Reginald H. Thomson and planning for Strathcona Park, 1912–15
When Reginald H. Thomson assumed the first superintendency of British Columbia's Strathcona Park in 1912, some patterns of rural nature park planning in North America were already established. Strathcona was reserved as a forest preserve, a wildlife area and a tourist resort and those patterns were repeated and exemplified there. All park superintendents had to plan for tourist access to and within parks, for scenic preservation and for wildlife management inside of arbitrarily selected park boundaries. These planning necessities frequently conflicted with one another, with poaching and with pressures for resource development within parks. The demands on careful planning were severe in British Columbia because of a casual attitude toward wildlife preservation. In the three years of his tenure, Thomson laid the groundwork for development along the best park planning lines of his era. Unfortunately, a shift to resource exploitation followed his superintendency and his plans remained unrealized.