2016 has been a busy year for all of us as advocates of the Castle-Crown Wildland area!
On September 4, 2015 the Government of Alberta announced their commitment to protect this ecological gem in the SW corner of Alberta. From that point on, we have been keenly watching to make sure that the Ministry of Environment and Parks gets this protection right!
On March 23, 2016, CCWC met with Minister Phillips to present our Castle Management Principles. Minister Phillips assured us that decisions made regarding the Castle will be science based and opportunities for stakeholder input on the Plan for Parks would be forthcoming.
On July 28, 2016 CCWC and representatives from Alberta Wilderness Association, Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society, and Yellowstone to Yukon met with Minister Miranda, the Minister of Culture and Tourism. As referenced in his business plan, he is working towards implementing a Castle Region Tourism strategy. Our key message was that maximizing opportunities to support tourism and recreation in SW Alberta requires prioritizing conservation of the natural assets. This includes prohibiting off-highway vehicles in the Castle Provincial and Wildland Provincial Parks.
On August 21, 2016 Premier Notley took an afternoon to hike to the Carbondale lookout. Wendy Ryan led the hike. Her expertise was valuable in pointing out valleys, ranges and mountain peaks and detailing the damage made from motorized use and random camping.
Starting in September 2016 CCWC has been part of either the Land Uses or Ecology Working groups that were initiated to provide expert advice about the recreation and conservation issues in the area. This work is informing the draft management plan that is to be released in January 2017. The draft plan, and instructions on how to comment will be online at www.albertaparks.ca/consult . We hope you read and provide comments as this document will be the true ‘litmus test’ of whether the Government of Alberta is using science-based decisions to manage and protect!
Thank you for your commitment to our environment and the Castle area.