The Alberta government is putting forward $700,000 to construct three back-country huts in Castle Wildland Provincial Park.

The huts will be operated by the Alpine Club of Canada and will create new recreational opportunities and bolster tourism in the southwest Alberta area, Environment Minister Shannon Phillips said Monday as the province announced the plan at Calgary’s downtown MEC.

“This is part of the vision of people being able to access the backcountry, which we know people are doing in increasing numbers,” she said.

The Alpine Club, a registered charity, runs 33 back-country huts, almost all of which are located in the mountain national parks.

These will be the first huts within Alberta’s provincial park system.

Alberta Parks released renderings for a new ACC hut to be built in by the province and operated by the Alpine Club of Canada in the Castle Wildland Provincial Park. The announcement was made at the Mountain Equipment Coop store in Calgary on Monday April 16, 2018. Gavin Young/Postmedia

The NDP government created two provincial parks out of the Castle wilderness area last year.

Phillips said the province is poised to soon make a final decision on its draft management plan for the parks and there will be an announcement on issues such as off-highway vehicle (OHV) use before this year’s camping season gets underway.

The government has said it will phase out OHV use and random camping in the Castle wilderness over five years.

jwood@postmedia.com

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Source:: Calgary Herald

      

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