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Map of Proposed Alberta Park closures (from Alberta Wilderness Association:
ANPC Endorses the Defend Alberta Parks Campaign
The Alberta Native Plant Council Society (ANPC) is concerned by the Government of Alberta’s plan to close or transfer ownership of 175 parks from the Alberta Parks system, resulting in changes to their management and level of provincial protection. The intended change in status for 164 of these parks would result in the loss of provincial protection and put the onus on local governments or organizations to protect and manage the land in perpetuity. Closure of parks, park infrastructure and/or maintenance reduces the accessibility and educational opportunities provided by parks.
This directly affects the ANPC by decreasing the number of group locations or venues that can be used for Plant Walks, workshops, and Botany Alberta. ANPC’s one window approach of working closely with the provincial government for park access and permitting on an annual basis has made it feasible to manage from a volunteer organizational perspective. Our permit requires submission of environmental details on the site visit and ensures that we respect the environment. If a change in the ownership of land occurs, then a change in land management follows.
The ANPC Society feels that educating the public on how this decision will affect the management of these 175 areas in Alberta is important, and as such are lending their voice in support of the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society (CPAWS’) and Alberta Environmental Network’s (AEN’s), DefendAlbertaParks.ca campaign. This campaign focusses on educating the public about the implications of the recent GoA decision on delisting 37% of Alberta’s provincial parks, which is consistent with four of the ANPC’s objectives, which are:
- To educate individuals, industry, and government about native plants.
- To promote awareness of native plant issues through a newsletter, an annual workshop, and in the media.
- To coordinate information and activities concerning Alberta’s native plants.
- To preserve natural habitats and plant communities.
- To support legislation that protects native plants.
- To take action to establish, preserve and manage protected areas.
To support this campaign, ANPC is coordinating information sharing amongst our membership and the public through various ANPC and social media channels. ANPC encourages members to check out the Defend Alberta Parks website, which has links to opportunities for donations or ways to speak up and let the GoA understand the importance of provincial park protection for 37% of Alberta’s Provincial Parks.
In addition to the Defend Alberta Parks website, please visit the following links for more information:
- TheGovernment of Alberta’s plan: Optimising Alberta Parks
- The list of sites in the Alberta parks system that theGovernment of Alberta plans to close or disown: List of sites
- The locationof impacted sites in Alberta: AWA map of sites in Alberta
- Thesites in the southern region: CPAWS Southern Alberta Map
- The impacts on the Alberta parks system: CPAWS summary
- The impacts on theParkland, Grasslands and Foothills Natural Regions: AWA news release
- The results ofCPAWS’ Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy (FOIP) request: What You Haven’t Been Told
- The Environmental Law Centre Blog
- 13 Truths and a Lie About the Announced Changes to Alberta Parks
The ANPC Society Board strongly recommends that members take action: Defend Alberta Parks
Alberta Native Plant Council Concern for Resources for Alberta Conservation Information Management System (ACIMS)
All provinces and territories have a Conservation Data Centre, similar to the Alberta Conservation Information Management System (ACIMS). But ACIMS staff consists of less than one full-time equivalent position, the second lowest staffing level in Canada, despite heavy land use pressures on the landscape.
ANPC relies heavily on ACIMS to inform their native plant conservation initiatives. ACIMS is critically understaffed, underfunded and unsustainable. Earlier this summer, the ANPC wrote a letter to the Minister of Environment and Parks recommending that five full time positions be resourced for ACIMS:
- Three positions to fill vacant positions of Botanist, Ecological Communities Coordinator, and Invertebrate Zoologist, and
- Two positions to perform additional data management to meet current needs
We need your support in affecting this change! Please let the Minister know that conservation of native plants in Alberta is important and that it relies heavily on the information and data available from ACIMS, which can only function properly when well staffed.
ALBERTA CONSERVATION INFORMATION MANAGEMENT SYSTEM [ACIMS] DATA UPDATE
Element Occurrence (EO) data updated to October 2017
ACIMS has updated the Element Occurrence information to October 2017 in the Search Map and downloadable files. Please note the previous files (dated July 2015) are now outdated and should no longer be used for searches. The new files must be downloaded.
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