Seize on pandemic-fuelled enthusiasm for outdoors to expand protected wilderness, former parks chief urges

In recent weeks, Alberta’s government has moved to add user fees to some of its protected areas, citing the conservation needs from increased visitors seeking to get out of the city

Author of the article:Tyler DawsonPublishing date:May 03, 2021  •  2 days ago  •  4 minute read  •   19 Comments

A hiker looks at Lake O’Hara, located in Yoho National Park, in this undated handout image.
A hiker looks at Lake O’Hara, located in Yoho National Park, in this undated handout image. PHOTO BY THE CANADIAN PRESS

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EDMONTON — A former Parks Canada head says governments should look to expand protected wilderness in Canada, seizing on the enthusiasm for the outdoors that has emerged during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I think it does help alleviate the potential impacts on existing parks and I think it creates new opportunities for people to connect with nature,” said Alan Latourelle, who headed the federal agency between 2002 and 2015. “We have a base of public support that we should seize at this time.”

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