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Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Comment: Immediately implement the SSRP as it was released in 2014


In March, Russell Bruder B.Sc. "Responsible Recreationalist" wrote the following to council for the MD of Pincher Creek regarding Castle region issues (excerpted):

"It is time to put a stop to the biased protectionist movement in the Castle Region (and the rest of Alberta). It is time for all responsible recreationalists (motorized or not), community members, landowners, user groups (grazing, hunting, trapping, fishing), and members of industry to speak out against those groups and individuals seeking to lock up the wilderness to assure it meets the needs of their value system.

Since the early 1980, industry representatives, members of different levels of government and environmental groups have been paid to attend meetings, consultations, roundtable discussion groups, and planning strategies for the Castle region. In addition local indigenous groups, interested community members,  recreationalist, land  users and  outdoor enthusiasts of all kinds have taken time away from their jobs and families to attend the never ending plethora of meetings in an attempt to set management guidelines and agree on acceptable land use activities. For anyone involved in this process over the last 35+ years, there are two things that everyone can agree on: 1) you can't make everyone happy all the time, and 2) the Castle Area is important to diverse groups of users.

Every group has made concessions over the past 35 years. Some examples include: limiting forest harvest, restrictions on resource development, timing and  elevation  restrictions  for grazing,  motorized recreation  trail  closure (seasonal or permanent)  and exclusion zones for all users in ecological reserves. The affected groups have adapted to the concessions that were imposed on them, sometimes bitterly or with frustration, but adapted none
the less.

There is a single interest group however that has chosen at every opportunity to petition governments to impose broader and less Inclusive restriction on every other user group because the status quo did not meet their value system. At every change of government, ministry shuffling or scheduled policy review the Biased Protectionist Movement demanded or necessitated that all of the other stakeholders and user groups come back to the table and negotiate with the needs of their value system, again and again and again...

The Alberta Land Use Framework (released in 2008) is the most extensive consultation (both in duration and cost) ever undertaken with Albertans by the Government of Alberta. The South Saskatchewan Regional Plan (SSRP) was born out of Alberta's Land Use Framework. The plan came into effect in 2014. The development of the SSRP utilized input and feedback received through three phases of public consultation: Input on the region's issues; Feedback on the advice from the South Saskatchewan Regional Advisory Council; and Feedback on the draft SSRP. This process took over 5 years at the expense of Alberta taxpayers, and was inclusive of everyone  who chose to participate.
This biased protectionist movement has millions of dollars behind it. They accept donations from anyone, without question, if it will aid in their cause. Because of the financial power of these environmental groups, they can afford to permanently lobby governments at every level. If any other interest or user group (Oil &, Gas, forestry, OHV users) behaved in this manner there would be public outrage, they would be demonized in the media and would be shamed into silence. 

Environmental groups have adapted this as standard operating procedure, and the public has accepted that "they are looking out for our best interests". Perhaps it is time that the masses begin to look at environmental groups for what they really ere, a heavily biased protectionist movement seeking to lock up the wilderness to assure it meets the needs of their value system. Want proof? Members of environmental groups will put on their leather gloves (made from cows), leave their home (which is built from forest products and heated by natural gas·or fire wood), get into their car (which is fueled by hydrocarbons) and drive to a protest against oil and gas exploration, or grazing on public lands or chain themselves to a tree to prevent it from getting cut down, or drive to Edmonton and get paid to picket on the steps of the legislature. Apparently the environment only needs to be saved from those of us who don't agree with their values.

All Albertans contributed to the development of the SSRP (including the protection of the Castle region) in the most expensive and inclusive consultation ever conducted by the Alberta government. Let's stick to the original plan Albertans wanted (the SSRP as released in 2014), and stop being bullied around by the demands of the biased protectionist environmental movement that just can't figure out they have to share with the rest of us!

I call for the NDP government to immediately implement the SSRP as it was released in 2014 (excluding the 2015 amendment). The 2014 plan is the direct product of the most comprehensive public consultation process undertaken by the Alberta Government and set in place clear and definitive guidelines and policies for the entire region including the, Castle."

I call for the NDP government to immediately make public the list of participants and all of the, minutes from all of the meetings held in development of the draft and all of the "science" that Minister Phillips continues to reference in televised and printed media.

The current Castle· Parks draft has made a mockery of the public consultation process and has bent solely to the biased protectionist movement's desires to lock up the wilderness to assure it meets the needs of their value system again!"

1 comment:

  1. This is an interesting letter Mr. Bruder has composed. It has amazing resemblances to arguments Mr. Bruder used 8 years ago when the ruling conservative party brought forth recommendations for the Castle region (http://www.pinchercreekecho.com/2009/05/20/the-environmental-bias) & (http://www.pinchercreekecho.com/2009/11/25/close-vote-on-castle-special-place).
    Quite a bit has changed in the past eight years but if you read the articles, you will see that the claims of bridge and trail building are the same now as they were at that time. The question has to be asked as to why, eight years down the road, we still have the same environmental issues regarding OHVs in the Castle region.
    It is clear that it does not matter which government is in power, the OHV community feels that they were not properly consulted and in both cases the government has said this is not the case. There is only one common factor here and it is not the government.
    Could Mr. Bruder please validate the credentials (Batchelor of Science) he has listed as an accreditation as I find it hard to believe someone with that education would be so negative towards the environment.

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