Calgary – The PC Caucus is glad that the government is proceeding with protecting the Castle Wilderness area, and urges the Alberta government to engage in respectful dialogue about implementation with current industry, tourism, recreational, conservation, and cultural users of the area.
“We support the decision for no further industrial development in the new park, but those that have operated in the Castle region should be allowed to wind down current operations that were negotiated in good faith,” said PC House Leader Dr. Richard Starke. “Albertans today and in the future should be able to benefit from the area’s natural beauty, environmental importance as a headwaters to a significant watershed, historical and cultural significance to the First Nations, and tremendous potential for tourism.”
Under the PC government, enhanced protection of the Castle Wilderness Area was planned as part of Alberta’s South Saskatchewan Regional Plan (SSRP) that sought a balanced approach that balanced the conflicting demands on the area.
“It has always been challenging to find the appropriate balance and a compromise solution will only succeed in angering all parties,” continued Dr. Starke. “We regret that we could not bring the SSRP to completion prior to May 2015, and wish the Environment Minister well in her approach to this difficult task ahead.”