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P.J. Darling

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Respond to Minister Phillips on the Three Sisters Wildlife Corridor

Make your voice heard on the Three Sisters Wildlife Corridor in Canmore.

In the past few months, some 160 people wrote letters to the Province of Alberta expressing their concerns about development proposals in Canmore and their potential to sever the internationally-significant Three Sisters Wildlife Corridor. Thank you so much for making your voices heard.

On Dec. 16, 2016, letter writers received a response from the Ministry of Environment and Parks. In that letter, the Ministry suggested that a wildlife corridor with a 350-metre minimum width on slopes under 25 degrees was acceptable. That figure is not based on the best available science and knowledge; in fact, there is absolutely no scientific basis for a 350-m minimum width.

Right now, we need to flood the Minister's office with letters refuting this minimum width, and reinforcing how important this issue is to us.

Please respond to the Office of the Minister of Environment and Parks. Copy your MLA and encourage your community and friends to do the same.

We have provided key points below that you can use as a guide. Click here to read the letter Y2Y sent to the Minister for more details.

When complete send your message to:

The Honourable Shannon Phillips, Minister of Environment and Parks at

Copy to Cam Westhead, MLA for Banff-Cochrane at

If you live elsewhere in Alberta you can find your MLA's contact info here.

These are the key points we are hoping to emphasize: 

  1. The 350-m standard for corridor width is based on a 1979 study of thermal cover required by elk in a forestry context;
  2. The Bow Valley is narrow and densely developed. Despite this, it is used by multiple species and is a key linkage for animal movement and migration within the greater Yellowstone to Yukon region. The study upon which the 350-m width is derived is simply not relevant;
  3. The 1992 NRCB decision requires that the most current science is used in designating the wildlife corridor; 4. A large body of research on wildlife corridor design has been developed since 1979 and our understanding of corridor ecology has vastly improved in the last 37 years; and
  4. In the past Y2Y has advocated for an absolute minimum width of 450 metres, but contemporary research supports much wider corridors in the Bow Valley. The best available science, which ought to be the standard for this important decision, indicates that the Three Sisters Along-Valley corridor should be a minimum of 850 metres in width. 

Thank you for demonstrating your passion for the Bow Valley.

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