Celebrate the Valleyview Lookout Trail and Picnic Area Ribbon Cutting
Waskesiu Lake, Saskatchewan – Mr. Rob Clarke, Member of Parliament for Desnethé—Missinippi—Churchill River, on behalf of the Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, Minister of the Environment and Minister responsible for Parks Canada, today announced the Government of Canada’s investment in trail development and improved visitor facilities on Prince Albert National Park’s West Side where conservation of plains bison is a key goal.
Through $1.6 million of federal funding from Parks Canada’s restoration and conservation program, the Reconnecting Grasslands, Bison and People projects will provide improvements to infrastructure and facilities, grassland restoration, trail enhancements and the construction of a picnic area that will increase accessibility and enjoyment of the west side for generations of visitors.
The west side’s rich human history is intimately connected to Aboriginal people and generations of local landowners. It offers a unique suite of visitor experiences within Prince Albert National Park.
Through initiatives like these, Parks Canada is making a tangible contribution to Canada’s National Conservation Plan by conserving and restoring our lands and waters, and connecting Canadian families to our natural spaces.
• Bison were introduced by the Province of Saskatchewan in 1969 and released north of Montreal Lake. Some migrated and took up residence in the Sturgeon River valley that comprises part of the southwestern boundary of Prince Albert National Park.
• Visitors to Prince Albert National Park’s West Side may have an opportunity to view wild bison and can experience rare pockets of meadow tucked in among aspen parkland. The area can be explored while hiking, biking or on horseback. Wolves, bison, sandhill cranes and a myriad of songbirds and wildflowers call the West Side home.
• A trail plan was developed for the West Side with the active participation of local residents who use and know the area well. The Valleyview Trail is the first of these trails to be completed. Several more are to be upgraded or constructed for hiking, biking and equestrian enthusiasts.
“Our Government is committed to making the Valleyview Lookout and trail more accessible for visitors and commercial operators. Parks Canada is working to enhance bison habitat, improve bison viewing and visitor experiences in Elk Island and Prince Albert national parks and promote understanding of Parks Canada’s role in bison conservation.” ~ Rob Clarke, Member of Parliament for Desnethé—Missinippi—Churchill River