Outdoor Recreation

Strong Majority of Albertans Oppose Government Changes to Parks

Edmonton – A new public opinion survey shows the vast majority of Albertans oppose the changes to Alberta parks announced with the 2020 provincial budget.

On March 2, 2020 Alberta Environment and Parks announced the full or partial closure of 20 parks and the removal of 164 parks from the Alberta Parks System resulting in the loss of 39 percent of Alberta’s parks and removal of the protections to conservation values and quality of recreation experience that are provided through a parks designation. Read more about Strong Majority of Albertans Oppose Government Changes to Parks

Defend Alberta’s Parks!

From the CPAWS Southern Alberta website:

The Alberta Government announced they are eliminating or privatizing 184 sites from the Alberta Parks system, including 20 parks that will be completely or partially closed immediately. Other impacts include closing visitor centres, discontinuing popular groomed cross-country ski trails, shortening the operating season for many campgrounds and increasing camping and service fees at all sites. Read more about Defend Alberta’s Parks!

CPAWS Statement on Alberta Parks Closures and Privatization

For over 50 years CPAWS Southern and Northern Alberta chapters have been collaborating with industry, government, Indigenous partners, communities, and like-minded organizations to protect our invaluable parks and wilderness areas and connect Albertans to nature through sustainable outdoor recreation. We are very concerned with the recent announcement from the Government of Alberta on a drastic change to our parks and recreation areas. Read more about CPAWS Statement on Alberta Parks Closures and Privatization

Government Plans to Remove 164 Sites from Parks System


Tolman Bridge Campground

Tolman Bridge Campground (pictured), one of the 20 sites that the Government is proposing to fully or partially close. Photo © Alberta Wilderness Association

The provincial government has announced a plan to remove 164 of 473 sites from the Alberta Parks system, including 19 Provincial Parks and Natural Areas, in addition to a full or partial closure of 20 sites. AWA has serious concern with the removal of sites from the parks system due to the important recreational and ecological values these areas provide; this decision will almost certainly mean their protected area status will be threatened. Read more about Government Plans to Remove 164 Sites from Parks System

Action Alert: Proposed Establishment of Hunting Sandhill Cranes in Alberta

18 Jan 2020 to 16 Feb 2020

From the AWA website:

The Canadian Wildlife Service is proposing to amend the Migratory Bird Regulations to include a Sandhill crane hunt within the province of Alberta. AWA does not support this proposed amendment as there is no definitive scientific evidence to demonstrate that this hunt would be sustainable, and not negatively impact the Sandhill crane population in the long-term. AWA has also expressed concern over the potential risk this hunt could have on Whooping cranes; the eastern flyway is used by both crane species, which could increase the risk of misidentification by hunters to Whooping cranes.

AWA’s letter to the Canadian Wildlife Service is posted here.

Take Action

Write the Canadian Wildlife Service at [email protected] to let them know what you think about the proposed amendments. The deadline for comments is Sunday, February 16, 2020. Read more about Action Alert: Proposed Establishment of Hunting Sandhill Cranes in Alberta

Castle Parks: Don't pause. Act.

From the Castle-Crown Wilderness Coalition's action alert:

During the formation of the Castle Parks, the public was consulted on the Castle Management Plan during what was “the largest public consultation effort ever conducted by Alberta Parks". The public made it very clear in the Castle Consultation that it expects motorized recreation to be phased out per that specific management plan. 

The Castle Management Plan is now on pause… with a potential renegotiation of how the land is managed.

The return of OHVs to the Castle would have a negative impact on the land, watersheds, fish, and wildlife in the Castle, and on tourism in the area. Since the establishment of the Castle Parks, the Castle has been recovering from the past excesses, and people are rediscovering and returning to the Castle. We’re seeing new and renewed interest in the Parks, and a shift to recreational activities like hiking, kayaking, and mountain biking.


  • Contact Minster Nixon ([email protected]) and Mr. Roger Reid, MLA Livingstone Macleod ([email protected]) to express support for a complete implementation of the Castle Management Plan.
  • Donate to CCWC to support advocacy efforts and realize a truly protected area. Click here: CCWC

  Read more about Castle Parks: Don't pause. Act.

Albertans Ignored to Allow Motorized Recreation and Industry in Castle Parks

Calgary, AB – To appease a noisy minority, the Government of Alberta appears to be opening the door for motorized recreation and industry in the Castle Parks, despite the direction of public consultation on creation and management of the parks.

In 2017, the Castle Parks in southwestern Alberta were officially designated. Based on the longest and most extensive public consultation in Alberta Parks’ history, a management plan was developed that reflects the wishes and directions expressed by the people of Alberta. Read more about Albertans Ignored to Allow Motorized Recreation and Industry in Castle Parks

Lakeland Boreal Forest Weekend

Sep 21 2019 (All day) to Sep 22 2019 (All day)

The beautiful Lakeland region features a rich diversity of boreal mixedwood forests, lakes and wetlands, providing excellent habitat for many wildlife species. Join AWA for two day hikes over an autumn weekend and learn more about what makes the Lakeland wilderness an important and unique part of Alberta.

Cost: Free AWA Members / $25.00 Non-members

Register Read more about Lakeland Boreal Forest Weekend


Lakeland Provincial Park , AB
Sir Winston Churchill Provincial Park , AB

Birds, Rocks, Hills and Fields

Aug 24 2019 - 9:30am


Frank Lake

Photo credit: R. Miyagawa

Join AWA on a driving tour as we meander our way through various locations that exhibit Alberta’s phenomenal wilderness and wildlife, the unique geology of the Porcupine Hills, and a site visit to an abandoned well under the responsibility of the Orphan Well Association. Come out for a great day of exploring, and learn more about your backyard!

Registration: $25

Registration cost for all events during the month of August will include a lifetime membership with AWA. Read more about Birds, Rocks, Hills and Fields


First Stop: Frank Lake , AB

Walking Tour: Antelope Creek Ranch And Majorville Medicine Wheel Project

Aug 22 2019 - 10:00am

Alberta’s grasslands are important as critical habitat for wildlife, including species at risk, all while supporting industrial, agricultural and recreational activities. Join AWA for a walking tour of Antelope Creek Ranch, an important and successful ranch that balances a number of land-uses, while ensuring the ecological integrity of the local ecosystems is maintained. From Antelope Creek we will travel to the Majorville Medicine Wheel Project and learn about management priorities of this area, some of the history of the homesteaders, the Ducks Unlimited Project and see the significant Alberta historical resource – the Majorville Cairn and Medicine Wheel.

REGISTER Read more about Walking Tour: Antelope Creek Ranch And Majorville Medicine Wheel Project


Antelope Creek Ranch


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