girl, blue-boy. Action figures vs baby dolls, kitchen sets vs tool sets. Who says all girls like pink and want to pretend to cook and clean or that all boys want to build and wrestle? Maybe, just maybe a girl loves blue and likes superheros or a boy likes to cook and likes dolls. Would this be so bad? What could be possibly wrong with this scenario?

878 | 4 | 0
by StrongFaith on October 25, 2016
SUNY Genesee Community Colllege
Nowadays dating starts at a very young age, 13 or maybe 14 for some kids. For others dating is a sense of freedom to date who you want and find a compatible companion that you can have fun with and hang with. For me, dating didn't even come to my mind at that age, I was more focused on other things in life. My whole life, my paretns told me "no dating until your 18" and I had no issue with that. I didn't really start having crushes unitl I was 15 and even then I knew I would wait until I was 18 to start dating.

983 | 3 | 0
by kwolf4 on October 25, 2016
SUNY Genesee Community Colllege
     It is no surprise that a night without enough sleep can lead to a groggy morning, but that is not the only thing that can happen when the body needs more sleep. There are more frightening effects to sleep deprivation, if a person is deprived of sleep it can lead to emotional and physical problems. Research over the years has shown that people can be physically and psychologically damaged from not getting enough sleep.

879 | 4 | 0
by spmmps on October 21, 2016
SUNY Genesee Community Colllege
I have been researching into the lives of serial killers, more specifically their childhoods, to see if there are any similarities in their lives. My objective is to see if any events in adolescence or possibly their childhood environment has affect on their adulthood lives and impulse to kill. Within my research, I have found that there are definite similarities. It is essential in my research to look at not only their childhoods but the period of time, in adulthood, that they killed.

1,583 | 7 | 0
by kwolf4 on October 18, 2016
SUNY Genesee Community Colllege
       There are two recognized types of gender, a man and a woman. There are many types of gender roles of a man and a woman placed by society. The ideas of how one should act and behave, but sometimes this idea are unwelcomed. Stereotypes play a predominate role with society and influences what people believe. People in society are able to go against these stereotypes and be who they want to be. People can break free from stereotypes to be more individualistic.

3,753 | 14 | 0
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3 years 7 months ago

Hi Josie!

I enjoyed reading your article! It is very sad that the populations of Koalas are declining so much and that the activities of the government are contributing so much. But I did have a coupled of follow up questions that I was curious if you could answer. First, you described the environmental groups as needing to place environmental resource management above industry, which I thought was a bit funny because describing an environmental feature as a resource implicitly commodifies it, and suggests that it can be used as a resource. For instance, a small treed area could be described as a timber resource/woodlot likely by industry members who intended to cut down the trees/harvest them for profit. However, it is unlikely that a local environmental group would describe it that way - if they used an anthropocentric description at all, it would probably emphasize the spiritual or cultural value of the forest, and suggest that it could/should not be viewed primarily as a vehicle for economic gain. So, I was wondering why you described the Koalas as a resource? Is the NSW EPA responsible for some Koala tourism initiative that I am unaware of?

Second, I was wondering about your discussion of koalas more generally. They are an unusual species, but part of me thinks that the reason that they get so much attention is because they are charismatic (or cute, in other words). Do you know if they have any key ecological role? Are there other endemic species that share the habitat that are less rare? I have also heard that koalas often die as a result of attacks by dogs, another charismatic species. Is the government taking any action to limit their loss from canine confrontations?

Reply to: Heroin Epidemic
3 years 7 months ago

Ashepherd,

Your post stood out to me and was very informative with respect to the current epidemic that is opiate abuse. The examples you used helped to show the scary reality of what drug abuse can do to someone. As you mentioned, opiates come in many forms, currently in my hometown of Niagara Falls (CA) fentanyl use has become a growing concern as it is easier to access.

An article that I've attached below illustrates the increasing use of alternative forms of opiates like fentanyl, as more common ones like oxycodone become more heavily regulated. In 2010, the Ontario provincial government replaced the oxycodone pill with a more tamper-resistant form. This caused a shockwave to addicts who were forced to shift to other forms of drugs in order to fulfill their need, and as a result fentanyl has emerged a cheaper alternative. Ironically, data shows that since 2010, fentanyl related deaths have nearly doubled from 86 in 2010, to 165 in 2015.

The concept of addiction needs to be viewed as an illness or disease rather than a negative disposition towards that individual person. Many addicts are people who have endured multiple setbacks in their lives and as a result are unable to cope with the burdens that every day life can have. The problem is that access to most of these drugs is a lot easier and cheaper than heroin or oxycodone. Limiting access to one specific type of drug is not the answer, addicts will undoubtedly find other ways to abuse. There should be more governmental control over the distribution of these drugs and access should not be as easy.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/ontario-fentanyl-1.3874250

3 years 7 months ago

Hello,

The caption of your post seemed like an interesting read to me. You provide some very compelling evidence that details how overfishing and inadequate management policies are disrupting marine ecosystems. I agree that human intervention is the leading cause of the decline of fish stocks that we see worldwide as there is overwhelming evidence. Previous examples like the collapse of northern cod in Newfoundland (1992) should be used as a lesson to affirm the notion that strict management policies be implemented and directly followed by governments and industries. Although, I was hoping to learn more about how 'eco-labelling' can help the transition into more sustainable management decisions. In my opinion, eco-labelling is a good way to inform consumers of where and how their product was produced so that they can make educated decisions when deciding what to purchase. However, this does not address the problems of overfishing, illegal fishing and other issues that we still see today. Governments should be more accountable for these types of problems because they are the one's who control the industries. Similarly, the fishing industry must also be held accountable for certain practices they use as well as their level of ignorance with regards to sustainable forms of extracting fish. In the end, I think using eco-labels does provide a good way to inform consumers, but I believe the root of the problem lies primarily on those who exploit this resource and those who are in charge of applying sustainable management decisions.

3 years 7 months ago

Great post!

Gravel to green is a really interesting concept that aims to not really improve mental health, but the environment too. I think this would also be a great opportunity to plant more trees as well. By adding more green areas in urban environments as well as planting more trees will help reduce environmental impacts. Planting trees is a way to help offset carbon emissions, and by having this done more in urban areas could also help people to beware of the important role trees play. Overall I think it is a great idea, however I also think it is important to have the green spaces strategically placed within urban areas, for example a place where it can be easily reached, but does not impose on other necessary city elements. In launching this concept in many different areas could also allow for people to become more invested in environment and the struggles it is facing due to urban expansion

3 years 7 months ago

Great post Breanne,

I strongly agree with your post. I don’t think Canada has made at all the commitments to climate change as they should, but instead place a higher significant towards economic growth. This is especially problematic as the impacts on climate change continue to grow and the Canadian government still hasn't committed to making a leap of change. I agree that Canada’s reliance on fossil fuels is problematic in terms of introducing new more reliable energy sources. It seems that the Canadian government has other priories over the environment, as they don’t seem concerned about the potential impacts. I’m wondering what it will take for the government to finally make climate change a priority, I fear it won’t be until the impacts of climate change worsen. From an environmental standpoint, it makes more sense to help resolve issues before they worsen, however it doesn’t seem to take priority in the government over economic growth.

3 years 7 months ago

Hi AJ!

Thanks for your post, it was an interesting read! I think you touch upon a pressing issue being the vaccinations of children. It is extremely important for parents to vaccinate their children when they are newborns. Those who believe in homeopathy and Scientology have in some instances believed that their children do not need vaccinations, which has led to the death of the child and charges being pressed against the parents.

It is so critical that we are aware of the breakthroughs in science and what are considered to be the norms as far as healthcare and health of children and adults. There are just some things that can't be toyed with, as it's not worth a life.

Thanks for your input, let me know what you think :)

Davis

3 years 7 months ago

Hey Andrew!

Thanks so much for your post. I think you did a great job in addressing a pressing issue for Canadian's, being the reliance on the non-renewable energy source of fossil fuels as a means of government revenue and energy production. It is without a doubt that Canada is currently extracting oil from tar sands and other forms of oil reserves in Western Canada and will continue to for some time, based on the contracts that have been established with China. However, I do think in spite of this we are doing a good job or reducing our ecological footprint in smaller sections of Canada.

For instance, Ontario has pledged to shut down all of the Nuclear power plants in the next 20 years. Even though Wynne has invested billions of dollars into the refurbishment of our Nuclear power plants, it is a step in the right direction that we have a set timeline for closure.

Canada is a great country, and even though our government doesn't make the best decisions 100% of the time, I think it is important to acknowledge that we need to make deals for our resources in order to establish some sort of presence in the international economy. Look on the bright side :)

Thanks again,

Davis

3 years 7 months ago

Hi Samantha!

It was very nice of you to write your article on the issue of the free parks in 2017 - I think this is a really remarkable policy and it is good to see an article which applies a critical lens to it. As I see it, you have two basic argument: that this decision is exacerbating the conflict of the duel mandates of park management (which are to protect parks ecologically as well as to promote their use for tourism), and that they have made this decision to increase park revenues. I agree with both of these ideas. However, I am a bit skeptical of your conclusions, that proper park management and low development can reduce the impact of the overcrowding on wildlife, and that there will be environmental gains from education about wildlife.

To an extent, I agree that visiting parks may increase awareness of environmental activities, as was stated in the documentary "nature's invitation". However, I am not sure that making Canada's national parks free will result in the increase in meaningful experiences in nature that lead to the positive environmental experiences that society as a whole aims for. As far as I know, there is an expectation that this will result in a huge boom for the rocky mountain parks visitations, but not necessarily for other less well known or more remote parks. If too many people come to those parks in particular, they may experience the lack of "wilderness" that you highlighted in your article, and if they are mainly tourists they will pollute while in transit, and may not stay long enough for that genuine nature experiences that are needed to create environmental activists.

Likewise, I am sure that improper park practices can increase over crowding, but I think that the large numbers of people ultimately will have an impact on the environment that they visit, even with good management practices, as is currently occurring in Acadia National Park. In that case they have employed numerous novel methods for dealing with local visitor impacts, including creating a free bus to disincentivize car use and strategic removal of signs so that people do not visit vulnerable habitats. If it is really impossible to have it all, or meet both of the mandates of the parks, then we have to ask which one is more important. The law has addressed this already, stating that the first objective of Parks Canada is to protect and restore the habitat in parks. Therefore, I ultimately view this decision as not the best one that Parks Canada could have made in order to meet the objectives you outline. What do you think?

3 years 7 months ago

Hi Samantha!

It was very nice of you to write your article on the issue of the free parks in 2017 - I think this is a really remarkable policy and it is good to see an article which applies a critical lens to it. As I see it, you have two basic argument: that this decision is exacerbating the conflict of the duel mandates of park management (which are to protect parks ecologically as well as to promote their use for tourism), and that they have made this decision to increase park revenues. I agree with both of these ideas. However, I am a bit skeptical of your conclusions, that proper park management and low development can reduce the impact of the overcrowding on wildlife, and that there will be environmental gains from education about wildlife.

To an extent, I agree that visiting parks may increase awareness of environmental activities, as was stated in the documentary "nature's invitation". However, I am not sure that making Canada's national parks free will result in the increase in meaningful experiences in nature that lead to the positive environmental experiences that society as a whole aims for. As far as I know, there is an expectation that this will result in a huge boom for the rocky mountain parks visitations, but not necessarily for other less well known or more remote parks. If too many people come to those parks in particular, they may experience the lack of "wilderness" that you highlighted in your article, and if they are mainly tourists they will pollute while in transit, and may not stay long enough for that genuine nature experiences that are needed to create environmental activists.

Likewise, I am sure that improper park practices can increase over crowding, but I think that the large numbers of people ultimately will have an impact on the environment that they visit, even with good management practices, as is currently occurring in Acadia National Park. In that case they have employed numerous novel methods for dealing with local visitor impacts, including creating a free bus to disincentivize car use and strategic removal of signs so that people do not visit vulnerable habitats. If it is really impossible to have it all, or meet both of the mandates of the parks, then we have to ask which one is more important. The law has addressed this already, stating that the first objective of Parks Canada is to protect and restore the habitat in parks. Therefore, I ultimately view this decision as not the best one that Parks Canada could have made in order to meet the objectives you outline. What do you think?

3 years 7 months ago

Hi Samantha!

It was very nice of you to write your article on the issue of the free parks in 2017 - I think this is a really remarkable policy and it is good to see an article which applies a critical lens to it. As I see it, you have two basic argument: that this decision is exacerbating the conflict of the duel mandates of park management (which are to protect parks ecologically as well as to promote their use for tourism), and that they have made this decision to increase park revenues. I agree with both of these ideas. However, I am a bit skeptical of your conclusions, that proper park management and low development can reduce the impact of the overcrowding on wildlife, and that there will be environmental gains from education about wildlife.

To an extent, I agree that visiting parks may increase awareness of environmental activities, as was stated in the documentary "nature's invitation". However, I am not sure that making Canada's national parks free will result in the increase in meaningful experiences in nature that lead to the positive environmental experiences that society as a whole aims for. As far as I know, there is an expectation that this will result in a huge boom for the rocky mountain parks visitations, but not necessarily for other less well known or more remote parks. If too many people come to those parks in particular, they may experience the lack of "wilderness" that you highlighted in your article, and if they are mainly tourists they will pollute while in transit, and may not stay long enough for that genuine nature experiences that are needed to create environmental activists.

Likewise, I am sure that improper park practices can increase over crowding, but I think that the large numbers of people ultimately will have an impact on the environment that they visit, even with good management practices, as is currently occurring in Acadia National Park. In that case they have employed numerous novel methods for dealing with local visitor impacts, including creating a free bus to disincentivize car use and strategic removal of signs so that people do not visit vulnerable habitats. If it is really impossible to have it all, or meet both of the mandates of the parks, then we have to ask which one is more important. The law has addressed this already, stating that the first objective of Parks Canada is to protect and restore the habitat in parks. Therefore, I ultimately view this decision as not the best one that Parks Canada could have made in order to meet the objectives you outline. What do you think?

SUNY Genesee Community Colllege

SUNY Brockport

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Associate Professor of Geography, University of Guelph.

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