Sask. could soon be home to new provincial park
Published Wednesday, November 7, 2012 6:29PM CST
Last Updated Thursday, November 8, 2012 11:30AM CST
Saskatchewan could soon be home to a new provincial park.
A bill introduced Wednesday at the Saskatchewan Legislature calls for the creation of a park near Anglin and Emma Lakes.
Kevin Dougherty is the minister of parks, culture and sport. “There are two reasons for a provincial park. One is to provide recreational opportunities for the people of Saskatchewan and our tourists. The second issue is one that's extremely important, as important is the conservation of lands that go inside a provincial park."
In addition to the current recreational areas, the new park will also include almost 13,000 hectares of adjacent crown land bringing the total size to about 160 square kilometres.
Tourism operators in the area, like Karen Wasylyk of Flora Bora Forest Lodging, are optimistic, but cautious, about what it will mean for their businesses.
“It's good for the environment that there's going to be this protected habitat. I feel that it's going to draw more attention to the area. And hopefully, what'll be good for us maybe is that there's going to be more things for our guests to do, more hiking trails, more amenities. That's what we're hoping for,"
There are currently 294 campsites in the park area and the government is considering expanding.
"The only concern is maybe subsidized accommodation, which could be a direct competition to us. Otherwise, we'll just have to see what happens with what comes along and hopefully we'll be in discussion with them if they want to do something along those lines,” says Wasylyk.
Some provincial parks in Saskatchewan do offer indoor accommodations, but there is no indication so far that option is being explored at the new park..
The government says they will be consulting with local communities, Aboriginal groups and school children before deciding on a final name for the new provincial park.