An important piece of Alberta's Eastern Slopes, the Bighorn Wildland is a large and intact wilderness that retains its ecological integrity largely due to the absence of roads and industrialized access. The “Bighorn Wildland Recreation Area” was designated by the government in 1986, but the legislation has never been put in place. The area is now managed under the regulations of the Forest Land Use Zones. However, AWA is seeking Wildland Park protection for the Bighorn.
The Bighorn Wildland has been divided into 6 Forest Land Use Zones (FLUZ). Each FLUZ has its own set of restrictions and permissible activities. These different sets of regulations lead to the fractured management for this large and relatively intact wilderness. None of the FLUZs offer the appropriate protection for the region. More information can be found on the Policy and Legislation page.
- AWA is seeking Wildland Park protection for the Bighorn as was promised by the Alberta government in 1986.
- Boundaries of the Bighorn Wildland Recreation Area, as delineated in 1986 by the government of Alberta, must be upheld, and the area protected under legislation as a Wildland Park.
- No surface access for industrial development within the Wildland.
- No motorized recreation within the Wildland.
- In the adjacent transition zone the Environmentally Significant Areas (ESAs) and Critical Wildlife Zones must be placed under moratorium until proper assessment has been conducted to identify areas requiring protection. Surface disturbance must not be allowed within these areas.
- Any industrial activities occurring within the transition zone must be conducted with the highest standard.
What is a Wildland Park
- "Wildland Parks are large, undeveloped areas where visitors can experience the beauty of unspoiled wilderness and the challenge of self-reliance."
- Traditional activities including hiking, horseback riding, backcountry camping, hunting and fishing are permitted in Wildland Parks.
- "Wildland Park" is an appropriate designation for the Bighorn Wildland due to its large, relatively pristine and unfragmented nature.
AWA is grateful for the support we receive from TRAFx Research Ltd. for our on-the-ground monitoring work in the Bighorn.
Since 2003 AWA has successfully used TRAFx vehicle counters to monitor motorized vehicle traffic levels in our study areas. Learn more about the TRAFx Vehicle and Off-Highway Vehicle Counters at http://www.trafx.net/.