Table of contents

Status: Bill 79 was introduced November 2, 2021
Ministry responsible: Environment and Parks

Overview

Bill 79, the Trails Act, would support trails on public land to adapt to the growing demand of outdoor recreation for tourism and business.

If passed, Bill 79 will update the legal framework to align trails and their management with how trails are currently used, helping ensure the sustainability of our trails so that they will be enjoyed for years to come.

The legislation for trails on public land has been in place since 1979 and does not adequately cover how trails are now used. Over the past 40 years, trails have seen an increase in recreation use and the introduction of OHVs, along with a growing awareness of the need for environmental sustainability.

The proposed Trails Act is a key priority of the Alberta Crown Land Vision and our common-sense conservation plan which aims to find the right balance between conservation, recreation, and economic use while respecting the needs of communities and Indigenous peoples.

Key changes

If passed, The Trails Act and associated amendments to the Public Lands Act will:

  • establish a system for sustainable trail management on public land
  • allow for the designation of trails for specific uses, such as hiking or riding an OHV
  • improve trail planning to consider other land uses and values
  • provide enforcement tools to prevent environmental damage and promote stewardship of the land
  • promote a bigger role for partners in trail maintenance
  • strengthen trail protections so all Albertans can enjoy them for years to come

Next steps

If passed, the Trails Act will take effect upon proclamation, except for the Trail Management Plan requirement which will take effect May 2022.

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