Reaction to Ron Orr’s Letter
I am writing to voice my opposition regarding the concept of creating a provincial park in the Bighorn area which would target these zones or PLUZs: Blackstone Wapiabi, Dormer Sheep, Job/Cline, Kiska/Wilson, Panthers Corners, Upper Clearwater/Ram.
I am a 66 year old avid outdoors enthusiast, fisherman, hunter, and until joint issues have been a keen hiker as well. I have spent a good portion of my life since the age of 16 fishing and camping in many of the areas described above. Since my daughters were very young, our family loved to random camp, hike and fish in the Eastern slopes.
Now they have children, and the family tradition of responsible random camping, and fishing in these areas continues. But sadly, more and more of this country is being cordoned off to become practically inaccessible. Due to joint issues, I now use a quad to putt down trails to my favourite fishing holes on the creeks and rivers I love.
But now, a lot of this water is closed to our family due to area and trail closures. It appears that the Alberta government’s agenda is to ensure that much of this gorgeous back country is only to be seen by camping in a provincial park that many families cannot afford to stay in.
Then there are the many people who have never set foot in this country who sign petitions demanding closures. When my grandson and I are fishing along rivers such as the North Ram, I have never seen any of these people out enjoying these beautiful spots on our planet.
So many people make rash decisions because they see a distasteful picture of a quad going through a mud puddle on Facebook. I would be the first to admit that there are irresponsible people who leave garbage, tear up sensitive terrain, and etcetera.
The vast majority of the PLUZ users are very responsible folks who care dearly about the well-being of these areas. When I pull into a random camping area, 90 per cent of the time it has been left in immaculate condition.
If not, we go about cleaning it up ourselves. We are the caretakers of the west country; not these people who look at it via Facebook or are members of small special extremist interest groups with their own sole agendas in mind.
Thank you for reading about my concerns regarding these issues, but even if it is not obvious; I am far from alone regarding changes to the use within these special spots in our province.