More than thirty former biologists have urged the Alberta government to maintain conservation efforts in the vast district of West Central Albertia despite being called misinformation by a member of the opposition in the legislature.
"We were very concerned about misinformation, inflamed rhetoric and the lack of a long-term vision that the perspective is being provided by Beyonne," said Lorne Fitch, a longtime biologist for fisheries and a professor at the University of Calgary, who is one 37 signatories to an open letter to Prime Minister Rachel Neilly and Minister of Environment Shannon Phillips.
In November, the New Democrats released eight new parks covering 4,000 square kilometers along the eastern edges of the Banff and Jasper national parks in the so-called Beijour country.
It has mountains, foothills, forests, lakes, streams and the main waters of the North Saskatchewan River, for which more than one million inhabitants of Alberta depend on drinking water.
The area is considered a protection since the 1980s and its core remains relatively free from energy, forestry and agriculture.
The plan requires various allowed activities and offers over $ 40 million in five years for camps and other infrastructure.
Off-road vehicles, horse packaging and hunting will continue, albeit with new restrictions.
The paths for grazing will continue. There are no existing paths to be closed.
But Jason Nixon, a member of the United Conservative Party for the area, said the New Democrats rejected an ongoing consultation process to stem the plan ahead of the spring elections ahead of schedule.
"We can go back to the regional planning process, which worked great," he said. "There is no need to hurry with this before the election".
This process recommended conservation areas very similar to the proposed Biyorn Parks, areas that were first listed as early as 1988.
The plan remains open for public comment by the end of January. Fourteen public and informative public call sessions were scheduled in five communities between December and January 31.
Further consultations are planned through spring.
However, Nixon said many people remain uncertain about the impact of the plan on industry and land use, and suggest that it may take another year to collect entry.
He said the government rely too heavily on information from environmental protection groups and recently opened the process.
"There are many people who are worried," he said.
Fitch said that the signatories of the letter, who have held the highest jobs to maintain Alberta and have more than 1,000 years of experience among them, believe the action is now needed.
He said the density of the tracks and resource roads in Bigorne is probably already much higher than the level of environmental damage.
"We already see the effects of this, especially the trout," he said.
In the letter, which he calls the Bighorn proposal appropriately, he suggests that there are restrictions on Alberta's natural resources and "we
overdo them to our peril.
"Unfortunately, this is not a common perception or popularity," the letter said. "Our landscapes and basins are neglected, we expect too much of them and they decompose on the edges.
"It can not be free for everyone".