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Decision favouring M.D. of Bighorn puts wildlife connectivity at risk

The Municipal Government Board’s dismissal of the Town of Canmore’s application to review approval of development in Dead Man’s Flats is a blow to regional wildlife connectivity, says Y2Y.

Media Release: March 3, 2017

The Municipal Government Board’s dismissal of the Town of Canmore’s application to review approval of development in Dead Man’s Flats is a blow to regional wildlife connectivity, says the Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative (Y2Y). This decision reinforces the need for a cumulative impact assessment of all major development in the Bow Valley.

“The Board’s decision underscores our request that all governments working in the area must collaborate to determine the long term viability of the wildlife corridors in the valley,” says Dr. Jodi Hilty, President and Chief Scientist of Y2Y.

The Town of Canmore challenged the Area Structure Plan approval for light industrial development to be built at the mouth of the Wind Valley wildlife underpass beneath Highway 1, just east of Dead Man’s Flats. This area has recently experienced an increase in the number of collisions between vehicles and wildlife.

“The mouth of the Wind Valley is already a pinch point for wildlife movement,” says Stephen Legault, program director for Y2Y. “Developing more industrial bays right where more than 600 animals a year pass under the highway will further impair wildlife connectivity across the valley.”

Y2Y calls on the provincial government, the M.D. of Bighorn, the Town of Canmore and Banff National Park to work with First Nations, scientists and citizens to develop a plan that will balance current and future developments with wildlife needs.

“The M.D. is one of a community of municipalities in the Bow Valley that have to work together to ensure a future for wildlife and scale back their plans to allow the Wind Valley underpass to continue to function to keep wildlife connected,” says Legault.

For further comment please contact:

Stephen Legault, Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative Program Director for Crown, Alberta and Northwest Territories
403-688-2964 |