Alberta’s Plan for Parks Veers Off Track

Alberta, Canada — The province's protected area watchdogs strongly support the Alberta Government's resolve to write and implement a new and much-needed parks policy in time for regional land-use planning. However, they are sounding the alarm because the current draft of Alberta's Plan for Parks does a poor job of accommodating what the majority of Albertans say they want for parks.

The 2008 Survey of Albertan's Priorities for Provincial Parks, conducted by the Government to inform the Plan for Parks, makes this summary: "Albertans feel the top priority for Alberta Tourism, Parks and Recreation should be to set aside more land and leaving it in an undisturbed state." But is this what Albertans are getting? "The Plan for Parks is quite weak on even these fundamentals” says Dennis Baresco with the Federation of Alberta Naturalists “for it dilutes the protection mandate, it is ominously vague about setting aside more land, and it fails to give the Ministry the authority to create new parks."

Naturalist clubs, protected area stewards and conservation groups are asking Albertans to contact their MLAs and enlist their support in ensuring these core deficiencies are addressed before the 10-year Plan for Parks is finalized.