CPAWS Yukon
 
 
About Us What's New Our Conservation Work Get Involved! Support CPAWS News and Events Resources Peel Watershed
Resources
CPAWS Yukon Newsletters Publications and Reports Maps Links    

Report

The Potential Economic Impact of a New National Park in Natural Region #7: Wolf Lake Area of Yukon and Jennings Lake Area of British Columbia

Click here to download the Wolf Lake report.

Click here to download the Wolf Lake report.
(Acrobat [PDF] file, ~1.2 Mb)

A new report, prepared by the independent economic consulting firm Outspan Ltd., estimates the potential economic impacts associated with a proposed new National Park in Natural Region #7. This Parks Canada planning region in northern British Columbia and south-central Yukon is a leading candidate for a new park to help complete the system of national parks in Canada.

CPAWS (Yukon and BC Chapters), in cooperation with the Kaska Dena, initiated this technical background study to assess the impacts of new public investment on communities, economic development, and the potential for new jobs in the region. Commissioned to inform the discussion on a possible new National Park, the report is for information only; it is without prejudice to existing land claim agreements, future negotiations, or other interests in land or resources.

Consideration of a new National Park in Natural Region #7 has been reinforced by a Government of Canada commitment to fund park establishment where gaps occur in the system. According to Parks Canada studies, southern Yukon and northern British Columbia provide the best potential for a park to ensure this natural region is included within the network of national parks. While this is a large complex region, there are currently two leading areas to represent the region – Wolf Lake in Yukon and Jennings Lake in British Columbia. These areas fall mainly within the traditional territories of the Teslin Tlingit First Nation and the Kaska Dena.

The report includes an inventory of tourism facilities and services in the area, and forecasts levels of park and visitor spending for the Wolf Lake and Jennings Lake areas. Overall economic impacts are calculated.

This study did not assess the socioeconomic costs and benefits of park establishment relative to other potential land uses, such as resource extraction or maintaining the status quo. Such a study would be an essential part of subsequent feasibility work on potential park establishment, should First Nations, communities and the regional governments choose to participate in further discussions. The present study outlines the substantial positive economic impacts of spending associated with a new park.

Forecast Economic Impacts

The model used to calculate economic impacts – Economic Impact Model for Parks and Protected Areas (EIMPA) – produces very conservative economic impact estimates. Economic impacts were measured using gross domestic product (GDP), labour income, employment and tax revenues.

A) Wolf Lake Impacts

Local Area (Teslin-Watson Lake) Impacts
Although total visitor spending is forecast to exceed potential Parks Canada spending in the Teslin-Watson Lake area by about $2 million, the economic impacts of this spending are substantially different. Parks Canada spending has a much higher impact. However, of the combined spending ($30 million over 10 years) the average annual GDP impact in the local area is forecast to be over $1 million. This represents value added that is expected to be retained in the area. Labour income should be approximately $900,000 per year on average and employment should be over 28 full time equivalents (FTE) per year during this ten year period. This could mean approximately 85 jobs per year in the local area, where most economic impacts would be felt.

Yukon Territory Impacts
The average annual GDP impact is forecast to be approximately $1.4 million in the territory and the labour income impact should exceed $1.1 million annually. Employment impacts are forecast to vary between a low of 18 FTE in the first year of park establishment to a high of 43 FTE in the tenth year. Tax revenue to all levels of government is forecast to average over $55,000 each year.

B) Jennings Lake Impacts

Local Area Impacts
(Good Hope Lake-Watson Lake)

Similar to Wolf Lake, Parks Canada spending would have a much higher impact than visitor spending. However, of the combined spending ($30 million over 10 years) the average annual GDP impact in the local area is forecast to be over $1 million; value added that will be retained in the area. Labour income should be approximately $900,000 per year on average and employment should be just under 28 FTE per year during this ten year period: approximately 85 jobs per year in the local area.

British Columbia Impacts
The average annual GDP impact is forecast to be approximately $1.6 million in the province and the labour income impact should exceed $1.2 million annually. Employment impacts are forecast to vary between a low of 21 FTE in the first year of park establishment to a high of 48 FTE in the third year, when construction activities are expected to peak. Tax revenue to all levels of government is forecast to average just under $78,000 each year.

Background - Wolf Lake, Yukon Alternative

The Wolf Lake alternative included forecasts of Parks Canada spending and new visitor spending attributed to a new national park. The forecast of Parks Canada spending was based on similar northern parks set up by Parks Canada: likely about $14 million over ten years for park planning and establishment. Based on a hypothetical park development scenario prepared by the consultants, a ten-year forecast of spending on capital, operations and wages/salaries was prepared. This spending forecast was converted to an annual spending summary.

Visitor numbers and spending were also forecast. Over the first ten years of park establishment, an estimated total of 97,500 drive-by visitors would visit Parks Canada facilities related to a new National Park, with the number of visitors being approximately 14,500 each year in the last five years. The estimated number of destination visitors over this same period was 11,150, with the number growing steadily. The estimated total number of visitors for the 10-year period was 108,650.

Visitor spending for each visitor segment was forecast using several information sources. Using conservative estimates of visitor spending per person, the total forecast spending is still significant over 10 years: Alaska Highway drive-by - $750,750; destination - $15,275,000, for a total of $16,025,750.

Background - Jennings Lake, BC Alternative

The same assessment process was followed for the Jennings Lake alternative. Virtually the same park development scenario was used and the same overall level of federal government expenditure was applied - $14 million over 10 years.

Natural Region #7

Natural Region #7

The visitor numbers projected over the 10-year period were: Cassiar Highway drive-by - 41,300, and destination visitors - 11,150. The forecast total number of visitors was 52,450 for the first 10-year period.

Visitor spending was forecast for each travel segment. The spending by destination visitors was assumed to be the same as that derived for the Wolf Lake analysis – i.e. $15,275,000 over 10 years. Forecast spending by the drive-by visitor segment was $725,400 based on tourist expenditure data for that area of B.C. Total estimated visitor spending was just over $16 million for these first ten years.

Conclusion

This study predicts that a new national park would have substantial local and regional economic impacts. Comparison of economic impacts for the two areas showed that the effects were quite similar, even though the number of visitors expected to visit a park at Jennings Lake would be less than the Wolf Lake area. Parks Canada is forecast to spend $14 million over the first 10 years, and visitors are forecast to spend more than $16 million during the same period, for a total of $30 million. The impact on GDP in the local area would be about $1 million annually, and close to 30 FTE (full-time equivalent) jobs would be created. The following table summarizes the economic impact results.

Table 1
Comparison of Total Ten Year Economic Impacts on the Local Area and Territory/Province for a New National Park in Natural Region #7
Area Economic Impact
GDP
(millions)
Labour Income
(millions)
Employment
(FTE)
Tax Revenue
(thousands)
Yukon
Local Area (Teslin-Watson Lake) $10.6 $9.1 285 n/a
Territory $14.3 $11.4 348 $557
British Columbia
Local Area (Good Hope Lake) $10.6 $8.9 279 n/a
Province $16.5 $12.7 392 $780

Note: All currency figures throughout this briefing note are in Canadian dollars.

 

About Us | What's New | Conservation Work | Get Involved! | Support CPAWS | Shop CPAWS
News and Events | Resources | Peel Watershed | Contact Us | Home
Photo Credits | Legal/Disclaimers | Privacy | Site Map

Questions? E-mail info@cpawsyukon.org
Copyright 2010 Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society, Yukon Chapter