For South Peace News
Much of the land around Lesser Slave Lake is Crown land. Back in the fall, Alberta Environment and Parks had a survey on how Albertans wanted to use Crown land.
“Two-thirds of respondents were supportive or neutral of fees to help maintain and protect Crown land,” says an April 12 news release.
Bill Criss, president of Slave Lake Snow and Mud Association, filled out the Alberta government’s survey on Crown land use in November. He says he has no problem with paying a fee to use Crown land, as long as the money is used in the area.
On April 12, the provincial government tabled Bill 64 – the Public Lands Amendment Act, 2021. The news release says if passed, the government will be allowed to collect fees for recreation on public lands, that will be invested into “improving visitor experience while conserving and maintaining public land.”
In the news release Chris Brookes, Alberta Snowmobile Association executive director, says “Albertans who recreate and enjoy our beautiful back country have long been in favour of a user-pay system to help manage the landscape, and to reinvest funds into the areas we love. A user-pay system is the most fair and responsible way to ensure that our backcountry getaways, whether we are camping or riding, are maintained to a high and environmentally responsible standard.”
Also, in the news release, the government announced a new Public Land Camping Pass for the eastern slopes of the Rocky Mountains. This does not impact the rest of Alberta.
A Public Land Camping Pass would be required by individuals aged 18 and over when random camping on public land in the eastern slopes. The Public Land Camping Pass would be $20 per person for a three-day pass and $30 per person for an annual pass. Passes would be available for purchase online at albertarelm.com and at the same locations where fishing and hunting licences are sold.
The Public Land Camping Pass will not apply to the exercise of rights and traditional uses by First Nations, Métis communities or Aseniwuche Winewak Nation.