Land Use Planning

Government of Alberta LAND USE FRAMEWORK

AOHVA encourages and supports the development of the Land Use Framework for the respectful enjoyment of the back country, understanding that it is there to protect the environment and wilderness FOR the people of Alberta and not to keep it FROM the people.

AOHVA and responsible OHV users support the creation of multi-use parks. We support a solution that strikes a balance between environmental stewardship and recreation opportunities, and we believe that parks and public spaces in Alberta should be for all Albertans to enjoy - they should be inclusive rather than exclusive.

Over the course of many years, we have worked with non-motorized and motorized groups and we have worked in collaboration with the Government to ensure the tens of thousands of people who use OHVs have an opportunity to ride, fish, hunt and camp responsibly.

While, we are deeply disappointed with the government’s announcements of January 20, 2017 and March 1, 2017, - intending to eventually eliminate all OHV activity and open camping in The Castle, we do believe that we still have an opportunity to come together in support of common goals:

  • To ensure that as many trails as possible within the Castle and across the province remain open to all Albertans.
  • To close illegal trails and trails that threaten environmentally sensitive areas.
  • To place greater emphasis on enforcement so that people who recklessly abuse our wilderness do not tarnish the reputations of those of us who care deeply for it.

AOHVA, in collaboration with other Albertans have repeatedly informed the provincial government of our interest:

  • To rapidly develop the framework for a user-funded, sustainable, environmentally responsible trail network.
  • To create a system that could not only improve Alberta’s environment but also act as a significant economic driver through increased tourism – a model proven successful in other provinces.

Read on for further detail as to how the AOHVA 4-Point Plan will work:

AOHVA 4-Point Plan for Environmentally Responsible OHV Use


AOHVA supports and encourages an open, transparent and collaborative consultation process to develop the land footprint and biodiversity management framework. Our concern is that the current linear target of 0.6 km2 is not based on scientific evidence applicable to the Alberta Landscape. The only methodology used to date appears to be computer modeling based on unscientific variables or data.

Castle Parks

Working Together to Preserve and Enhance the Castle

As an organization dedicated to finding the right balance between conservation and proper use of the outdoors, we know that some key parts of our province may require the reduction or removal of motorized recreation. That said, we take issue with our government’s plans to impose outright bans in certain areas - because it simply doesn’t make sense.

In the Castle, for example, after committing to future motorized access the government now wants none. We believe that a proper balance in the Castle could be achieved; that a very fine trail network could be derived from what exists today. We are not only reasonable in our approach in terms of what we are prepared to compromise on, but we are prepared to demonstrate to all Albertans why our suggested approach is the right and fair thing to do.

At this juncture, it is important for everyone to fully understand the issues, the impacts and the options in providing outdoor recreation opportunities for all Albertans.

Concurrently, AOHVA and our members suggest taking an active role in:

  • Assisting the government in identifying, evaluating and either closing or reclaiming and converting illegal trails to acceptable multi-use trails.
  • Working together to return areas showing the effects of mismanagement to an acceptable condition.

Continuing our work educating the OHV community about acceptable riding practices, rider safety and environmental consideration.


The Government of Alberta is currently enacting the biggest change to land use in the province in 30 years. With that in mind, AOHVA took the opportunity to provide the government with some important insight and information. It is our hope that AOHVA and the Government of Alberta, Environment and Parks will work together to establish a foundation from which to fortify Alberta’s parks and public spaces, ensuring they are places all Albertans can enjoy.

Read more…


The Alberta Committee for Eastern Slopes Stewardship (ACESS) has prepared this proposal for a model of open camping within the Castle Parks area. This proposal is designed to address the existing demand for open (random) access camping within the Castle Parks area in an economically and environmentally sustainable manner to providing the diverse camping experiences Albertans currently engage in.

Read more…

Eastern Slopes

Collaborating on the Eastern Slopes

AOHVA looks forward to working with the government and key stakeholder groups to create a framework that ensures all Albertans have an opportunity to recreate in the many wonderful landscapes of the province.

It is apparent to AOHVA, OHV users and, in fact, to all Albertans that the current interest, activity and decisions made specifically for the Castle area, will quite likely transcend upwards along the entire Eastern Slopes.

Comments made by the government and certain stakeholders in the media and at the recent public information sessions indicate that the government is intent on replicating the model developed for the Castle.

With that in mind, AOHVA encourages the government to hold fast to the principles of a democratic society and to their own philosophy of open, transparent, collaborative governance – alongside and on behalf of the citizens of Alberta.

AOHVA looks forward to working with the government and key stakeholder groups to create a framework that ensures all Albertans have an opportunity to recreate in the many wonderful landscapes of the province.

AOHVA Submission to the Southwest Alberta Recreation Advisory Group (Part 1 and Part2)

Part 1

Part 2

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