The Outdoor Recreation Coalition of Alberta (ORCA) applauds the announcement by the Government of Alberta to create the Bighorn Wildland Park in a multi-use recreation zone called the Bighorn Country. By creating the Bighorn Country just west of Rocky Mountain House and adjacent to Banff and Jasper National Parks, the Gov’t of Alberta has successfully addressed the outdoor recreation needs of thousands of campers, hikers, naturalists, equestrians, hunters, anglers and back-country hiking enthusiasts who love quiet spaces and truly unique wilderness experiences.
‘As a provincial group providing a voice for ‘quiet recreation’ (non-motorized) users in land-use and recreation management planning, we couldn’t be more delighted with this outcome’ says Al Black of the Outdoor Recreation Coalition of Alberta (ORCA). ‘The new wildland park is testament to progressive thinking from the Gov’t of Alberta, who are taking the recreation needs of the majority of Albertans to heart, and doing something about it.’
Edmonton resident and avid outdoor recreationist, David Wasserman, is supportive of the new wildland park. “This wonderful area represents the closest mountain and foothill hiking available to Edmontonians and those living in the Red Deer area, and we believe north and central Albertans should have the same hiking opportunities as provided by Kananaskis Country for Calgarians.”
“The beauty and diversity of the Bighorn is without question a jewel for responsible recreation use and for conservation of our most precious assets – wild mountain beauty, clear mountain lakes and streams, abundant wildlife and wonderful opportunities for outdoor recreation users” says Connie Simmons, who has recreated in the Bighorn backcountry since the 1980’s. ‘The Bighorn has been a focus for youth outdoor education and adventure travel for decades’ she says, ‘it has continued to foster a strong connection to the beauty and wonder of wild Alberta, and to provide great learning experiences in what sustainable recreation needs to be.’
ORCA commends the Government of Alberta for this important announcement – the creation of the Bighorn Wildland Park provides a quiet recreation destination for thousands of Albertans, from Edmonton to Red Deer, Calgary and beyond. It is a provincial treasure.