It seems fitting that the BowCORD environmental forum was held on June 5, World Environment Day, since the natural mountain setting of Canmore and the Bow Valley is so important to our need for beauty and inspiration, for our recreation and for our economy.
So significant is Canmore’s natural environment that it is recognized in our municipal documents as a “pillar” of our community, and much public, political and administrative effort has gone into protective measures for our environmentally sensitive areas over the years.
Since 1992, the Bow Corridor Organization for Responsible Development (BowCORD) has played a significant role in this protection, all on a 100 per cent volunteer, grass- roots basis. We were pleased to co-sponsor the 2012 environmental byelection forum as a public service to our community.
I have been privileged to chair BowCORD since 2001, following in the footsteps of our good friend and colleague André Gareau, who contributed so much to our Canmore community as conservationist and councilor.
BowCORD’s activities have included:
acting as an intervener in the 1992 Natural Resources Conservation Board (NRCB) Hearings, which resulted in the protection of the Wind Valley in perpetuity and the approval of the Three Sisters Resorts in the Bow Valley;
playing a significant role in the protection of the Spray Valley Provincial Park;
spearheading a campaign to ensure that the legal and scientific requirements of the 1992 NRCB decision for a scientifically functional wildlife corridor in South Canmore are met by the developer to protect the continuation of wildlife movement in the Bow Valley;
making presentations on every significant land use and municipal document over the past 20 years.
It is important to clarify that the Bow Corridor Organization for Responsible Development is not anti-development. Our organization simply wishes to see development carried out in a way that is responsible and respectful of our natural mountain setting.
However, Canmore still has many environmentally sensitive areas in need of our protection. And one thing we know: we cannot protect land after development takes place.
We have been told Canmore now has a strong environmental base. If that is true – and I would like to believe that it is – this base rests on the ongoing efforts of volunteer conservation organizations such as BowCORD and the Bow Valley Clean Air Society, and that of the people of Canmore who come out to public hearings because they understand that we are all stewards of this valley and its resources.
For World Environment Day and for the 2012 byelection forum, we thank candidates for putting themselves forward for public office.
Heather MacFadyen, Chair
Bow Corridor Organization for Responsible DevelopmentBut Darren Reeder, executive director of the Banff Lake Louise Hotel Motel Association (BLLHMA), said the Town if effectively introducing a