Saskatoon Mountain Natural Area is on an elevation of land (150-metres above surrounding lands) located about 30-km west of Grande Prairie, and is home to plants and animals that are more commonly found in wetter foothills regions, making it unique in the Grande Prairie area. The Natural Areas classification does not have regulations to manage recreational activity occurring at the park. Lack of regulatory tools has resulted in the threat to the area’s ecological value and public safety. The County of Grande Prairie has made repeated requests to the Government of Alberta to designate Saskatoon Mountain Natural Area as a Provincial Recreation Area (PRA) in order to provide greater protection and management of the land base.
Alberta Parks conducted public consultation from July 13 to August 11, 2014 on the proposal to expand and reclassify Saskatoon Mountain Natural Area. The majority of feedback supported the expansion and reclassification and as a result of this feedback Alberta Parks is moving forward with the proposal. To learn more about the results of the public consultation please see “What We Heard”.
The reclassification to a PRA resulted from public input showing strong support for the continuation of off-highway vehicle activity and hunting in this location. Reclassification and expansion will provide the regulatory tools needed to improve public safety and enhance visitor experience, while continuing to allow hunting and off-highway vehicles on designated trails. The reclassification will also allow for the development of new nature-based recreation opportunities, including the potential for a future electrified campground.
As part of the reclassification of the site, a small amount of adjoining vacant public lands (additional 311 hectares) will be added to the PRA. These lands had been previously identified as suitable for addition to the PRA and have been on hold for the protection of ecological values since 1983. The expansion will also enable a single set of regulations to apply to the whole area of Saskatoon Mountain and provide clarity for recreation users.
Alberta Parks would like to thank the County of Grande Prairie who supported the project, and to thank everyone who participated in the public consultation.
Disclaimer: We thank you for providing your input. Those who submit feedback will not be contacted individually regarding their submission.