Too much valley development
Thursday, Mar 16, 2017 06:00 am
Editor: About 1990-91, I was a member of the Townís economic development advisory committee. It was after the coal mine had closed and the Winter Olympics were over that the Town looked for a revival.
While the pressure was strong for tourism, with more hotels, restaurants and other tourism related infrastructure, the committee was trying to diversify instead and stay clear of another one-industry town, tourism.
One question that kept coming up was what is the population carrying capacity of this valley? It was a hypothetical question at the time because nobody had an answer.
Since then, I have come up with the following definition and based on what I experienced myself.
The carrying capacity of a natural environment, such as the Bow Valley, has been reached once trails and entire areas have to be closed to the public to protect, whatever, from the pressure of human activities.
Now, this threshold has long been passed as most everybody will agree, considering the following:
You could go hunting up at Spray Lake, not anymore. You could gather firewood in Harvie Heights, not anymore. You could collect mushrooms at the Nordic Centre and Goat Creek, not anymore. Everything is protected, needs to be protected, from the population pressure in order to save whatever is left of nature.
The measures proposed by Stephen Legault and for which he seeks funding through a quasi tax are only an expression in support of what I have been saying.
My proposal is to have those pay who have created the need for whatever measures are needed, those who have built and keep building and propose more building, those who keep cutting away from wildlife corridors, one metre at a time.
While the clock cannot be turned back, it is those who promote more and more of the same who should be made to open their purse and not download liabilities and more costs onto the public like those associated already with undermining issues.