North Saskatchewan Region – Time to speak up for Headwaters, Bighorn, Foothills and Parkland
April 17, 2018
Dear Wilderness Defender,
This is an important opportunity to speak up and contact your elected representatives. It is up to each and every one of us to ensure that the North Saskatchewan Regional Plan protects our headwaters, foothills, parkland, rivers and the wildlife that depend on these areas. As Earth Day approaches, I hope you will take a few moments to send in your comments, or even better call or write your MLA – they are waiting to hear from you!
The recommendations made in 2014 by a Regional Advisory Council (RAC) for the North Saskatchewan Region will be used to write a final regional plan for the area once you have given comments on your priorities for this plan. Everything from creating new protected areas, to providing clean air and water, to managing industrial activity will be included in the plan – in other words, your input is important!
As I read the recommendations I wanted to let you know they fall short of what a thoughtful and comprehensive plan for our public lands will need. It’s time for the government to take back responsibility and stewardship of our public lands.
You can read AWA’s letter here.
You can also read the RAC Recommendations here
At a Glance: AWA’s Thoughts on the RAC Advice
Wetlands – This region contains some of the most important wetlands in North America, but has sadly also experienced some of the highest amounts of wetland loss (60-70%). We need to stop the destruction and recover some of what’s been lost.
Lakes – A precautionary approach to lake management is needed, which would protect important lakes as well as limit inappropriate development, unsustainable recreation, and known pollution sources.
Conservation Areas – The North Saskatchewan Region contains some incredible wild places that should be protected including the Bighorn, critically important river corridors and the last opportunity to conserve the central parkland subregion. The RAC recommendations do not protect enough of any of these areas.
Private Land Stewardship – Using pilot programs in key areas could be beneficial in increasing conservation on private land.
Outdoor Recreation – motorized use (industrial access roads, seismic lines, recreation) is one of the greatest threats to the region. We need scientifically established limits applied that will protect our public lands. We’d also like to see opportunities provided for hiking, equestrian use, angling, hunting, and camping.
Tourism – The Bighorn is special because it is one of our last places of wilderness, and it should stay that way. Neighboring communities like Nordegg, Sundre, Rocky Mountain House and Caroline could benefit by providing services to visitors.
As always, I appreciate getting a copy of your letters – email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you for speaking up and helping protect Alberta’s wilderness!
– Joanna Skrajny, AWA Conservation Specialist