March 30 2020

Honourable Jason Nixon
Minister of Environment and Parks, House Leader
Office of the Minister Environment and Parks
323 Legislature Building
10800 – 97 Avenue
Edmonton, AB
T5K 2B6

Dear Minister Nixon,

On behalf of the Alberta Hiking Association representing 21 hiking clubs and many individual members, we are contacting your office to express our concern at the recent announcement by your government entitled “Optimizing Alberta Parks”.

The AHA is disappointed to learn that you are planning to implement a substantial number of cuts to park operations and visitors centres that will diminish quality, availability and opportunity for a large sector of the population. Alberta is internationally renowned for its recreational environment that provides equal opportunity and access for people to enjoy our outdoor spaces.

Limiting grooming of key trails in Kananaskis country, privatizing the maintenance of public recreation areas, limiting access for critical sectors of the population, like seniors, appears to be short sighted and will have limited impact on the present provincial budget deficit. It will, however, have a negative and potentially lasting impact on Albertans’ health, our environment and natural spaces as well as our recreation and your government’s goal of doubling tourism by 2030.

We encourage the government to reconsider the proposed optimization plan and engage in consultation with the 1.3 million Albertans who hike, walk and ski for pleasure on our beautiful public lands.

About Alberta Hiking Association:

The Alberta Hiking Association represents 21 hiking clubs and many individual members across Alberta. 1.3 million Albertans hike and walk for pleasure making hiking the leading use of public lands in the province.

Member Clubs:

Calgary Outdoor Recreation Enthusiasts
Calgary Ski Club
Calgary Weekend Hikers
Canmore Seniors Association (Meanderthals)
Evergreen Seniors Outdoor Club Calgary
Edmonton Hikers Group Edmonton
ESSO Annuitant Hiking & Cross Country Ski/Snowshoeing Clubs Calgary
Fifth Dimension Outdoor Club Calgary
Grant MacEwan Mountain Club
M ‘N M Outdoor Club
Red Deer Ramblers
Red Deer
Red Deer River Naturalists
Red Deer
Rocky Mountain Ramblers Association
Second Sixties Outdoor Club
Seniors’ Outdoor Club of Calgary
Skrastins Seniors Outdoor Club
Syncline Castle Trails Association (SCaT) Pincher Creek
Terra Firma Nordegg
Volkssport Association of Alberta
St. Albert
Waskahegan Trail Association
Westwinds Senior Hiking & Outdoor Club


Murray Fierheller, Chair Alberta Hiking Association

Phone: (780) 986-2372