This paper reviews four important land-use decisions that have occurred in the Castle River area of southwestern Alberta over the past ten years. These decisions highlight risks to ecosystem sustainability in the Castle and significant deficiencies in the existing management regime. The paper then turns to recent and ongoing management initiatives, evaluating the extent to which the Government of Alberta has responded to the recommendations and conclusions from the past decade of decision-making. It concludes that that Alberta government appears content to spin its wheels on the implementation of its ‘commitment’ to sustainable resource and environmental management in the Castle, while allowing incremental development and increasingly intense human activity to threaten important environmental values.
This paper was prepared as part of a research project funded by the Alberta Law Foundation.