Sunday, March 12, 2017

Citizen: Please don't ban OHVs from the Castle parks

Gary Nicolson, Letter to the Editor - I grew up in eastern Alberta, and the highlight of any year was a camping and quadding trip to the mountains with friends, also trips camping with my family. I made a decision in 1996 to accept a job offer in the town of Pincher Creek so that I could enjoy everything it had to offer on a regular basis. Things like the National Park, Provincial Camping areas, as well as forestry access and OHV use and primitive camping opportunities. I left my immediate family so that I could enjoy the area with my children and pets. We spent almost every week end enjoying the Castle, Carbondale, Lynx Creek, Lost creek, area.

We have been responsible users and always taking consideration of others, I was President of the Pincher Creek Mountaineers snowmobile Club, Director of the Crowsnest Forest Stewardship Society, member of the Quad Squad. Over the last 20 years have attending many user group meetings.

Some of the actions we performed, we built many bridges, cleared trails, closed trails, erected signage, built shelters, picked up garbage, built fences to block off sensitive areas, made compromise’s for all users good .Closed off high elevation passes, blocked off trails into bogs. All in order to be a better steward of the land and region.

Past, Present and Vision for the Future


Over all of these years I had the chance to talk with many locals from around these parts, as you know experts can walk into a place making claims, but the old and wise have true proven knowledge of this area. They told me of a time when there were logging roads pushed in all over, junk from camps littering the landscape, even showed me where if you dig you can find old bottles and cans buried, cables from dozers, abandoned vehicles and such. Since that time the government and forestry has come up with sustainable plans for the land, wildlife and user groups so we all can enjoy the land we own as a whole (everyone in Alberta).

A while back there was a plan to enforce both the OHV use and random camping abusers, this lasted only a short time, initially there were tickets handed out by Wildlife officers, they would patrol the area, mark down license plate numbers and locations of random campers and if they left garbage, or if people were found operating off trails they were fined.

Then after this the government of the time in a cost saving measure without concern for the situation handed this job over to summer students, issuing the fines required a court appearance if not paid by a certain date, because of this only warnings were given out, so that the students would not have to be brought out of school and paid for attending court dates. This idea had failure written all over it, if hefty fines were given to the culprits, they soon would learn proper behaviour, I may note that there is only a handful of problem people that are spoiling it for the others. When we have careless and reckless drivers which break the rules on the streets and in towns and cities we do not close them down because of a few, we enforce rules and issue fines or jail time.

Saying this, I must add that more damage was done by the floods in the area over the past 20 years than 1000 years of OHV and random camping use would create.


We have been lead to believe because of all the meetings of stakeholders groups and plans made by first the Castle Access Management Plan, and then the plan that is in progress now, South Saskatchewan River Planning Commission that the current uses would be allowed , but with some changes to be made, not total reversals as we hear of currently.


I can see a day when people (mostly the ones whom have never enjoyed a ride through the forest and smelled the smells they offer and the great sites and wild life) can accept others with Disabilities whether they are crippled from birth or from a disease or accident, elderly, obese from a society of junk food, paralyzed with hand controls, terminally ill, MS, MD sufferers and want to get back into a world that is available to them now, where they may have grown up or heard a loved one, maybe a grandfather or uncle talk about. I hear the excuses why this should not be possible because it does not fit in with their vision. Where is their compassion for their neighbors, family and other human beings, my God isn’t this what this current government is about, compassion for all of us. Please do not close this area off from us.

Can you find it in your heart to stand with the people which are unable to hike great distances and provide them with good trails and bridges and enforcement to accommodate this?  Don’t fall short like the previous government and just talk the talk, but not walk the walk.

I wonder if some day the OHVs may be electric and quiet and if that would make a difference, if so, it would be nice to have a place to go and enjoy them that was a vision of a government that cared enough to see it.

Common Sense, Science and Compromise:

I always like truth, science can sometimes be flawed in this. A few arguments that really push my buttons and my thoughts on...

Water Quality:

And OHV use, first I believe in bridges, I built a lot of them, crossing streams that run fast are not the problem, on water quality, but it is not good for the fish if you are driving down them, your OHV should be impounded for this, like what happens to your car if you are caught drag racing on the streets. The most important thing we can do on water quality has do with feces from animals ,horses ,cattle ,bison, deer , run off from farms, run off from cultivated and fertilized fields, sewage disposal. My rational for this is when it rains hard, all water ways turn murky only to clear up later, as a child, have you ever stepped into a puddle and it immediately turned murky only to settle out quickly?

Protection of Species:

With less than one percent of the area accessible on the trails it seems a stretch there would be a problem, The grizzly bear stories of being near extinction in the area a few years were proven to be false and was brought about by the same group wanting total closure and their scientist friends were off by about 10 times the amount or more.

Tourism and Economy:

Both plans could work together, multi use, a park is fine , maybe the boundaries are wrong or what a park is needs redefining .

Close off the South Castle up to the Beaver Mines lake Provincial Park, Close off West Castle up to Castle River Campground or even have it up to the Castle Falls campground. This should a good compromise with the group pushing. But I know they are not interested in compromising. This would still allow the current businesses to remain intact and allow for new business and new opportunities for new ones, also would reduce the cost to the government to get this done.

OHV users and Random Campers:

We are not bad people or rebels, lots of us are environmentalists that want to get back into the wilderness in ways their ancestors did. OHV’s are today’s horses , we have not been raised on horses or have the ability to ride or store them when not being used, we are tax payers, consumers ,pastors, first nations, doctors, lawyers, police officers ,firemen, health care workers, teachers, even politicians.

What we want:

Is the ability to enjoy our provincial lands and keep it for our future generations to use as we have done, but with help to ensure the use of primitive camping, OHV use, remain in a way that ensures this?

To be heard as well as the people that want it closed for their purpose and using their so called science and animal stories to try to convince you this is all true. A commitment for a good trail net work with bridges, and for enforcement of the area to discourage improper use and to educate.

Please leave a legacy of wisdom and fairness and not only celebrate the diversity of the area, but also the diversity of the people that use this area, and the Albertans that enjoy it many ways so that we can all be pleased and proud of what is being done!

Yours Truly
Gary Nicolson
Pincher Creek

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous17/3/17

    Good comment guy. Too many good points to mention. Ya but nobody cares about us. This is bigger than you think and just the start of a global agenda. Maybe people like you can stop it here? But you won't if you don't know what it really is. Agenda 21 from the 90's COPS 21 from 2015, I believe. UN climate change agenda. No kidding. Your current premiere attended COPS 21 in France in her first year as premiere. That in itself is a big deal as this is only meant for federal government people. Notley has her own agenda and doesn't care about you. When we are all going broke from the Carbon taxes that are in full affect and we can't camp in our own backyard you now know where the knife came. These globalists rule us now, including prime minister rich boy, who spent years in China with his dad, who was a communist. Are you getting the picture? Socialism is communism light and always seems like a good idea at the time. Somehow it always turns into people turning on each other, thats how they do it. IF we could only stop these people"name your villain" everything would be great! Sadly this method always works and never ends up good for anybody. Have you noticed the actual fine print in their agenda? They have basically given this area to equestrian users, bicyclists and aboriginal people. Your rights have been given to other people because they are a different RACE or social demographic than you. Aboriginal people will be allowed to ATV anywhere they want, when it is all said and done. It isn't just against atving in the back country as some people would argue as you also won't be able to random camp anywhere at all. Sound crazy. This is social engineering dude. It always works as they put different groups in opposition of each other, eg(native people or large city people) against redneck country people. This was actually discussed in France at COPS 21 that natural areas need to be given back to aboriginal peoples of the world. What the xxxx does that even mean? World has gone nuts. Liberal snowflakes have finally lost their minds. Just be aware of this. Its not as simple as muddy trail bad atver, that's just the excuse. They are trying to put us all in a box so we can be better controlled. They will do this by pitting us against each other. Only the brightest will figure this out. Its easy to put people in opposition of each other. This has been done all through history and the powers at be are very good at it by now. More to come, don't keep your eyes wide shut. Only the virtuous will understand. Solve the puzzle and you will find truth in everything you seek. If this gets posted and you have read this, don't forget. There is much more to come, this is just the beginning of people losing all of their freedoms. May the odds be ever in your favor.


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