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A Prairie Oasis A Plan for Bighill Creek

AWA Article – A Prairie Oasis A Plan for Bighill Creek – APRIL 13, 2022
Wild Lands Advocate article by: Vivian Pharis, Vice President of Bighill Creek Preservation Society

When our little band of mostly retirees undertook a watershed plan for Bighill Creek in 2015, eager to be its proponents and advocates, we did not anticipate becoming its defenders. Our group of seven was thinking in positive terms, like “needed”, “doable” and “challenging.” Something worthwhile that we could sink our teeth into and enjoy doing. Far from our minds were the words “adversarial”, “combative” and “controversial.” We had retired from all of that and who wouldn’t support a watershed plan? Especially so, when such plans had been identified as needed for all three creeks feeding the Bow River at Cochrane. By 2015, Jumping Pound Creek already had a citizen-developed plan and one was underway for Horse Creek. Only Bighill Creek lacked a group of proponents. But we had no idea how gravel and its politics would come to dominate our efforts…

Visit the AWA article page to view the full 5 page article (PDF).

AB Environment and Parks Statements of Concern provision

Alberta Environment and Parks had made provision for Statements of Concern to be submitted under the Water Act regarding the Mountain Ash LP gravel mine proposed very near to Big Hill Springs Provincial Park and its critical thermal spring. The deadline for submissions was the last day of January. Apparently now AEP will make decisions on which SoC’s they will accept and then they are all sent to the mine proponent for their scrutiny. Beyond this, we are not yet aware of the procedure entailed but will inform people once we know. Statements of Concern over environmental matters like gravel mines are uncommon, so the procedure is not something common to the public.

To understand what’s involved, BCPS has made its own submission available (here), and we have included a sampling of other submissions that we think are informative of the range of issues explored. These can be found in the “Threats” section of our web site.

Glendale proposed new development

If you are interested in seeing information regarding the proposed development, go to Urbanstar’s consultant Civic Works has posted their boards and some additional information- no studies or anything of substance.

Storm drain concern

A number of Cochrane residents are alarmed after reporting seeing strange substances spewing from a storm drain under Griffin Road and flowing into Bighill Creek.

Cochranites out walking near the pedestrian underpass directly west of the Fifth Avenue intersection found a white foam and a black, oil-like substance last month on separate occasions.

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