New Parks Act will mean less protected land: critics

The NDP and conservation groups say proposed changes to Alberta parks will pave the way for more resource development, hunting and off-road vehicles on protected land.

EDMONTON — The NDP and conservation groups say proposed changes to Alberta parks will pave the way for more resource development, hunting and off-road vehicles on protected land.

The government introduced the Alberta Parks Act Thursday, saying it will better balance conservation and recreation.

NDP environment critic Rachel Notley says the bill would give the government the power to make changes to protected areas without public scrutiny.

The Sierra Club says the changes will mean the government will no longer be able to preserve natural landscapes from development.

The Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society says Albertans want more protected parks and land, not less.

Parks Minister Cindy Ady says the new bill will ensure that Albertans have more outdoor recreation opportunities and that exisiting levels of protected areas are preserved.