Budget week in Alberta is always a tense time for us residents, as we are constantly trying to figure out how these cuts could affect us, our jobs, and our bank accounts. Alberta parks are the latest victims in the government's budget cuts, as up to 20 parks across the province are slated for full or partial closure. These shutdowns will save the government $5 million so that they are freed up to focus on other high-value areas. 

According to an official government announcement, 11 of the 20 impacted parks will be completely closed, and nine of them will be accessible for the public but without any other services, says CTV News.

Among the ten parks that are going to be completely inaccessible to Albertans are Sulphur Lake, Little Fish Lake, Stoney Lake, and Kerwin.

These parks take up over 4,490 hectares of provincial land. 4,490 hectares of land we will never be able to step foot in. 

And some of the ten parks whose services will be removed include Comfort Camping at Dinosaur Provincial Park and Visitor Centres at Bow Valley and Gooseberry Parks. 

You can check out the full list here

On top of putting a damper on our road trip plans, we will also have to deal with increased fees for camping at most Alberta campsites. A mark-up of $3 will be in effect for most of these parks. 

Additionally, service charges will also increase "related to power, water, sewers and showers," in the areas where these services will still be provided. 

The Alberta government mentioned in the same statement that they will also be enforcing shortened operating seasons, which means they will be opening late in the season and closing earlier than usual. 

So we have to be super precise when we are making our travel plans this spring

The government is also looking for third-party partners to take care of at least 164 parks across the province.

These parks have been identified as "very small and under-utilized" recreation spots, which is why the province is looking to off-load them to other organizations. 

The Calgary Herald reported that as part of their cuts to the parks system in the province, the government is also cutting jobs in the sector, with seasonal positions in danger of being terminated. 

They also estimate that close to 25 public sector jobs under the Alberta Environment and Parks would be phased out in the upcoming fiscal year.

A lot of jobs in other sectors such as education and health have already been affected by the budget cuts. 

So changes are coming for the Alberta parks, and not everyone is on board. 

An online petition, as stated by Calgary Herald, has gotten 4000 signatures already. They are keen on stopping the government from selling off the smaller parks and recreation areas. 

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