The 2018 BCPARF Conference was held at the University of Northern British Columbia in Prince George, BC from December 3 to 5.

Conference Highlights

  • More than 160 participants (including more than 50 BC Park staff)
  • 1 keynote and 2 plenaries
  • 3 special workshops
  • More than 45 presentations during concurrent sessions
  • Poster session
  • An evening celebration with wine, food, music, films and silliness

In 2018 we said happy retirement to BCPARF founding co-chair Dr. Tory Stevens (BC Parks) and as part of the celebrations, a new and ongoing award was created.

This year, a new award was announced in honour of Dr. Tory Stevens' long legacy as a terrestrial protected areas ecologist at BC Parks. Tory has been a fierce champion of integrating climate change considerations and a landscape scale lens into park planning and management during her 17 years with BC Parks. This year, Jerrica Mann (MSc NRES candidate at UNBC) won the Tory Stevens award for her poster and presentation on Climate Change Conscious Conservation Planning.

"Anthropogenically driven climate change is now recognized to be one of the most serious threats to biodiversity and the conservation thereof. Climate reshuffling, disappearance, and the emergence of novel climates force species to tolerate climate changes, adapt, or migrate to more climatically favourable environments. Accordingly, the protection of refugia and maintenance or enhancement of connectivity between wilderness areas, climate refugia, and protected areas is necessary to support the shifting of species’ distributions thereby facilitating the natural adaptation of species and communities in response to climate change. Despite this, conserving planning rarely attempts to incorporate climate change data with the goal of planning for future climate conditions and climate change impacts. With the recent widespread availability of emission scenarios and reliable climate change data, conservation planning is well poised to take advantage of climate change information. This Living Labs project was undertaken to develop a more advanced climate change conscious approach to systematic conservation planning. The study area chosen was the Peace River Break, a region where industrial expansions have already created an ecogeographical bottleneck, and further expansions further threaten the vital corridors that connect functional landscapes along the north-south extent of the Canadian Rocky Mountains. A strategically planned protected areas network in this region would contribute to a continuous network of life-sustaining wildlife habitats linked by functional movement corridors that mitigate the impacts of climate change by facilitating wildlife migrations at coarse spatial scales between Yellowstone National Park and the Yukon Territory."Jerrica Mann