When an action is proposed to occur within a park or protected area, BC Parks assesses that action’s potential impacts on ecological, cultural, and recreational values. BC Parks staff conduct an assessment by following our impact assessment (IA) process. For more information, see the impact assessment process overview page.
An action is considered non-reviewable if it is known that the action typically does not result in unacceptable environmental, social, or economic impacts. Actions included on the non-reviewable list are known to meet this criterion based on past experience, policies, standards, or common sense. All BC Parks policies, standards, and guidelines are applicable to the actions on this list and must be met. This list may be reviewed and amended as new information about potential risks and impacts of actions becomes available.
Note that this is a generalized list. If an action fits a category on this list but there are reasons to believe significant impacts may still occur, the action should be considered reviewable, and an impact assessment should be completed. In addition, the definition of routine and minor as used in this list should be interpreted in favour of a conservative, precautionary approach.
Actions that involve ground disturbance (even minor) have the potential to negatively affect archaeological values. Where an action fits a category on this list but also involves ground disturbance, an IA to understand impacts to archaeological values may be required.
- Data and information gathering that does not involve any physical changes or disturbances to the environment or its features (for example, small-scale and site-specific species inventories, mapping, visitor use surveys)
- Temporary closures of public access areas to protect people or protected area values
- Actions equivalent to what a public park user can do without permission
- Clearly inappropriate or illegal actions (and thus impact assessment not required because the action is denied outright)
Operations and maintenance actions
- Routine actions normally conducted to operate and maintain the protected area (for example, maintaining law and order, routine patrols by BC Parks staff)
- Routine repair and maintenance of facilities and equipment to maintain existing operations and activities (for example, lawn care and landscaping in day-use areas, minor trail maintenance with no excavation, bench or picnic table replacement on existing footprint)
- Routine maintenance for public safety (for example, clearing debris from trails, danger tree removal, unless large-scale or of significance, including cumulative)
- Routine movement, handling, and distribution of materials, including hazardous material or waste when moved, handled, or distributed under applicable regulations
- Removal of individuals of non-threatened or non-endangered species that pose a danger to visitors or threaten protected area values
- Small-scale invasive plant control (in other words, small patch of plants with hand tools)
Permits and administrative actions
- Authorizations that will have minimal to no impact to protected area values because there are no proposed site alterations or disturbance to the natural, cultural heritage, or recreational environment and where cumulative impacts1 are not a concern
Cumulative impacts may occur where other similar permits or activities are already in place, large numbers of public visitors are using the same area for the same activity, or the high frequency with which the permitted activity occurs may result in adverse impacts.
- Minor amendments to existing permits
- Changes or amendments to an approved action when such changes would not result in adverse impacts
- Minor revisions to existing regulations that do not generally affect the protected area environment
- Changes or amendments to an approved protected area management plan when such changes would not result in adverse impacts
- Boundary changes related to administrative corrections
- Land acquisition within established protected area boundaries
1 Cumulative Impacts: Changes to values as a result of the combined effects of past, present and reasonably foreseeable future activities, land use decisions and natural processes.