Monday, January 30, 2023

New “Trails Act” in Alberta would put controls on public lands

EDMONTON, AB – New legislation introduced in Edmonton this week aims to “modernize” Alberta’s trail framework.

Environment Minister Jason Nixon says this UCP government is “absolutely” committed to protecting and preserving public spaces for everyone, and that includes trails.

If this legislation gets the green light, it would also allow for more trails and adjacent areas to be conserved.

The province says a lack of controls has led to an explosion of trails across Alberta that, in many cases, have been harming local wildlife and their environments.

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Minister Nixon also says this fulfills an election promise for a Trail Act that helps advance conservation and support quality outdoor recreation.

The government will provide up to $4.5 million to help private organizations develop and control their own trails.

Alberta currently has about 13,000 km of managed and designated trails, however there are hundred of thousands of kilometers of trails which are unattended.

The Alberta government says a Trails Act will:

  • establish the cornerstones for a sustainable trail management system on public land
  • enable trails to be safe and, as needed, designated for specific uses such as hiking or riding an OHV
  • enable improved trail planning, which will consider other land uses and values
  • strengthen protection of trails so that Albertans can enjoy them for years to come
  • strengthen enforcement tools to prevent environmental damage and promote environmental stewardship of public land
  • promote a bigger role for partners in building  and maintaining trails

(With files from Government of Alberta news release)

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