K-Country users will have to start paying for vehicle access to the area starting on June 1st.

Minister of Environment and Parks, Jason Nixon, announced the introduction of the "Kananaskis Conservation Pass" on Tuesday, April 27th.

The province cites the approximately 5.4 million visitors to the area last year, (specifically the litter, overcrowding, and illegal parking that came with them) as one of the main motivators for the introduction of the fees.

The passes apply to vehicles rather than individuals, and passes can also be registered to two vehicles and one trailer.

$15 daily passes are available for personal vehicles, with annual passes available for $90.

They'll cost a little more for commercial passenger vehicles, at $22.50 daily and $135 annually for ones with 15 people or less, and $30 daily and $180 annually for ones with 16 people or more.

Areas covered by the pass include public land in Kananaskis and day-use areas in the Bow Valley corridor, with a full map of the area available on the provincial government's website.

The decision to assign passes to vehicles rather than people were made, according to Nixon, in order to reduce the number of vehicles while maintaining the rate of users in the region.

Revenue generated by the passes will go toward things like conservation, search and rescue efforts, and visitor services.

When asked if a similar pass system will be implemented in any other parks, Nixon said there aren't currently plans to do so, though it would be considered if a given park saw a surge in popularity comparable to that of Kananaskis.

The provincial government again made reference to an online consultation from November 2020 to January 2021, in which they say two-thirds of participants responded in favour of fees that contributed to conservation.


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