Fisheries and Wildlife Regulations - Public Comment

The Fisheries Regulations, under the Alberta Fisheries Act, and the Wildlife Regulations, under the Alberta Wildlife Act, are both being reviewed and updated by ESRD. Public comment surveys are available on their website (see the links below). These reviews are conducted every 5 years and are focused on how policy is enacted. 

More information: http://esrd.alberta.ca/fish-wildlife/fish-wildlife-regulations/fisheries-regulation-consultation-survey.aspx# and http://esrd.alberta.ca/fish-wildlife/fish-wildlife-regulations/wildlife-regulation-consultation-survey.aspx

Government of Alberta Backcountry Trail Rehabilitation Project

ESRD has set aside $10 million to repair backcountry trails in the eastern slopes region of the Rockies which were damaged in last years flood. To volunteer or submit questions/feedback, email ESRD.BackcountryFloodInfo@gov.ab.ca.

More information: http://esrd.alberta.ca/focus/esrd-2013-flood-recovery-programs/backcountry-trail-flood-rehabilitation-program/default.aspx

North Saskatchewan Regional Plan

Planning for the North Saskatchewan Regional Plan has begun. The North Saskatchewan region includes Edmonton as well as Rocky Mountain House and Nordegg, and Banff National Park. Consultation for Phase 1 is now complete. 

More information: https://landuse.alberta.ca/RegionalPlans/NorthSaskatchewanRegion/Pages/default.aspx

Be Bear Aware!

This time of year it's always wise to brush up on your bear awareness skills. Make sure you can tell the difference between a black bear and a grizzly bear as your response to coming across a bear in the wild can depend on which species you encounter. The tell tale sign is the distinct shoulder hump on a grizzly which black bears lack. Be on the lookout for bear signs in the area which can include tracks, scat, evidence of digging around rocks and big logs and fresh kill sites or carcasses. If you encounter a bear, try to determine if its intent is defensive (protecting cubs or a fresh carcass) or predatory. Of course, the best solution is avoiding a bear encounter entirely. So, be aware of your surroundings and carry bear spray, which can be used as a last resort.

More information: http://www.for.gov.bc.ca/hfd/Library/documents/bib22777.htmhttp://www.pc.gc.ca/eng/pn-np/mtn/ours-bears/bienvenue-welcome.aspx

South Saskatchewan Regional Plan

In order to address the growing challenges in land use planning in the province, the Government of Alberta has implemented the Land Use Framework. This framework divides the province into seven planning regions and then aims to create a specific land use plan for each region. The South Saskatchewan region includes the City’s of Calgary, Lethbridge and Medicine Hat, as well as popular recreation areas such as Kananaskis and the Ghost Valley. The plan for this region has been approved. 

More information: https://landuse.alberta.ca/RegionalPlans/SouthSaskatchewanRegion/Pages/default.aspx

Woodland Caribou Closures in Jasper National Park

Woodland caribou are listed as threatened under the Wildlife Act, and 3 of the 4 herds in Jasper National Park have declined to critical levels. Wolves are their main predator, and research has shown that packed trails make it easier for wolves to access areas with deep snow where caribou are found. Parks Canada is delaying winter recreational access to three areas in Jasper National Park in an effort to reduce the presence of packed trails. Access will be delayed in the North Boundary and South Jasper areas until after February 28th, and in the Tonquin Valley until after February 15th. Parks Canada has also committed to expanding winter recreation opportunities in Decoigne (Highway 16 west of Jasper) and Pyramid Lake.

More information: http://www.pc.gc.ca/pn-np/ab/jasper/ne/apactions-bcactions.aspx; http://www.pc.gc.ca/eng/pn-np/ab/jasper/natcul/caribou-jasper.aspx

Volunteer Opportunities at Parks Canada

Opportunities include wildlife fence monitoring and maintenance, invasive weed management, research and public education initiatives.

More information: http://www.pc.gc.ca/eng/agen/vol-ben/vol-ben07.aspx