AlbertaParks.ca

BSA Wildland Provincial Park

Proposed Biodiversity Stewardship Area
Wildland Provincial Park in the Lower Athabasca Region

    Following months of collaborative discussions with Indigenous groups, industry and other stakeholders, the Government of Alberta is proposing to establish the Biodiversity Stewardship Area to be designated as a wildland provincial park (protected area). The proposed protected area is about 166,110 hectares located directly south of Wood Buffalo National Park. The designation would shift the current multiple-use area with existing forest and energy tenure into an area focused on the conservation of biodiversity.

    Proposed Biodiversity Stewardship Area - Wildland Provincial Park in the Lower Athabasca Region

    From December 13, 2018 to January 20, 2019, government will be consulting with Indigenous communities, stakeholders and the public. At this time, we want to hear from all interested parties on the proposed protected area.

    Management Intent of the Proposed Biodiversity Stewardship Area - Wildland Provincial Park

    Wildland provincial parks are intended to conserve nature and associated cultural features in a relatively undisturbed state. They also support backcountry and remote nature-based recreation opportunities, dependent on their compatibility with conservation outcomes. 

    The proposed protected area would increase protection of the Peace-Athabasca watershed. It would also increase connectivity between existing wildland provincial parks and the national park in the area, which is important to maintain ecological integrity and habitats for species at risk like woodland caribou.

    The proposed protected area has been identified by Indigenous Peoples as having natural values and species, such as the Ronald Lake bison herd, that are important to support Indigenous People’s rights, culture and well-being. The exercise of Treaty rights and traditional uses in the area would be supported in the proposed protected area and cooperative management opportunities would be available to interested Indigenous communities.

    Nature-based recreation opportunities would be focused on remote backcountry experiences where visitors can experience solitude, challenge and personal interaction with nature. Facilities will be limited to trails and rustic backcountry campsites. Nature-based ecotourism or adventure tourism opportunities could be supported.

    Current and Proposed Permitted Activities

    Activity

    Current Permitted Activities –
    Public Lands, Green Area

    Proposed Permitted Activities –
    Wildland Provincial Park

    Foot Access
    (hiking, snowshoeing, Nordic skiing, etc.)

    Yes

    Yes

    Equestrian Use

    Yes

    Yes

    Hunting

    Yes

    Yes

    Fishing

    Yes

    Yes

    Backcountry Camping

    Yes

    Yes

    Off-highway Vehicle/Snowmobile Use

    Yes

    Yes – On designated trails

    Trapping

    Yes

    Yes

    Existing Petroleum and Natural Gas Commitments
    (Crown Owned)

    Yes

    Yes

    New Petroleum and Natural Gas
    (Crown Owned)

    Yes

    Yes, but with no surface access

    Fixed Roof Accommodation

    Yes

    Maybe – Non-auto access backcountry or fly-in lodges may be permitted if compatible with site values and objectives and restricted to backcountry facility zones 

    Helicopter/Float Plane Landing

    Yes

    Maybe – A permit for landing is required.

    Auto Access Camping

    Yes

    No

    Large Scale Tourism Development

    Yes

    No

    Commercial Forestry

    Yes

    No

    Coal, Metallic and Industrial Minerals
    (Crown Owned)

    Yes

    No

     

    Management Intent of Biodiversity Stewardship Area-Wildland Provincial Park (BSA-WPP)

     Wildland provincial parks serve to protect and conserve natural heritage and provide opportunities for backcountry recreation compatible with the overall plan for the park. For information on the proposed permitted uses please see the table on the public website.

     

    Proposals for the Biodiversity Stewardship Area-Wildland Provincial Park

    Support Treaty Rights and Traditional Use

    The BSA-WPP is proposed to help support the exercise of Treaty rights and traditional uses, and protection of Indigenous culture, well-being, and to conserve natural values and species in the area into the future. The proposed Wildland Provincial Park will allow for the exercise of Treaty rights and other traditional uses, including cultural activities, for First Nations, as well as harvesting activities for approved Metis harvesters.  

    Conservation

    This type of park is specifically established for the conservation of nature and associated cultural features with opportunities for backcountry or remote backcountry recreation and experiencing nature in a relatively undisturbed state. Wildland Provincial Parks protect large, ecologically healthy and functioning landscapes that are representative of Alberta’s natural diversity. Management of Wildland Provincial Parks is well suited to cooperative management approaches with local Indigenous communities. Cooperative management approach could include:

    • Maintaining and supporting Indigenous People’s constitutionally protected rights and traditional-use activities;
    • Protecting and preserving known traditional use sites, cultural areas and historic resources;
    • Exploring economic opportunities for Indigenous Peoples through employment with the Government of Alberta; and
    • Potential Indigenous Guardian Program opportunities

     

    Recreation

    The park would maintain its rustic, undeveloped character and continue to permit high quality backcountry experiences. Recreation opportunities would focus on wilderness-oriented recreation experiences, hunting and fishing, and experiencing nature with few if any amenities. This experience would vary on whether visitors are accessing the north, west or south areas of the park.

    Public Comment

    The 30-day public input period is now closed. Thank you for your feedback.

    What Happens After Public Comment

    A decision regarding the proposal will be made after the public consultation period ends and all comments have been considered. The resulting proposed action(s) will be posted online at www.albertaparks.ca/consult once a decision has been reached.

    Media Inquiries

    Alberta Environment and Parks
    780-422-4905
    media@gov.ab.ca 

    Further Information

    Fact Sheet

    Disclaimer: We thank you for providing your input. Those who submit feedback will not be contacted individually regarding their submission.

Updated: Jan 21, 2019