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1. What is a management plan?
A management plan is a document which sets out objectives and strategies for conservation, development, interpretation and operations of a park for a 10-year period.
A management plan relies on current information about natural values, cultural values, recreational opportunities, and resource activities.
Define how a site will be managed to maintain ecological health and preserve key natural and cultural values
Describe the type and extent of outdoor recreation opportunities, facilities and services that will be permitted
Identify issues, concerns and conflicts, and recommends solutions
Identify boundary amendments, consolidations and reclassifications if required
Recommend effective and efficient allocation and prioritization of fiscal and staff resources
For more information on management planning, please visit:Management Planning
2. Where is the Castle Provincial Park and Castle Wildland Provincial Park and why are these parks important?
The Castle Provincial Park and Castle Wildland Provincial Park are located in the eastern slopes of southern Alberta. These parks border Waterton Lakes National Park and are located within the Crown of the Continent (the area of the Rocky Mountains where Alberta, British Columbia and Montana meet).
This area is an important source to the Oldman River Basin headwaters and is a key area for water protection. It is one of the most biologically diverse areas in Alberta with over 200 rare or at-risk species. These include species like:
westslope cutthroat trout
3. What is the difference between a Wildland Provincial Park and a Provincial Park?
Wildland Provincial Park
A wildland provincial park has the primary purpose of conserving nature while providing opportunities for low-impact nature based outdoor recreation in backcountry or wilderness settings. Wildland provincial parks are relatively undisturbed areas that protect large, ecologically healthy and functioning landscapes.
Visitor experiences focus on backcountry/wilderness travel and appreciation and provide opportunities for solitude and personal challenge. Facilities and services are limited to trails and backcountry camping areas that minimize visitor impacts on the wilderness values.
The expanded wildland provincial park protects important headwaters, wildlife corridors and habitat, while providing backcountry recreation opportunities.
Provincial parks have a primary purpose of conserving nature while offering a wide range of nature-based outdoor recreation opportunities. They typically provide for automobile access and opportunities for recreation and tourism facilities and services, including interpretative information that supports conservation.
Visitor experiences focus on inspiring visitors to connect with nature through leisure, learning or recreation activities that are often supported by built facilities.Provincial parks are typically large enough to maintain ecological functions, while providing for a range of outdoor recreation opportunities.
4. What is the management vision for Castle Provincial Park and Castle Wildland Provincial Park? And what are the key objectives of the draft management plan?
The Castle Provincial Park and Castle Wildland Provincial Park are managed as world-class protected places, employing high standards in conservation, respecting Indigenous rights, and providing sites and facilities for exceptional recreational experiences.
This management vision will be achieved through the development and use of:
Thresholds to inform type and volume human activities.
Measurable and achievable goals.
Evidence-based decision making.
First Nations traditional land use and ecological knowledge.
Collaborative approaches to problem solving.
5. What is the management intent for the Castle Provincial Park and Castle Wildland Provincial Park?
The primary purposes of the Castle Provincial Park and Castle Wildland Provincial Park are to ensure the conservation of nature, the respect of Indigenous rights, and the provision of recreational and tourism experiences.
All management decisions will be consistent with the protection of:
ecological integrity and connectivity.
6. What are the key outcomes of the plan?
The key outcomes of the plan include:
Identification of the appropriate uses and activities in both the Castle Provincial Park and Castle Wildland Provincial Park that are consistent with the conservation values.
Prioritization of areas that require reclamation and restoration as a result of past practices and activities in Castle Provincial Park and Castle Wildland Provincial Park.
Clarity around recreational activities such as off-highway vehicle use, camping and recreational hunting.
Prioritization of additional strategies and actions required to achieve the management objectives identified in the plan.
7. When and what facilities will be developed to support recreational use?
New facility development and the formalization of non-motorized recreational trails is expected to commence in 2018. Available data, local and traditional knowledge, and environmental considerations will be used to guide discussions about facilities and trails with First Nations and stakeholders. The completed management plan and subsequent strategies will direct the types of facilities and trails, including their location and density.
Prior to construction of any facilities, additional processes such as Environmental Reviews, Historic Resources Impact Assessments, First Nations and public consultation may be required.
The wildland provincial park classification does not allow for significant facility and service development, and will provide for low-impact, nature-based recreation. Trail development is being considered. Alberta Parks is developing a world-class, backcountry hut-to-hut system in Castle Wildland Provincial Park in partnership with the Alpine Club of Canada.
The Provincial Park will allow for a wider range of facilities and services, including the potential for picnic areas, staging areas, a higher density trail network, and auto-accessible campgrounds.
8. How were the public and First Nations consulted on the Castle Management Plan
Over 45 meetings were held with stakeholder groups, First Nations communities, and individual Albertans prior to, and during the writing of the draft plan. In the spring of 2017 Albertans were provided a 90-day consultation period to provide their feedback on the draft plan. Extensive feedback on the plan was collected through:
Additional face-to-face meetings were conducted with Indigenous communities of Treaty 6 and 7.
9. How was public and First Nations feedback used in the final Castle Management Plan?
All input provided by the public, stakeholders and First Nations was reviewed and considered.
Due to the very large amount of input provided, all notes and correspondences were coded for themes and statistically analyzed for frequency and tone. Where possible, text in the plan was modified to reflect that input, and in appropriate cases modifications or additions were made to the plan’s content to reflect the results of the consultation.
Overall, results of the consultation showed support for the management plan and its policies. Specific feedback resulted in the following modifications to the plan:
10. How will the new management plan change activities on the land base?
The following activities and land uses that were previously allowed on public lands will be affected:
Off-highway vehicle use: