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LETTER: Lack of consultation on Riverlot 56 unacceptable

"This area is a historic, recognized and protected ecological resource and should not be a political pawn."
letter-sta
We are very concerned that a historical resource such as Riverlot 56 Natural Area is being considered for removal from the Alberta Parks system because it is “underutilized” and a “steward” is required. Perhaps the UCP government is not aware that:

• The Riverlot 56 Natural Area is one of the original parcels of land divided during the settlement of the region in the early 1900s.

• Since 1980, the Riverlot 56 Natural Area Society each year organizes various ecological and fun events including the planting of over 600 spruce trees by school students and volunteers in 2015.

• In 1987, Riverlot 56 received a designation of protection by the Canadian Council on Ecological Areas and is a Category II protected area under the International Union for the Conservation of Nature.

• A number of University of Alberta biological studies have been undertaken in the area over the years, beginning in 1971, including one of mammals and birds which found at least 86 species of birds and numerous mammals inhabit or frequent the area.

• Each winter, the St. Albert Nordic Ski Club (STANSKI), a group of volunteers, groom trails in and around the woods and fields for cross-country skiing.

As you can see, the Riverlot 56 Natural Area Society and the volunteers from the St. Albert Nordic Ski Club take a continued interest and stewardship of the natural area. This area is a historic, recognized and protected ecological resource and should not be a political pawn.

The lack of consultation about Riverlot 56 Natural Area is unacceptable. Why is the UCP government looking for a “steward” and not consulting with the local Riverlot 56 Natural Area Society that has been looking after the natural area as a steward since 1980?

Lynne and Lou Duigou, St. Albert




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