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G. Gary Runka fonds

  • 2020.4
  • Archief
  • 1945-2013

This fonds illustrates the life and work of G. Gary Runka and his contributions to the province of British Columbia. Gary Runka was the first General Manager of British Columbia's Agricultural Land Commission and helped establish the provincial Agricultural Land Reserve. After transitioning from a government career to private consulting, Runka provided comprehensive professional services through his land consultancy business, G.G. Runka Land Sense Ltd., offering land capability and environmental assessments, integrated resource management, land and water use conflict resolution, and interdisciplinary land use planning. Described by colleagues as one of BC's most highly respected agrologists and influential land use planners, Runka had a 52-year career working on (or against) an incredible number of landmark projects in British Columbia, such as the Site C Project. Gary Runka’s partner in life and vocation, Joan M. Sawicki, worked with Gary on many of these projects—as well as her own; her contributions are also represented throughout the records of this fonds.

Gary Runka's deep connection to the land is evident from his earliest papers on aerial photo interpretation, his work with the Canada Land Inventory, through his speeches and his work establishing the BC Agricultural Land Reserve and in his subsequent consulting career through G.G. Runka Land Sense Ltd. Gary Runka's influence and legacy was recognized in the tributes paid after his death, including the post-humus award as the Real Estate Foundation's "Land Champion" for 2014.

The G. Gary Runka fonds has been divided into the following nine series:
1) Personal Records
2) Speeches & Publications
3) Professional Records
4) Agricultural Land Commission
5) Land Sense Ltd.
6) Client Files
7) Maps
8) Photographs
9) Digital Records

G. Gary Runka

Job 360 - BC Commission on Resources and Environment (CORE) - Mediation of Regional Land Use Plan - East Kootenay Table - East Kootenay

File consists of records created and accumulated by Gary Runka over the course of his consultancy work for BC Commission on Resources and Environment (CORE) for the "Mediation of Regional Land Use Plan - East Kootenay Table" project in East Kootenay. This file was numbered as G.G. Runka Land Sense Ltd. client file #360; that client number may be seen referenced elsewhere in the G. Gary Runka fonds. The Land Sense Ltd. client files generally include records such as correspondence, contracts, invoices, project reports, publications, ephemera, memoranda, maps or map excerpts, legal documents, meeting materials, clippings, and handwritten notes. File also includes an accompanying 3.5 inch floppy disk and audio recordings of meetings.

Includes the following:

  • West Kootenay-Boundary and East Kootenay Land Use Plans. Explanation of the Methodology Used to Complete the Impact Analysis. Commission on Resources and Environment. 1995.
  • East Kootenay Land Use Plan and Summary Report. Commission on Resources and Environment. Victoria, BC. October 1994 and March 1995.
  • Conserving Working Landscapes: A Framework for Conservation on Private Land. East Kootenay Conservation Program. Undated.

Maps include:

  • Timberland Consultants Ltd., "Kootenay-Boundary C.O.R.E. Table - Southwestern Kootenays - Negotiation Units - CORE Table Scenario 1", 1994
  • Timberland Consultants Ltd., "Kootenay-Boundary C.O.R.E. Table - Southeastern Kootenays - Negotiation Units - Alternative 2", 1994 - annotated and hand col.
  • Timberland Consultants Ltd., "Kootenay-Boundary C.O.R.E. Table - Northern Kootenays - Negotiation Units - Alternative 2", 1994 - annotated and hand col.
  • Timberland Consultants Ltd., "Kootenay-Boundary C.O.R.E. Table - Southwestern Kootenays - Negotiation Units - Government Services Team", 1994
  • Nelson Region GIS Center, "Kootenay-Boundary C.O.R.E. Table - Northern Kootenays - Land Use Designations - East Table", 1994
  • Nelson Region GIS Center, "Kootenay-Boundary C.O.R.E. Table - Southeastern Kootenays - Land Use Designations - East Table", 1994

Client Files of G.G. Runka Land Sense Ltd.

Series consists of the client file project records of G.G. Runka Land Sense Ltd., Gary Runka's consultancy business (co-owned with Joan Sawicki until 1991). G.G. Runka Land Sense Limited was incorporated as a company on 30 Nov. 1978 and dissolved on 30 Nov. 2018. Most business activity ceased after Gary Runka's death in July 2013. The company provided comprehensive professional services in land inventory, environmental assessment, integrated resource management, land and water use conflict resolution and interdisciplinary land use planning. Over the course of the company's operation, Gary Runka and his firm consulted on 681 assignments ranging from very large projects (such as the Site C project) to small residential/commercial land capability assessments.

The Land Sense Ltd. client files generally include records such as correspondence, contracts, invoices, project reports, publications, ephemera, memoranda, map excerpts, legal documents, meeting materials, clippings, and handwritten notes. Some client files are accompanied by related maps, photographs, aerial photographs, and/or digital records on storage media.

Speeches

Subseries consists of speeches written and delivered by G. Gary Runka over the course of his career. Runka's earliest speeches relate to the Canada Land Inventory. While at the Agricultural Land Commission (ALC), Runka was often asked to present to various audiences on BC's unique agricultural land preservation program, the Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR). After leaving the ALC and setting up Land Sense Ltd., Runka continued to make presentations on the ALR, both specifically and in the context of rural land use conflict in general. Runka's key message was very consistent - the importance of first understanding the inherent biophysical messages of the land; then recognizing the complex challenges of sorting out who gets to use which rural lands for what purposes. Runka's speeches were often accompanied with 35mm slides from his slide collection. Unfortunately, however, the speeches do not include a listing of the slides that were used, although a notebook remains that contains references to slides used in presentations.

"The British Columbia Agricultural Land Preservation Program" speech and article by Gary Runka

File consists of a speech given by Gary Runka entitled "B.C. Agricultural Land Preservation Program". This speech was originally given on March 23, 1977 at the Sol Conservation Society of America National Symposium. Includes supplementary transparencies for presentation. Also includes a version of the speech turned into a paper submitted for publication as "British Columbia's Agricultural Land Preservation Program" in the Assessors Journal.

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