Forests and Climate Change

Proposed parks act will dilute laws, critics warn

A proposed bill aimed at consolidating and strengthening the province’s patchwork of laws and regulations governing parks may in fact have the opposite effect, warn critics.

Conservationists, opposition parties and legal experts say Bill 29, the Alberta Parks Act, threatens to erode existing environmental protections, open the door to more industrial and recreational intrusion and grant the parks minister unilateral power to change the rules.... Read more »

Withdraw Bill 29: conservation groups

Conservation groups hope to convince Premier Ed Stelmach's government to withdraw its proposed Alberta Parks Act.

The groups have launched a campaign, called Save our Alberta Parks, to raise public awareness of how the legislation would affect the province.

The coalition includes the Alberta Wilderness Association, Provincial Parks Stewards Association, Canadian Parks & Wilderness Association, Federation of Alberta Naturalists and the Sierra Club.

The groups say Bill 29 would make it easier for the government to approve resorts and off-road vehicle trails in protected areas and ecological reserves.

"For the [Tories] to claim that the new legislation makes it simpler for the public makes no sense," said Dorothy Dickson of the Stewards of Alberta's Protected Areas Association in a written release.

Read the entire article at the link below.

Conservationists concerned about changes to the Parks Act

While Bill 29, the Alberta Parks Act, is being touted as the simplified solution to the complex parks legislation that Albertans have been asking for, the legislation tabled by the provincial government, does not, as it's supposed to, balance conservation with recreation, conservationists say.

Worse, they say, parks protection is not even part of the legislation.

"We're being asked to show an enormous amount of faith in the government today and forever more," Nigel Douglas, with Alberta Wilderness Association, said. "And I think people would like to see a much stronger basis, in legislation, for how our areas are protected than just keeping our fingers crossed and hoping that future generations of politicians will do the right thing."... Read more »

Bill puts parks at risk, critics say

EDMONTON — A coalition of conservation groups demanding the withdrawal of legislation they believe will expose Alberta’s natural parks to greater risk of harmful recreation, industrial activity and commercial development.

The organizations, which held simultaneous news conferences in Edmonton, Calgary and Red Deer on Friday, have declared Nov. 15 to 20 as Save Our Parks Week in an effort to draw attention to Bill 29.

“This bill will result in degradation and damage to our already small park system,” Sam Gunsch of the Sierra Club said on the steps of the legislature. “Under this law, environmental protection, even in our parks, won’t be the priority of the government.”... Read more »

Mackenzie Gas Project Update: Review Panel Rejects Governments' Attempt to Weaken Its Recommendations

Don't ignore any of our recommendations.

That's the message that the Joint Review Panel for the Mackenzie Gas Project has sent to the governments of Canada and the Northwest Territories in response to attempts at limiting or rejecting most of the 176 conditions the Panel says are necessary for the massive project to begin.

Tasked with reviewing the environmental and socio-economic implications of the project, the independent Joint Review Panel (JRP) concluded that it was possible to mitigate the project's most significant adverse impacts – as long as 176 separate recommendations were fully implemented.... Read more »

            

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