This release was issued under a previous government.

The Government of Alberta has proposed a mix of parks and public lands in the Bighorn region that would preserve natural landscapes while creating new opportunities for economic development, tourism and recreation in the region.

“Albertans are deeply passionate about the Bighorn, one of the most stunning landscapes on Earth. It is beloved by many for everything it provides, including clean water, abundant natural resources and many opportunities for adventures and relaxation. We continue to listen to Albertans’ feedback and hope you will bring your passion and knowledge to the table as we work together to build a plan that will ensure the region is enjoyed for generations to come.”

Shannon Phillips, Minister of Environment and Parks

Government engagement has already reached more than 30,000 people, as well as municipalities, recreation groups, small businesses and industrial operators. In order to gather more feedback, the Bighorn Country consultation period has been extended to Feb. 15 and three telephone town halls have been scheduled.

Telephone town halls will be held:

Tuesday, Jan. 15
Drayton Valley, Sundre and surrounding area
6:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.

Wednesday, Jan. 16
Red Deer and surrounding area
6:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.

Thursday, Jan. 24
6:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.

Dial-in information will be made available shortly.

The government is re-evaluating engagement plans and exploring rescheduling public information drop-in sessions.

In the meantime, people can continue to review the proposal and provide feedback online by visiting The deadline for submitting feedback is Feb. 15.

Quick facts

  • Bighorn Country includes public lands from the boundary of Banff National Park eastward towards Drayton Valley. It includes Clearwater County, most of Brazeau County and the current Bighorn Backcountry management area.
  • The Bighorn region is recognized for its scenic beauty and natural diversity. It includes scenic mountains and foothills, rare plants and key habitat for numerous species at risk such as grizzly bear, wolverine, harlequin duck, Athabasca rainbow trout and bull trout.
  • The headwaters of the North Saskatchewan River and Red Deer River are located within Bighorn Country, providing clean drinking water to more than one million Albertans.
  • Sharing this busy landscape is a wide variety of recreation and tourism activities. Hunting and fishing are popular, as well as camping, hiking, off-highway vehicle use, horseback riding, ice climbing and cross-country skiing.
  • The Bighorn Country proposal includes new, expanded or amended parks, protected areas and public land use zones. This system of public lands is intended to provide a range of opportunities that suits the settings and demands of the region.
  • The proposal means no significant change to recreation activities, but offers $40 million in new investment to improve services and infrastructure such as campsites, parking lots, trails and staging areas.
  • The proposal supports continued practice of traditional uses and the exercise of treaty rights by Indigenous Peoples.