LETTER: MLA Ron Orr misleads readers on Bighorn area

Past Conservative government recommended establishment of recreation and conservation areas

Dear Editor,

In response to Mr. Orr’s op-ed in the Ponoka News (Sept. 12), the Alberta Hiking Association (AHA) would like to indicate its strong support for establishment of a wildland park in the Bighorn.

The AHA has more than 20 member clubs across Alberta, including in Nordegg. Hiking is the most common recreational use of public lands in Alberta and more than 1.3 million Albertans walk and hike for pleasure. AHA members have volunteered on the Bighorn Backcountry Standing Committee for many years.

Read More: Reader speaks against MLA Ron Orr’s Bighorn claims

Public consultations via the North Saskatchewan Regional Plan have been underway for more than five years, and public questionnaires and 20 meetings have been held to gather input.

The Regional Advisory Council, made up of local stakeholders by the previous Conservative government recommended establishment of recreation and conservation areas in the Bighorn.

AHA, like other stakeholders eagerly awaits release of the draft plan. It makes no sense that one of the crown jewels of Alberta is not properly managed or resourced as a park and recreation area, and this neglect is starting to show in the lack of basic infrastructure to support increasing recreational use.

A large majority of Albertans support establishment of more parks for recreation and conservation. Parks support public use and recreation. Wildland parks allow virtually all recreational uses including hiking, horseback riding, hunting and ATV use on designated trails.

They prevent industrial uses, like coal mining, of which leases exist in the Bighorn. Unfortunately, Mr Orr’s op-ed includes substantial misleading information that seeks to polarize rather than advance recreation and conservation management in the Bighorn.

Murray Fierheller

Chairperson Alberta Hiking Association

Just Posted

Dual credit benefiting WCPS students

School division working on expanding program into nursing, business studies

Splash Park work has “minor rain delay”

The recent downpours may mean the work on the Splash Park will… Continue reading

This year’s infield acts at the Ponoka Stampede

Niki Flundra, CrAsh Cooper return, hoop dancing added

Swimming, biking and running to victory

PSC student complete triathlon race

10 facts about Father’s Day

Did you know that the special day for dads was first celebrated in 1910?

Update: Two shot, two arrested at Toronto Raptors victory rally

The team and several dignitaries, including Justin Trudeau, remained on stage

Oil and gas sector cautious as deadline on Trans Mountain decision nears

Trudeau government expected to announce whether it will approve pipeline for second time on Tuesday

Feds announce $50M strategy to fight dementia

Emphasis is on prevention and and supporting caregivers

Federal Liberals’ plan to help first-time homebuyers to kick in weeks before election

Ottawa to pick up 5% of a mortgage on existing homes for households that earn under $120,000 a year

No business case for Trans Mountain expansion, says former environment minister

Cabinet is expected to announce its decision on the expansion of the Alberta-to-B.C. pipeline by Tuesday

Alberta Mountie found not guilty of dangerous driving causing pedestrian’s death

RCMP Const. Michelle Phillips also found not guilty of dangerous driving causing bodily harm

Three Albertans land ‘monster’ sturgeon in B.C.’s Fraser River

For angler who landed the exceptionally large sturgeon it was an ‘incredible dream come true’

Toronto Raptors and their diverse team celebrated worldwide

Team is made up of players from the U.S., Canada, Cameroon, the Republic of Congo, and Spain

Most Read