Register Now for the 5th BC Protected Areas Research Forum

December 5 - 7, 2016
Cadboro Commons, University of Victoria

The BC Protected Areas Research Forum (BCPARF) is a bi/tri-annual gathering of British Columbia (and neighbours) parks and protected areas managers and researchers from government, First Nations, academia (faculty and students), industry, non-govenrmental organizations and private sectors whom are involved and interested in the ecological and social dimensions of protected areas planning and management.

Call for presentations, research and management snappers, posters, workshops, and special sessions and side-meetings is now open with an online submission form. Submission deadline has been extended to OCTOBER 21st!!!.

The conference program will start with our opening keynote on the evening of December 5 and end by approximately noon on December 7.


Conference registration for BCPARF has been kept at the same low rate for the last several conferences with subsidies for students and First Nation participants. Registration includes morning and afternoon coffee and snacks and lunches both Tuesday and Wednesday. Tuesday at the end of the session includes appetizers to encourage people to grab a drink and mingle around the posters.

EARLY BIRD registration rates are available until November 15th!

  • Full registration (early bird) $180
  • Student registration (early bird) $90
  • First Nation registration (early bird) $90
  • Tuesday one day registration (early bird) $95
  • Wednesday one day registration (early bird) $95

Registration is now open. Please click here! REGISTER

Conference venue will be at the University of Victoria in beautiful Victoria, British Columbia.


The detailed conference program is still in the planning stages as the call for papers is still open (until October 20th) however the rough outline of the program is as follows (final adjustments of time are expected when the program is finalized):

Monday December 5th

  • 6:00 pm Registration
  • 7-8:30 Keynote Leanne Allison

Tuesday December 6th

  • 8:00 am Registration
  • 8:30 am Welcome and Conference Overview
  • 9:00 am Opening Plenary Talk - Nancy Turner/University of Victoria
  • 10-12 pm Concurrent Sessions
  • 12-1 pm Lunch
  • 1-5 Concurrent Sessions
  • 5-7 Poster Session (Reception and Cash Bar)

Wednesday December 7th

  • 8:00 am Registration
  • 8:30 am Opening Plenary Talk - Oscar Venter/University of Northern BC
  • 9:15-12 Concurrent Sessions
  • 12-1 Lunch


The program is still a work in progress but we thought we'd share a preliminary list of some of the presentations and workshop sessions that have received early bird acceptance!
  • Marine spatial planning to support shellfish aquaculture and nature-based tourism in coastal BC Description
  • Near wilderness- regional parks as a forefront to connect people to nature
  • The Wild Harts
  • Human-wildlife interaction risk assessment for the Sea to Sea and Sooke Hills Wilderness Regional Park Reserves
  • Impact of a Large Landscape Vision: 20 Year Yellowstone to Yukon Retrospective
  • Working Collaboratively to Assess Rare Plants and their Threats within Coastal Sand Ecosystems
  • Connecting people to near wilderness areas: Regional Parks interpretation program
  • Accessing and Using the BC provincial Ecosystem Inventory and Mapping data
  • Use of Volunteer Monitoring Technicians
  • Hot interpretation of controversial topics at protected areas
  • People with disabilities' participation in BC Parks experiences
  • Advancing Citizen Science in Parks and Protected Areas: Addressing Common Barriers
  • Cultural Forests of the Southern Nuu-chah-nulth
  • Conservation Area Design Tools for the Prioritization of Land Parcels in the Georgia Basin Description
  • Evaluating recreational experience in a managed reservoir system
  • Developing a social science research program for Regional Parks


We will start each morning with a plenary speaker to set the stage and launch our discussions for the day. Here are some details!
Tuesday October 6th, Nancy Turner / University of Victoria

Protecting Cultural Landscapes in Protected Areas: the Importance of Keeping People in the Picture

Humans are often excluded from parks and other protected areas that are designed to retain and conserve biodiversity (except for brief periods of time, when they are asked to “take nothing but pictures; leave nothing but footprints”. However, in many parts of the world, humans and human-initiated processes have been a part of these so-called “natural areas” for centuries, in some cases millennia. In northwestern North America, for example, humans have used and maintained particular culturally important habitats in many different ecosystems: from intertidal areas, river estuaries, to coniferous forests, prairies and subalpine parkland. If we are to retain historical fidelity, including the structure, function and composition of these cultural landscapes, as well as respecting the rights and title of Indigenous peoples to their traditional territories, we need to recognize their use and occupancy of these habitats and to retain the processes that they have used for generations to sustain their productivity. In this talk I will discuss some of the ways in which First Nations have managed their territories and plant resources, and suggest how traditional use of protected areas might be maintained or reinstated without impacting their overall value.

Trudeau Fellow and Emeritus Professor, Nancy Turner is an ethnobotanist whose research integrates the fields of botany and ecology with anthropology, geography and linguistics, among others. She is interested in the traditional knowledge systems and traditional land and resource management systems of Indigenous Peoples, particularly in western Canada. Nancy has worked with First Nations elders and cultural specialists in northwestern North America for over 40 years, collaborating with Indigenous communities to help document, retain and promote their traditional knowledge of plants and habitats, including Indigenous foods, materials and medicines, as well as language and vocabulary relating to plants and environments. Her interests also include the roles of plants and animals in narratives, ceremonies, language and belief systems, and traditional land and resource management systems.

Wednesday October 7th, Oscar Venter / University of Northern BC
The role of protected areas in global conservation efforts.
Protected areas (PAs) are widely recognised as the primary tool we have for conserving biodiversity. PAs have expanded rapidly over the last few decades, championed by ambitious targets such as those under the Convention on Biological Diversity. However, PAs can conflict with other societal goals, such as housing, food production and wood harvesting. This conflict can cause PAs to be preferentially established in locations that are remote or have little agricultural value, failing to protect the imperiled biodiversity found on more valuable land. In this talk I will present our work to quantify the implications these biases have on the conservation value of protected areas globally, and how this can undermine the aspirations of the major conservation conventions.
Oscar Venter is an Associate Professor and Growth and Yield and Forest Valuation Chair in the Ecosystem Science and Management Program at UNBC.  His research aims to improve our understanding of the trade-offs and synergies among economic production, ecosystem services and biodiversity conservation. Much of his work has been at regional scales in South East Asia, looking at forest planning and payments for forest carbon storage. For the past three years he has been leading an interdisciplinary team working to map human pressures and conservation policy at the global scale.


There are many options for accommodation (google them!), all of them about 15-20 minutes away by car or bus. Three suggestions follow.

1.       A block of rooms is being held at the Hotel Zed in uptown Victoria until November 5. After that date the group rate will still apply, but the rooms will not be held. Rate is $109 + tax. For no extra charge you can put more people in the room at the group rate. These rooms have 2 queen beds. The group rate is being held under the name BCPARF. Coffee and tea available, but no breakfast. The #11 bus is a 5-10 minute walk, leaves every 10 minutes or so, and goes straight to UVic. 250.388.4345 “a ridiculously fun & eclectic hip hotel”

2.      A block of rooms is being held at the Oswego Hotel in downtown Victoria about 1 block from the harbour. This block will only be held until November 5. Rate is $90 - $120 + tax. The $90 room has a queen bed and 2 are allowed for this rate. The $120 room has 2 queens and 4 are allowed. Additional adults are $20. This is the same rate as their government rate. No breakfast, but every room has a small kitchen. The group rate is being held under the name BCPARF. Several buses link downtown to the university. Parking is $15/day except for hybrids which are free.  “sophisticated, urban, boutique hotel…for the discerning and adventurous traveller

3.       In Oak Bay there is a lovely bed and breakfast called the Oak Bay Guest House B&B. They have 11 rooms that range from $89 - $129 + tax. A significant breakfast is included. Although the website says breakfast starts at 8 am, the proprietors have given their assurance that they can serve earlier with some advanced warning. This is the closest option to UVic, but the bus connections to UVic are more convoluted so this is probably a better option if you have wheels.  “a gracious 1912 Victorian home”

Leanne Allison, Keynote Speaker

Leanne Allison is a filmmaker based in Canmore, Alberta. She has directed two award-winning documentaries with the National Film Board of Canada (NFB). Being Caribou, and Finding Farley are based on long epic personal journeys through remote wilderness areas in Canada. Each journey shapes the next, including her first foray into the world of interactive through Bear 71. Bear 71- (produced by the NFB) premiered at the Sundance Film Festival- New Frontier exhibit and won a Cannes Lion Creativity award. All Leanne's projects explore our connection to nature in the modern age.

Past Conference Programs and Presentations

December 2013 - TRU

December 2011 - UBC  (Abstracts)

December 2008 - UNBC - Closing the Loop  (Abstracts)

December 2006 - RRU - Fostering Connections (Abstracts)