Sunday , May 16 2021

Biologists write a letter about Alberta MLA's "disinformation" about conservation plans

More than three dozen former biologists ask the government of Alberta to keep efforts to preserve the vast area of ​​western central Alberta despite what they call disinformation of a member of the opposition in parliament.

"We were very concerned about disinformation, inflammatory rhetoric, and the lack of a long-term vision for Bighorn," said Lorne Fitch, a long-time fishermen biologist and professor at Calgary University, one of the 37 world-famous signatories. Letter to Prime Minister Rachel Notley and Environment Minister Shannon Phillips.

In November, New Democrats announced eight new parks covering 4,000 square kilometers along the eastern edges of Banff and Jasper National Parks in the so-called Bighorn Country.

It contains mountains, foothills, forests, lakes, rivers and rivers of the North Saskatchewan River, to which more than a million inhabitants of Alberta depend on drinking water.

The area has been considered as protection since the 1980s and its core remains relatively free from energy, forestry and agriculture.

The call for action calls for a variety of allowed activities and offers $ 40 million over five years for camps and other infrastructure.

Highway cars, packing horses and hunting will continue, albeit with new restrictions.

The lease rental will continue. There will be no enclosed existing tracks.

However, Jason Nixon, a member of the United Conservative Party for that area, said the new democracies have drawn attention to the ongoing consultation process to bring this plan to the expected spring elections.

"We can go back to the regional planning process, which worked great," he said. "There is no need to rush this before the election."

This process recommended areas of conservation that are very similar to the proposed Bighorn Parks, areas that were first described in 1988.

The plan remains open to the public by the end of January. In the period from December to January 31 in four communities, fourteen public and invitational information meetings are planned.

Further consultations are planned for spring.

Nonetheless, Nixon said many people remain uncertain about the impact of the industry plan and land use and suggested that it could take another year to collect inputs.

He said the government relies heavily on the information group on environmental protection and has only recently opened the process.

"There are many people who are concerned," he said.

Fitch said that signers of letters, who held some of Alberta's greatest protection jobs and had more than 1,000 years of experience among them, all believe that action is now needed.

He said that the density of trails and resource roads in Bighorn is probably far above the level at which environmental damage occurs.

"We already see the effects of this, especially on domestic trout," he said.

The letter, which corresponds to Bighorn's suggestion, suggests there are boundaries for Alberta's natural resources and "we."
exaggerate them in our dangers.

"Unfortunately, this is not a commonly accepted perception or popular," says the letter. "Our landscapes and basins are neglected, we expect them too much and they break down by seams."

"It can no longer be free for everyone."

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