News Release: “Optimizing” Parks… What Happened to the List?
July 24, 2020
The view from Mesa Butte looking west, one of 164 sites slated to be removed from the Alberta Parks system. Photo © J. Hope
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.
“Removing this list isn’t going to silence the thousands of Albertans who are upset by this decision,” said Grace Wark, Conservation Specialist. “Sadly, it confirms the image the current leadership of Alberta Environment and Parks seems to be comfortable in promoting. That image is one where little importance is given to informing and consulting with Albertans about the future of their public parks.”
Senior officials advised the Minister to consult with Albertans about this decision. He rejected their advice.
“To date, the ‘Optimizing Parks’ process has been completely void of transparency,” added Wark. “The government has provided virtually no information on how these sites will be managed under the new parks partnership regime, how to engage this decision, or how these sites will provide accessible recreation opportunities and protect local ecology as they did under the parks system.”
By removing the list AWA believes the government makes it more difficult for Albertans to know if the provincial park or recreation area they will visit this weekend will still be part of the provincial parks system when they plan their next visit.
For the list of sites in the Alberta parks system that the Alberta government plans to close or disown see: https://albertawilderness.ca/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/20200303_list_aep_164_park_sites_removed.pdf
For more information:
Grace Wark, Conservation Specialist, firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr. Ian Urquhart, Conservation Director, email@example.com