Issue Brief: The Trails Act (Bill 79)

On November 2, 2021, the Government of Alberta introduced The Trails Act (Bill 79) to ostensibly "modernize the trails framework and will allow for more trails and adjacent areas to be conserved and enjoyed by Albertan." While conservation groups largely agree that Alberta's trails management system needs to be improved and modernized, they remain unconvinced that Bill 79 is the solution. Concerns about the proposed legislation include the transfer of power over public lands to private organizations, the failure to prioritize ecological integrity of the landscape in the absence of completed land use plans in much of the province, the lack of meaningful public consultation, and the seemingly unconstrained use of discretionary Ministerial power to make environmental policy. Groups also noted that the government failed to impose a promised trail fee on off-highway vehicle users.

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