Alberta’s Environment Minister says Bighorn Parks Proposal Will Not Go Ahead

EDMONTON — Alberta’s new environment minister says he will scrap the previous government’s proposed plan for protected areas in western Alberta.

Last November, the NDP government announced eight new parks covering 4,000 square kilometres in what is known as Bighorn Country along the eastern edges of Banff and Jasper national parks.

Environment Minister Jason Nixon says the NDP’s plan for the area is flawed and the United Conservative Party government will not go ahead with it.

Residents and area officials have raised concerns about how the project might affect oil and gas exploration, the forestry industry and off-road vehicle use.

Nixon says the province will return to the North Saskatchewan regional planning process to better understand economic and environmental implications for the area.

The executive director of the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society for northern Alberta says she’s disappointed with the decision to cancel the proposal.

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