CPAWS Welcomes Continued Investments in Parks in Alberta Budget 2017
— Press Release March 16, 2017
EDMONTON – The Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society (CPAWS) Southern and Northern Alberta chapters welcome today’s announcement by the government of Alberta that, as part of Budget 2017, “Working to Make Life Better,” Alberta is committed to investing in the province’s parks and protected areas, public lands management, and wildlife.
This includes a continued commitment to establishing new parks and protected areas in the province as Alberta’s contribution to Canada’s international obligation to protect 17% of its terrestrial landscapes and inland waters by 2020, the continued investment in the new Castle Provincial Park, and the continued work towards implementing the parks and protected areas promised under the Lower Athabasca Regional Plan and the South Saskatchewan Regional Plan.
“Parks and protected areas can play a key role in addressing many of the environmental and economic problems facing Alberta – from safeguarding our iconic wildlife to mitigating against the impacts of climate change to ensuring we have clean, secure drinking water,” said Alison Ronson, executive director of the Northern Alberta chapter of CPAWS. “In addition, parks and protected areas are economic drivers for the communities they are placed in and provide opportunities for green jobs and economic diversification.”
New parks and protected areas, however, must be developed meaningfully – to prioritize nature and ecological values, especially the important headwaters regions of the province, to represent the diversity of landscapes in Alberta, and to conserve biodiversity across the province. CPAWS looks forward to working with this government to ensure that the promises made in this budget to create protected areas are fulfilled with science and conservation first.
CPAWS also welcomes the government’s commitment to completing range and action plans for the province’s threatened boreal woodland caribou herds to meet species recovery requirements, as well as a commitment to developing species at risk recovery plans for grizzly bears and westslope cutthroat trout.
The Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society
The Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society (CPAWS) is Canada’s only nationwide charity dedicated solely to the protection of our public land and water and ensuring our parks are managed to protect the biodiversity within them. Over the last 50+ years, CPAWS has played a lead role in protecting over half a million square kilometres – an area bigger than the entire Yukon Territory. Our vision is to protect at least half of our public land and water so that future generations can experience Canada’s irreplaceable wilderness.
CPAWS has chapters in almost every province and territory across Canada, and two chapters here in Alberta – a Southern Alberta chapter located in Calgary and a Northern Alberta chapter located in Edmonton. As a collaborative organization, CPAWS works closely with government of all levels, industry representatives, and communities to manage our impact on a shared landscape. We also advocate for the creation of parks and protected areas for the benefit of both current and future generations of Canadians.