Whether a local community perceives a protected area to be important and its management to be fair plays a crucial role in park-people relationships. Various studies have shown that participatory management of protected areas is not only more effective than exclusive management, but it also ensures that local communities are not adversely affected. This study examines the park-people relationships in Hponkanrazi Wildlife Sanctuary in North Myanmar through the lens of the common governance principles of accountability, equity, transparency, participation, and efficiency. We solicited the perceptions of both local people and park authorities on these principles. At present local perceptions of the protected area are generally positive but residents are concerned that the laws and regulations which govern the park may excessively restrict them from pursuing their traditional livelihood activities. The communities also cautioned that declaring the area’s protected status without following it up quickly with appropriate law enforcement and conservation measures could unintentionally accelerate degradation of the park. Park management staff agree that local people need to be involved, though the government hasn’t given any clear directions to this effect. Moreover, the staff haven’t been trained to include the community in planning and inclusive management.