I can remember hiking down from the popular Wind Ridge hike one spring day when I took a wrong turn and ran into an incredible abundance of bear signs squeezed into where I walked and the busy Trans-Canada Highway.
It was my first real understanding how prolific the wildlife is that live around our busy trails, highways and communities.
Last spring, a friend described all the wildlife she saw riding her bike in the closed golf course of Three Sisters. Bear, wolf, owl, elk, geese. Her dad called the area the Serengeti of the Rockies.
Looking up to the Wind Ridge from this spot, you might be lucky to watch grizzlies pass from the Stewart Creek drainage to West Wind Creek.
Canmore is in the heart of connecting Banff National Park with Kananaskis. This is a big deal. We are unique in the world that we are still able to coexist with grizzlies and other large carnivores.
But the future development of Three Sisters Mountain Village will likely tip the scales for wildlife trying so hard to move through our valley.
We can all likely agree we have heard other communities say “We don’t want to be another Canmore” referring to how much we have developed our beautiful valley.
Our focus needs to be not what we don’t want, but what do we want our Canmore to be. Imagine if the developers, the citizens of Canmore, the town council and the wildlife professionals all worked together to create a community we are proud of.
Many might say "it’s too late,” but stewardship is an act of hope. Never underestimate the power of a community’s voice. Write to your council, your mayor, your paper and your MLA/premier on what is the Canmore you want.