Gov­ern­ment: strong ma­jor­ity of Al­ber­tans sup­port the Bighorn Coun­try pro­posal

Prairie Post (West Edition) - - Prairies -

A new pub­lic opin­ion sur­vey shows the vast ma­jor­ity of Al­ber­tans sup­port greater con­ser­va­tion in the Bighorn re­gion of the Rocky Moun­tains west of Nordegg.

The Gov­ern­ment of Al­berta is cur­rently con­sult­ing on a pro­posal for a new net­work of parks and pub­lic land in west-cen­tral Al­berta called Bighorn Coun­try. Bighorn Coun­try in­cludes a wild­land provin­cial park, three provin­cial parks, four pub­lic recre­ation ar­eas and two Pub­lic Land Use Zones.

A sta­tis­ti­cally valid pub­lic opin­ion sur­vey con­ducted re­cently shows that after learn­ing the de­tails of the plan a strong ma­jor­ity, 73%, of Al­ber­tans sup­port the Gov­ern­ment of Al­berta’s pro­posal to pro­tect Bighorn Coun­try while only 16% op­pose the pro­posal (11% nei­ther op­pose nor sup­port).

The poll was con­ducted by Ed­mon­ton mar­ket and so­cial re­search firm Ad­va­nis be­tween De­cem­ber 10 and 19, 2018 and in­cluded a sam­ple size of 1077 ran­domly se­lected re­spon­dents which is con­sid­ered to ad­e­quately rep­re­sent the pop­u­la­tion with a mar­gin of er­ror of ±3.0%, 19 times out of 20.

When re­spon­dents were asked to rank rea­sons to pro­tect the area, pro­tect­ing fish and wildlife ranked first, fol­lowed by pro­tect­ing head­wa­ters, cre­at­ing recre­ation op­por­tu­ni­ties for Al­ber­tan fam­i­lies, and fi­nally, di­ver­si­fy­ing the lo­cal econ­omy.

Sup­port for the Bighorn Coun­try pro­posal spans geo­graphic re­gions and voter in­ten­tions. Sup­port from across Al­berta ranged from 65% in the North, to 75% in Ed­mon­ton. 70% of re­spon­dents from Cen­tral Al­berta, where Bighorn Coun­try is lo­cated sup­port the pro­posal.

Sup­port for the pro­posal also crosses party lines. The ma­jor­ity of de­cided vot­ers sup­port the pro­posal, re­gard­less of their pre­ferred party in­clud­ing both the New Democrats and United Con­ser­va­tives, along with 81% of un­de­cided vot­ers.

These re­sults in­di­cate that, while a small num­ber of peo­ple are vo­cally op­pos­ing the pro­posal, over­all sup­port from Al­ber­tans is high.

While the poll shows strong sup­port, it is im­por­tant that Al­ber­tans par­tic­i­pate in the of­fi­cial pub­lic con­sul­ta­tion on the pro­posal which con­tin­ues un­til Jan­uary 31.

For more in­for­ma­tion on the Bighorn Coun­try Pro­posal, and to take the Gov­ern­ment of Al­berta’s sur­vey, visit:­­coun­try

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