Alberta Mirror

Thursday, December 9, 2021

Scientists declare latest Alberta trails act threatens so far underlined environment

Key takeaways: 

  • Alberta scientists state Trails Act mirrors an ongoing issue in Alberta talks. 

Alberta’s new Trails Act reflects on a similar problem: 

Alberta scientists and environmentalists state offered legislation governing back nation trails on citizen lands will thwart attempts to recover nature and add one more stressor to a so far overtaxed landscape. 

Environment Minister Jason Nixon has declared the trails act, expecting second reading in the legislature, will not block any trials and will place out a way for the current ones. 

But the parts of the region are so far over legitimate thresholds for so-called “linear disturbances,” anything from a way to a cutline to the pathway. And several wonder how the bill’s aim to open current access will mesh with Alberta’s vows to claim back surging rare habitats. 

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“What’s missing from the Trails Act is trail closures in sensitive wildlife habitat,” stated Mark Boyce, a University of Alberta biologist. Source – cbc.ca

Nixon made a point of explaining there would not be endings when he initiated the bill. 

“This will provide an increase in designated trails that meet environmental standards,” he said. “What this act does not do is close trails.” Source – cbc.ca

But almost four peer-reviewed, government-funded researches have ended that road and trail density is so far hurting populations of animals such as caribou, grizzly bears and bull trout. That’s mainly true in the region’s southwestern foothills and mountains, where off-highway automobile utilization has long been famous. 

“You go on almost any quad trail, you aren’t going to go all that far before you have to cross a stream somewhere,” said Boyce, who uses an off-highway vehicle himself. “Most of those are big mudholes.”  Source – cbc.ca

“By designating trails and drawing recreation use to the desired trail network, the Trails Act will help prevent damage to public land that may result from the use of unintentional trails,” he wrote. Source – cbc.ca

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