The Risk of Severing the Bow Valley
The Bow Valley is the primary corridor for wildlife that need to move between the protected habitats of Banff National Park and Kananaskis Country ― grizzlies, cougars, wolves, coyotes, elk and others.
It is a vital link in the heart of the 3,200-km long Yellowstone to Yukon region, one of the world’s last best hopes at maintaining an interconnected landscape at a scale animals truly require.
Severing or substantially compromising this connectivity corridor means risking the persistence of iconic species locally and in our broader regional landscape.
Development proposals in Smith Creek, Three Sisters Resort Centre, Dead Man’s Flats light industrial, and now Silvertip Resort will nearly double the size of Canmore’s population, draw in one million additional tourists annually within 10 years, and squeeze this valley’s iconic wildlife into increasingly narrow bands of steep terrain.
Long wildlife corridors like those that surround Canmore must be wide, flat and far from development, otherwise we risk isolating wildlife populations. Secluded populations cannot share their genetic diversity and the resilience it provides, leading to localized extinctions that weaken the entire population of a species.
Make a Difference Today
Stemming from the 1992 NRCB decision, Alberta Environment and Parks is responsible for delineating an official wildlife corridor around Three Sisters Mountain Village.
The Town of Canmore is then responsible for approving the details of developments adjacent to the corridors set by the Province. Both the Province of Alberta and the Town of Canmore need to hear that our community cares deeply about wildlife.
Any development that compromises wildlife is not in the best interest of Canmore. We must err on the side of caution as we make these final decisions about the fate of our valley.
Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative urges you to contact decision makers provincially and municipally. Please emphasize the value of wildlife corridors in the Bow Valley and the need to make decisions rooted in the best available knowledge of their long-term viability rather than a needlessly accelerated timeline.
Living with wildlife is part of what makes Canmore great. We need a clear vision for how wildlife will continue to live in and move through the Bow Valley. That plan must consider the combined impact all major new developments in the Valley will have on quality of life and wildlife movement through an internationally significant corridor.
1. Provide your feedback in-person in a session with Roger Ramcharita of Alberta Environment and Parks on Tuesday, Mar. 28, 2017. Roger is the decision-maker on this corridor and will be at the Yukon to Yellowstone Conservation Initiative office to hear from you between 4 to 7 p.m.
2. Visit the Province of Alberta’s website to review the wildlife corridor proposal presented to Alberta Environment and Parks.
3. Give verbal or written feedback to the Province: Call 310-0000 or write AEP.email@example.com Even if you talked to them at the open house.
4. Send written comments on the development proposals to Canmore Town Council, especially after the area structure plans (ASP) have been submitted: firstname.lastname@example.org.
5. Reach out to your personal network and encourage them to join you in steps 1 to 4.
Bow Valley Corridor Priorities
Decisions on the corridor must be based on these considerations:
1. The combined impacts within a highly-developed valley matter. These include Smith Creek and Resort Centre ASPs, the ASP amendment in Silvertip, light industrial development at Dead Man’s Flats, Highway 1, the railway and future population growth.
2. The steeper the slope, the less it is used. The vast majority of large mammal movement happens on slopes of less than 25 degrees ― the equivalent of a black diamond ski run.
3. Wider is almost always better, especially when a corridor needs to accommodate carnivores. Animals respond to disturbances they encounter directly, but also to disturbances they sense in their vicinity. And not all individuals are the same. This corridor must accommodate as many animals as possible.
4. If human use of the corridor is the major issue in this town, how is adding 10,000 people a solution? The proponents insist that Canmore residents are the problem and the solution is to fence us in.