North and Central Coast Protected Area Planning

In February 2006 British Columbia announced land use decisions for the North and Central Coast that protects some of the most spectacular and ecologically diverse regions of the world, including critical Spirit Bear habitat. The combined protected areas announced as part of this decision total approximately 1.8 million hectares, more than three times the size of Prince Edward Island. The decision introduced Conservancies as a new designation of protected area in the Province.  Currently, 65 new Conservancies have been designated, with the remainder of the proposed Conservancies anticipated for designation in spring 2008.

The agreement reached on these areas represents an unprecedented collaboration between First Nations, industry, environmentalists, local government and many other stakeholders in managing the vast richness of B.C.’s coast for the benefit of all British Columbians. Since announcement of these decisions, the Ministry of Environment has been busy designating protected areas, formalizing Collaborative Management Agreements, developing a coastal protected area operations program and initiating management planning processes to provide management direction for individual protected areas.


Management Planning

The process for preparing a management plan involves a careful analysis of the overall goals of the protected area, use patterns, management objectives, and possible sources of conflict among protected area policies. Through the planning process, various options for managing the protected area are developed and assessed.

The North and Central Coast Planning processes and the signed government-to-government agreements with First Nations provide some initial direction on the purpose and values to be protected within the newly designated conservancies. However, further detailed site specific values, aspirations and uses need to be considered and incorporated into individual protected area plans. Three regions of the Ministry of Environment (Cariboo, Skeena and Vancouver Island) are engaged with area First Nations, local government, users and interest groups on the initiation and completion of management plans for the newly announced conservancies. The specific process for each individual protected area is being tailored to the specific circumstances and issues associated with the individual protected area and consistent with the Collaborative Protected Area Agreements that have been signed and are included in background information further down on this page.

In all cases, involvement and input from the public are desired. A generalized questionnaire is available that allows for your input into how these spectacular areas will be managed in the future. In responding to the questionnaire, it may be helpful for you to refer to one of the associated maps referenced above. To complete a questionnaire please click here. [LINK TO QUESTIONNAIRE PAGE - here is a sample questionnaire]

For additional opportunities for engagement and input into specific plans please refere to the regional coastal planning pages referenced below:

Link to Cariboo Region Coastal Protected Area Planning  [At the page include a listing of designated protected areas within Region x, and further information on active and future planning processes for the coastal area]

Link to Skeena Region Coastal Protected Area

Link to Vancouver Island Central Coast Protected Area Planning

Collaborative Protected Area Agreements between First Nations and the Province of British Columbia

Signed collaborative management agreements

  • Gitga’at First Nation
  • Haisla First Nation (Kitlope Heritage Conservancy)
  • Heiltsuk First Nation (Hakai Pass)
  • Kitasoo Xais Xais First Nation (Kitasoo Spirit Bear Protected Area)
  • Metlakatla First Nation

News Releases

Creation of Conservancy areas

February 7, 2006 Announcement

For more information on the North and Central Coast Land Use Decision please visit the Integrated Land Management Bureau’s Coastal Land Use Decision Implementation website.