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Several Peace Country provincial parks slated to close

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Several provincial parks in the Peace Country will become off-limits to the public. The provincial government is partially and fully closing 20 parks across Alberta as part of changes to its system.

Among those that Albertans will be barred from visiting include Running Lake Provincial Recreation Area near Worsley, Stoney Lake Provincial Recreation Area north of Fairview, Sulphur Lake Provincial Recreation Area an hour north of Peace River, Greene Valley Provincial Park east of Peace River, and Twin Lakes Provincial Recreation Area north of Manning.

Notikewin Provincial Park will be partially closed, which means it will be accessible to the public but without any services. In the Grande Cache area, Smoky River South Provincial Recreation Area will also be partially closed, and Sheep Creek Provincial Recreation Area will be fully closed.

The province says the shut downs will bring cost-savings of $5 million in the 2020 budget. The locations were picked based on an assessment of all sites in the Alberta Parks system.

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Another 164 sites have been earmarked for potential partnerships, as the government is looking to hand off their management. The goal is to focus, rather, on “on renowned signature destinations.”

“Albertans have expressed an interest in taking a more active role in the operation of some areas traditionally run by the province,” says Minister of Environment and Parks Jason Nixon. In order to facilitate this, and to renew our commitment to our ‘crown jewel’ destinations, we will be offering Albertans, non-profits and First Nations the opportunity to work with our government and with parks societies on exploring these important partnerships.”

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