Wilderness & Parks

“Optimizing” Parks… What Happened to the List?

On February 29, 2020 the Government of Alberta published a list of 164 parks and provincial recreation areas it intends to remove from Alberta’s parks system. That list has vanished from the government’s website. Read more about “Optimizing” Parks… What Happened to the List?

Internal government documents reveal concerning new details about the plan for Alberta’s parks: land sales, no comprehensive analysis of costs, and exclusion of the public from the decision

EDMONTON, AB – Documents recently obtained by the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society (CPAWS) Alberta Chapters through a Freedom of Information and Privacy (FOIP) request have offered a closer look at the decision making process behind the recent cuts to Alberta’s parks system. The documents, which include internal communications, briefings to the Minister and a briefing to cabinet, outline the development of the government’s ‘Optimizing Alberta Parks’ plan announced in spring 2020.  Read more about Internal government documents reveal concerning new details about the plan for Alberta’s parks: land sales, no comprehensive analysis of costs, and exclusion of the public from the decision

Albertans always care about their parks, not just during a pandemic

Edmonton – 17 of the 20 parks that were slated for closure at the beginning of this summer, will temporarily be operated this camping season, according to the Alberta Parks COVID 19 response page which was quietly updated last week. This is an important step in the right direction that demonstrates that the voices of Albertans, saying how much they value Alberta Parks, are making a difference.  Read more about Albertans always care about their parks, not just during a pandemic

Groups across Alberta and the Northwest Territories warn the federal government of impacts of monitoring suspensions on Wood Buffalo National Park

Edmonton – The following letter was submitted on behalf of a joint group including: Fort Chipewyan Métis Association, Northwest Territory Métis Nation, Smith’s Landing First Nation, the Hamlet of Fort Resolution, Keepers of the Athabasca Watershed Society Organization, Alberta Wilderness Association, CPAWS Northern Alberta, CPAWS Northwest Territories, Ecology North, Alternatives North, and Council of Canadians – Edmonton and Northwest Territories Chapters. The letter to the federal Minister of Environment and Climate Change outlines the substantial risks to downstream communities and ecosystems due to the Alberta Energy Regulator’s decision to suspend environmental monitoring for oil & gas projects. The health of Wood Buffalo National Park and the success of its federal Action Plan is undermined by these suspensions. Wood Buffalo National Park is Canada’s largest national park, and continued ecological degradation would be grounds to list as a World Heritage Site “in Danger”. 

Download the full letter on the CPAWS website Read more about Groups across Alberta and the Northwest Territories warn the federal government of impacts of monitoring suspensions on Wood Buffalo National Park

Rescinding the Alberta Coal Policy opens headwaters in the eastern slopes of the Rockies to open-pit coal mining

Calgary – The Government of Alberta has rescinded A Coal Development Policy for Alberta (1976; the Coal Policy). CPAWS Southern Alberta is concerned about the impacts this will have on Alberta’s treasured mountains and foothills along the eastern slopes of the Rockies. “There are currently no other land use plans or policies that directly replace the environmental zoning and restrictions under the Coal Policy” says Katie Morrison, Conservation Director for CPAWS Southern Alberta. “This leaves sensitive headwaters regions and treasured landscapes that provide habitat for species like grizzly bear, elk, and threatened native trout, at risk to the disturbances that come with surface coal mining and increased exploration.”

Since 1976, the Coal Policy has provided important land use zoning frameworks which have informed management and development of coal mines along the eastern slopes region of Alberta.

The Coal Policy’s Land Classification System prevented coal development on Category 1 lands and restricted development to underground or in-situ mining under Category 2 lands along the eastern slopes. The Coal Policy Category 2 covers 1,458,000 ha of the headwaters areas that provide the majority of drinking water to downstream communities in Alberta and across the prairies. With the removal of the coal policy, open-pit coal mines will now be permitted on these sensitive lands. Read more about Rescinding the Alberta Coal Policy opens headwaters in the eastern slopes of the Rockies to open-pit coal mining

Pages

Subscribe to Wilderness & Parks