Hundreds of OHV users take over Blairmore's Main Street to rally for continued access to Castle Parks

By Lara Fominoff - Lethbridge News Now
March 13, 2017 - 9:49am Updated: March 13, 2017 - 1:52pm

BLAIRMORE, AB —  They came from Edmonton, Red Deer, Medicine Hat, Lethbridge, Crowsnest Pass and even B.C.

Hundreds of people riding or driving their ATVs, snowmobiles, trucks, jeeps and anything else they like to take into the Castle back country, along Blairmore's main street Saturday.

The OHV rally was organized by Melissa Harsch who says it took weeks to get everything ready forthe event, including the permits needed to assemble something of that magnitude.

She says even though there are some changes to the Castle Parks Draft Management Agreement, they want to make sure there's a good dialogue going on between OHV enthusiasts and the provincial government.

"We would like to see give and take. Like, obviously there's going to be limitations. We want to speak to the government about that. We want to work with them to see if, you know, off highway vehicles, or random camping can still be allowed in the Castle. That's kind of our goal at this point."

Many of those taking part in the rally also attended either the Pincher Creek public consultation Friday evening, or the Chain Lakes meeting Saturday (http://lethbridgenewsnow.com/article/550437/province-sets-first-two-date...).

Environment Minister Shannon Phillips announced a series of talks with all groups interested in providing their input into the Castle Parks Draft Management Plan.

So far, two meetings have been scheduled.

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