Jason Nixon, Rimbey-Rocky Mountain House-Sundre MLA, hosted a town hall meeting on Wednesday about the future of the Bighorn Backcountry. (Facebook photo)

Rumours around future of Bighorn Backcountry worry ATV users

Though rumours abound about the future of Bighorn Backcountry, a town hall meeting was held to talk about what is happening with the protected area.

Cal Rakach, a member of the Bighorn Heritage ATV Society, was one of the presenters at the meeting put on by Jason Nixon, MLA for Rimbey-Rocky Mountain House-Sundre, Wednesday at Dovercourt Hall, located halfway between Rocky Mountain House and Caroline.

Nixon said the NDP needs to meet with Albertans and “communicate with people impacted by their decisions to hide from them. Very disappointed no one from the government participated.”

The meeting, held at Dovercourt Hall, was to talk about the future of the Bighorn Backcountry and Alberta’s Eastern Slopes.

Groups such as the Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative and the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society have lobbied the government to increase environmental protections for the area, located west of Rocky Mountain House.

For ATV and other motor vehicle users, that could reduce where they can use their vehicles.

ATV users, like Rakach, have put in about $1.3 million worth of time, equipment, energy and materials into building bridges, trails and toilets over the past 15 years.

“This has only just begun,” said Rakach. “We held the open house to bring people up to speed as to what has been going on in the Bighorn. There’s a great big unknown, that we don’t know what the government is going to do.”

Rakach said they are waiting for the release of the Regional Advisory Council’s report for the area. It is part of the North Saskatchewan Region’s planning process.

“That unknown is driving a lot of the frustration,” said Rakach, who said he’s been involved with the area since it became a public land use zone in 2002. “In our view it is protected as a public land use zone. It has all the protections in place. Some people just don’t want motors.”

The Bighorn Backcountry is one of four areas part of the Love Your Headwaters petition and letter-writing campaign, a push to protect western areas of the province by the Yellowstone to Yukon Initiative.



mcrawford@reddeeradvocate.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

More police presence in Red Deer’s downtown starts this month

“We recognize… that citizens are concerned about safety,” said Mayor Veer

Red Deer RCMP look for fraud suspect

Purse stolen from fitness locker

One strong wind leaves years of replanting work for Red Deer parks staff

High visibility boulevards already replanted, neighbourhood work starts next year

Red Deer-area indigenous filmmakers invited to apply for $20,000 grant

Storyhive launches Indigenous Storyteller Edition

Restaurant closed after compliance team patrol

Public Safety Compliance Team checked eight bars and restaurants on Oct. 19

WATCH: Make-A-Wish grants Star Wars loving teen’s wish

The Make-A-Wish Foundation granted Anakin Suerink’s wish in Red Deer Saturday afternoon

Montreal Alouettes defensive lineman Woody Baron co-authors children’s book

TORONTO — Woody Baron finds the spectre of tangling with a hulking… Continue reading

Sundin not surprised Leafs asking stars to take less money to stay together

TORONTO — Mats Sundin isn’t surprised the Toronto Maple Leafs are asking… Continue reading

Anywhere but Washington: Why DC stories rarely film in DC

WASHINGTON — It’s a hobby among District of Columbia locals: Picking apart… Continue reading

‘Halloween’ scares up $77.5 million in ticket sales

LOS ANGELES — Forty years after he first appeared in theatres, Michael… Continue reading

iPhone XR makes the right trade-offs for a cheaper price

NEW YORK — Apple offers you a simple trade-off with its new… Continue reading

BMW to recall 1.6 million vehicles worldwide over fire risk

FRANKFURT — Automaker BMW says it is expanding a recall to cover… Continue reading

Calgary awaits federal financing on 2026, Notley suggests IOC could pay more

CALGARY — With the clock ticking towards a Calgary vote on hosting… Continue reading

Toronto Mayor John Tory cruises to victory; tech issues extend voting elsewhere

Toronto Mayor John Tory easily won re-election on Monday after a spirited… Continue reading

Most Read