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ECOCLUB, Issue 94
            
11
ECOPAEDIA
Gateway Development Assessment: Approaches to Tourism Development and Protected Area Values - by
Pam Wight & Associates*
This study commissioned by Alberta Tourism, Parks, Recreation and Culture, aimed
to research good practices in areas adjacent to parks around the world and indentify
where public lands outside parks
have integrated land management principles and
enabled tourism development with care for parks values. In particular to:
• Provide descriptions as they relate to building design, scale, form and character
• Identify any decision criteria or guidelines related to site, nature, and type of
development
• Describe any guidelines related to design, construction and operations
• Identify environmental and social considerations
• Identify operational considerations
• Describe specific sustainable development considerations related to site and public
land uses
• Describe any monitoring and evaluation measures and criteria
on publicly managed lands ajacent to parks and Protected Areas (PAs). 
As the author notes: “there are libraries full of materials on PAs, virtually nothing
on adjacent areas.  A major question was how do best practice jurisdictions enable
sustainable tourism development /adjacent /to parks (ie with regulations and
guidelines or any other integrated planning principles) and uphold PA values. It was
very tricky to find this out, as it involved considerable research and materials
evaluation, only to find cases didn't merit being included.” 
The cases were carefully selected and presented indetaile, each providing a different geographic emphasis as
well as topic perspective, and thus the study is of great interest to tourism policy makers, protected area managers and
academics, but also to ecotourism practitioners operating within and near protected areas. 
Excerpts follow:
ONTARIO’S RESOURCE-BASED TOURISM: A CASE OF LAND USE PLANNING AND
GUIDELINES FOR
PROTECTION OF TOURISM VALUES
The Province of Ontario was proactive in their determination to lessen resource use conflicts, and
recognise that tourism has
particular claims to natural resources as well as economic and
diversification contributions. There was also a good
understanding that a land use planning process
was needed first, to give overall direction to both the forest and tourism
industries, as well as a number of beneficial agreements which were outcomes of the process. In Ontario, the Minister of Natural
Resources (MNR) is responsible for land use planning on all Crown lands, which gives it good perspective.
However, the MNR is also responsible for forest industries, not tourism, so it has been difficult for the Ministry of Tourism and
the tourism industry to effectively represent tourism values. While Resource Stewardship Agreements (RSAs) were successfully
negotiated between some tourism and forestry operators, the MNR is not obliged to accept the RSAs (for inclusion in the Forest
Management Plan (FMP) ).
Also, MNR’s has not recognised that tourism values in the forest are often area-based, rather than point specific. This meant that
while a tourism operator’s values may not be included in the tourism
values maps, they can be expressed in the Tourism
Business Interest Maps. However, the MNR does
not have to incorporate these designations in their maps. Although the
province has begun
recognition of tourism values, through land use mapping and tourism values mapping, not all tourism
operators, and parks officials interviewed are satisfied with what happens ‘on the ground’ (operators may be concerned about
the many months or more it takes for negotiations; or the fact that it’s not
their lodge which has tourism value, it’s the area
around the lodge, whereas they are not allowed to map areas of information, only points; or the fact that even when an RSA is
agreed between the
forestry industry and tourism operator, the MNR may not approve it; or the fact that no approvals are
usually given to those interested on developing tourism establishments when the land is ‘contentious’
for logging; or the fact
that previously protected trails may now be logged even though the trail may
be a well-used tourism resource. Park planners
may be concerned about the increase in roads to more
remote areas, which are encouraging non-commercial users to call for
forestry roads to remain open despite the existence of an RSA which agrees to close road access after forestry use; or the fact
that remote fly-in camps established outside parks may day-use the parks for free. Forest Companies (FCs) may be sensitive to
already having “given up” considerable lands for parks and conservation reserves, and are calling for “no net loss of forests”).
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