In November 2018, the Alberta government opened public consultations for the Bighorn Country Proposal. This project encompasses creating four Provincial Wildland Parks, four Provincial Recreational Areas, and two Public Land Use Zones on the eastern slopes of the Rocky Mountains. The area in question is precicely between Jasper National Park and Banff National Park. The Bighorn Country proposal is critical to ensure environmental protection in the area from unmanaged recreational and industrial impacts.
Conservation in the area is crucial in order to protect vegetation and wildlife. Iconic species in the area include the grizzly bear, bighorn sheep and bull trout. Parks and protected areas are especially important in the protection of habitat and wildlife corridors. The Bighorn Wildland Park will act to connect more provincially protected area with Banff National Park and Jasper National Park. It would also preserve and protect the headwaters of the Red Deer Watershed Basin. The North Saskatchewan River runs through Bighorn Country, and, for this reason, it is also important to protect the drinking water for citizens across Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba.
As the Prairie Chapter, we voiced our concerns to the Project Coordinators and the Minister of Environment and Parks regarding the ecological importance of the landscape. We joined our voice to see conservation as a priority in the area. Read our letter to learn about our position.