FGA Opposes Motion to Sell Public Land

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Alberta's largest conservation group, the Alberta Fish & Game Association (AFGA), expresses its disappointment at the April 14, 2003 motion by Redwater MLA Dave Broda that the Alberta government sell or dispose of public lands that are declared surplus to the needs of the province. Equally disturbing was the fact that several MLA's also spoke in favour of the motion.

The AFGA has had a long-standing policy that firmly believes in the retention of the ownership of public lands (Crown Lands) by the people of Alberta and has always taken the stand that these lands serve as irreplaceable fish and wildlife habitat while at the same time providing enjoyment for all outdoor enthusiasts.

AFGA President, Ray Makowecki said, "The AFGA is extremely concerned about selling public lands as the pressures for use of a finite land base increase. The notion that Alberta has surplus lands is not apparent, especially as increased human populations and demands continue to grow. The value of our public lands can not be measured purely in monetary terms."

He continued saying: "The AFGA currently owns or manages over 30,000 acres of land that provides conservation of fish and wildlife habitats and at the same time provides recreational use opportunities for all Albertans. As our 15,000 member association works towards securing lands for conservation we would be very disappointed at seeing public lands being sold and in so doing working in opposition to the hard work being conducted by our volunteers." In addition the AFGA has voluntary conservation agreements in place with landholders to conserve another 190,000 acres of land.

The AFGA supports multiple and integrated use of public lands and that such uses should be managed to ensure that Albertans are able to share in the enjoyment of these natural treasures.

AFGA urges all users, associations and citizens to express their concerns to the elected officials for contemplating the selling of Alberta's Natural Heritage.

The Alberta Fish and Game Association is a not-for-profit volunteer organization proud to serve Albertans in the promotion of the wise use of our fish and wildlife resources and the conservation of their habitats. Celebrating its 95th anniversary the AFGA has been active since 1908 in working towards these goals. It has a province-wide membership of more than 15,000 individuals spread among 106 local Clubs.