The South Saskatchewan Regional Plan is finished. Here’s how the final version reflects your feedback.

SSRP banner

The SSRP has been a long time in the making. Over three phases of consultation we heard from 7,500 Albertans and received 2,000 online workbooks and written submissions.

The views and ideas we heard were diverse to say the least (you can check out all the summaries of the consultation sessions here). But there were also some concerns and ideas that we heard in almost every community we visited. We’ve made changes based on those comments.

Today, we’re happy to announce that the SSRP has been finalized. Here are some of the changes we’ve made to reflect your feedback: SSRP sign Taber 2013

  • More land for the Castle Wildland Provincial Park (now 54,588 hectares) and Pekisko Heritage Rangeland (34,356 hectares)
  • A formal commitment to work with our stakeholders to explore conservation opportunities in the Twin River and Onefour Heritage Rangeland Natural Areas of the grasslands
  • Improved connectivity for wildlife habitats, both within the South Saskatchewan region and connecting to other regions
  • A commitment to explore new tools and incentives for stewardship and conservation on private land
  • Longer terms for grazing leases (20 years instead of 10)

That’s not all that’s in the plan, of course. It’s a blueprint for how we’ll balance development in the South Sask region with protecting its resources – so it sets objectives for conservation; monitoring and environmental management; biodiversity; recreation; private land stewardship; recreation – and lots more.

If you’d like the full scoop on the plan, you can check it out here. Over the next few weeks, we’ll be blogging about some of the ‘hot topics’ that came up at our SSRP community sessions, explaining how the finished plan will address the concerns that we heard. We’ll talk about:

  • How we decide where to create new conservation areas
  • What wildlife habitat connectivity means and why it’s important
  • Protections for the region’s grasslands
  • What the SSRP means for recreation
  • Tools for private land stewardship and conservation
  • What’s next for air and water quality frameworks in the region, and how they’ll impact monitoring

Is there a topic you’d like to see covered? Tell us in the comments!

7 thoughts on “The South Saskatchewan Regional Plan is finished. Here’s how the final version reflects your feedback.

  1. As a born and raised Albertan and P.C. supporter I,m dismayed by the passing of the SSRP in favor of what existed. The Province already has more parks along the Rocky Mountains than it has public access lands.I believe the Minister fell in with non Albertan groups and would like to see him resign or be fired for the Government for what he`s done to the average Albertan!

    • Hi Chuck – thanks for sharing your thoughts with us. If you’d like to see the feedback that we received from Albertans during the consultations, you can take a look at the summaries that we posted after each consultation session. These summaries indicate which Albertan organizations, businesses, and other groups were represented at each session, and what opinions we heard. You can find a list of all the summaries here: http://aesrd.wordpress.com/category/ssrp/

      – Jackie

  2. I spent the weekend camping out in the wiaparous valley only to be surrounded by cows, and their manure. I can’t believe they are giving cattle more and longer access to the limited recreation land. When will the government ever recognize that public recreation has a place in Alberta. It should not just be land for just logging, cattle and oil.

    • Hi Corey – thanks for sharing your concerns with us. The area you spent time in sounds like it’s part of the Forest Reserve. Although there are some long-standing Forest Reserve Grazing Permits issued in the reserve, they’re issued for a limited amount of land. There are no plans to increase the number of permits issued or the length of time that they’re issued for, or to create new areas for grazing.
      – Jackie

  3. My father and I have hunted and camped in the Pekisko rangeland area WMU 310for over thirty years all of which have been on horse back and horse drawn wagon keeping to the trails and respecting all rules. Now we are being told that we can no longer camp in the area due to the newly implemented laws. Two years ago you passed a law allowing hunters to hunt on Sunday’s & extending more time for hunters who cannot hunt during the weekday. Then there were restrictions on how many hunters could hunt per day on leased property.
    It seems as though all of these rules are being put in to place to make it extremely difficult for the average working citizen to enjoy hunting and to utilize public crown leased land! We have the right to respectfully enjoy the land , as we’ve done so for over thirty years. The future looks rather grim for future generations to enjoy this beautiful land as we have. It’s very disheartening that it’s been made so difficult to do so.

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