OHVs, SSRP, + the Castle: Addressing Misunderstandings

OHVs, SSRP, + the Castle: Addressing Misunderstandings

Ever since the announcement of the Castle Provincial Park and Castle Wildland Provincial Park Draft Management Plan by the provincial government there have been many questions circulating around our social media and other pages about how the proposed plan will impact different user groups

Alberta’s Fire Emergency - Imagine How You Would Feel...Don’t Let it be You

ATTENTION: With the support of the Alberta Off-Highway Vehicle Association and due to extreme fire hazards, the Government of Alberta has issued a province-wide ban on the use of ALL recreational off-highway vehicles on public lands and provincial parks, effective immediately. This ban does not include agricultural, commercial, industrial or First Nations use. Additionally, the ban does not include camping or the use of RV’s. 

Details here: Government of Alberta Link


Imagine knowing that it was your fault, that something you thought was insignificant cost someone their home, their life or the life of a loved one. When venturing out into the backcountry this spring, remember that more than half of all wildfires in Canada are human caused and do your part to insure that human isn’t you.

By now, we’ve all seen the horrible devastation caused by forest fires in the community of Fort McMurray and area. Extremely dry conditions have set the stage for similar blazes across the province, leading the Government of Alberta to implement a province-wide fire ban. This ban is not to be taken lightly, as even a small oversight can escalate into tragedy.

Right now valuable resources are needed to deal with the situation in the Fort McMurray area and new fire outbreaks would put a significant strain on everyone involved. In this difficult time, we must all do our part to reduce the risk of forest fires in every possible situation.

Info for Campers:

The Provincial Government issued a province-wide fire ban as of May 5th. Under this ban, the following are


  • Use of ALL wood, briquette and propane or natural gas fires

  • Patio heaters, turkey fryers and Tiki torches


  • Liquid or gas fueled stoves and BBQs that meet the CSA  or UL standards

  • Liquid or gas fueled lanterns (enclosed flame) that meet CSA or UL standards

While some camping appliances are still permitted, it is important to use caution during any activity that may increase the risk of wildfires.

The recent ban on OHV use is mandatory. When this ban ends, or if using OHV's on private land, here is some important information regarding fire prevention.

Info for Recreational Vehicle Users:

All Off-Highway Vehicle (OHV) and All-Terrain Vehicle (ATV) users are encouraged to practice extreme caution when heading out this season as the fire hazard in our watershed is already high. Remember that if you are found responsible for the start of a wildfire you may be charged under the Forest and Prairie Protection Act and be held responsible for the cost of extinguishing the fire.

Here are some tips from the Alberta Government to prevent starting a wildfire while enjoying the backcountry.

  • Before you ride, ensure that there is no debris build up

  • Always carry a small fire extinguisher and collapsible shovel to put out small fires

  • Wash your OHV regularly at a commercial car-wash or your home

  • Remember that you are required to have a spark arrester on your OHV

For more information check out these helpful links:

Alberta Fire Bans by phone: 1-866-394-3473

Alberta Parks

Alberta Environment and Parks

Alberta Wildfire App for Android and IPhone

If you spot a wildfire or see an out-of-control fire call 310-FIRE (toll-free) anywhere in Alberta.

Thank you to the Crowsnest Pass Quad Squad, Southern Alberta Off Road and many others who are encouraging their members to recreate responsibility or stay home during this fire season to reduce the risks. 

Pole Haven – What happened? And what happens now?

Pole Haven –  What happened? And what happens now?

By now, plenty of people have heard about the "Pole Haven Incident".  And if you haven't, you almost surely have heard talk of "closing down the backcountry" or  that "nothing is being done about protecting our drinking water".  Here's what OWC is doing ... 

Say Hi to the New Guy!

Say Hi to the New Guy!

Our Engaging Recreationists project is ramping up! Last year, we had 2 Outreach Assistants in the backcountry, piloting our outreach project. This year, we are doubling that capacity and have hired the first of 4 Outreach Assistants (OAs) who will be helping with restoration work and education in the backcountry. Led by Education Manager Sofie Forsstrom, the project is set to take off soon and we will announce the other OAs as they come aboard ...