Forests and Biodiversity

Withdraw Bill 29: conservation groups

Conservation groups hope to convince Premier Ed Stelmach's government to withdraw its proposed Alberta Parks Act.

The groups have launched a campaign, called Save our Alberta Parks, to raise public awareness of how the legislation would affect the province.

The coalition includes the Alberta Wilderness Association, Provincial Parks Stewards Association, Canadian Parks & Wilderness Association, Federation of Alberta Naturalists and the Sierra Club.

The groups say Bill 29 would make it easier for the government to approve resorts and off-road vehicle trails in protected areas and ecological reserves.

"For the [Tories] to claim that the new legislation makes it simpler for the public makes no sense," said Dorothy Dickson of the Stewards of Alberta's Protected Areas Association in a written release.

Read the entire article at the link below.

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."... Read more »

Bill puts parks at risk, critics say

EDMONTON — A coalition of conservation groups demanding the withdrawal of legislation they believe will expose Alberta’s natural parks to greater risk of harmful recreation, industrial activity and commercial development.

The organizations, which held simultaneous news conferences in Edmonton, Calgary and Red Deer on Friday, have declared Nov. 15 to 20 as Save Our Parks Week in an effort to draw attention to Bill 29.

“This bill will result in degradation and damage to our already small park system,” Sam Gunsch of the Sierra Club said on the steps of the legislature. “Under this law, environmental protection, even in our parks, won’t be the priority of the government.”... Read more »

Conservation groups are sounding the alarm over new Alberta Parks Act

CALGARY - Conservation groups are sounding the alarm about the proposed new Alberta Parks Act.

After carefully reviewing Bill 29, the groups say the legislation will not adequately conserve parts of Alberta's natural regions for future generations.

In a letter to Parks Minister Cindy Ady, the groups say the bill would actually substantially weaken the protection of parks and protected areas.

The groups say the new plan does not require the government to consult with the public before making changes to parks.

Read the entire article at the link below.

Conservation groups want Bill 29 delayed

A coalition of conservation groups is issuing a call-to-arms, over Bill 29, proposed changes to the Alberta Parks Act. 

They want Albertans to call their MLA and ask to have the Bill scrapped, or at least sent to a committee to get public input. Retired professor Jim Butler says the Bill will allow the minister responsible to approve things like logging or oil leases in our parks and protected areas.

"They are part of the public trust and it is part of the public trust that the government looks after them. We need a professional team of staff," explains Butler.

Read the entire article at the link below.

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