By Jensen, Randy on September 30, 2020.
The Southern Alberta Council on Public Affairs will discuss the future of Alberta’s Rocky Mountains with more open-pit coal mines possible in southern Alberta at its online session on Thursday.
On June 1, the Government of Alberta rescinded the provincial Coal Policy, created in 1976, restricting open-pit coal mining and coal exploration in Alberta’s most environmentally sensitive areas in the Rocky Mountains. The area most affected by this change covers 1.5 million hectares of land that provide drinking water to downstream communities in Alberta and beyond. These areas also provide essential habitats for wildlife and plants, including grizzly bear, elk and native trout and have been a source of beauty and bounty for generations.
The move by the provincial government comes on the heels of another decision in March that removed protections on 175 provincial parks and recreation areas – approximately one-third of Alberta’s provincial parks – including some of the most accessible areas for Albertans and visitors to safely experience nature, SACPA noted in a news release. Collectively, these areas provide approximately 4,500 publicly maintained campsites that support outdoor recreation, with 60 of these parks within areas now open for coal mining.
Thursday’s speaker, Katie Morrison, will point out the areas affected while questioning the wisdom of these decisions, which are bound to damage Alberta’s environment, water quality and recreation activities.
Morrison is a professional biologist who has been working in the environmental sector for almost 20 years. She holds a BSc in Environmental and Conservation Sciences from the University of Alberta and a Master’s of Environmental Design from the University of Calgary. She has worked in Canada and Latin America for university research projects, non-governmental organizations and environmental consulting companies
Thursday’s session is set for 10 a.m. on the YouTube Live link https://youtu.be/Ywy8-YRATi0. In order to ask questions of our speaker in the chat feature of YouTube, you must have a YouTube account and be signed in..
The link to SACPA’s YouTube Channel is https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCFUQ5mUHv1gfmMFVr8d9dNA.