Editor: The report that the MD of Bighorn and the Government of Alberta have reached a tentative agreement for a land swap that would safeguard a vital wildlife movement corridor in the area of Dead Man’s Flats is welcome news.
It’s clear that local MLA Cam Westhead and Environment and Parks Minister Shannon Phillips understand the importance of finding a solution to keep bears, deer, cougars, and elk moving back and forth under the Trans-Canada Highway and out into the Bow Valley Wildland Park.
For more than 16 years, representatives of the MD of Bighorn have been open to trading land elsewhere in the Bow Valley for the land adjacent to the hamlet of Dead Man’s Flats.
Time and time again they have attempted to negotiate in good faith, only to have subsequent deals fall apart.
When the underpass was constructed beneath the TCH after the G8 Summit in Kananaskis, little in the way of development was on the books for Dead Man’s Flats. But times have changed.
After being left at the altar so many times by previous conservative governments, I applaud Reeve Dene Cooper and council for their persistence, and for putting their faith in Rachel Notley’s government.
Thank goodness this time we have officeholders who take wildlife protection seriously. This deal would reduce wildlife conflicts and mortality and would ensure the long-term integrity of their movement corridors.
I for one will be keeping this in mind as we inch toward a spring election: do we want to elect people who understand the complexities of this issue and are willing to patiently and persistently push through them towards a lasting solution?
I know I do.