South Peace News
Central Peace – Notley MLA Todd Loewen is committed to several priorities the premier has given him as the minister of forestry and parks.
Loewen has been directed by Premier Danielle Smith in her mandate letter to continue to offer a high quality of life and opportunity for increased access to recreation, says a news release dated July 21.
“Alberta has some of the most beautiful landscapes in the world,” Loewen says.
“Ensuring safe, reliable and broad access to our parks and public lands for work and recreation will allow everyone to enjoy Alberta’s unique backyard.
“Providing responsible stewardship for our Crown lands and forests and securing their long-term health, beauty and longevity is work that I am privileged to lead.
“Alberta Forestry and Parks will continue to care for the places Albertans and our neighbours enjoy the most.”
Loewen has been directed to:
-Work with Finance Minister Nate Horner and Jobs, Economy and Trade Minister Matt Jones, who is the lead, to develop an incentive program for the forestry industry similar to the Agri-Processing Investment Tax Credit.
-Bring stakeholders together to develop a Crown land recreation and conservation strategy to expand public access while protecting natural spaces.
-Develop and implement a plan for more than 900 new campsites and several new locations for comfort camping over the next 10 years.
-Enable opportunities to expand trails, campsites and other public land use by Alberta entrepreneurs and other organizations.
-Invest an additional $5 million in trail upgrades for Kananaskis Country and building new trails and campgrounds across Alberta.
Loewen has also been directed to:
-Shorten timelines for permit and licence approvals in all areas of the ministry.
-Develop a plan with industry to use active forestry and grasslands management techniques to maintain the health and biodiversity of provincial lease lands and provide nature-based solutions for carbon sequestration.
-Design a ministry-specific job-attraction strategy that raises awareness for young Albertans ages 16-24 and adults changing careers of the skilled trades and professions available in each economic sector, including pathways for education, apprenticeship and training.
-Explore best ways to improve infrastructure and services to Kananaskis, Canmore, Waiparous Creek, Crowsnest Pass and other high-traffic recreational areas.