Support Protection of the Castle Parks!
January 26, 2017
On Friday January 20, the Premier announced increased protections for the Castle Provincial Park and Wildland Provincial Park. Expanding the previously announced Castle Wildland Provincial Park boundaries to increase protection of headwaters and species at risk, as well as a decision to eliminate recreational off-highway vehicle (OHV) use from both parks are part of the increased protection for this area. The decision and protection recognizes the overwhelming body of science that shows recreational OHV use at current or substantially reduced levels is incompatible with conservation goals for our headwaters and of the park. Please write to the Premier and contact your MLA to thank the government for these important decisions.
However, despite this significant step forward, our work is far from over… With the announcement came the release of the draft management plan and your input is important. The proposal to continue off-highway vehicles in the Provincial Park for up to 5 more years places ongoing stress and risk to our species at risk including westslope cutthroat trout and AWA believes this phase out needs to be expedited. You can help by fully engaging in the consultation process and encouraging your friends and family to do the same. As always, I really appreciate receiving a copy of your letters, send them to my email at firstname.lastname@example.org
-Joanna Skrajny, Conservation Specialist
1. Write to the Premier, The Honorable Rachel Notley at email@example.com
and contact your MLA to let them know that you support increased protection and eliminating off highway vehicles (OHVs) in the Castle Parks.
2. Engage fully in the Management Plan consultation process:
Complete the Survey on the Castle Management Plan online at: https://talkaep.alberta.ca/CastleManagementPlan/survey_tools/castle-provincial-park-and-castle-wildland-provincial-park-management-plan-survey
AWA has prepared a companion guide to help you through the survey. It is available on our website: https://albertawilderness.ca/castlesurveycompanionguide/
If you only have a couple of minutes, here are some important things to consider while completing the survey:
You can also give written feedback of the management plan:
– Write to the Minister of the Environment, the Honorable Shannon Phillips at firstname.lastname@example.org and cc ABParks.PlanComments@gov.ab.ca
Protecting the Castle is the right decision for the more than 200 rare or at risk species in the Castle. Federally protected westslope cutthroat trout and threatened grizzly bears will finally have a chance to recover their populations. The Global Forest Watch Canada reports released last year underline deforestation and damage in the Castle Parks. Expanding the Wildland Provincial Parks boundaries, closing motorized use south of highway 774, and targeting ongoing closures to eliminate motorized recreational use in a manner that minimizes damage to critical wildlife areas are all significant conservation measures.
The phaseout of off-highway vehicles has been proposed in order to allow time for the Government of Alberta to identify more suitable areas and to determine appropriate sites to allow OHV use on other public lands. This work by the government could be completed in less than the currently proposed 3-5 year window. Please consider supporting either an immediate elimination of motorized recreation or an expedited phase-out so that protection and restoration of this special area can begin.
Draft management plan