Shared Decision-Making and Public Land Planning: An Evaluation of the Vancouver Island Regional Core Process.
As in many other parts of Canada, Vancouver Island experienced intensive resource management debates for decades. Conflict surrounding land use decisions in British Columbia reached unprecedented levels in the 1990s. The substance of these disputes concerns the relative right to traditional land uses such as forestry, mining, First Nations’ land claims, fish and wildlife habitat, parks, and tourism. In recent years there has also been the emerging imperative to move towards a more sustainable society. Sustainable management requires more than a modification of the economic system through the adoption of innovative valuation tools. It also involves change to traditional management systems and political processes (Carley and Christie 1993). This prompted the government of British Columbia to form the Commission on Resources and Environment (CORE). CORE was established in July of 1992 by the adoption of the Commissioner on Resources and Environment Act (BC, 1992). Headed by Commissioner Stephen Owen, CORE is a permanent, independent agency mandated to make recommendations to cabinet regarding land use and resource management in the province. The commission was given the responsibility to design a land use planning strategy for the province (Owen 1993:1).