Conservationists concerned about changes to the Parks Act
While Bill 29, the Alberta Parks Act, is being touted as the simplified solution to the complex parks legislation that Albertans have been asking for, the legislation tabled by the provincial government, does not, as it's supposed to, balance conservation with recreation, conservationists say.
Worse, they say, parks protection is not even part of the legislation.
"We're being asked to show an enormous amount of faith in the government today and forever more," Nigel Douglas, with Alberta Wilderness Association, said. "And I think people would like to see a much stronger basis, in legislation, for how our areas are protected than just keeping our fingers crossed and hoping that future generations of politicians will do the right thing."
In line with Alberta's Plan for Parks and the Alberta Land-use Framework, the proposed legislation will reduce parks classifications to two categories, "provincial parks and heritage rangelands."
At a regulations level, subsequent to those two designations, "zoning" in provincial parks will inform Albertans of the various uses in areas of each park, whether that is for conservation, recreation or a combination of the two.
Minister of Tourism, Parks and Recreation Cindy Ady said that the simplification in Bill 29 was due to feedback received during the process of public consultation.
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