June 21, 2018
50 years is a long time and for AWA it has taken just that long to reach a milestone worth celebrating. Earlier last year, the Alberta government announced the creation of two new provincial parks protecting over 100,000 hectares of critical habitat. Those parks, the Castle Provincial Park and Castle Wildland Provincial Park, are the focus of the second C4W Story, and we’re happy to say it’s good news.
A Part of our History
Since its founding in 1965 in Pincher Creek, AWA has made this area a priority. Known along with Waterton and Glacier Parks as the “Crown of the Continent,” Castle has immense ecological value. Now an area with some of the highest biodiversity in the province has the protection it needs.
The story of Castle Parks shows the value of consistent advocacy, which can take time and resources to get results. 2018 was the 27th Climb for Wilderness, a period of more than half of AWA’s existence. Because of your support, we are able to keep causes like this on the minds of Albertans and our government. This year the Climb raised nearly $100,000. With this story, you can see the result of your generosity.
The Value of the Castle
But why is it worth protecting these areas? Protection for the Castle means that critical habitat for threatened flora and fauna is safe. Fauna like grizzly bears, westslope cutthroat trout, and wolverines along with flora such as the limber and whitebark pines. The parks also provide valuable wildlife corridors, a key part of AWA’s activities. These corridors ensure that species can safely travel between areas like Glacier National Park to other parts of their habitat in the Castle. As the home of the Oldman and South Saskatchewan River basins, this area is also a critical part of our headwaters.
The Castle Parks are rich with life. Not only will their new status ensure they survive, but it also means that we get to enjoy them too. Low impact activities play a key role in the new parks and you can learn more about what they have to offer and the concerns that still exist. Castle now belongs to all of us and is ours to protect.