Designation change for Saskatoon Mountain

By Curtis Galbraith
March 13, 2018 - 4:08pm Updated: March 13, 2018 - 6:01pm

The province has announced a change for the Saskatoon Mountain Natural Area.
 
It is being expanded and reclassified a Provincial Recreation Area.
The County of Grande Prairie had asked for the change.

Reeve Leanne Beaupre says there were a couple reasons the County wanted this change made.

"After (the) radar base was taken away from there, the Mountain itself didn't get quite the same usage and it was starting to be run-down and less-than-desirable activities were happening up there. There (were) a whole bunch of different types of user groups that were actually up, enjoying the amenities of the Mountain, but there was nothing really structured around where they could go and couldn't go."

Hunting and OHV activity on designated trails will still be allowed.

"More of a primitive -type hunting is allowed, bow-and-arrow, black powder. (Off-highway) vehicles will be allowed on certain designated areas as well. It won't be just you can go wherever you want," adds Beaupre. 

Another 311 hectares, which works out to just under 760 acres, of crown land has been added to the designated area. The province says this is to protect the ecosystem and for future development as an Alberta Parks destination.

Changes under reclassification will include the following:

- Strengthened protection of the area supported by stricter rules, regulations and enforcement abilities.

- A management strategy for the area that includes permitted hunting and OHV use.

- Development of a trail network with local motorized and non-motorized user groups. Informal trails that are not designated will be closed and reclaimed.

- Upgrades to day-use facilities, picnic benches, fire pits, and washrooms, with consideration of future development of a campground with electrified sites.  

- Education and awareness campaign around rules and regulations related to the new PRA.

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