“To ensure the natural and historical values of Bighill Creek Watershed are preserved for this and future generations.”
- Big Hill Springs Provincial Park Reopens September 13, 2021
- Big Hill Springs Provincial Park Reopens Amidst Threat of Gravel Pit-September 10th, 2021 September 11, 2021
- Help Save Big Hill Springs Provincial Park August 23, 2021
- Prairie Falcon Banding June 18, 2021
- GoFundMe Change of Direction June 16, 2021
- It is important to act now! June 7, 2021
- Gravel and Parks Don’t Mix May 21, 2021
- Please Defend Alberta Parks March 30, 2021
- Is Calgary Growth Founded on Ethical Gravel? March 11, 2021
- Results from March Second RVC council hearing March 9, 2021
- Rocky View Council Puts Gravel Before Parks, March 5,2021 March 7, 2021
- Marlin Schmidt NDP Environment Critic Letter to Council February 25, 2021
- Calgary Herald’s article published on Saturday, February 20th 2021 February 22, 2021
- Bighill Creek is a Critical Wildlife Corridor February 18, 2021
- Example of submission to RVC re: Gravel pit hearing on March 2nd February 13, 2021
Author Archives: BCPS Author
Our Bighill Creek Preservation Society (BCPS) is looking forward to our planned Fly Fishing School on Sunday September 20th at the Clubhouse in Cochrane for your six children: 3 boys and 3 girls ages 10-14 years along with their parents or at least one parent. Contact Sharon Johnson, (403-851-2562; firstname.lastname@example.org) .
The Fly Fishing class will be held at the Clubhouse, Town of Cochrane, on Sunday September 20th from 9:am to 1:00pm.
The Town of Cochrane will select the boys and girls who will participate with their parents to this unique event funded by the Cochrane Foundation. You also are most welcome to attend as our Guest and to observe. After the Clubhouse instructions we will all go to the Medford Ponds in Cochrane for actual fly fishing until about 4:00 pm.
We want to let you know the Alberta Parks approved funding for the Big Hill Springs Provincial Park Refurbishment Project that includes upgrades to parking areas, picnic sites, trails and site signage.
Depending on the contractor, we may proceed with construction August – exact timing TO BE DETERMINED. Due to the small size of the Park, all visitor facilities (parking, picnic and trails) will be under construction at the same time. In order for the contractor to complete the Project efficiently and to ensure public safety, Alberta Parks is closing the site to visitors. Big Hill Springs Provincial Park will remain closed until summer 2021 to ensure reclaimed areas are well established before welcoming visitors back into the park.
For updated information the project and construction schedule, go to: (https://www.albertaparks.ca/
While we do not have a confirmed construction start date as it will depend on the contractor, it may start in early August. We are spreading the word now to provide the public with some notice of construction and park closure.
Cows and Fish in conjunction with Bighill Creek Preservation Society has organized an interpretative walk.
You are invited to join us on June 20 .
We will be offering two guided riparian walks (2.5 hours in duration each) on Saturday, June 20, 2020. This includes a morning walk from 9:30 to 12:00 pm and an afternoon walk from 1:00 pm to 3:30 pm. There are 5 tickets available for each session. Participants are asked to register for one session only.
Please register at: https://bighillcreek_
Thank you to the generous organisations and individuals who supported our efforts, with project funding, unallocated donations and in kind contributions. Without these, what has been accomplished would have been impossible.
Alberta Land Stewardship
Bow River Basin Council
Cochrane Environmental Action Committee
Dr Dick Pharis
Town of Cochrane
Rocky View County
Spray Lake Sawmills
Ann & Don Ferrier
BCPS AGM 2019
Thanks to everyone who came to our AGM. Your support is appreciated. Once again we were a little too ambitious in trying compress too much information into too little time. We attempted to deal with the standard General Meeting items efficiently and then get to the more interesting topics.
Thanks especially to our generous sponsors: AlbertaEcotrust, Bow River Basin Council, Land Stewardship and CEAC who allow us to conduct our scientific studies. We thank you also our private donors, who allow us to exist as a society in helping for insurance fees and other cost. Thank you to MDL, Town of Cochrane, Cochrane Foundation , Ed, Blaine and many more for our trail maintenance project.
Thanks to Lyse for efficiently describing our finances and audit.
Kathryn Hull and Kristina Boehler of Cows and Fish provided an enlightening description of riparian health in general and the results of their 2018 work on our drainage (mostly good news) . Dr. Ymène Fouli updated us with her most recent water and sediment analysis.
Ken Stevenson informed us regarding his work on instream temperature loggers, the aquatic insect study he managed and the fish inventory he completed with Trout Unlimited.
Vivian and I briefly described trail use and maintenance program on the reserve lands.
Our 2019/20 objectives include commencement of a hydrology study of the drainage and a demonstration project for a beaver pond leveler.
Although the applications for the gravel pits immediately upstream of the spring at Big Hill Springs Provincial Park have been aside by judicial order, we expect that the proponents will reapply in the near future requiring our response.
Thanks again for your support. Please feel free to contact any of our Board Members if you have any comment or concern regarding our activities.
BIGHILL CREEK PRESERVATION SOCIETY
TEMPERATURE LOGGERS FOR THE CREEK 2019-2020
In 2017, Elliot Lindsay – Trout Unlimited Calgary – suggested to our Bighill Creek Preservation Society (BCPS) that monitoring the creek water temperature year-round at several locations in the valley would gather vital data on the creek waters within the drainage. This is particularly critical during the summer and fall months when water temperatures in the creek could rise to levels detrimental to most fish in the creek and certainly trout. Such temperature studies would complement well our existing studies on water quality/sediment studies, riparian assessments, aquatic insect studies and electrofishing studies.
The temperature loggers (14) were purchased in 2019 for BCPS by the Cochrane Environmental Action Committee (CEAC) and subsequent work by BCPS has now readied the temperature loggers for stable placement in deep pools in the spring of 2020 following the spring freshet.
The loggers have a stream life of 4-5 years and can be monitored while in location in the creek.
The longer-term plan is to initial the re-introduction of the original native Westslope Cutthroat trout through work with Alberta Environment – Fish and Wildlife, Trout Unlimited – Calgary and likely the Federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans.
Along with these projects would be the new work envisaged by BCPS to have a thorough hydrology study of the watershed which would also involve an in-depth study of the beavers and their habitat currently in the Bighill Springs Creek Watershed.
Dear members of Bighill Creek Preservation Society,
Thank you to those who attended our Annual General Meeting last Saturday. We meant to sincerely thank those of you who have been so generous these past few years. Your contributions helped with our cash flow. Without you, we could not cover the cost of insurance, postage, advertisement, website fees nor the odd prints we need. The funds we received from other grants are restricted to the water analysis project. The other ongoing projects we have (trail maintenance and insect studies) are also restricted funds.
Thank you again for your past valuable contribution.
Bighill Creek Preservation Society
Cost not covered by grants:
- Any operating cost
*We had one grant from Rocky View County to cover some of these operating costs; but it was a one time in our ”life” as a society.
- Any workshops
- Business cards
We were able to cover these costs last year, but will be unable to make ends meet this year!!? We do need some help!
In follow up to our earlier communication regarding potential impacts of proposed gravel extraction near Big Hill Springs Provincial Park: attached is a recent update from Gravel Watch regarding the judicial review of the County approvals process. In short the County has been told their process is significantly inadequate. We expect the proponents will reapply under whatever new guidelines are established.
Subject: Residents Win Judicial Review of Hwy 567 Gravel Pit Approvals – County Appeals
The Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench ruled in favour of the residents in the judicial review of the gravel pit applications along Hwy 567. The applications had been approved by Rocky View Council in 2017.
The judge’s ruling included the following key points:
- That “no reasonable council would proceed in the circumstances of the obviously deficient applications.”
- That Rocky View Council erred in failing to consider the cumulative impacts of gravel extraction in the area when it made its decisions;
- That the magnitude and obviousness of the defects in the applicants’ Master Site Development Plans were a “very serious and patently unreasonable departure” from what the County Plan requires in MSDPs; and
- That the Council could not comply with its obligations to consider relevant factors by deferring decisions to the development authority.
The judge’s decision makes it very clear that cumulative impacts of multiple gravel pits located close to each other must be considered and that future MSDPs need to include sufficient information “for meaningful decision making and public input”. The victory means that before any new gravel pits go ahead on Hwy 567, the gravel companies have to reapply and new public hearings have to be held. This would not be as significant an outcome except for the fact that the judge’s decision means that any reapplication needs to address the identified shortcomings. If they do not, any subsequent approvals would be unlikely to withstand a future judicial review.
Before you get too excited about the residents’ win, it is important to know that the County is appealing the decision. This seems to be Rocky View’s strategy for dealing with legal disputes. The County doesn’t take defeat easily; however unreasonable the court concluded the County’s decisions were, the County is willing to use taxpayers’ dollars to continue to defend its decisions.
If you haven’t yet signed the petition asking the Province to inspect Rocky View’s operations, the County’s decision to appeal this case should be enough to get your signature on the petition. Visit www.rockyviewsos.com for more information.
All the best,
Rocky View Gravel Watch
BCPS –AGM Nov 17, 2018
AGM started at 13h40
1. Confirmation of a quorum: we had 31 persons in attendance. The quorum was met.
3. Approval of the Agenda
4. Presentation/approval of the minutes November 2017
5. Reserves update: maintenance, erosion/weevils, pictures.
6. Grants – Thanks to Sponsors! Showing their page on our website.
Rocky View Operational Fund=$2,500.
* Town of Cochrane=$1,000. For insect study + donation of $164. * Cochrane Environment Action Committee=$2,000.
* Alberta Ecotrust community grant= $7,000. + $500. (administrative cost of Cows & Fish)
*Alberta Ecotrust major grant= $12,165. + $1000. (administrative cost of Cows & Fish)
*Bow River Basin Council= $10,000.
* Land Stewardship=$10,000.
* Restricted funding to pay for watershed study
7. Watershed Study Update- Dr. Fouli
8. Beavers- Dr. Stevenson
9. Mapping Project: Geomatic Study data management
SAIT’s students created a project of mapping our watershed through 21 maps.
Bighill Creek watershed is 43,049 acres /174 km210.
10. Stewardship Committee Volunteer Request/Insect Study
11. Financial statement –
12. Future Projects:
Water analysis year 2 Insect study
Continuation of trail maintenance Cows and Fish Riparian Health Study
13. Nominations/Election of Board Members (E)
President: Gerry Bietz, vice-president: Vivian Pharis, secretary-treasurer: Lyse Carignan, directors: Ken Stevenson, David Reid, Ed Fedosoff, Mike Foster. Elected by acclamation.
You are invited to our Annual General Meeting on November 16th, 2019
at the Seniors on the Bow Auditorium, located on the second floor, at the east end of Spray Lakes Sawmills Family Sports Centre at 14h00.
- Financial update
- Overview of ongoing projects:- aquatic and terrestrial insect studies, temperature loggers, trail maintenance, water analysis year 2
- Guest speaker: Kathryn Hull from Cows and Fish will present the results of the Riparian Health Assessment conducted in 2018
- Future plans
We look forward to see you there!