News Release: Livingstone-Porcupine Plans Released
March 27, 2018
The provincial government has released draft plans to manage the impacts of industry and off-highway vehicles (OHVs) on public land in the Livingstone Porcupine region. Alberta Wilderness Association (AWA) believes the draft Livingstone-Porcupine Plans signal progress towards better management of public lands.
“Over the past few decades, our failure to control industrial and motorized footprint on our public lands has resulted in widespread damage,” said Joanna Skrajny, Conservation Specialist. “Use of our public lands is a privilege, not a right.”
While the plans provide the opportunity for significantly reducing human footprint on this landscape, AWA is concerned the plans may not meaningfully protect watersheds and biodiversity.
“These plans currently propose to exceed acceptable limits of roads and trails for grizzly bear recovery by a factor of two, and will continue to place more sensitive species such as our native trout in jeopardy,” Joanna added. “Proposed motorized use within an internationally significant wildlife corridor is another concern that must be addressed.”
AWA is supportive of safe and responsible use of motorized recreational vehicles on designated trails in appropriate areas that do not impact other recreational users, vegetation, water or wildlife. AWA believes comprehensive recreation planning must take into account the proportionality of use for the needs of all Albertans including non-motorized recreationists, landowners, and downstream users.
The Livingstone-Porcupine area includes the Whaleback, Porcupine Hills, Crowsnest Pass, and Upper Oldman River. It’s a key area for connectivity of grizzly bears and elk, contains fescue grasslands important for ranching and conserving species at risk, and was once abundant in large, native fish. It’s one of the most iconic and diverse landscapes in Alberta.
The South Saskatchewan Regional Plan (SSRP) directs the government to make land-use plans on a smaller scale within southern Alberta. This is the first subregional plan in the SSRP. The Linear Footprint Management Plan addresses what land uses are acceptable, where those land uses should be allowed and how much of an impact they will be allowed to have on the land. The Recreation Management Plan is developed to plan for recreation within the limits set by the Linear Footprint Management Plan.
For more information contact:
Joanna Skrajny, Alberta Wilderness Association, 403.283.2025