ESRD Bragg Creek logging Open House Sept 25

Here is a message from Bruce Barker, GBCTA Ski Committee Chair:

The Bragg Creek FireSmart Public Meeting is going ahead on Sept 25, 2012 from 6:30 pm to 9 pm at the Bragg Creek Community Centre.  No details have been provided on the agenda, but the Minister of ESRD, Diana McQueen will be in attendance. It is critical that all trail users including those from Calgary and surrounding area show up and provide your view on the importance of trails.  This is especially important  in light  of the reasons below:

1)  At the Sept 8 and 9 community workshop, a west containment line was brought back to the table by ESRD, despite it being removed at the request of the community 2 years ago. These cutblocks include Tom Snow, Ridgeback, Race of Spades, and Special K in the south, and Tom Snow and Moose Loop ski trail in the north.

2)  At that workshop, west cutblocks were mistakenly added to the GBCTA mitigation plan (Option 2 on the website below).  Despite repeated requests by the GBCTA, these cutblocks have not been removed from the GBCTA plan, and are before the Minister for consideration. Again, this would be devastating to Tom Snow, Ridgeback, Race of Spades, and Special K.  The GBCTA continues to try to have these cutblocks removed, but it appears they will still be on the table at the Sept 25 meeting.

3)  Two of five options before the Minister do not include any trail mitigations, and would be incredibly damaging to the entire west Bragg Creek and Station Flats trails.

Information on the five options before the Minister can be found on ESRD’s website.

I have also included the Memo to the Minister that was sent to her after the workshop along with the 5 proposals for FireSmart logging in Bragg Creek. We believe that it will be extremely important to come to this meeting, listen, and comment. Please attend if it is at all possible.  It will likely be your last chance to provide your input to the Minister.

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  • Trevor Warne Sep 30, 2012, 5:49 pm

    Following on from Alf’s message, could SLS (or ESRD) please inform stakeholders of the total area planned to be logged under the options presented on Sep25 (North of Rt66). I understand some trail mitigation measures will have a small impact on the area and am prepared to accept a margin of error (e.g. +/- 50 acres depending on trail mitigation buffers/measures).
    Previous plans were for 550ha (704ha including areas South of Rt66).
    I think everyone at the meeting found it absurd that total areas to be logged were not given with the three options and I request SLS (or ESRD) supply stakeholders with this information at their earliest convenience.
    Given the logging is supposed to be for ‘Firesmart’, information on the prometheus model’s output for the three options presented versus previous options results would also address the serious deficiency of not presenting the relative ‘Firesmart’ performance of all the options.

  • Alf Skrastins Sep 26, 2012, 9:21 pm

    I have to say that I was disappointed at the Environment and Sustainable Resource Ministry at the Sept 25 meeting in Bragg Creek. I applaud Minister Dianne McQueen for attending the meeting, presenting the options prepared by her staff and fielding the questions and comments from the capacity crowd in the Community Centre.
    In the introductory comments, she was quite clear that she had heard the message that a majority of people were concerned about the recreational trails and recreational values of the West Bragg Creek area, whether they were in favour or opposed to logging within the context of creating a wildfire containment line around Bragg Creek.
    However, the three alternatives that ESRD staff presented as the short-list of options were really just slight variations on the same theme. Each alternative consisted of logging to create two containment lines. The east line would consist of a string of cut-blocks for the length of Telephone Ridge, plus some degree of logging along Boundary Ridge. The west containment line would remove forest from the Ridgeback and lower Moose Mountain area, along the Tom Snow trail. The shocking thing about these three proposals is that they all included MORE areas of logging than anything that had been proposed in the past couple of years.
    Not only does the plan call for more, rather than less logging, but the ESRD staff could provide no idea of how much area would actually be logged.
    Despite assurances that the ESRD ministry understood that the protection of the trails and recreational experience were a priority, they could not offer a single specific example of how the trails would be protected or how damage would be mitigated.
    The message from the audience to Dianne McQueen could not have been more clear: None of the three options are suitable, because they do not address the core concerns of most Bragg Creek residents or users of the West Bragg Creek trails.
    The next step is up to Minister McQueen and ESRD. I sure hope they come up with something better than the options we saw at the Sept 25 meeting.

  • Maurice Gaucher Sep 23, 2012, 11:17 am

    Recent correspondence between Minister McQueen and myself on behalf of the Alberta Hiking Association can be viewed on our web site (www.abhiking.ca). O f particular note is the 3rd PDF at bottom of our latest News item which provides Alf Skrastin’s detailed suggestions on how to accommodate logging and still maintain the integrity of the West Bragg Trail system. We can only hope that the Minister is listening and sympathetic towards the late Peter Lougheed’s vision for Kananaskis Country.

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