Visitor Management Policy of Protected Areas in Canada and the United States By Kris Hyslop Advisor: Dr. Paul Eagles ERS 491 Introduction Purpose: To determine whether or not visitor policy exists, what type, and the policy environment of each type of protected area management agency Definition of ‘visitor’ Definition of ‘policy’ Methodology Initial literature search including agency websites Search for suggested visitor management policies Creation of Table 1 – Visitor Management Policy Locate policy documents Review of findings History Similar histories of national parks Similar purposes Initially divergent strategies Legal separation of wildlife areas Main function Current protected areas management 4 responsible agencies Findings – Parks Canada Main sources of policy information Guiding Principles and Operational Policies Agency reports and a guide for managers 22 of 30 visitor policy topics addressed Ability to attain agency objectives Education opportunities Expansion of system Findings – U.S. National Park Service Main sources of policy information Management Policies 2001 24 of 30 visitor policy topics addressed Ability to attain agency objectives Substantial budget and staff numbers Visitor tracking and surveys Findings – Canadian National Wildlife Areas Main sources of policy information Canadian Nature Federation document Planning and policy documents 6 of 30 visitor policy topics addressed Ability to attain agency objectives Critical lack of funding and staff Inability to maintain or expand system Findings – U.S. National Wildlife Reserves Main sources of policy information Policy document Document regarding refuge use 15 of 30 visitor policy topics addressed Ability to attain agency objectives Limited funding and staff numbers Lack of clear goals Conclusions: Table 2 – Agency Policy and Resources Parks Canada U.S. National Park Canadian Wildlife U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Service Service (NWRs) (NWAs) Number of Visitor Management Policies Addressed (of a 21 23 6 15 possible 26) Number of Units in System 190 388 143 542 2 Total Physical Area (km ) 256,385 209,986 115,000 388,498 Annual Budget ($000) 500,000 (CDN) 2,361,000 (U.S.) 1,744 (CDN) 387,657 (U.S.) Number of Staff 5,500 20,000 14.5 (FTE) 2,980 (FTE) Annual Number of Visitors (in millions) 26 277 N/A 39 *The numbers in this chart are the same as those used in the in-text calculations for this report, as displayed in Table 3 Conclusions: Table 3 – Resources Available to Each Agency Parks Canada U.S. National Park Canadian Wildlife U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Service (NWAs) Service (NWRs) Number of Employees per 28.9 52 0.1 5.5 or 2.4* Unit $715,234 or $255,142 Funding per Unit $2.632 million (CDN) $6.085 million (U.S.) $12,196 (CDN) (U.S.)* Funding per Square $884.19 (CDN) $11,244 (U.S.) $15.17 (CDN) $997.84 or $356 (U.S.)* Kilometre $5.29 or $19.23 Funding per Visit $8.52 (U.S.) N/A $9.94 or $3.55 (U.S.)* (CDN)* Number of Visits per 4,727 13,850 N/A 13,087 or 30,421* Employee *See sections 3.3 and 6.3 for explanations of these discrepancies Conclusions Positive correlation between resources available and quality of visitor policy Visitor policy often difficult to locate Single documents more comprehensive Multiple documents were piece-meal Link between encouraged visitation and increased funding Acknowledgments Thank you to Dr. Paul Eagles for his multiple reviews and help with finding sources. Thank you also to Dr. Mary-Louise McAllister for her assistance.
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