Several Alberta parks will be seeing some major changes this year.

As part of its budget cuts, the UCP government announced 20 full or partial closures of provincial recreation areas. Albertans will be barred from 11 of those parks, nine others will still be accessible, but without any services.

“Changes to the Alberta Parks system will allow government to focus its energy on renowned signature destinations and examine opportunities for other groups to operate smaller parks and day-use areas,” said the province in a media release.

The province is also looking to offload 164 of its 473 sites for management by third parties, calling them “small and under-utilized provincial recreation areas”.

“Albertans have expressed an interest in taking a more active role in the operation of some areas traditionally run by the province,” said Environment and Parks Minister Jason Nixon. “In order to facilitate this, and to renew our commitment to our ‘crown jewel’ destinations, we will be offering Albertans, non-profits and First Nations the opportunity to work with our government and with parks societies on exploring these important partnerships.”

The government says the changes will save $5 million.

In addition to all that, camping fees will also be going up. The base camping rate at most campgrounds will rise by $3 and rates for power, water, sewers and showers will increase by $1 where services are available. There will also be a $10 increase for some comfort camping and group camping sites.

Camping registration starts on March 17th.

Here’s a list of areas which will see full closures:

  • Kehiwin Provincial Recreation Area 
  • Running Lake Provincial Recreation Area 
  • Stoney Lake Provincial Recreation Area 
  • Sulphur Lake Provincial Recreation Area 
  • Little Fish Lake Provincial Park 
  • Crow Lake Provincial Park 
  • Bleriot Ferry Provincial Recreation Area 
  • Greene Valley Provincial Park 
  • Twin Lakes Provincial Recreation Area 
  • Sheep Creek Provincial Recreation Area

These are the areas impacted by partial closures:

  • Bow Valley Provincial Park - Barrier Lake Visitor Information Centre 
  • Gooseberry Provincial Recreation Area – Elbow Valley Visitor Centre 
  • Dinosaur Provincial Park – Comfort Camping 
  • Gooseberry Provincial Park Lake 
  • Engstrom Lake Provincial Recreation Area 
  • Chain Lakes Provincial Recreation Area 
  • Lawrence Lake Provincial Recreation Area 
  • Dry Island Buffalo Jump Provincial Park – Tolman Bridge Campgrounds (East and West) 
  • Notikewin Provincial Park 
  • Smoky River South Provincial Recreation Area