Tags: Protecting the Environment

Posted on Mar 6, 2017

Setting the record straight on rumoured Edson ATV ban

ATV

By Eric Rosendahl, MLA for West Yellowhead.

Recently, a concerned constituent came to me with a wild rumour. The NDP government, he’d heard, was planning on banning ATV use west of Edson.

This was definitely not true!

As an outdoor enthusiast and avid ATV user, he was very worried, and I was glad to set him straight. There are absolutely no plans to ban off-highway vehicles (OHVs) in the area west of Edson.

It’s tempting to react to rumours and innuendo. I want to make sure my constituents, and all Albertans, have correct information.

In this age of social media, we’re more bombarded than ever by baseless rumours, misrepresentations and outright falsehoods. It’s always been easy to get things wrong. But it seems easier than ever to get caught up in misinformation or innuendo.

I’d like to set people straight on another thing: Environment and Parks Minister Shannon Phillips understands that many Albertans love OHVs. She’s talked to people with mobility issues who use OHVs to enjoy places that would otherwise be inaccessible. She knows how Alberta families connect to nature and each other on off-highway vehicle trips. And she knows responsible OHV users are also careful stewards of the environment.

Alberta has seen a population spike in the past decades. Our wilderness is under more pressure than ever from all forms of recreation. In a time of competition for limited resources, the Alberta government is working hard to find the balance between conservation, recreation and resource development. Alberta‘s future depends on it.

That’s why we need to invest more in constructive dialogue and less in baseless rumours. This government is open to listening and will always seek feedback before making major changes. I’m always happy to have discussions with concerned constituents. We can talk about the future of OHV use in future years, and how this government might support bridge building, trail maintenance and enforcement.

If anyone in West Yellowhead has a concern about this issue or anything else, don’t hesitate to get in touch with me at 780-865-9796 or West.Yellowhead@assembly.ab.ca.

It’s tempting to react to rumours and innuendo. I want to make sure my constituents, and all Albertans, have correct information.

First published in the Hinton Parklander, March 6, 2017.