Public Information Forums: Value of Parks to Neighboring Communities


Monday, October 16, Crowsnest Centre, Blairmore
Tuesday, October 17, Heritage Inn, Pincher Creek

7:00 pm to 9:30 pm
Doors & displays open at 6:30 pm

What is the value of parks to neighboring communities in western North America, including Alberta?

The first park in Alberta's southwest was established in 1895 - Waterton Lakes National Park. Since then, Beauvais Lake (1954) and Police Outpost (1970) provincial parks, three Historic Sites and the Westcastle Wetlands were added to the protected areas system. In 1982 the Alberta Recreation and Parks Minister stated he recognized "the scarcity and sensitivity of the few remaining wildland and recreation areas of southern Alberta." How have such protected areas benefited our communities and what about the future?

Current information on this topic will be presented by three speakers, each with a different set of expertise. A chamber of commerce person, Steve Duerr of Jackson Hole, Wyoming will share his experiences with us from a community next door to internationally renowned national parks. An economist, Jim Johnson of Pacific Analytics Inc. will approach the topic from the view of economic assessments done here in Canada and abroad. An Alberta government official, Scott Jones with the Community Development Department will share information on the contribution of parks within Alberta.


Pincher Creek, Judy Huntley, 627-5950, [email protected]

Co-hosted by Sierra Club of Canada, the "Trail of the Great Bear" ecotourism initiative, Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society, Castle Crown Wilderness Coalition and the Natural Resources Defense Council.

More about the Speakers:

Steve Duerr - presently in law and financial practice, and until this spring, for seven years was the executive director of the Jackson Hole Chamber of Commerce. The Chamber's successful brand is, "Respecting the Power of Place." "The brand is designed to deliver these functional benefits: 1) it builds a sense of connection to the land; 2) it focuses the promotion of tourism; 3) it helps facilitate new economic development; 4) it enhances cooperation between commerce and conservation; and 5) it guides future planning decisions."

Jim Johnson - formerly with the BC Ministry of Finance, is the Managing Principal with Pacific Analytics Inc.; a consulting firm of economists formed in 1990. The firm has completed economic and financial impact analyses regarding tourism and communities for a number of clients in BC and abroad, include assessments of the economic value of wilderness tourism in BC for Tourism BC, the economic impacts of tourism in Jamaica, the economic impacts of expanding Waterton Lakes National Park into south-eastern BC, and various assessments for use in public land and resource management planning processes.

Scott Jones - Manager of Planning with the Parks and Protected Areas Program of Alberta Community Development – the provincial department responsible for human rights, historic resources, recreation and all provincially legislated protected areas in Alberta, including parks and historic sites. Within the Parks and Protected Areas Program, Scott's section is responsible for setting broad strategic direction for all of the Parks and Protected Areas, and has been involved in drafting new policy and legislation, as well as a new vision, mission and goals for the Parks program. Scott is a native Albertan, growing up on a small ranch in the foothills southwest of Okotoks.