Province to announce changes for Kananaskis Country after record-breaking summer season

CALGARY — The provincial government anticipates another busy season in Kananaskis Country as the pandemic and travel restrictions keeps Albertans close to home, and officials are expected to announce initiatives to benefit future use of the provincial park.

More than five million people visited the park in 2020, exceeding the four million average annual visits to Banff National Park.

In a blog post, Alberta Parks says the increased activity has led to issues with inexperienced hikers and campers, garbage and litter, traffic congestion, parking issues and vandalism.

There have been calls for increased enforcement to ensure visitors stick to the trails, keep their dogs on a leash, and clean up their sites before leaving.

The province says all of these factors have added to increased operating costs for maintenance and cleanup.

New user fees for recreation in provincial parks were recently introduced including a $30 fee for backcountry camping.

The province discontinued grooming cross-country ski trails in Peter Lougheed Provincial Park to allow a private contractor to take over.

Environment and Parks Minster Jason Nixon is expected to provide additional details regarding the changes to Kananaskis Country Tuesday afternoon.

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