Alberta Bighorn Country Parks Proposal

Discussion in 'Canada' started by GreatWhiteNorth, Jan 12, 2019.

  1. GreatWhiteNorth

    GreatWhiteNorth Long timer

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2009
    Oddometer:
    5,563
    Location:
    Winterpeg - site of flatness beyond belief
    As a flatlander, I hugely appreciate heading to the foothills & mountains for a little adventuring. Been doing it for years, sort of an annual migration west. I've sure noticed things getting busier, and it's gotten much harder to get a camp spot in the bigger more popular campgrounds. For this reason, more and more, I (we really, am usually with a buddy) shifted to more remote backcountry camping.

    Personally, I think it's a necessary and good thing to invest in developing the area further. Sure is some uproar over it, which I can understand... but I'm guessing there were similar feelings when Kananaskis was in the planning stages (and that turned out allright).

    A .pdf map of the proposal: https://talkaep.alberta.ca/6512/documents/12743

    The announcement: https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/edmonton/alberta-bighorn-parks-rocky-mountains-1.4918209

    Is all the recent uproar over the (cancelled) consultation process justified? Sounds like any public consultation meetings would spin out of control, emotions are running so high over this. Regardless, I suspect they'll be pushing ahead on this anyways.

    Most importantly, how will this affect backcountry exploring for us motorcyclists?
    #1
  2. GreatWhiteNorth

    GreatWhiteNorth Long timer

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2009
    Oddometer:
    5,563
    Location:
    Winterpeg - site of flatness beyond belief
    Seen quite a bit of that partysome group camping along the FTR last time I was through there. I try to leave our campsite cleaner than when we arrived, so the next folks have a good experience too... part of trying to respect and appreciate nature. It's easy I guess for folks to feel that they are losing their "freedom" to do whatever the heck they want back there... and lose sight that designating it parkland will help protect it for future generations.
    #2
    gpfan, oldtrout, Cal and 1 other person like this.
  3. JDakota

    JDakota Adventurer

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2017
    Oddometer:
    66
    Location:
    Kimberley BC
    The blurb says it will include designated OHV rec areas. I would like to see more detail on that including a map. Mixed feelings on it until then. Agree completely with Lycan
    #3
    GreatWhiteNorth and Lycan1 like this.
  4. GreatWhiteNorth

    GreatWhiteNorth Long timer

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2009
    Oddometer:
    5,563
    Location:
    Winterpeg - site of flatness beyond belief
    I don't for the life of me understand how folks can leave a mess in pristine wilderness. Trail erosion, and the impact on wildlife is a transient thing (not to minimize that problem), but leaving garbage (for others to clean up) around just spoils everyone else's experience. Saw the same thing when we lived on Vancouver Island. I had the good fortune to live in Europe 6 years (Germany). You'd pretty much never find garbage around in the boonies there - somehow it's drilled into their consciousness to respect others, and nature (what little of it is left).
    #4
  5. ACR

    ACR 59,902

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2012
    Oddometer:
    1,175
    Location:
    Algoma, ONT
    Last month, a group of heathens used the site I frequent. They destroyed the stone fire pit, left their garbage, left their used shit paper in their new fire pit, cut off their rope in trees instead of learning a knot and keeping the rope, left their broken patio blocks(?), carried chunks of large rock out onto the lake to try and break the ice (great for ice fishing/sleds), and the kicker? Empty and live ammo everywhere. They stood up 12g shells on the lake for target practice with their .22. I found over two dozen live rounds scattered across the site, and the kicker? They thought it would be a great idea to leave a bunch of .22 ammo in the destroyed fire pit, mixed in between the rocks and ash. 4 hours spent cleaning their mess, dismantling the old fire pit and building a new one.

    How is gaining access easier for these slobs to make their way into the backcountry? Give them side by sides, quads, and brodozers. There needs to be an IQ test before the keys are handed over to these barbarians.

    [​IMG]
    #5
  6. GP640

    GP640 Long timer

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2006
    Oddometer:
    4,751
    Location:
    NW AB
    I think the proposed Bighorn plan is a good one.
    I'm tired of the idiots and outright destruction I see in that area.
    The vocal opposition cry about lack of consultation and that this is being pushed on the province by the current government.
    Fact is this plan was set in motion 10 years ago and a committee made up of county reeves, oil companies and other genuine
    "stakeholders" were involved in drawing the maps. Now we have a bunch of social media warriors who want to keep their
    "God given right" to do whatever the F they want.
    I live downstream from the area and the rivers they chew up provide water for over a million people.
    I suppose an alternative for the morons who are complaining would be to patrol the hell out of them and change legislation to include seizure of toys and triple
    digit fines.
    #6
    250senuf, Lycan1 and GreatWhiteNorth like this.
  7. GreatWhiteNorth

    GreatWhiteNorth Long timer

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2009
    Oddometer:
    5,563
    Location:
    Winterpeg - site of flatness beyond belief
    This may sound so 1984 Big Brother, but I wouldn't be surprised to see monitoring of visitors happen at parks in the future, where you're given a card with your permit, by which you can be tracked, or something like that. The technology to do that sort of thing is probably already available (they track your cell phone don't they!?). Somehow it's human nature for some folks to exercise their stupidity, which ruins it for everyone. To be clear, I'm not for monitoring visitors to that level, but they could sure keep an eye on them grizzlies, I'd be all for that, knowing where they're at at all times!

    I read this article recently, which illustrates well the pressure on the parks systems:

    https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/calgary/lake-ohara-bookings-bus-parks-canada-1.4634797

    In this video it says that Banff gets 4,000,000 visitors a year!

    <iframe width="642" height="361" src="" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen></iframe>
    #7
  8. AJRJ

    AJRJ Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2014
    Oddometer:
    150
    Location:
    AB
    We'll, I have to say I'm a little surprised this seems to be so one sided. I guess for road going dual sport riders, there's little downside for the bighorn plan. As a volunteer who has spent a lot of hours trying to work with the NDP government, I can assure they are doing nothing more than furthering the "Y2Y" agenda. Not sure what that is? It's essentially internationally funded "green" groups who have offices full of paid employees, trying to limit commercial use, and really all use, from the Yukon to Yellowstone.

    As a taxpayer ($40,000,000 for the rollout, half for "enforcement") I can't understand why this is necessary. They keep saying "for protection" and "headwaters" but its smoke and mirrors. The minister Philips and her crew have already closed many trails in the area two years ago, all the necessary processes are in place for that, but they want more... I'm sorry you guys have seen garbage in the back country, and kudos for cleaning it up. Not sure banning motorized rec is the answer for the eastern slopes. The bighorn is about 59% of albertas public land; this is the biggest "grab" ever. If you hunt, fish, camp, ride ohvs or horses make no mistake you're about to lose, big time.

    Oh, and all the fancy literature that says "OHVs on designated trails" ? Guess what?There aren't any, and none of the funds are earmarked for any development.

    Ask a member of the crowsnest quad squad how this government looked after their stewardship hours and infrastructure. From user funded trails for families to crippled economy and helicopter serviced hiking huts in 24 months.

    Sorry, I may be slightly bitter.
    #8
    fact and tokenboy like this.
  9. GreatWhiteNorth

    GreatWhiteNorth Long timer

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2009
    Oddometer:
    5,563
    Location:
    Winterpeg - site of flatness beyond belief
    Government is all about taking away your rights, and then selling 'em back to you (the "permit" system). I would hope that park development planning doesn't rest on which party is in power - good government should be above that. IMO Alberta has fallen waaay behind the curve in developing parks & campgrounds in and along the Rockies.
    #9
  10. fact

    fact n00b

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2019
    Oddometer:
    4
    Location:
    Canada
    Their proposed "parks" are all next to existing national parks. If you want to be fined $300 for using dead-fall in a fire, or if you want to sleep 3 meters away from strangers on concrete or gravel pads at hotel prices, then a park is the right thing and you can simply go to those existing parks.

    Personally, I am disgusted at the theft of the commons. Lots of people complain that there is litter at some of these public areas, but guess what, there are already laws against littering.

    They want people in concrete prisons called cities, if you work hard maybe you can afford a day pass to see "nature" in Banff National Park. This globalist eco bullshit has gone way out of control. I say it's bullshit because look at the Cardinal Divide strip mines that were approved on land which was deemed too environmentally sensitive for OHVs. They are hiding behind ecology as it's a noble cause, but their true purpose is entirely different.
    #10
    AJRJ likes this.
  11. GP640

    GP640 Long timer

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2006
    Oddometer:
    4,751
    Location:
    NW AB
    Jason and his buddies proposed selling crown land to corporations to raise funds.
    I think I'd prefer preservation. Sure, he was talking about Northern Alberta but what's stopping
    the sale of the foothills?
    #11
    gpfan likes this.
  12. JDakota

    JDakota Adventurer

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2017
    Oddometer:
    66
    Location:
    Kimberley BC
    Western Canada’s park system is a great feat and worthy of pride. Not to mention a huge economic driver for Alberta. Most of us do live in concrete jungles and Kananaskis Banff/Yoho/Kootenay is a respite for us. I for one am glad that that area will exist more or less as is for my grandchildren. That’s not to say that the Bighorn area must follow that model. It doesnt seem an impossible task to protect an area while leaving room for riders. Some provincial parks in BC come to mind (Whiteswan, Premier etc). I dont want environmental groups or multinational corporations influencing these decisions. Problem is that each party seems more or less in the pocket of one or the other.
    #12
    GreatWhiteNorth likes this.
  13. GreatWhiteNorth

    GreatWhiteNorth Long timer

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2009
    Oddometer:
    5,563
    Location:
    Winterpeg - site of flatness beyond belief
    As I mentioned in previous posts, the campgrounds in the Rockies & foothills have gotten pretty busy. A few years back, we camped at Jasper, got lucky and got a camp spot without reserving, but we got there early in the afternoon. We packed up next morning, rode the Glacier Parkway down to Lake Louise, getting there early afternoon. There was a long line-up at campground registration, RVs and cages, kids milling about... we rode around them, rode up to the exit window, and asked simply if we had a chance at getting a spot. She said no hope. I asked if bears had been a problem - she said look behind you! There was a black bear in the bush there watching the action. We rode east along the 1A checking out the campgrounds there - all full. We phoned the reservation service - they told us a few sites left at Kananaskis, but 1st come 1st served (couldn't reserve over the phone!?), so raced down there. They were full by the time we got there, and they wouldn't open up the overflow. We rode on, finally finding a spot at Greenford to the southeast - got the last spot.

    I suspect that sort of difficulty in actually getting a camp spot during peak season, unless you have a reservation, is becoming pretty common. They badly need to increase campground capacity. Last time we did the FTR, we camped near Nordegg, got one of the last spots there, set up camp and watched car after car drive by thru the loop looking for a spot. Pretty sad, shouldn't be that way.
    #13
    fact likes this.
  14. fact

    fact n00b

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2019
    Oddometer:
    4
    Location:
    Canada
    To me, camping isn't camping if it's next to a small city of other campers in a highly regulated area. I've given up on parks for just that reason.
    #14
  15. MCMXCIVRS

    MCMXCIVRS Long timer

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2006
    Oddometer:
    1,676
    Location:
    Calgary, Alberta, Canada
    All that for the small cost of $30-40 a night to set up a tent, more if you want hookups for your RV. The camping I enjoy most is at a remote site where I may be the only camper around or at least one of only a handful. Usually these sites are free too and the best ones have a good fishing. Too many people are conditioned to luxury and conveniences that they are incapable of enjoying true nature. These park proposals along with the already in the works Castle parks simply aim to "pave paradise and put up parking lots". It is far from the claim of protecting the natural areas.

    What is truly needed is much more enforcement and much more severe penalties for infractions of the present laws. I would even be open to nominal permit costs to aid in enforcement and identification of offenders.
    #15
    Adanac rider likes this.
  16. GreatWhiteNorth

    GreatWhiteNorth Long timer

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2009
    Oddometer:
    5,563
    Location:
    Winterpeg - site of flatness beyond belief
    Camping is different things to different people. I look at Kananaskis as a very modern progressive campground, spread out, connected by paved bike trails, excellent amenities there, etc. Family vacation oriented, and an excellent development. There are backcountry hike in only spots there too... so they are trying to cater to everyone. More and more tho, you see campgrounds built catering primarily to the big RV crowd, with pull thru sites and electrical hook-up. Not my cup of tea, but that's what's in demand, as the number of people with hard sided campers seems to have grown lots over the years. Us bare bones minimalist moto campers are a small portion of the general camping public. Camping in Alberta Provincial parks, and the National parks has gotten ridiculously expensive IMO. Our camping in Manitoba is cheap compared to SK & AB.
    #16
    JDakota likes this.
  17. AJRJ

    AJRJ Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2014
    Oddometer:
    150
    Location:
    AB
    I'm glad to see this post got some traction. As was already stated, these foreign funded NGOs should not be part of the process, never mind the ones deciding what goes where. IMO the big loss was when Environment and Sustainable resources portfolio was put into Parks. There suddenly became a power struggle, with the old ESRD people used to managing public use, and Parks people who "call the shots". Sprinkle in a few hand picked greenies, and Public land is the one to lose. The whole idea , in my mind, is public land is for the people. In the southern PLUZ this government has created, they shrunk them considerably ~10% or more with buffer zones that are an absolute no go, and closed every motorcycle trail based on a study for vehicle collisions with wildlife. Throughout the process they lied and manipulated to get their results, all the while hiding behind "science". I have all the reports if you care to read them, most are sponsored by green peace, tides, Alberta wilderness association and the like.

    Anyway, the SSRP which was so quickly abandoned by the NDP was a four year process. This decision for 60% of our public land is being railroaded through in 8 weeks, because our government has already made up its mind. It's the most disappointing abuse of office I've ever seen. Again, just my opinion.
    #17
  18. GreatWhiteNorth

    GreatWhiteNorth Long timer

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2009
    Oddometer:
    5,563
    Location:
    Winterpeg - site of flatness beyond belief
    Thnx for posting that up. I can understand why the process has been so controversial! I don't like it either when governments & bureaucrats manipulate the process... but isn't the end result what matters? Going back to Kananaskis, that outcome was pretty good wasn't it? Are there indications that Bighorn would be developed significantly differently? It is inevitable that there will be loss of trail access... except to the equestrian crowd - they seem to do alright. I just look to Cypress Hills, with it's total ban on ATV use. I wouldn't be surprised if there are "sustainable development" goals behind what's going on - NWO / UN politically correct buzz words if I ever heard 'em.
    #18
  19. Cowtowner

    Cowtowner Been here awhile Supporter

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2010
    Oddometer:
    663
    Location:
    Calgary
    Trail access was destroyed in Castle, then porcupine and Livingston, and now they’re targeting Bighorn. From a dirt biking perspective Ghost has been a total failure.

    People need to stand up against this. I believe there is still time to have input.
    #19
    AJRJ likes this.
  20. GreatWhiteNorth

    GreatWhiteNorth Long timer

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2009
    Oddometer:
    5,563
    Location:
    Winterpeg - site of flatness beyond belief
    #20