Alberta’s government has tabled amendments to the Public Lands Act that would better conserve these lands, protect public safety and ensure Alberta’s wild and beautiful destinations are sustained now, and in the future.
If passed, Bill 64, the Public Lands Amendment Act, 2021, will enable the government to collect fees for recreation on public lands. In turn, this investment would go directly back into improving visitor experience while conserving and maintaining public land.
Along with amendments, the government is announcing its intention to implement a Public Land Camping Pass on June 1, along the Eastern Slopes. This pass was a 2019 platform commitment and was included in Budget 2021 as part of Alberta’s common-sense conservation plan. Fees collected would be used to upgrade infrastructure, improve education, fund conservation officers on the ground, enhance public safety and ensure better environmental and waste management.
“Alberta’s Crown lands are the foundation of our province’s rich, natural heritage and are used for recreation, conservation and economic development. Bill 64 will ensure that Crown land recreation is sustainably funded and will help conserve our wild and beautiful landscapes for generations to come.”
“We are pleased to support Minister Nixon with the introduction of this needed legislation. Albertans who recreate and enjoy our beautiful backcountry have long been in favour of a user-pay system to help manage the landscape, and to reinvest funds into the areas we love. A user-pay system is the most fair and responsible way to ensure that our backcountry get-aways, whether we are camping or riding, are maintained to a high and environmentally responsible standard.”
“Clearwater County fully supports the province’s implementation of a low-cost fee and investment of these fees into conservation and management of public lands. The county appreciates the province’s proposed legislation. A random camping fee revenue would provide an essential source of funding to ensure public lands have sufficient facilities and services to respond to increasing visitor demands.”
“Outdoor enthusiasts from around the world cherish Alberta’s wilderness. With increased pressure every year in our backyard from visitors, a Public Land Camping Pass means we can provide sustainable reinvestment on public lands for the boots on the ground needed to promote better conservation and waste management.”
“RMA applauds Alberta Environment and Parks for creating a fee program for backcountry random camping that will support responsible use of Alberta’s public lands. The program provides for an important revenue stream that will be invested directly in the safety, services, and protection of our public lands. Albertans have a tremendous passion for maintaining this critical recreation opportunity and this program will allow for improvement and sustainability of this important backcountry experienced by many Albertans.”
Alberta’s Crown Land Vision was introduced in November 2020 to guide improvements to Alberta’s Crown land management system over the coming years and support solutions to make outdoor recreation more sustainable. In the first public engagement on Alberta’s Crown Land Vision, which focused on sustainable recreation on Crown land, two-thirds of respondents were supportive or neutral of fees to help maintain and protect Crown land.
- A Public Land Camping Pass would be required by individuals aged 18 and over when random camping on public land in the Eastern Slopes.
- The Public Land Camping Pass would be $20 per person for a three-day pass and $30 per person for an annual pass.
- Passes would be available for purchase online at albertarelm.com and at the same locations where fishing and hunting licences are sold.
- The Public Land Camping Pass will not apply to the exercise of rights and traditional uses by First Nations, Métis communities or Aseniwuche Winewak Nation.