News Release - September 24, 2007
PROVINCIAL PARKS LEGACY UNVEILED
A detailed plan outlining the future direction of the provincial parks system was released today by Premier Lorne Calvert at the Saskatchewan Summit on Tourism.
The Legacy Plan for Provincial Parks outlines a strategic framework, which includes a vision, core values, guiding principles and five strategic outcomes (conservation, recreation, interpretation/learning, green sustainable tourism and collaborative management) for provincial parks.
"Seventy-five years ago on May 1, 1931, Saskatchewan's first six provincial parks were created," Calvert said. "There are now 34 provincial parks and another 162 designated park lands that protect and preserve our natural and cultural heritage. The parks legacy framework is a significant step in the development of our provincial parks system as we continue to work together to shape its future."
This year, $3.7 million is being invested in capital and operating funding to ensure park visitors have access to safe, high quality and modernized facilities in a variety of parks. This funding, combined with the $1.5 million from the 2006/07 Budget, brings the total amount invested in the provincial park system to $5.2 million in addition to the parks service base budget.
As an important component of Saskatchewan's Green Strategy, provincial parks will contribute to public understanding and support by serving as practical models of sustainable practices as the Green Strategy is implemented.
"Our provincial parks are major tourist attractions," Environment Minister John Nilson said. "Last year, they had more than 2.5 million visits, which is above average compared to the last few years. Parks generated $129 million for local and provincial economies. The investments we are making now will enhance our parks and help ensure we can pass this valuable inheritance on to our young people."
The framework was developed with input from provincial park users, lessees, business people, residents of communities near provincial parks and environmental and other groups. Consultations in each provincial park this summer provided valuable feedback on the priorities and green initiatives on a park-by-park basis.
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