AB Government: Seeking input on outdoor recreation and trails
Albertans are invited to share ideas about outdoor recreation and trails in the province.
Input will help shape future policy and legislation for Crown land, including parks and public lands that support recreation for generations to come. The engagement includes an online public survey, targeted discussions with key stakeholders and consultation with Indigenous Peoples.
“Alberta’s government committed to modernize the system to better manage multi-use public land in the province. We are seeking the public’s input on how policies can better protect our Crown lands while balancing economic activities, recreation and other uses. This important feedback will ensure our approach considers the need to manage these lands responsibly with the many ways Albertans use and enjoy them.”
Jason Nixon, Minister of Environment and Parks
Engagement on sustainable recreation
The consultation is the first initiative under government’s approach to modernizing Crown land management and is guided by the Alberta Crown Land Vision.
The government is seeking input into how to support the responsible use of Crown lands, including trails: how we can enhance trail experiences for a variety of users; supporting partnerships and funding opportunities; and how dollars can be reinvested into recreation as well as education and enforcement.
“The Alberta Crown Land Vision will be well-received by snowmobilers, trail managers and any group that works on the provincial landscape. In the past, we have been forced to deal with extra red tape by having to consult with multiple provincial offices to manage a single trail. Access to sustainable funding in combination with new Crown lands policies will enable us to bring a world-class recreational trail system to our province. This new direction will make the work of our trail volunteers so much easier, and we can then use that energy to create better recreational opportunities for all Albertans to enjoy.”
Chris Brookes, executive director, Alberta Snowmobile Association
In addition to sustainable funding, changes to better enable partnerships with non-profit groups, businesses, municipalities and Indigenous communities can help support fun, responsible and sustainable recreation on Crown land. Albertans are encouraged to share their thoughts on how to strengthen our existing successful partnerships and build more.
The online survey closes on Jan. 15, 2021.
Alberta Crown Land Vision
The new vision will guide improvements over the coming years to Alberta’s Crown land management system, to make it clearer and easier to understand. It will support solutions that make outdoor recreation sustainable and enable more partnerships, and will sharpen government’s focus on achieving outcomes and reducing red tape.
“The Alberta Hiking Association agrees that there is a need to have a vision for Crown land to protect this valuable asset for all Albertans. On behalf of the 1.3 million Albertans who enjoy hiking, the Alberta Hiking Association looks forward to collaborating with the Alberta government in the development of this vision.”
Murray Fierheller, chair, Alberta Hiking Association
Over the coming weeks and months, government will engage with Albertans about different Crown land initiatives so improvements to Crown land management consider and reflect public input.
- The dramatic increase in camping in recent years on Crown land resulted in pressures on the environment that were not sustainable in high-use areas. In response, a ministerial order put more enforcement and infrastructure (e.g., portable washrooms and garbage bins) in place to mitigate the impacts of this increased pressure.
- Identifying sustainable sources of funding such as an OHV user fee would align Alberta with other jurisdictions across Canada that apply user fees to various types of motorized recreation on public land. This approach is supported by user groups like Alberta Off-Highway Vehicle Association and Alberta Snowmobile Association.
- A recent study assessing travel aspirations, intentions and fears during COVID-19 found that trips to parks, nature destinations and car trips within people’s own country/region would likely continue to occur at the same likelihood or increase compared with pre-COVID-19.
Press Secretary, Environment and Parks