Pacific Rim National Park Reserve

Pacific Rim National Park Reserve is a Canadian national park reserve in British Columbia comprising three separate regions: Long Beach, the Broken Group Islands, and the West Coast Trail. The entire reserve encompasses 511 km2 (197 sq mi) of land and ocean. It is characterized by rugged coasts and lush temperate rainforests. The reserve is open from mid-March until mid-October. It was created in 1970 as the first national park reserve, and remains the oldest, having yet to fulfill its promise of becoming a national park after more than 45 years. The reserve was opened in 1971 in a ceremony attended by Princess Anne of England, who was presented with a driftwood abstract sculpture by Jean Chretien, the minister responsible for Parks Canada. The sculpture was the work of local artist Godfrey Stephens.


The early popularity of national parks, like Banff and Yoho, created speculation about other potential parks, like one on Vancouver Island with access to the Pacific Ocean. The province took action with the adoption of the Provincial Parks Act in 1908 which allowed them to place reserves on land for park purposes and the 1911 Strathcona Park Act created the first provincial park, in the middle of Vancouver Island, which was intended to be developed in the model of Banff, though those intentions were never fulfilled. The first concrete step by the federal government in this area was a 1930 reserve placed on land in the Nitinat Lake area by the province at the request of federal government. The reserve was not immediately acted upon but Park representatives did inspect the nearby Long Beach area in 1944 in consideration of health resort type park, though it was considered impractical at that time. In 1947 the Victoria Chamber of Commerce advocated for adding onto Strathcona Provincial Park land along the Clayoquot Arm to Long Beach. The federal government indicated interest in establishing this as a national park, on condition that ocean access was included. However, later that year a survey of the area by Hugh Llewellyn Keenleyside deemed the park unsuitable due to its remoteness and outstanding forestry encumbrances.

Pacific Rim National Park Reserve

The 1959 establishment of the Wickaninnish Beach Provincial Park began the assemblage was what would become the national park. It was expanded in 1961 and 1968. Meanwhile, the Tofino and Vancouver Island Chambers of Commerce’s call for a national park here was favourably received by local MLA Howard McDiarmid, Minister of Recreation and Conservation Ken Kiernan and the cabinet of W.A.C. Bennett but communication and negotiations with federal Minister of Resources Arthur Laing was strained as they disagreed on the appropriate size of the park and cost-sharing, in addition to their political animosity. The project advanced after Jean Chrétien replaced Laing in 1968. The BC government adopted a bill in early 1969 to enter into an agreement with the federal government to establish the national park along the west coast of Vancouver Island and pay half of the costs of further land acquisition. From there, the park was assembled in three phases. First, the Wickaninnish Beach Park was added the existing federal lands at the Tofino airstrip and forestry leases purchased off MacMillan Bloedel. Phase two involve acquiring the Broken Group Islands and phase three the coastline between Port Renfrew and Bamfield known as the Lifesaving Trail or West Coast Trail.

Long Beach

In 1969 it was not clear whether the phase three Lifesaving Trail would be part of the national or be a provincial park or left as forestry lands. The companies with the forestry rights in this area, B.C. Forest Products Limited and MacMillan Bloedel, resisted the incorporation of this part into the park, as did several members of the government such as Kiernan and Minister of Lands, Forests and Water Resources Ray Williston. Being a provincial park was considered because, at that time, forestry and mining activities were still permitted within provincial parks. The provincial government relented and proposed a 0.5 mile wide park along the trail but in February 1970, following a meeting with Chrétien and with public opinion favouring a national park, the province agreed to varying widths for the trail. By April they agreed to 8,093 hectares (20,000 acres) for the Lifesaving Trail portion to be acquired by the province and transferred to the federal government by October 1972. The Effingham Islands portion of the Broken Group was also part of provincial hesitations but ultimately included in the April 1970 agreement.

Tsusiat Falls, a campground on the West Coast Trail.

Source From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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