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LETTER: Railway lands redevelopment could impact wildlife, vegetation and landscapes

LETTER: Be bold and give the wildlife, vegetation and landscapes a breather from more, more, more.


The contentious railway lands area redevelopment plan was in the Outlook again recently, and it was so disappointing to read that Mayor Corrie DiManno seemed perplexed that the north side of the tracks was even within a wildlife corridor because she heard conflicting reports and can’t read a map. It’s disappointing in the way that Mayor DiManno, raised in a town within a national park within a UNESCO World Heritage Site, hasn’t learned the concept of what constitutes a viable wildlife corridor.

Mayor DiManno’s source of information is likely from the proponent's team or business lobbyists looking for loopholes. Once again, decade after decade, conservation groups and conscientious residents have to battle over what's best for the national park.

Mayor DiManno and Banff town managers need to sit down with the town’s environmental manager Michael Hay for a lesson on wildlife corridors. At the same time, open up the Banff Environmental Master Plan and Canada National Parks Act, read the wording of the Town’s own mandate upon incorporation, dust off the 1996 Banff Bow Valley Study, or delve into the Crag and Canyon archives to see why the battle for Banff never ends.

This redevelopment plan certainly is another important moment in Banff’s history, but paving the north side of the tracks to park hundreds of cars opposes what Banff National Park’s wildlife needs to fulfill their life history requirements.

Parks Canada needs to intervene and say no. Environmentally conscientious residents and Canadians need to muster for another battle to thwart the rampant over-tourism that has degraded the town and the national park.

Mayor DiManno, this is not about rushing to make money off an “under-utilized area” and rushing to meet policy objectives. Be bold and give the wildlife, vegetation and landscapes a breather from more, more, more.

Gregory Phillips,


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