The CRD is developing a management plan for East Sooke Regional Park. The plan will provide both strategic and specific management direction and will guide environmental conservation, cultural heritage management, visitor use and park development over the next 15-20 years.

About the Park

East Sooke Regional Park was established in 1970, and at 1,457 hectares it is the third largest park in the regional park system. East Sooke Regional Park is classified as a Regional Wilderness Area because of its large size and remote and rugged nature. It features 49 kilometers of trails through forest, marsh and old fields, including the challenging 10-kilometer coast trail with its outstanding views of the Strait of Juan de Fuca and the Olympic Mountains. There were approximately 205,000 visits to East Sooke Regional Park in 2018, making it one of the most highly visited parks in the regional parks system. Visitors to East Sooke Regional Park engage in a range of activities, including walking, hiking, wildlife viewing, photography, beach activities, picnicking and organized group events. In addition to a developed trail system, the park features other facilities including parking lots, rest areas, a group shelter, and information kiosks.

The Management Planning Process

The planning process for East Sooke Regional Park includes several steps:

  1. Project initiation is the first step and includes gathering background information and preparing for engagement.
  2. Initial engagement with First Nations, the public, and other key government agencies is used gather additional information about the park and input into its potential management. CRD aims to ensure that everyone's interests are considered.
  3. Drafting the Plan is undertaken through a multi-disciplinary project team that includes planning, conservation, recreation, and operations expertise.
  4. Engagement on Draft Plan is undertaken once the draft plan is complete.
  5. Finalizing the Plan is done once all of the comments received are reviewed and considered. The final proposed plan is provided to the Regional Parks Committee for consideration and the CRD Board for approval.
  6. Implementation begins once the CRD has approved the management plan. In most cases, implementation actions are identified as short, medium or longer term in nature.

The planning process will also coincide with development of a management plan for Roche Cove and Matheson Lakes Regional Parks. The planning process will include opportunities for residents, stakeholders and the public across CRD to provide input into how these parks are managed.

Status of Park Management Plan

May 2020 - The CRD Regional Parks Committee approved the Management Planning Priorities
June 2020 - The CRD Regional Parks Committee approved the East Sooke Management Plan engagement process 

Public Engagement

The management plan for East Sooke Regional Park will be developed based on information and input gathered through public engagement. The CRD will seek input from First Nations, key government agencies, stakeholder groups and the public. A first round of engagement is planned for August-September 2020 to inform preparation of a draft park management plan. Opportunities for input will be posted on the website and advertised in local newspapers.

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Lynn Wilson, Park Planner