CPAWS Northern Alberta would like to see the following areas legislatively protected:
The Bighorn Backcountry including the Upper Foothills -- a large and intact wilderness along the region's eastern slopes, the Bighorn is considered an Environmentally Significant Area of "National" significance and deserves protection. This area is home to grizzly bears and peregrine falcons, among other sensitive wildlife. CPAWS Northern Alberta would like to see the Bighorn and Upper Foothills listed as a Wildland Provincial Park.
Beaver Hills/Cooking Lake Moraine -- located immediately east of the City of Edmonton, this area of wetlands and aspen forest has been designated as a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. The "knob and kettle" terrain of this area functions as a groundwater recharge area for the North Saskatchewan River, and is already recognized as a critical waterfowl habitat. CPAWS Northern Alberta would like to see the Beaver Hills area protected as an Ecological Reserve under the Wilderness Areas, Ecological Reserves, Natural Areas and Heritage Rangelands Act. Specifically, CPAWS Northern Alberta would like to see the Ministik Bird Sanctuary designated as an Ecological Reserve. (Photo: Danielle Pendlebury)
Parkland Dunes -- almost 70% of Alberta’s Central Parkland falls within the NSRP. Parkland sustains a rich diversity of plant and animal life within its mosaic of aspen forest, fescue grasses, and wetlands. Unfortunately, much of the native parkland has already been converted to farmland due to its productive soils, moisture levels, and climatic conditions conducive to agriculture. One of the only surviving patches of original parkland today stretches from the Wainwright Dunes south to the Sounding Lake sand plain. CPAWS Northern Alberta would like to preserve the surrounding important landscapes from the Town of Wainwright south to Sounding Lake and Neutral Hills by designating the area as an Ecological Reserve under the Wilderness Areas, Ecological Reserves, Natural Areas and Heritage Rangelands Act.
North Saskatchewan River Corridor, from Bighorn to Edmonton -- the corridor along the North Saskatchewan River from the Bighorn to the City of Edmonton contains important riparian habitat for numerous species of wildfowl and fish, and supports clean drinking water for the entire region. The creation of habitat corridors that not only physically connect larger protected areas but that also span Alberta’s natural regions would allow for wildlife to disperse and provide habitat to support and maintain biological diversity. CPAWS Northern Alberta is proposing that a habitat corridor along the North Saskatchewan be legislated as a Natural Area under the Wilderness Areas, Ecological Reserves, Natural Areas and Heritage Rangelands Act.
Bodo Hills -- located at the transition between Central Parkland and Grassland Natural regions, the Bodo Hills make up one of two large blocks of aspen parkland/northern fescue grassland in the world, and support more than 200 species of native plants and over 50 species of birds, including the ferruginous hawk and the western burrowing owl. CPAWS Northern Alberta proposes that the Bodo Hills be legislated as a Heritage Rangeland under the Wilderness Areas, Ecological Reserves, Natural Areas and Heritage Rangelands Act, to protect this small but ecologically significant area.
The North Saskatchewan Region contains some of Alberta's most biologically diverse natural regions. However, the region is under threat from commercial development as well as forestry, oil and gas, mining, and agricultural development!
What CPAWS is doing
CPAWS Northern Alberta is working with other NGOs to call for protection for certain areas of the North Saskatchewan region. We have attended Stakeholder engagement sessions, and submitted comments on Phase 1 of the NSRP. We will continue to work with the NSRP process to have our voice heard!
In September, CPAWS Northern Alberta expressed concern over the composition of the Regional Advisory Council to the NSRP (the "RAC"). The RAC is skewed by gender, age, and employment sector, and does not reflect a true cross section of the residents of the North Saskatchewan Region.
What can you do?
Write a letter or email to the Government of Alberta’s Land Use Secretariat, at:
Attn: Commissioner, Land Use Secretariat
9th Floor, 10035-108 St. NW
Edmonton, AB T5J 3E1
Write to Chad Willms, Land Use Framework Planning Lead for North Saskatchewan Region at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Write a letter or email to your local Member of Legislative Assembly (MLA) telling them you want nature’s voice to be heard when the NSRP is drafted.
Who is your MLA?
Visit https://www.assembly.ab.ca/lao/mla/mla_help.htm to find out who your MLA is.
Click HERE to read CPAWS Northern Alberta's submissions on Phase 1 of the NSRP.
Thank you to Alberta Ecotrust Foundation for funding this project.
Never miss your chance to make a difference! Enter your e-mail address here to get CPAWS news and actions delivered right to your inbox.
Join mailing list