By Letter to the Editor on September 12, 2018.
Alberta is rich in diversity in land and life. Much land has been transformed by human needs but much still has its natural character and lifeforms.
The final Castle Management Plan (CMP) was released on May 18 after extensive public input which ended on April 19. The natural state of the Castle Watershed goes back to 1921. That year it was removed from the Waterton National Park and in 1954 the province lifted the game preserve status. Since then the watershed became subject to multiple and often conflicting use. This multi-use is now controlled by the CMP for the long-term good of the watershed and human values. The CMP returns the watershed to ecological-based processes, where a long-term vision is evident. The CMP relates to the Castle Provincial Park and the Castle Wildland Provincial Park totalling 80,000 hectares.
This CMP was some 60 years in the making if one takes into account the call for protection by the Pincher Creek Fish and Game Association in 1958 as the start of the process. The democratic process that took us to the legislative acceptance of the CMP is a credit to Albertans. Albertans with different perspectives, objectives and wishes were willing to communicate and listen to each other. Eventually acceptance of new management rules emerged. Our government listened and had the conviction to act in the long-term interest of water, vegetation, fish, wildlife and by extension the long-term interest of humans. After extensive public input the final CMP was written by learned and dedicated civil servants of Alberta Environment and Parks, Parks Division. This document meets our collective respect for land and its life.
No individual is a hero, no group is the winner. No group would consider the plan as perfect. All had to compromise for the long-term common good. Albertans are the winners.
And there is more good news. The final Livingstone-Porcupine Hills Management Plan was released on May 17 after public input ended on April 26. This plan has a similar but much shorter history, with hopefully the same good ending. Again, diverse groups communicated and listened to what is known and what is good for the long-term good.
Democracy at work!
In praise of Albertans!
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