10/01/2015 02:12 EDT | Updated 10/01/2015 02:59 EDT

Castle Region Might Not Be Fully Protected Under NDP Plan

Castle-Crown Wilderness Coalition/Facebook

EDMONTON — Environmental groups are raising doubts about the Alberta government's plan for a provincial park and wildland area in a corner of southwestern Alberta.

The plan to protect the Castle region won the New Democrats much praise when it was announced last month.

Since then, some critics have noticed that activities not generally allowed in provincial parks, such as hunting and off-highway vehicle use, would still be permitted.

Ian Urquhart of the Alberta Wilderness Association says the previous Conservative government didn't allow those activities in provincial parks.

Gord Petersen of the Castle-Crown Wilderness Association says it's important to ensure the Castle doesn't become a park in name only.

The Castle area, where the Rocky Mountains meet the prairie, is renowned for its beauty and biodiversity and is home to more than 200 threatened species.

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