When you ask an Albertan about their favourite park or wilderness area, it doesn’t take long for them to respond. In doing so, you often hear epic stories of adventure, fond memories of seasonal family trips, and you always see smiles. Our wild Alberta is something that we cherish, it defines who we are and why we love our province so dearly. It is part of our outdoor heritage and our personal identities.
Our roots are strongly woven into the landscape. Indigenous peoples, ranchers, oil and gas workers, hunters, anglers, and weekend warriors—we all rely on our natural lands to provide for us in a variety of ways. But to ensure the long-term health and well-being of our landscape, we need to be informed, prioritize, plan, and together care for our Alberta. Whatever our activity, our career, or political stripe, we are all conservationists.
In this edition of Green Notes, we will listen to the voices of many Albertans talk about the special places that contribute to their Alberta identity. We will learn about the history of places like Kananaskis and appreciate the value of the land from different perspectives. The common theme is a love for our Alberta wilderness, and that taking care of the places we love is of interest to all.
The land footprint management and recreation plans for the Porcupine Hills and Livingstone are examples of some of the balanced planning efforts CPAWS participate in to help preserve our outdoor heritage. These new plans create better certainty for maintaining the ecological health of the region in the future, while still allowing room for different recreational users.
Alberta’s network of parks and protected areas provide more places for us to explore and love. The new boreal parks, along with the Castle parks, expand our network of protected areas for Albertans to enjoy. Building our wilderness assets is of benefit to all Albertans today and tomorrow.
There is still significant need and opportunity to expand our network of parks. Protecting the Bighorn will not only connect habitat in Banff and Jasper, but it will also help us keep the west wild.
Keeping the west wild ensures a continued history of Alberta’s outdoor heritage and ensures that we are able to continue to experience the awesome wilderness, building our stories and adventures for all time.
Yours in conservation,