Friday, May 18, 2018

AWA lauds Castle Parks management plan

Castle River. (Alberta Wilderness Association photo)
Alberta Wilderness Association - The provincial government has released a final management plan for the Castle Parks. Along with the establishment of Public Land Use Zones in the Livingstone-Porcupine, Alberta Wilderness Association (AWA) recognizes the significant progress that has been made to protect the headwaters of the Oldman River.  "The Castle wilderness is truly a one-of-a-kind treasure in Alberta that will be enjoyed by all for generations to come," said Joanna Skrajny, AWA Conservation Specialist. "The Castle Parks hold cultural significance and will protect grizzly bears and native trout, while providing spectacular recreation opportunities." The government's plan acknowledges the overwhelming body of science that shows off-highway vehicles are not compatible with conservation goals and headwaters protection.

"It's clear that the final Castle plan reflects concerns raised in the consultation process and the wishes of Albertans to see this region protected. The plan is guided by science-based decisions and the impacts of motorized activity are acknowledged," Joanna added. "We expect the same science-based decision making will be applied as the plan continues to unfold."

"It's clear that the final Castle plan reflects concerns raised in the consultation process, the wishes of Albertans to see this region protected, and is guided by science-based decisions," Joanna added. "We expect the same reasoning will be applied to all vehicle use in the parks - no matter their use or purpose, the impacts must be acknowledged and considered."

The recent designation of motorized recreation trails in the Livingstone-Porcupine provides appropriate areas that do not impact other recreational users, vegetation, water or wildlife.

The Castle Wilderness contains critical habitat for threatened westslope cutthroat trout and is recognized as core grizzly bear habitat. This is a region of outstanding ecological and indigenous value. With numerous overlapping ecosystems in one relatively small area, the Castle Wilderness contains significant animal and plant species diversity and provides essential headwaters for the Oldman River basin.

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