SSRP: Great turnout in Pincher Creek

Turnout was great for the Pincher Creek South Saskatchewan Regional Planning session.  Participant discussions were varied and broad-ranging, touching on a number of topics and issued outlined in the Regional Advisory Council’s advice to government.  A summary of what was said is below.

Wind farm near Pincher Creek

Wind farm near Pincher Creek

If you’d like to provide your feedback but are unable to attend a session in person, we encourage you to complete the online workbook by December 21.

Pincher Creek

Attendees: 92

Vision and principles

  • water and conservation are the most important factors
  • vision is too focused on growth; there should be limits
  • less emphasis needed on the economy and more on science, integrated planning and uses
  • rules and enforcement of same on public lands are essential
  • need to establish who among multiple users has priority
  • access management and recreation require clarification
  • the timeline is too aggressive

Healthy economy

  • too much emphasis on oil and gas
  • forestry is not sustainable — it’s a ‘welfare’ industry in southwest Alberta
  • need to spell out how forestry will be sustained and managed
  • ecological values should trump forest industry values
  • ecological goods and services should be paramount, the drivers of the economy
  • social impacts are being ignored
  • more control over agriculture needed in riparian areas
  • greatest support for water and energy – both can be sustainable
  • need more infrastructure, especially to support “brains” economy –  powerlines, telephone, and Internet capacity etc.
  • major tourism should be stressed, not recreation

Healthy ecosystems

  • biosphere park supported
  • address water first; protect headwaters, control activities in headwaters, no removals of wetlands
  • all land-use decisions should be subject to water impact reviews
  • no development in wetlands, headwaters or riparian areas
  • Castle-Waterton protected area
  • provide incentives to landowners to manage lands
  • limit tourism access in some areas
  • build up tourism
  • enforcement is the key
  • compensation for withdrawn uses

Healthy communities / social-recreational

  • more enforcement, user pay system
  • no ‘unmanaged’ recreational activities
  • manage motorized recreational activities
  • promote more river-based tourism opportunities, more eco-appropriate  activities
  • shared facilities for shared benefits among communities
  • promote family-friendly communities
  • controls needed over agriculture and tourism by ‘weekenders’
  • have local planning processes for local energy production
  • better recreation signage needed

Land use direction/management

  • local management of areas
  • on cusp of promoting recreation and tourism over agriculture
  • need no-go zones where multiple use is not appropriate
  • focus on native grasslands, river systems
  • enforcement is the key; province, not local governments, must lead
  • consider population limits
  • conserve primitive lands

Upcoming Sessions

Wednesday, November 21
4 p.m. – 8 p.m.

Canmore
Radisson Hotel and Conference Centre
511 Bow Valley Trail

Milk River
Heritage Hall
213 Main Street

Thursday, November 22
4 p.m. – 8 p.m.

Cochrane
The Ranchehouse
101 Ranchehouse Road

Brooks
Lakeside Leisure Centre – Flexhall
111 – 4th Avenue, West

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