The Fort St. James National Historic Site is asking for community input on their proposed new management plan which sets out key priorities.
The plan priorities were driven by community input from previous sessions and from the input gathered, has resulted in a hefty document which maps out the park’s future for the next 15 years.
A public meeting on April 19 for information on the plan and an opportunity for feedback from community members received a low turnout from the public. One new resident to the Fort did come, however, and she was very interested in volunteer opportunities for herself and her family.
Feedback on the management plan is still being taken until May 11, and anyone with comments or questions can contact Bob Grill, the site manager at 996-7191 ext. 21.
After the period for feedback is completed and the final revisions are in place, the plan will then go to the head of Parks Canada, then to the federal minister and finally it will eventually become approved by government, which will potentially happen by fall of this year.
A very basic summary of the plan is below, the full plan is available through the historic site.
Key strategies & objectives:
1) Getting the word out
Objective 1: Expanding marketing efforts to reach local, regional and specialized markets
Objective 2: A user-friendly, dynamic website and the use of social media
Objective 3: Outreach programming among local and regional residents.
Objective 4: Promoting the development of local and regional tourism infrastructure, particularly in the community of Fort St. James
2) A place to come back to again and again
Objective 1: Complement the historical side with a number of daily adventures, special events and authentic opportunities that encourage repeat visitation by Fort St. James residents and nearby communities.
Objective 2: Supporting facilities such as the Visitor Centre, restaurant and gift shop reinforce the heritage values of the site.
Objective 3: Specialized programs to reach new groups and expand the season.
Objective 4: Continuing to build strong relationships with school organizations to ensure programs are relevant and fit with curriculum.
Objective 5: The main pathway through the site and along the waterfront.
3) Growing with partners
Objective 1: Continuing to grow First Nation involvement to include more First Nation culture, history and perspectives
Objective 2: Increase volunteer involvement and opportunities to engage more local and regional residents.
Objective 3: Establishment of new partnerships, agreements and collaborations.
4) Authentic resources, authentic experiences
Objective 1: Visitors discover well-preserved buildings from the fur-trade era
Objective 2: Archeological and cultural objects are in good condition
Objective 3: Visitors leave with a clear understanding of its national significance.
Objective 4: Expand the knowledge of the site’s role in regional material culture
Objective 5: Protecting the site’s cultural landscape and engaging with the municipality to ensure that surrounding land uses respect the site’s character and landscape.
Objective 6: Archeological investigations undertaken when available.
Objective 7: Minimization of environmental impact.
More detailed information can be found at http://www.pc.gc.ca/lhn-nhs/bc/stjames/plan.aspx.