Adjacent to Waterton Lakes National Park and part of the Crown of the Continent ecosystem; the Castle area is internationally recognized as an important, biologically diverse ecosystem critical to connecting protected areas along Alberta’s Southern Rocky Mountains. In the 2015 election, government made a commitment to enhance the protection of the Castle area, and the Government of Alberta is moving forward on this commitment.
Today the Government of Alberta announced its commitment to enhance the protection of the Castle Area. This includes the creation of the Castle Provincial Park and the Castle Wildland Provincial Park which will come into effect on February 16, 2017. As the Castle Parks are located within the South Saskatchewan Region, the SSRP has been amended to support government’s commitment.
All activities and land uses in the Castle Provincial Park and Castle Wildland Provincial Park must be consistent with the Alberta Parks legislation and regulation(s) as well as the direction that has been set out in the South Saskatchewan Regional Plan. A Castle Parks Management Plan will provide strategic policy direction regarding management within the protected areas.
The development of a draft Castle Parks Management Plan was initiated in August 2016 and was led by the Parks Division of Alberta Environment and Parks. During plan development, the department worked closely with First Nations and key stakeholders to identify information and issues. Over 45 meetings were held between July 1st and November 30th with interested First Nations, stakeholders, ecology and land-use working groups and municipalities. Recommendations and advice were considered in the development of the draft plan. Collaboration with First Nations and stakeholders will continue through the review of the draft plan and the implementation of the strategies identified in the final plan.
Public input on the draft Castle Parks Management plan is encouraged and important. You can access and review the draft plan as well as submit your comments, suggestions and concerns by visiting albertaparks.ca/consult. Feedback on the draft management plan for will be collected until March 20, 2017.
For more information on regional planning, please visit the Land-Use Framework website at landuse.alberta.ca or for more information on the new Castle Parks or the Alberta Environment and Parks website and http://aep.alberta.ca/.