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avb3
09-15-2010, 01:00 PM
I have just received a note that:

The province of Alberta is negotiating, and apparently cabinet is discussing, the approval of a sale of 100 quarters of native prairie land near Bow Island.

Details are as follows

- the sale is to SLM Spud Farms; 1317748 Ltd
- the lands are in Twp's 12, 13; Rge 11, W4
- the application to purchase is PLS100018
- part, maybe all of the land in this disposition may be part of the Bow Island Grazing Association
- Stelmach had a meeting on July 29 with Forty Mile Council, where this was discussed

I believe my source to be very credible. This potential sale must be stopped.

We only have 5% of our native prairie land left, and to turn any of the publicly held land to any crops is just plain wrong. Apparently Mel Knight, Minister of SRD has suggested that funds from the sale would be turned over to the Nature Conservancy of Canada so they can purchase prairie land, but apparently the NCC knows nothing about this.

What is our province doing? This is irreversible.. once the prairie grasslands are gone, their gone. They won't come back, and it cannot be remediated or "reclaimed".

There is no way that we as hunters, anglers and conservationists can support this.

Do your part and contact your MLA today, and tell them you can't support this native habitat being converted to potatoes.

Andy von Busse
Past President, AFGA
Founding Director, ACA
Charter Member, ESCC

Neil Waugh
09-15-2010, 01:20 PM
The Alberta Wilderness Association http://albertawilderness.ca has put out two alerts on this since Friday.
Andy's (and MY) outfit have apparently only found out about it today. There's also a big difference. The AWA has a digital database and can rev up it's membership with the click of a mouse. AFGA can't so it will be weeks before they get their creaky PR machine working. If at all.
Still, the first region where Stelmach's saintly Land Use Framework is supposedly applied (except it's high-centred) is in the south.
Now it looks like someone is trying do a greasy deal before the zoning lines are drawn on the map. The minister, who is the same minister mandated by the preem with driving the LUF, appears to be in on the game.
It just gets worse and worse down at the Leg. don't it?
I wonder what Danielle thinks about potatoes?

walking buffalo
09-15-2010, 01:24 PM
Thanks for the heads up. Please provide any links to the information.

Apparently Mel Knight, Minister of SRD has suggested that funds from the sale would be turned over to the Nature Conservancy of Canada so they can purchase prairie land,

Sounds like typical political rhetoric. Sell the prairie to make money to buy buy the prairie.......

bruceba
09-15-2010, 01:31 PM
Yes thanks for the heads up. I'm forwarding the info to all on my list also thanks.

SLH
09-15-2010, 01:31 PM
The Alberta Wilderness Association http://albertawilderness.ca has put out two alerts on this since Friday.
Andy's (and MY) outfit have apparently only found out about it today. There's also a big difference. The AWA has a digital database and can rev up it's membership with the click of a mouse. AFGA can't so it will be weeks before they get their creaky PR machine working. If at all.
Still, the first region where Stelmach's saintly Land Use Framework is supposedly applied (except it's high-centred) is in the south.
Now it looks like someone is trying do a greasy deal before the zoning lines are drawn on the map. The minister, who is the same minister mandated by the preem with driving the LUF, appears to be in on the game.
It just gets worse and worse down at the Leg. don't it?
I wonder what Danielle thinks about potatoes?

Present minister past minister or both?

This is wrong on a lot of levels!

DarkAisling
09-15-2010, 01:54 PM
When was this disposition applied for?

I should be able to find the disposition boundary, but I can't.

Grizzly Adams
09-15-2010, 05:15 PM
Here's the man's e-mail adress. Have at er.:lol: I sent him my two bits worth.

http://www.melknightmla.com/cgi-bin/dev1.cgi


Grizz

wilburhunter
09-15-2010, 08:31 PM
Looks like we have all been asleep at the wheel. This has been in the working since 2007.

http://www.aenweb.ca/node/1866

http://www.google.ca/url?sa=t&source=web&cd=1&ved=0CBQQFjAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Falbertawilderness.ca%2Fwla%2F2007 %2F2007-12-vol.15-no.6-wild-lands-advocate%2Fdownload&rct=j&q=Storm%20Brewing%20on%20the%20Prairies%20%E2%80%9 3%20Public%20Lands%20up%20for%20Grabs&ei=jnyRTIyhF4qasAP18ZmKBw&usg=AFQjCNG9lraUtyuMHxXfpXB4sPsWWWe3IA&cad=rja

Both of these are an interesting read. Too bad it came from AWA and not AFGA.

Rockymtnx
09-15-2010, 09:02 PM
Great to see more public/government lands being sold off!
Yeah right!

avb3
09-15-2010, 10:18 PM
Looks like we have all been asleep at the wheel. This has been in the working since 2007.
...

Both of these are an interesting read. Too bad it came from AWA and not AFGA.

It makes one wonder how much behind the scenes has been going on at the political level.

It reminds me of the negotiations the AFGA had to buy the Pheasant Hatchery in Brooks (we even had mortgage financing arranged), and it was kiboshed through the local MLA, Lyle Oberg at the time. I remember Oberg coming to a meeting a the legislature once with his "buddy" Chuck Fuller (of Earl's restaurant fame), who ended up owning the facility, for less money then we were prepared to put into it. In fact, we had even met with Ralph Klein at the time, and he seemed supportive of our bid.

Guess who is a board member of the Canadian Pheasant Company now? Fuller is out... but the former MLA is not.

Funny how politics works.

garf
09-16-2010, 01:19 AM
There are 3 or 4 quarters of land listed for sale just south of the Whitemud freeway in Strathcona County that I always thought were part of an agricultural disposition adjoining the "Sherwood Park Natural Area", whatever that is. I cannot accesss the SRD website tonight, could someone else help me out here to define it?
NE2-52-23-4, NW2-52-23-4, SE11-52-23-4, SW11-52-23-4

http://www.goodchildproperties.com/featured_listings.html&listingsView=0&status=0&sortBy=1&propType=1%20http://www.domain.com

Porcupine
09-16-2010, 02:28 AM
I wonder what Danielle thinks about potatoes?
Danielle... Smith?

Taco
09-16-2010, 07:46 AM
Aggressive personality this Ypma, likes to make his own rules. That 2003 potato farm development on the north side of the river he had the complete irrigation system in place before he even bothered to apply for a water diversion licence

Ryry4
09-16-2010, 08:54 AM
Aggressive personality this Ypma, likes to make his own rules. That 2003 potato farm development on the north side of the river he had the complete irrigation system in place before he even bothered to apply for a water diversion licence

Doesn't surprise me that's who's doing it. I trust these guys as far as I can toss them.

Ryry4
09-16-2010, 08:58 AM
Anyone know who's the MLA for that area? Is it Broyce Jacobs or is it the next one over to the east? I need to make a phone call.

SLH
09-16-2010, 09:10 AM
Not sure where the boundaries are over there but it is either Mitzel, McFarland, Renner or Jacobs.

Just looked at the map it could definitely be Jacobs

avb3
09-16-2010, 09:14 AM
Looks like we will hear more about it on Micheal Short's radio program this Saturday. It will be interesting to see what Mel Knight says this time.

-------------------------------------------------------------------

Episode Sept 19.

Feature stories on:

We dive into a story that is developing in South East Alberta involving the potential sale of 100 quarters of public land, known to be home to a number of endangered species. All so that we can have more potato chips! The sale of this public land is to a potato producer in the area. To further complicate the issue the proceeds of this sale have been earmarked for the Nature Conservancy of Canada towards the purchase of land that in the words of Mel Knight, Minister of ASRD would be "10 times more environmentally valuable". Problem is the Nature Conservancy claims to know nothing about this deal.

I will have a chat with Cliff Wallace Vice president of the Alberta Wilderness Association and the Minister of Alberta sustainable Resource Development Mel Knight.

See you on the radio!

Thanks very much. Have a great weekend.

Michael Short
Let's Go Outdoors
www.letsgooutdoorsradio.com (http://www.letsgooutdoorsradio.com/)

Ryry4
09-16-2010, 10:01 AM
Looks like we will hear more about it on Micheal Short's radio program this Saturday. It will be interesting to see what Mel Knight says this time.

-------------------------------------------------------------------

Episode Sept 19.

Feature stories on:

We dive into a story that is developing in South East Alberta involving the potential sale of 100 quarters of public land, known to be home to a number of endangered species. All so that we can have more potato chips! The sale of this public land is to a potato producer in the area. To further complicate the issue the proceeds of this sale have been earmarked for the Nature Conservancy of Canada towards the purchase of land that in the words of Mel Knight, Minister of ASRD would be "10 times more environmentally valuable". Problem is the Nature Conservancy claims to know nothing about this deal.

I will have a chat with Cliff Wallace Vice president of the Alberta Wilderness Association and the Minister of Alberta sustainable Resource Development Mel Knight.

See you on the radio!

Thanks very much. Have a great weekend.

Michael Short
Let's Go Outdoors
www.letsgooutdoorsradio.com (http://www.letsgooutdoorsradio.com/)

I've got an uncle that lives south of Brudett and he mentioned this sale to me a few months ago. I had no idea it was this much land. He also said that the gov't is looking to sell off land that has endangered species living in it because the environmental lobby groups are making their lives miserable with all the regulations they have to follow. So the simple thing to do is sell it and then they don't have to deal with the environmentalists. Not saying this is 100% accurate, but it does fit the bill with how Stelmach and his cronies have operated since taking power.

Ryry4
09-16-2010, 10:09 AM
Just made a couple phone calls. We'll see if I get anywhere or if they even get back to me.

SLH
09-16-2010, 10:23 AM
Looks like we will hear more about it on Micheal Short's radio program this Saturday. It will be interesting to see what Mel Knight says this time.

-------------------------------------------------------------------

Episode Sept 19.

Feature stories on:

We dive into a story that is developing in South East Alberta involving the potential sale of 100 quarters of public land, known to be home to a number of endangered species. All so that we can have more potato chips! The sale of this public land is to a potato producer in the area. To further complicate the issue the proceeds of this sale have been earmarked for the Nature Conservancy of Canada towards the purchase of land that in the words of Mel Knight, Minister of ASRD would be "10 times more environmentally valuable". Problem is the Nature Conservancy claims to know nothing about this deal.

I will have a chat with Cliff Wallace Vice president of the Alberta Wilderness Association and the Minister of Alberta sustainable Resource Development Mel Knight.

See you on the radio!

Thanks very much. Have a great weekend.

Michael Short
Let's Go Outdoors
www.letsgooutdoorsradio.com (http://www.letsgooutdoorsradio.com/)

Its interesting how we can protect other land with the sale of this land. It would seem that this "more" valuable land would probably come out of the lease program as well which doesn't quite make sense to me. We can protect protected land by selling protected land. Plus who determines what is more environmentally valuable. Carring capacity might be higher, species diversity might be greater but really how is one more valuable than another. What I do know that it's value will be non-existant as potatoe fields so with my pencil sharpened I calculate a net overall loss along with a gross overall loss. Sounds like a great deal.

The other side of this is what is the economic benefit to this developer. There is no talk of what he is prepared to pay to the province for all of this but lets say grassland in the area is worth $500-$1000 an acre (I'm sure that this would be something less than the going rate) and he spends a few more hundred to get the water delivery (I thought water allocations where limited) so somewhere around $1000 and acre. Now I'm pretty sure irrigated land around Bow Island and Hays is any where from $2800-$4500 and acre.

Seems like he might not be in this for the potatoes but rather the cabbage.

Interesting how he can stick handle through all the red tape as well with what could only be seen from the outside as an endorsement from SRD, Agriculture and Environment.

Who does speak for the wild places at the Legislature?

avb3
09-16-2010, 10:31 AM
Its
Interesting how he can stick handle through all the red tape as well with what could only be seen from the outside as an endorsement from SRD, Agriculture and Environment.

Who does speak for the wild places at the Legislature?

It is my understanding that SRD originally opposed this transaction. It looks like the Minister overruled it.

Now, who does speak for wild places at the Leg? Good question, as Mel Knight appears to speak for potatoes. Someone should tell him he is NOT the Minister of Agriculture.

Rockymtnx
09-16-2010, 11:17 AM
Andy, thanks for all of you info on this matter so far. Please keep us up to date on anything further that you hear. I know that the executive of some of our other Alberta outdoor organizations sure donít seem to be spreading the word to their members. I often wonder if they are even representing us at all. Once this land is sold, it will NEVER be public land again. Gone forever. :(

I am not from the area that this particular land is in, but from my understanding this is prime habitat for pronghorn, sharp-tails, and prairie rattle snakes. Maybe someone can elaborate a bit more on it for us.

Can anyone tell me what Mel Knight has done for any of us outdoor enthusiasts? Even with Ted Mortonís RAMP and Open Spaces projects he sure did a hell of a lot more than this character. Mel is all about the money and not about habitat and conservation.

SLH
09-16-2010, 03:01 PM
Andy, thanks for all of you info on this matter so far. Please keep us up to date on anything further that you hear. I know that the executive of some of our other Alberta outdoor organizations sure donít seem to be spreading the word to their members. I often wonder if they are even representing us at all. Once this land is sold, it will NEVER be public land again. Gone forever. :(

I am not from the area that this particular land is in, but from my understanding this is prime habitat for pronghorn, sharp-tails, and prairie rattle snakes. Maybe someone can elaborate a bit more on it for us.

Can anyone tell me what Mel Knight has done for any of us outdoor enthusiasts? Even with Ted Mortonís RAMP and Open Spaces projects he sure did a hell of a lot more than this character. Mel is all about the money and not about habitat and conservation.

I don't think that we should overlook the fact that Mortin was ass deep in this process as well. It would appear that a lot of this has been going on since '07 and even earlier. So without sticking up for anything Knight is or isn't Mortin isn't without blame in all of this either. He could easily have taken the lead on this and protected those lands but I would agree with your statement that they are both all about the money. It is ironic that the ministry that we rely on to manage our wildlife and wild places is actually about developing and exploiting our natural resources.

Another interesting read (yes AWA but seems to be valid)

albertawilderness.ca/wla/2007/2007-12-vol.15-no.6...lands.../download

SLH
09-16-2010, 03:05 PM
It is my understanding that SRD originally opposed this transaction. It looks like the Minister overruled it.

Where is this from. I'm not a big fan of Mortin but if this is fact I'll give credit where it is due.

avb3
09-16-2010, 04:34 PM
The AFGA has just issued this (http://www.afga.org/index.html?func=news&articleID=65) press release adding its voice of opposition to the conversion of native prairie land to a potato farm.

Again, readers are encouraged to contact their MLA's to attempt to stop this.

WayneChristie
09-16-2010, 05:11 PM
[QUOTE=Rockymtnx;682352]
I am not from the area that this particular land is in, but from my understanding this is prime habitat for pronghorn, sharp-tails, and prairie rattle snakes. Maybe someone can elaborate a bit more on it for us.

I drive thru this area, maybe not the exact location they are selling, but close enough, often. The highway has a sign posted for rattlesnakes, for 60 KM actually, asking people to protect them. Not once have I driven thru without seeing at least a few pronghorns. But, the public needs more potato chips, we are much too healthy right now!

landowner
09-16-2010, 05:32 PM
Not sure where the boundaries are over there but it is either Mitzel, McFarland, Renner or Jacobs.

Just looked at the map it could definitely be Jacobs

I doubt if Jacobs will help you. He barely won the last election, and the way the conservatives have treated the Cardston riding even if he runs again he knows he'll get beat.

Ryry4
09-17-2010, 03:46 PM
Just got off the phone with SRD. She said they have not made a decision on this as of yet. I don't think it would be a bad idea for everyone to call in and give their 2 cents on this deal though.

Rockymtnx
09-17-2010, 03:55 PM
Just got off the phone with SRD. She said they have not made a decision on this as of yet. I don't think it would be a bad idea for everyone to call in and give their 2 cents on this deal though.

I will call them.
Who or where did you call to?

Ryry4
09-17-2010, 04:05 PM
I will call them.
Who or where did you call to?

I called Broyce Jacobs office and Rob Renner's office. Renner's office then had someone from SRD call me, and I told her what I thought of the deal. Haven't got anywhere with Jacobs but I'll call again on Monday.

Hope this helps.

walking buffalo
09-17-2010, 04:41 PM
To have an effect with the politicians and beaurocrats, this info needs to be made public, shown in the media. Write and phone your local papers and tv stations, get them on the story. As long as the oppostion to this land sale is only expressed internally, the opposition will be ignored.

Neil Waugh
09-18-2010, 09:16 PM
Here's an interesting quote from Stelmach when he was beating his chest at a recent land stewardship conference.


"The new Alberta Land Stewardship Act, which is the enabling legislation for the framework supports the creation of seven new land-use regions, aligned with our major watersheds, and the development of a regional plan for each one.

The Act also establishes new conservation tools to encourage the protection of landscapes, view-scapes, and other ecological and heritage values both on public and private lands."

I guess irrigated potato fields are classified as "view-scapes" in the preem's mind.
And plowing under a bunch of short grass prairie is a "conservation tool."
Kinda makes a mockery of his sacred Land Stewardship Act. Don't it?

walking buffalo
09-18-2010, 10:15 PM
http://albertawilderness.ca/news/2010/2010-09-15-awa-news-release-alberta-for-sale-premier-asked-to-clarify-government2019s-2018prairies-to-potatoes2019-position

2010-09-15 AWA News Release: Alberta for Sale? Premier Asked to Clarify Governmentís ĎPrairies to Potatoesí Position

ó filed under: Public Lands Archive, 2010 News Archive

AWA is asking for the Premier to clarify a statement made to the media by Minister of Sustainable Resource Development, Mel Knight, about funds generated by the proposed sale of native prairie Public Lands near Bow Island, Alberta. Sale and conversion of this land would destroy vital habitat for a number of endangered species

Alberta Wilderness Association (AWA) is asking for the Premier to clarify a statement made to the media by Minister of Sustainable Resource Development (SRD), Mel Knight, about funds generated by the proposed sale of native prairie Public Lands near Bow Island, Alberta. Sale and conversion of this land would destroy vital habitat for a number of endangered species.

Michael Short of the radio program ďLetís Go OutdoorsĒ was apparently told by Minister Knight on Monday that funds from the land sale would be given to the Nature Conservancy of Canada (Alberta) for use in purchasing perhaps as much as ten times the amount of native grassland that will be lost to potato farming in this deal.

ďAWA has learned that the Nature Conservancy of Canada is unaware of any such arrangement,Ē said Cliff Wallis, AWA vice-president. ďIt is AWAís understanding that the Nature Conservancy of Canada could not support such conversion of native grasslands to grow potatoes for snack food, especially when habitat for so many species at risk is involved.Ē

AWA has again written the Premier requesting that he bring his ministry in line with an ethically and morally sound approach to prairie conservation on Public Lands. Specifically, the AWA is calling on the Premier to:

1. halt the sale of this valuable prairie grassland in Townships 12 and 13, Range 11, West of the 4th Meridian
2. put in place a public process for disposition of any Public Land in Alberta
3. strengthen provisions in the Public Lands Act for prairie conservation; and
4. legislatively protect environmentally significant native grasslands on Public Lands.

AWA asked Friday for an emergency response from the Alberta government to prevent the imminent destruction of more than 100 quarters of public land, known to be habitat for a number of species listed under the federal Species at Risk Act, including burrowing owl, ferruginous hawk, Sprague's pipit, chestnut-collared longspur, McCown's longspur, short-eared owl, and long-billed curlew.

AWA understands that the decision to sell this land is before Cabinet.

The public has made it very clear on numerous occasions that they do not want their Public Land sold. Public Lands are managed by the Alberta government on behalf of all Albertans.

For more information:

Cliff Wallis, AWA vice-president 403 271-1408

TreeGuy
09-18-2010, 10:57 PM
The ghosts of trudeau shall last for ages......

For you see my friends, the damage he inflicted upon Alberta created such an anti-liberal hatred that it resulted in liberals becoming 'wolves in sheep's clothing' and running as conservative MLA's for three decades now just to get their place at the trough.

As Albertan's, we currently live under the most pathetically 'old boys club' administration in the nation.

Lazy and corrupt liberals run Alberta at the moment, and it's embarassing.

Jimboy
09-19-2010, 01:12 AM
Who owns public land ? WE DO , how can a political party like the Torys claim ownership , sell it , and pocket the money for themselves , something wrong with the pic here.
The first thing that will go up is a no tresspassing sign.
Also wonder if the spud farmer is a friend of Stelmach.

freeones
09-20-2010, 02:17 PM
The oil industry is basically locked out of native prairie areas by the time they jump through all the hoops, the gov't just spent a fortune on a LUF study to help identify and protect critical areas, but we can sell off a huge chunk of NATIVE PRAIRIE to some scheming potato farmer? How the hell does this stuff happen?

I'm so friggin sick of these greedy corrupt "conservatives" that I can barely control my rage right now. As logn as a couple of them make a $$$, ANYTHING is for sale, including their souls. Teh worst part is, it's done in secrecy, because they know damn well what they're doing is shady as hell.

avb3
09-26-2010, 09:13 AM
Has anyone who has contacted their MLA got any feedback yet?

I wonder if this is even on their radar screen yet.

greylynx
09-26-2010, 02:07 PM
The ghosts of trudeau shall last for ages......

For you see my friends, the damage he inflicted upon Alberta created such an anti-liberal hatred that it resulted in liberals becoming 'wolves in sheep's clothing' and running as conservative MLA's for three decades now just to get their place at the trough.

As Albertan's, we currently live under the most pathetically 'old boys club' administration in the nation.

Lazy and corrupt liberals run Alberta at the moment, and it's embarassing.

Mr. Treeguy:

I don't like saying it and admitting it, but you are bang on right.

DuckBrat
10-17-2010, 09:24 PM
I will phone all MLA offices involved and voice my disdain. To those who already have please report the responses you received??

DuckBrat
10-17-2010, 10:10 PM
Emails sent to the 5 Constituency offices involved. The message reads like this...


Greetings,

I have just been informed of the plan to sell over 100 quarters of Native prairie (grazing reserve) near Bow Island, AB to the local potato consortium. I cannot find the words right now to express my disdain for this decision. This deal smells of political scandal and your effort to keep the news of this off the radar shows the population of this province of you and your partyís lack of integrity. Your discussions with media on this subject prove that you are uneducated in the world of ecology and are unfit to make these types of decisions. I use the comment that you made, "The money from this sale can be used to protect other areas by donating t to the nature conservancy." The Nature conservancy knew nothing of this and it is apparent that you are grasping for small straws to cover the ineptness of your actions. The value of these lands is more than the paltry sum you plan to give it away for. The short grass prairie is a small fragment of what it once was and these quarters are a good percentage of what we have left. The biodiversity on these quarters cannot be matched anywhere so trying to use the revenue from the impending sale to protect lands elsewhere is a foolish point to raise. This is public land and it is not for the likes of you and your small-minded friends to decide upon. There is more to this world than finance and lining your pockets with kick backs from these types of deals. There are many Albertans who use this land for what it is and they are fired up to protect it. Decisions like this will lead to you and your partyís tenure in office being shortened at the next election. My Alberta is more than just Oil, gas, and back room potato deals. Time to go back to school and learn about the value of grassland habitats. Time to enhance the brain cells as it seems PCís long term in office has stagnated the ones you have. Once we plow these areas they will be lost forever.

If you are going to respond please do not bother to send me your usual soothe-say generic response letter written by one of your assistants. We the people deserve better, much better.

DuckBrat
10-19-2010, 12:03 PM
People I have just received word that our trusted PC officials are going to use the muncipal elections as sort of a smokescreen and push the sale of these lands to occur on Friday, October 22. In speaking with representatives from AWA they told me that the government offices are turning a blind eye to the phonecalls saying there has not been anyone call in opposition to this sale. With your letters and phone calls that you have already made We know this to be a blatant lie. We need to make more noise over this issue over the next few days please contact these offices and voice loudly your opposition. Do not let these grasslands be ploiwed under.


Office of the Premier
Room 307, Legislature Building
10800 - 97th Avenue
Edmonton, Alberta
T5K 2B7

Phone: (780) 427 2251

Fax: (780) 427 1349


Mr. Barry McFarland (PC)

Little Bow

Legislature Offices

Legislature Office
#503 Legislature Building
10800 97 Avenue
Edmonton, AB
Canada T5K 2B6
Phone: (780) 427-0879
Fax: (780) 422-0351
Constituency Offices

Constituency Office
P.O. Box 231
111 Carman Street
Carmangay, AB
Canada T0L 0N0
Phone: (403) 643-2077
Toll-Free: 1-800-563-0917
Fax: (403) 643-2024
little.bow@assembly.ab.ca

Mr. Broyce Jacobs (PC)

Cardston Warner Taber

HOME > ELECTED MEMBERS



Contact Information for Mr. Broyce Jacobs (PC)
Biography

MLA for Cardston-Taber-Warner



Legislature Offices

Legislature Office
#513 Legislature Building
10800 97 Avenue
Edmonton, AB
Canada T5K 2B6
Phone: (780) 422-0685
Fax: (780) 427-1835
Constituency Offices

Taber
#940, 5224 - 48 Avenue
Taber, AB
Canada T1G 1S1
Phone: (403) 223-0001
Toll-Free: 1-888-600-6080
Fax: (403) 223-0002
cardston.taberwarner@assembly.ab.ca

Cardston
Box 1539
24 3rd Ave West
Cardston, AB
Canada T0K 0K0
Phone: (403) 653-5100
Fax: (403) 653-3833
cardston.taberwarner@assembly.ab.ca


Mr. Leonard Mitzel (PC)

Cypress Medicine Hat

Legislature Offices

Legislature Office
#503 Legislature Building
10800 97 Avenue
Edmonton, AB
Canada T5K 2B6
Phone: (780) 415-9590
Fax: (780) 422-0351
Constituency Offices

Constituency Office
Trans Canada Place
#5 1299, Trans Canada Way
Medicine Hat, AB
Canada T1B 1H9
Phone: (403) 528-2191
Toll-Free: 1-866-339-2191
Fax: (403) 528-2278
cypress.medicinehat@assembly.ab.ca


Honourable Mel Knight (PC)

Legislature Offices

Legislature Office
#404 Legislature Building
10800-97 Avenue
Edmonton, AB
Canada T5K 2B6
Phone: (780) 415-4815
Fax: (780) 415-4818
Constituency Offices

Constituency Office
#105, 9804 - 100 Avenue
Grande Prairie, AB
Canada T8V 0T8
Phone: (780) 513-1233
Fax: (780) 513-1247
grandeprairie.smoky@assembly.ab.ca


Please make noise on this or other Crown lands will be gone!

DuckBrat
10-19-2010, 12:08 PM
Another contact to bring the issue up with!

Potato Growers of Alberta
6008-46 Avenue
Taber, Alberta T1G 2B1
Phone: (403) 223-2262
Fax: (403) 223-2268
Email: pga@albertapotatoes.ca

DuckBrat
10-19-2010, 12:41 PM
Are there any members here from the Constituency of Calgay Center North??

Your federal MP is Jim Prentice minister of Environment. Due to the number of endangered species on this land up for sale, the Federal Government may be able to step in and do something here. I contacted the office but because I am not living in that constituency the chances of my issue going forward quickly are not very good. Can someone from this riding bring it to The ministers knowledge? The contact is:

Constituency Office
Suite 105, 1318 Centre St NE
Calgary, Alberta T2E 2R7
Office Phone: 403-216-7777
Office Fax: 403 230-4368
Email: prentice.j@parl.gc.ca

Hours: Monday Ė Friday 9:00 am Ė 4:30 pm


Parliament Hill Office
Room 401, Confederation Bldg.
House of Commons
Ottawa, ON K1A 0A6
Office Phone: 613-992-4275
Office Fax: 613-947-9475
Email: prentice.j@parl.gc.ca

Hours: Monday Ė Friday 9:00 am Ė 4:30 pm

DuckBrat
10-19-2010, 06:33 PM
Our provincial government will try and silently ram this deal through on Friday October 22 on Executive order. The cabinet will take the steps on Friday so that the deal will be finalized before the Legislature re-convenes on Monday. If there was ever a time to act than now we would be good.

13,000 square acres of grass lost will sure limit the Pronghorn production as well as many other species. There are some nasty consequences to this deal going down in the realm of water diversion from the SSR. The owner of the Spud farm being given this deal is Louis Ytma. Guess what... he is a conservative Party organizer for the southern portion of the province. There is no conflict of interest here (Sarcasm of course).

Help!!!!!

avb3
10-19-2010, 10:39 PM
My sources confirm what DuckBrat just posted.

If you care at all about maintaining native prairie land, you need to call. Emails are not enough... they get filed away.

Calling the MLA is what is needed. Let them know in no uncertain terms what your thoughts are.

Let them know that neither they, nor frankly nor do we, want SARA (federal endangered species act) to be implemented, but it could be, and it could set precedences that the province may not want.

That is not a threat, that is reality. Call them tomorrow morning.

PEIslander
10-19-2010, 10:53 PM
Has anybody contacted the Wildrose Alliance about this? I'm sure they'd love to grind the government over it...

Or any of the major media outlets? Shine a bit of public attention on the "sale"...

TreeGuy
10-19-2010, 11:21 PM
Has anybody contacted the Wildrose Alliance about this? I'm sure they'd love to grind the government over it...

Or any of the major media outlets? Shine a bit of public attention on the "sale"...

X2! Is this not a story that the cbc would love to sink their teeth into? God knows our mla's could give a crap about it. Media attention is the only hope in this province. :(

avb3
10-20-2010, 10:06 AM
Just trying to bring this thread to the top of the pile, as the government is about to make the deal... you have only 2 days to contact your MLA to have any input.

Okotokian
10-20-2010, 10:20 AM
[LEFT]Has anybody contacted the Wildrose Alliance about this? I'm sure they'd love to grind the government over it...

Perhaps, but would protecting this resource fit with their political/philosophical stance (I don't know. I'm asking)? They project themselves as being to the right and more private sector/free enterprise than the Tories. Protecting prairie grasslands sounds like something those &$%# AWA tree-hugging dope smokers would dream up. ;)

If Wildrose is more committed to environmental protection than the Stelmach gang then I think they may have my vote. :)

DarkAisling
10-20-2010, 10:38 AM
Well . . . here is what I sent. I should have had someone else in the office proof it, but I didn't. I hope that aren't any glaring blunders in it. I sliced and diced your posts together with some of my own wording.


Dear Honourable Mr. Prentice,

I am one of your constituents in Calgary Centre-North, who has recently become aware of a pending environmental disaster requiring your attention. Fortunately, there may still be time to act.

There is a plan in place to sell over one hundred quarter sections of native prairie near Bow Island, AB to the local potato consortium (SLM Spud Farms; 1317748 Ltd). The disposition for the application to purchase these lands is PLS 100018. At least part of this disposition falls within a grazing reserve. With only 5% of our native prairie land left in its natural state, this pending sale poses great concern. Once gone, these lands may not be remediated or reclaimed: they will be gone forever.

From what I understand, Mel Knight---Minister of Sustainable Resource Development---has suggested that funds from the sale would be turned over to the Nature Conservancy of Canada so they can purchase prairie land, but the N.C.C. knows nothing about this. Even if this was the case, the biodiversity on these quarters cannot be matched anywhere.

The value of these lands far exceeds anything that can be quantified or measured: there is no dollar amount that could be considered reasonable compensation for the loss of the lands or the species at risk that abide within them.

From what I understand, the sale of the lands is to take place on Friday, October 22, 2010.

Iím implore you to review the situation and act swiftly.

DarkAisling
10-20-2010, 11:22 AM
Here is the reply:

Thank you for your email to Mr. Prentice. As your email is specific to his portfolio as Minister of the Environment, I have forwarded it to Environment Canada. If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact us. Thank you.

DuckBrat
10-20-2010, 11:38 AM
Thank you for sending that off to the Federal office! Folks don't forget to flood the provincial offices with phone calls over the next few days.

PEIslander
10-20-2010, 05:51 PM
Perhaps, but would protecting this resource fit with their political/philosophical stance (I don't know. I'm asking)? They project themselves as being to the right and more private sector/free enterprise than the Tories. Protecting prairie grasslands sounds like something those &$%# AWA tree-hugging dope smokers would dream up. ;)

If Wildrose is more committed to environmental protection than the Stelmach gang then I think they may have my vote. :)


I was thinking their interest in it may lie more in the, backroom deal for crown assets that will be likely sold for less than fair market value, side of things.

SLM has a successful history with moves like this... http://www.aenweb.ca/node/1866 This deal was likely complete long before we heard of it.

PEIslander
10-20-2010, 06:07 PM
Has anybody contacted the Wildrose Alliance about this? I'm sure they'd love to grind the government over it...

Or any of the major media outlets? Shine a bit of public attention on the "sale"...

It did make the news earlier in the month. Anyone see it?

http://www.calgaryherald.com/business/Wilderness+group+challenges+spud+farm/3612298/story.html?cid=megadrop_story

http://www.calgaryherald.com/news/Wilderness+group+challenges+Alberta+spud+farm/3613251/story.html

http://www.albertalocalnews.com/reddeeradvocate/lifestyles/columnists/Planned_Crown_land_sale_really_stinks_103640024.ht ml

http://www.lethbridgeherald.com/2010100431609/opinions/lands-belong-to-albertans-10410.html

DuckBrat
10-21-2010, 10:05 AM
This thing is getting close. Rumour has it that there may already be tractors parked in the area waiting for the documents to be signed (tomorrow) when they may begin plowing. If true, I question the wisdom of that action as exposing the soil now would only leave it open to wind erosion. I cant express in words the disdain I feel for the happenngs surrounding this deal.

bruceba
10-21-2010, 01:35 PM
Now I may be mistaken but isn't there a connection between Mr. Knight and the purchaser that goes way back in time and involves cattle? IMHO I'm thinking pay back for monies lost in past ventures. I could be wrong but I've have been right on occasion.:)

PEIslander
10-21-2010, 06:12 PM
Was the first story on Global Lethbridge tonight.
http://www.globallethbridge.com/video/index.html?releasePID=Zhjw2ys26TbYH6bjjHo07d_ukuat GPsL

TreeGuy
10-21-2010, 07:38 PM
QR770 has been reporting this tonight, using the terminology, "sold to a government supporter". They even had a clip from good ol' nigel from the awa. They also said that cabinet is poised to approve the sale.

Likely too late to stop the deal, but hopefully enough of a stink is raised to potentially shed some light onto the inner workings of this corrupt and tired regiem..........

DuckBrat
10-21-2010, 07:54 PM
Thanks for this!

Iron Brew
10-22-2010, 06:52 AM
in the Edmonton Journal

http://www.edmontonjournal.com/news/Public+trust+betrayed+grasslands+deal/3710268/story.html

harryones
10-22-2010, 01:33 PM
Has anybody contacted the Wildrose Alliance about this? I'm sure they'd love to grind the government over it...

Or any of the major media outlets? Shine a bit of public attention on the "sale"...

This issue got me going enough to contact my local MLA Rob Anderson of the Wildrose Alliance. Here is what he had to say.


Hi Steve



Thanks for the email Ė you are bang on with your assessment in my view. It is disgraceful what the Tories have done here. The Wildrose Alliance Agriculture Critic, MLA Paul Hinman, just put out a statement in the media on the issue and Iíve included one of the links to it:



http://www.inews880.com/Channels/Reg/LocalNews/story.aspx?ID=1298333



Another reason we have come out strong against this sale, in addition to the points you made, is because it has not been done transparently.



If they want to sell the land, the least they could have done was make it public and allow conservation groups to be part of the process! For example, there are many conservation groups that are able to purchase the land to preserve it.



The truly bizarre defence the PCs keep using is of giving the proceeds of this sale to a conservation group in order to buy land they may want to preserve elsewhere - the fact is these groups want this land preserved and rightfully so.



This is all part of the problem with this government and the way they deal behind closed doors . We have spoken out against this in numerous papers and on several radio programs and hope the heat is turned up enough that perhaps the deal falls through.



Anyway, I hope this answered your question and I encourage you to write the Premier and Ag Minister as well. Iíll continue to work with our Wildrose caucus to pressure the Government into doing the right thing (if they know what that is anymore;)



All the best and email or call anytime,



Rob Anderson



MLA Airdrie-Chestermere



website: www.robanderson.ca

email: airdrie.chestermere@assembly.ab.ca

phone: (403) 948-8741 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting (403) 948-8741 end_of_the_skype_highlighting

fax: (403) 948-8744

DuckBrat
10-22-2010, 02:53 PM
I'd like to thank everyone who has taken the time and made the effort to make thier feelings known on this Issue. Please keep it going.

My PC MLA was suppose to meet me today but I can't seem to find him now that this has hit the nerws.

PEIslander
10-22-2010, 08:01 PM
This issue got me going enough to contact my local MLA Rob Anderson of the Wildrose Alliance. Here is what he had to say.


Hi Steve



Thanks for the email Ė you are bang on with your assessment in my view. It is disgraceful what the Tories have done here. The Wildrose Alliance Agriculture Critic, MLA Paul Hinman, just put out a statement in the media on the issue and Iíve included one of the links to it:



http://www.inews880.com/Channels/Reg/LocalNews/story.aspx?ID=1298333



Another reason we have come out strong against this sale, in addition to the points you made, is because it has not been done transparently.



If they want to sell the land, the least they could have done was make it public and allow conservation groups to be part of the process! For example, there are many conservation groups that are able to purchase the land to preserve it.



The truly bizarre defence the PCs keep using is of giving the proceeds of this sale to a conservation group in order to buy land they may want to preserve elsewhere - the fact is these groups want this land preserved and rightfully so.



This is all part of the problem with this government and the way they deal behind closed doors . We have spoken out against this in numerous papers and on several radio programs and hope the heat is turned up enough that perhaps the deal falls through.



Anyway, I hope this answered your question and I encourage you to write the Premier and Ag Minister as well. Iíll continue to work with our Wildrose caucus to pressure the Government into doing the right thing (if they know what that is anymore;)



All the best and email or call anytime,



Rob Anderson



MLA Airdrie-Chestermere



website: www.robanderson.ca

email: airdrie.chestermere@assembly.ab.ca

phone: (403) 948-8741 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting (403) 948-8741 end_of_the_skype_highlighting

fax: (403) 948-8744



Excellent. Thanks!

PEIslander
10-22-2010, 08:06 PM
It made Global Lethbridge again tonight.

Supposedly the deal is not done yet and supposedly the government is not "feathering a nest" for themselves once they get canned...

I'll post the link to the video once it goes up.

PEIslander
10-22-2010, 11:28 PM
Still no link for the Global video yet, but it was on their late night news too.

CHAT news out of Medicine Hat also had a story tonight. No video, but it's a blurb four paragraphs down http://www.chattelevision.ca/news-feeds/chat-news.html .

In the CHAT news segment they spoke to Len Mitzel (http://www.assembly.ab.ca/net/index.aspx?p=mla_contact&rnumber=50) the MLA for Medicine Hat-Cypress. He appears to be for the sale, suggesting the money from it could be leveraged at a 3 to 1 ratio to buy native grassland thats currently in private hands and turn it to over to the Crown...

avb3
10-25-2010, 04:30 PM
It is my understanding that the Wildrose asked about this transaction during Question Period today in the Leg. I am waiting for transcripts.

PEIslander
10-25-2010, 07:32 PM
It is my understanding that the Wildrose asked about this transaction during Question Period today in the Leg. I am waiting for transcripts.

Those will be interesting to see.

PEIslander
10-25-2010, 07:39 PM
Still no link for the Global video yet, but it was on their late night news too.

CHAT news out of Medicine Hat also had a story tonight. No video, but it's a blurb four paragraphs down http://www.chattelevision.ca/news-feeds/chat-news.html .

In the CHAT news segment they spoke to Len Mitzel (http://www.assembly.ab.ca/net/index.aspx?p=mla_contact&rnumber=50) the MLA for Medicine Hat-Cypress. He appears to be for the sale, suggesting the money from it could be leveraged at a 3 to 1 ratio to buy native grassland thats currently in private hands and turn it to over to the Crown...




This is the link from Friday http://www.globallethbridge.com/video/index.html?releasePID=S6FhTGABNwcgcffukVVvK_tDCYSh Dken story is at 9:31.

Was on again tonight, but that link is not up yet. Tonight they showed some clips from the legislature and Mel Knight was defending the process, saying that he has consulted with town councillors, grazing lease managers, etc. over the last 6 months...

avb3
10-25-2010, 10:06 PM
Also, the Liberals brought it up as a statement from the leader.

Here are two new story links.

Globe and Mail (http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/potatogate-has-alberta-legislators-steaming/article1772516/)

Calgary Herald (http://www.calgaryherald.com/news/Swann+seeks+halt+backroom+deal+turn+grassland+into +potato+farm/3724374/story.html?cid=megadrop_story)

avb3
10-26-2010, 12:30 AM
The issue of the sale of this native prairie land was brought up a number of times in the legislature today.

Here is Hansards record (I have tried to break it up to make it more readable)

Dr. Swann (Liberal leader)

Sale of Public Land for Commercial Use

Dr. Swann: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Albertans support the Liberal
policy for a moratorium on the sale of Crown-owned land. Unfortunately
though, we have a government hiding behind a loophole in
legislation and selling our land to a private owner, a friend of the
government, behind closed doors. While this has become common
practice with this administration, there is a better way. To the
Premier: has cabinet approved this sale?


Alberta Hansard October 25, 2010
906

Mr. Stelmach: Mr. Speaker, our government's policy has always
been, whether it's in the oil sands or whether it's in agriculture or
any other industry, to balance the needs of economic growth, of
increasing jobs in the province, balancing those needs in terms of
landowner rights and also the environment. There's an application
before the Minister of SRD. He is reviewing the application, and he
will be able to provide the details in terms of the process of any sale
of Crown lands.

The Speaker: The hon. leader.

Dr. Swann: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Even if there isn't a legal
obligation to consult with Albertans on the sale of their land, isn't
there a moral obligation?

Mr. Stelmach: Mr. Speaker, there is a process that is followed in
terms of accepting any application from any landowner in terms of
the disposal of any Crown property, and that's land that's owned by
the people of Alberta. As I said, there is a process, and we're
following that process. The minister may have other details.

Dr. Swann: Well, can the Premier confirm that this land is being
sold for pennies on the dollar?

Mr. Knight: Mr. Speaker, the situation as it stands today is that we
have a proposal Ė a proposal Ė from a group of individuals that want
to take a look at an agricultural prospect in southern Alberta. The
idea that we are selling, have sold, or are going to sell: pure
speculation. What's happening here is that there are members
opposite who are watching TV ads and reading newspapers and
deciding that that's government action based on what they read.
There is a proposal that we're dealing with. We're assessing it and
will continue to do so.



2:20 Sale of Public Land for Commercial Use
(continued)

Ms. Bridget A. Pastoor

Ms Pastoor: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. In recent weeks we have
heard outrage from across Alberta regarding the sale of Crown lands
for a potato farm. Instead of protecting Albertans' land, this
government is selling it without public consultation. A moratorium
on the sale of public lands would be a better way until debate can
take place. To the minister of agriculture: is it true that Alberta
Agriculture has concerns about this sale and that assessment for
irrigation suitability has not been completed?

The Speaker: The hon. Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development.


Mr. Hayden: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. My department has stayed
in close contact with sustainable resources. This is a proposal that's
being looked at by that ministry, and they can comment on that. We
want agricultural land to be used for its best and highest use to the
benefit of all Albertans, and I'm sure that will be the guiding
principles that that department uses.

The Speaker: The hon. member.

Ms Pastoor: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. In that case, to the Minister
of Sustainable Resource Development: what is the minister's
response to Albertans who have referred to this deal as a breach of
public trust?

Mr. Knight: Well, Mr. Speaker, firstly, let's be clear that what we
have in front of us is a proposal, as I had indicated earlier. This is
a proposal. We have not sold anything. There is no sale agreement,
no documents that would indicate that, and the idea that somehow
or another there's been no consultation, no discussion ongoing with
respect to this issue is false. I have met with county councillors,
county reeves, the representatives from the grazing association that's
involved in this thing over the last six months. There's nothing
secret about this. We do not hold public consultation currently in the
province of Alberta to sell land for agricultural purposes. It's served
us well for a hundred years. A third and more of this province has
been put into agricultural service.

The Speaker: The hon. member.

Ms Pastoor: Well, thank you, Mr. Speaker. However, this is the
21st century, not a hundred years ago.
Again to the minister of sustainable resources: given that other
established ag operations in the region have been denied access to
increased water allocation, where will this potato farmer get his
water and at what cost?

The Speaker: The hon. minister.

Mr. Knight: Well, thank you very much. Mr. Speaker, I couldn't
give those details because I'm not privy to the information or the
contracts that he may or may not have made. However, part of the proposal that's come forward is to develop about an 800-acre lake and wetland on this real estate. God Himself may provide the water.
I don't know.

(editorial comment "God Himself may provide the water. I don't know" - WTF???)


Statement by Member

Sale of Public Land for Commercial Use

Dr. Swann: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. As if we needed more
evidence that the Tories are no longer fit to govern, along comes
Potatogate, the backroom deal to sell pristine, irreplaceable Crown
land near Medicine Hat for a mere $75 per acre to friends, the kind
of practice that has sadly become commonplace in this administration.
For a song this Premier is going to allow the destruction of
16,000 acres of irreplaceable wildlife habitat, home to 70 per cent of
Alberta's at-risk species. In return Alberta will see a privately
owned commercial potato patch, a water-intensive crop where water
is already fully allocated, in one of the most drought-prone regions
of the province.
Once this sale goes through, the people of Alberta won't be able
to control how the land is used even though the government has not
yet completed its regional land-use plan for the area. It's mind
boggling, but this short-sighted administration is eager to sell off
public lands even before they've figured out the most effective use
for these lands or the critical water issues that are already limiting
other developments. Why are they even bothering to develop a landuse
strategy if they're determined to pull stunts like this?
There's a better way. For years Alberta Liberals have demanded
an immediate halt to the sale of public lands. Since this government
won't do that, they should at least establish a transparent and honest
process to determine how public lands should be sold. Only after the
people of the region ratify a land-use plan would an Alberta Liberal
government even consider allowing new commercial or industrial
developments in the area.
Mr. Speaker, we demand that the Premier halt the sale of this
grassland, establish a public consultation process for disposition of
any such public land, strengthen provisions in the Public Lands Act
to conserve prairie land, and enact legislation to protect environmentally
significant native grasslands on public lands.
Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

================================================== ==========
Urgent Debate Request

Sale of Public Land for Commercial Use

Ms Blakeman: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. Earlier today
at the appropriate point in the proceedings I had given oral notice of
my desire to move a Standing Order 30 to adjourn the regular course
of business to debate what we felt and still feel is a very urgent piece
of public business that requires debate. I am very aware that this is
private members' day today, and I will move as quickly as I can
through this as I wish to have this considered as quickly as possible.
The motion, which has been delivered to the table and which I
read into the record earlier, is to adjourn the ordinary business of the
Assembly to discuss the urgent matter of
the sale of approximately 16,000 acres of environmentally significant
Crown-owned land near Bow Island for commercial agricultural
use in a region with no open water allocation, without public
consultation or adequate valuation, which will adversely affect
protected and endangered species and habitat.
4:00

Under the urgency argument, Mr. Speaker, again referring you to
the usual sections in Beauchesne and in the new Canadian House of
Commons Procedure and Practice, this development requires
irrigation. We have been given an indication, both in this House
today but also from those that are more closely affected than I am,
that cabinet is considering this decision imminently. This truly


October 25, 2010 Alberta Hansard 921

brings into sharp focus the urgency of the decisions that are being
made here, particularly around the fact that this development will
require irrigation. There is no public knowledge of where the water
will come from. The South Saskatchewan and Bow rivers have been
closed to new water allocations, so that public question of water,
everyone's fresh glass of drinking water, remains unanswered. The
urgency for a discussion before the government makes a final
decision is very relevant to my motion.
The concern throughout the nation is that water allocation is a
critical issue. Water crosses our borders to other provinces and
flows downstream, or not, to municipalities. Concern over availability
of drinking water for residents is high. There is a question about
real oversight regarding the sale of this public land owned by all
Albertans because the government is refusing to have a public
consultation on it and is falling back under the regulations. Given
that they are selling this as agricultural land, they are allowed not to
have public consultations, but that does mean that there's a very
short timeline. The economic, environmental, and social impacts on
people of that community and further is definitely urgent. So there
is an issue of urgency around limiting public oversight.
The parameters in Beauchesne 387 to 398, whether there is
opportunity for debate under the rules and provisions of the House,
just very quickly. There are no other opportunities available to us,
Mr. Speaker. It's not before the courts. It wasn't mentioned in the
throne speech. There's no government bill on the Order Paper.
There's no private member's public bill on the Order Paper. It
wasn't outlined or any discussion of it alluded to in the government
media release of October 19 that outlined the government's legislative
session for the fall. The release date of a supplementary supply
budget and what opportunity there might be for debate is also
unknown at this point and also not expected. There's no notice for
anything else on the Order Paper, written questions or motions for
returns, that might satisfy that requirement for debate. We did ask
a leader's question in Oral Question Period today and tried to set the
issues out in a private member's statement, and we have been
rebuffed by the government in attempts to get answers to our
question.
Given that this is being reviewed today Ė we'd heard that it was
going to be reviewed on Friday, now perhaps today or tomorrow.
This is a decision that's being made without public consultation. It
very much affects the land, the wildlife, and the habitat, and that has
an effect on generations to come. Our ability to have any input on
this decision, to have any public scrutiny and oversight on this
decision, is very limited in time in that cabinet is deciding, and once
that decision is made, it's moving on.
Again, I underline how urgent the issue of water allocation is. We
have long awaited changes to the government's water management
plan. We've not had anything in that, and especially relevant is the
lack of the South Saskatchewan land-use plan. There seems to be a
race to get this done by the government before that land-use plan
comes into play. That, again, is the urgency of making this a full
and public debate.
Given those concerns that I have raised, the moratorium on the
issuance of new water licences over the basin for a number of years
because of the water scarcity, where's that water coming from? It's
also stressed the aquatic ecosystems there. There is no environmental
assessment that we're aware of. There was no information
coming from government on an environmental assessment around
this land sale, with the fact that it is being rushed through before the
South Saskatchewan regional land-use framework would come into
effect.
Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker.

Wildrose agrees:

Mr. Hinman: Yes. Thank you, Mr. Speaker. We stand as the
Wildrose caucus to support this urgent debate on the sale of 16,000
acres of Crown land. The reason why it's so urgent is because of all
of the information that has come out in the news. The minister has
even gone on to say that they would donate the proceeds from this
to an environmental group, which just shows the problems in the
whole situation.
In a democracy we allow an open debate. If this isn't brought
forward now, at any date it's imminent that this could be signed and
pushed through without any debate here in the House and certainly
no input from those on the outside. A democracy also allows for
competition, and there is none allowed. If we don't have the debate
today, it's too late. If the minister signs off and sells this land,
there's no opportunity for these other groups to even bid and
purchase that. It wouldn't surprise me one bit if a wildlife group
would come up and bid more money than perhaps the group that's
put the proposal forward.
It's so critical that we have this debate today because of the news
that's been leaking out there with this government saying that
they're going to sign this off and that it's okay: we've been doing
this for a hundred years. It isn't okay. We need to have the public
debate. I would urge every member in here to vote in favour of this
so that we could have the open debate.
The idea that we have question period and that allows for a
debate: that's a 30-second question. There's no debate. There are
no ideas. There are no proposals allowed to be put in there, and
there certainly are no answers. As you often say, Mr. Speaker, it's
question period, not answer period. They were asked earlier, and
they weren't in there.
We need to have a debate. It's urgent because of the fact that the
government has said that, yes, they're looking at it, and they could
sign it any day. We'd urge all members to support this so that we
could have an emergency debate and have the proper democratic
process here in Alberta.
Thank you.


Minister Knight doesn't want any debate:



The hon. Minister of Sustainable Resource Development.


Mr. Knight: Yes. Mr. Speaker, this clearly is not a matter of
urgency. What we have in front of us and what this is all about is a
proposal. It's a proposal that has not been and may never be
concluded. The opposition is clearly predicting a future course of
action of the government, and as usual I would suggest that the
opposition is determining government action based on newspaper
articles, headlines, and TV ads. In reality this proposal for ag
development will be assessed for its merits relative to conservation,
environmental protection, wildlife habitat, and the economic impact
in the region.
Mr. Speaker, the standing order, I believe, does indicate that in
order for a motion to proceed, it needs to meet conditions. ďThe
matter proposed for discussion must relate to a genuine emergency.Ē
I would submit that this is not an emergency of any sort, genuine or
otherwise.
Thank you.

And, like a good 'ole boy that he is, the Speaker sez no debate.


Speaker rules against debate:

Based on the arguments put forward, particularly the arguments
put forward by the minister in this case, who highlights that this is
only a proposal, that this has not been advanced and may never be
advanced, the chair has to listen very attentively to those kinds of
words and presumes that this matter will be coming back in by way
of debate in the question period and other activities in the days to
come.
In this case I'm sorry, but I don't find the request for leave in
order, and the question will not be put.

SLH
10-26-2010, 09:50 AM
WOW!

On a strictly economic stance this is incredible. Is the $75.00/acre verified. This land as it sits could be worth up around $1000/acre and if he can get water on it probably $2500-3500/acre. If someone would give me a couple weeks I can probably put together $80.00/acre. Where do I put in my bid?

The second fact that he must already have the ability to get water delivered otherwise why do it is another head scratcher. How did he do this when the irrigation districts are already maxed out for allocations. Is he just going to pump out of a river by passing existing rules. I know that he had some kind of funny relation last time he did this. Built some huge reseivor "800-acre lake and wetland" as the ag minister called it this time (I doubt this would be what any of us would consider a wetland) and pumped water from an adjacent irrigation district or river. Good to see LUF being abused before it even gets implemented.

None of this even begins to address the real issue which is the complete loss of an incredible environment that we will never be able to get back and all the flora and fauna lost because some politician thinks he's doing his supporter a favor.

All of this behind closed doors in a good ole boys board room.

There must be a special place in hell for politicians because we sure don't demand any justice from them here on Earth.

More calls and letters being sent this morning!!!

Neil Waugh
10-26-2010, 10:01 AM
Could anybody in the loop more than I am please identify (without getting Robbie in trouble with lawyers) this guy identified as a friend of the PCs who appears to be getting the sweetheart deal and what he has done to become their friend.
A name and a face would certainly speed this debate along.
All we have seen so far is what appears to be a numbered holding company with the name Spud behind it.

avb3
10-26-2010, 11:47 AM
Could anybody in the loop more than I am please identify (without getting Robbie in trouble with lawyers) this guy identified as a friend of the PCs who appears to be getting the sweetheart deal and what he has done to become their friend.
A name and a face would certainly speed this debate along.
All we have seen so far is what appears to be a numbered holding company with the name Spud behind it.

Neil, I have a ton of background information. The owner of Spud Farms is a Louis Ypma. I need a bit of time to extract all the attachments, and will PM you when I have it so you can review them for yourself.

bruceba
10-26-2010, 12:08 PM
I found this article interesting. Storm Brewing on the Prairies
http://albertawilderness.ca/wla/2007/2007-12-vol.15-no.6-wild-lands-advocate/download

walking buffalo
10-26-2010, 12:55 PM
The deal is not done. Please write and re-write the Premier, Knight, your MLA and opposition parties. My next round of letters will tell the PC's that this issue has made sure I will NOT vote for them if the land is sold.

While you are at it, send a letter to

PGA ( Alberta Potato Growers of Alberta)

http://www.albertapotatoes.ca/contactus.aspx

6008-46 Avenue
Taber, Alberta T1G 2B1
Phone: (403) 223-2262


Fritolay http://www.fritolay.com/about-us/press-release-20010704.html

Lethbridge Phone: (403) 381-0067

Calgary 403-571-9530
2867 45 Ave SE, Calgary, AB T2B 3L8

Taber Phone: (403) 223-3574
Taber, ab T1G1A1

and McCain foods
http://www.mccain.ca/en-ca/Pages/ContactUsLanding.aspx

Calgary Phone: (403) 296-9393
7419 30 St SE
Calgary, AB, T2C1N6


Coaldale 403-345-4418
PO Box 1479, Coaldale, AB T1M 1N3


Will you not buy that bag of chips or curly fries to save this piece of unplowed public land?

PEIslander
10-26-2010, 10:22 PM
Thanks avb3.

So to summarize the government intends to sell 16,000+ acres of public land for possibly 1/10th of fair market value to a known PC party supporter and even after the spotlight has been shone on the deal, they still have absolutely no interest in opening up the "sale" to public consultation or at least competing bids.

I think its safe to say the current government has officially given up on being fair, accountable, responsible, etc. to the people who put them in power... When is the next election anyway??

avb3
10-27-2010, 11:37 AM
Although not scientific, the Calgary Herald is running a poll on the proposed conversion. When I voted, over a 1/3 support the conversion... WTF???

Here is the link (http://www.calgaryherald.com/index.html), and let your friends know. The poll is on the right side towards the bottom.

Okotokian
10-27-2010, 11:44 AM
Potato farm support up to 38% now. :47b20s0: This is Alberta, baby! If the proposal was to pave it support would skyrocket Native prairie grasslands? WTF is that?


;)

Tundra Monkey
10-27-2010, 02:37 PM
hmmmmm.....sounds like we'll be getting our french fries from Alberta :scared0018:

tm

avb3
11-02-2010, 02:43 PM
I just got a note that states that Minister Knight has backed down this afternoon and said the application by Spud Farms will not be approved.

I will keep board updated if I hear any further confirmation of this.

Rockymtnx
11-02-2010, 03:13 PM
I just got a note that states that Minister Knight has backed down this afternoon and said the application by Spud Farms will not be approved.
I will keep board updated if I hear any further confirmation of this.

If there is any truth to this, it maybe some good news for us!

SLH
11-02-2010, 03:18 PM
http://www.calgaryherald.com/news/Contentious+Alberta+land+deal+withdrawn+potatoes+w ill+grown+public+land/3765984/story.html

The last paragraph still bothers me.

DuckBrat
11-02-2010, 04:14 PM
:oregonian_winesmile

A small celebration for those who actively did what they could to avoid the loss of this important piece of land. Thanks to all that shared their information and helped us get this story into the eyes of the media. A small victory but remember to Stay Vigilant to avoid the loss of our favorite place. Support each other in these battles and you can make a difference.

Next we lobby for changes to the process of selling Public Land! They need our input and consultation before this can happen. Any sale of public land in this province at this point in time will have major consequenses for the Outdoor enthusiast.

Thanks again for those who actively took part to stop this. A toast to you.

:oregonian_winesmile

Ryry4
11-02-2010, 04:24 PM
http://www.calgaryherald.com/news/Contentious+Alberta+land+deal+withdrawn+potatoes+w ill+grown+public+land/3765984/story.html

The last paragraph still bothers me.

Yeah, I gotta agree with you there. Good to hear this deal is sunk.

avb3
11-02-2010, 11:39 PM
Dr. Brown is PC MLA for Calgary Nosehill, Knight, of course, is the minister.

Note the Minister will not commit to no transfer of public lands in the future NOR will he commit to a public input process

2:10 Sale of Public Land for Commercial Use

Dr. Brown: Mr. Speaker, I and many of my colleagues in the House
have been receiving messages from Albertans who are concerned
about the proposal to purchase 16,000 acres of public land in
Cypress county. The lands under consideration are largely intact
parcels of native grasslands which are important to many wildlife
species, including most of Alberta's species at risk. Only 14 and a
half per cent of Alberta's grasslands are still in their intact state and
remain in the public domain. Hunters, conservation groups, farmers,
ranchers, and ordinary Albertans are asking questions about the
potential loss of this precious resource. My questions are all for the
Minister of Sustainable Resource Development. Will the minister
do the right thing and assure Albertans that there will be no sale of
this public land unless . . .

The Deputy Speaker: The hon. minister.

Mr. Knight: Well, thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. As has been
explained in the House previously, our department has received a
proposal to buy a parcel of public land. The department reviewed
the proposal for wildlife and conservation values and also for the
economic value of the proposal. The question remains of the
maximum value for Albertans being received on a direct sale versus
an open tender process. That question remains. However, I must
point out that the proponent has requested that this application be
withdrawn, and this has been done.

Dr. Brown: Well, that's very good news, Minister. Will the
minister ensure that any future proposals to purchase public lands in
the white area will be subject to a public consultation process to
examine the merits of any proposed scheme and to preserve the
wildlife?

Mr. Knight: Mr. Speaker, it's an important question and needs to be
answered. We do not at this point in time and I do not anticipate that
the transfer of public land for agricultural purposes would require
public consultation.

Dr. Brown: Will the minister and his department develop a policy
to ensure future protection of Alberta's remaining publicly owned
grasslands?

Mr. Knight: Mr. Speaker, you know, the truth of the matter is that
what we are talking about here is that there are about 10.4 million
acres of native grassland that remain in the province of Alberta.
This particular proposal, although it seemed large, was about .15 per
cent. We're talking today with groups of people in municipalities in
northern Alberta about the transfer of 30,000 to 40,000 acres of
public land to put into agricultural production. This province
believes that agricultural production is extremely important, and we
will continue to deal with it.

sheephunter
11-02-2010, 11:44 PM
http://www.calgaryherald.com/news/Contentious+Alberta+land+deal+withdrawn+potatoes+w ill+grown+public+land/3765984/story.html

The last paragraph still bothers me.

No kidding. Why does he always sound like the minister of agriculture rather than SRD when he speaks? Someone should remind him what portfolio he has.........

bruceba
11-03-2010, 07:04 AM
This sheds light on the whole process and your not going to stop it, it'll go forward in some capacity. Starts on page 4

http://albertawilderness.ca/wla/2007...ocate/download

Whatís driving this exchange of
valuable prairie habitat for cropland
is the same thing thatís responsible
for Albertaís oil sands fever: money.
There is currently a huge demand for
new farmland, particularly that which
could become irrigated because of its
location near watercourses or adjacent
to irrigation infrastructure. This is
especially true for potato production,
which has proven to be very lucrative
despite potatoes being one of the
thirstiest of all irrigation crops grown
in Alberta. The five major potato
processing plants, including the huge
McCain (Coaldale) and Lamb-Weston
(Taber) plants that came online in 1999
and 2000, have prompted a massive
increase in irrigated potato acreage.
Potatoes grown for processing into
products such as french fries constitute
68 percent of all potato production in
Alberta. These potatoes are subject
to a number of diseases and typically
are not grown in the same field in
successive years. Consequently, a large
amount of acreage is required to grow
them, since less lucrative crops must
be grown in years following potato
production.
Whether Ypma plans to grow
potatoes on the Cypress County land
is unknown. Other crops may be
equally lucrative, especially given the
provincial governmentís promotion
of biofuel development. On May 22,
2007, CR Fuels received a development
permit from the MD of Taber for a
$325 million ethanol, biodiesel, and
biogas digester complex on about 100
acres of land that is owned by Louis
Ypma (Lethbridge Herald, June 8,
2007). If the necessary approvals are
granted, construction could begin in
summer or fall 2008. The biodiesel
operation will produce about 113.6
million litres a year and use 250,000
tonnes of canola. The ethanol plant
will produce 95 million litres a year
and use 260,000 tonnes of wheat.
As more hungry biofuel plants are
approved and built in the province, the
The ferruginous hawk is one of the
many Alberta endangered species
dependent on native prairie. This one
was perched near its nest in the Suffield
National Wildlife Area. C. Olson
The endangered sand verbena is part of the complex ecosystem of Albertaís prairies.
C. Wallis
Out Front
9
WLA December 2007 ē Vol. 15, No. 6
pressure to break more native prairie
for crop production is likely to increase
tremendously, with devastating effects
for endangered species.
After 150 years of trying to
prove John Palliser wrong about his
assessment of this semi-arid region
as ill-suited for farming, perhaps
itís time to admit the foolishness of
this agricultural exercise and leave
the remaining grasslands unbroken.
Indeed, the fact that the Bow River is
currently in a state of crisis because of
overallocation provides strong evidence
that converting more native prairie to
cropland requiring heavy irrigation is
unsustainable and unwise. Dr. David
Schindler, one of Canadaís top water
experts, warns that the Bow River may
soon be depleted to the point where it
will not recover as a fully functioning
aquatic ecosystem.
If Ypma acquires the Cypress
County land and converts it to
cropland, the water required for
irrigation, regardless of what is
grown, will need to come from the
Bow River, the nearest water source.
Ypma has already approached the
Bow River Irrigation District about the
possibility of incorporating the land
that he is interested in buying into the
District. ďWithout a comprehensive
water conservation strategy in place
in Alberta,Ē says AWA Conservation
Specialist and water economist Carolyn
Campbell, ďthis ad hoc approach to
expanding irrigation acreage is shortsighted.Ē
Public Land Policy Vacuum
In a 1998 paper entitled ďIn
Search of Public Land Law in Alberta,Ē
research associates Steven Kennett
and Monique Ross of the Canadian
Institute of Resources Law state: ďThe
importance of the provinceís land and
resource base to the well-being of
Albertans and the increasing demands
that are being placed upon it would
lead one to expect a businesslike and
well-conceived approach to public
land management.Ē After reviewing
Albertaís land and resource legislation,
Kennett and Ross made the following
conclusion: ďAlbertaís statutes
governing land and resource use lack an
overarching framework of integrative
principles, objectives and standards, the
extent of substantive and procedural
direction provided to decision-makers
is often very limited, and adherence to
principles of ecosystem management
is not mandated by law. Alberta is also
currently without a comprehensive
planning process for public land and
resources.Ē
If anything, government
stewardship of public lands has
worsened since Kennett and Rossís
analysis. In 2004 SRD stated that
9,000 to 10,000 acres of public land
are sold every year. According to the
MD of Cypress, the land that Ypma
is trying to acquire in that county is
entirely public land and therefore
subject to sale. Any Canadian citizen
or permanent resident of Canada who
is over 18 can apply to buy public land
in Alberta. Land managers determine if
the land is suitable for the intended use,
and if they approve the use, the land
is sold to the highest bidder. If Ypma
acquires the grazing leases of the Hays
Stock Grazing Association, therefore,
he can buy the land through this
process. According to SRDís website,
this should not happen if the land is
environmentally sensitive, but recent
history shows that this may be no more
than lip-service.
What is needed

sjd
11-03-2010, 11:47 AM
Good work to everyone on this board for raising a stink, and good work by AWA for getting their media machine going on this.

Time for all conservation and environmental organizations to bury the hatchet and work together to make sure public land is not sold off in private again.

Piker
11-03-2010, 04:31 PM
Its on the radioand the lethbridge herald the DEAL FELL THROUGH. I personally would like to thank everyone who has fought this as it seems we have won. I made numerous calls to parties concerned and I hope it helped. Stelmach was worried he was going to lose the next election but anyuways lets make sure he does. Thks Piker

PEIslander
11-03-2010, 09:14 PM
Excellent news!

Thanks to everyone who went the extra mile to stop this from happening!

Keep a lookout everyone, I doubt this is the last time we will see public land for sale, at least while Stelmach is at the helm.

PEIslander
11-03-2010, 11:09 PM
Keith Ypma speaks with a reporter about the deal... First story.

http://www.globallethbridge.com/video/index.html?releasePID=mx2has4YZuTarz_wvg7iJZfKEGyx lvul

TrevorD
11-04-2010, 01:17 AM
So this was a big piece of land was it? Is 16,000 acres really a big piece of land? Maybe, depending how you look at. I estimate that the new Calgary Ring Road (when complete) and Deer Foot Trail in Calgary, together will occupy nearly 10,000 - 12,000 acres of land by themselves. Why didnít anyone complain about these developments and the wildlife it would displace?

NE Calgary is roughly about 36,000 acres in size so the 16,000 SLM proposed development would fit into the NE part of Calgary about 2 ľ times. Overall the City of Calgary occupies 180,000 acres of land with the Metropolitan Foot Print of Calgary (according to Wikipedia) of 1,300,000 acres of Land. This means that the proposed SLM development was only about 1.2% the size of the city of Calgary. The SLM development doesnít sound so big anymore does it?

In the beginning wasnít the entire province public land that was up for grabs? This was how we settled the west wasnít it? This was the Canadian dream ďcome to the west and stake you claimĒ. The Canadian and Provincial governments advertised far and wide trying to encourage people to come to Canada and develop our land.

Iíve driven the road north of Bow Island many times and it is a barren place, thereís not much for wildlife at all and the land goes on for miles and miles. I would even question the statement that this native prairie. Follow the following link to the history of the town of Alderson a once booming town that is now a ghost town and is located only 15 miles (as the crow flies) from the proposed SLM development. http://www.ghosttownpix.com/alberta/alder.html In the early 1900ís there were many that settled in this area and had to leave because of drought and crop failure. The history of Alderson mentions that grain exports were around 700,000 bushels at the peak, this would equate to around 35,000 to 40,000 acres of crop land for that period. This would mean that much of the land in the area had most likely been cultivated or has been seeded to grass for grazing cattle. After leaving the land after drought forced early famers from their claims the land has not be cultivated for nearly 95 years which would make it appear to be native prairie. Many of these settlers gave the titles back to the province or lost that land because they could not pay the taxes. Many of our now public lands were acquired in this way and are called tax recovery lands.

So this land would take a lot of water would it? Letís put this into perspective as well...

There are approximately 1.2 million people in Calgary and letís assume they all flush a toilet twice a day.
Average toilet = 1.5 gallons/flush
1,200,000 x 2 x 1.5 gallons = 3,600,000 gallons per day 3,600,000 x 365 = 1,314,000,000
Thatís 1.3 billion gallons per year just to flush the toilets in Calgary. How often do you flush a toilet? Most likely more than 2 times per day. At 2 flushes in Calgary per day this equates to over 4,000 acre feet of water. If SLM was going to use 16,000 or 20,000 acre feet of water for food production is this really all that much water? The history of the Bow River Irrigation Project had originally planned to irrigate this block of land and this history is still visible north of Bow Island. There is a canal that is nearly 60 miles long that was built in the early 1900ís that never ran any water. The plan was to run water east of Hays across the Bow River all the way up to across the #1 Hwy and supply it from the McGregor Lake and Travers developments. The project was never finished for many reasons and the vision of the early investors and entrepreneurs was never realized. SLM could have made history by completing the dream of these early Alberta visionaries.

I agree that the price of public land needs to be at fair market value, but I find it difficult to believe a $2,000 PC campaign contribution would get you any privileges with any political party. I would guess that many Alberta businesses have made similar or in some cases much larger contributions in the past. Isnít that how politics works? You support the party you believe in?

Iím always amazed as to why nobody complains when we widen a highway, grow our cities, develop oil leases and take farm land out of production forever. Does anyone else see the irony in the fact that through our development we are reducing our capacity to grow food and feed ourselves? Potatoes are typically grown on farm land every 4 to 5 years so I would assume that SLM would be growing grain, canola, dry beans, corn and other crops on this land as well, not just potatoes. Farmers are some of the best conservationists I know. Their land is their most important investment and keeping it fertile and productive for the next generation is important to them.
The population in the world is growing and the demand for food will continue to rise. By not developing land in Alberta that would sustain food production we are contributing to the destruction of rainforest in other countries that need to develop farm land to feed their population. As our population grows do we want to import food from these countries or do we want to feed ourselves?

Letís assume for a minute that SLM would have paid fair market value for this land, my guess would be around $800-1000 acre, and the province could have put it towards education, health care and other areas. Thatís around $15 million dollars. Letís assume that developing the land would take several other millions that would have gone straight into the southern Alberta economy.

So in all of this where is the victory? What have we really won, if anything? Think about this the next time you go to a grocery store or a restaurant. There is no substitute or alternative to food.
Someone had to stick up for agriculture nobody else was...

Trev

freeones
11-04-2010, 09:54 AM
So this was a big piece of land was it? Is 16,000 acres really a big piece of land? Maybe, depending how you look at. I estimate that the new Calgary Ring Road (when complete) and Deer Foot Trail in Calgary, together will occupy nearly 10,000 - 12,000 acres of land by themselves. Why didnít anyone complain about these developments and the wildlife it would displace?

NE Calgary is roughly about 36,000 acres in size so the 16,000 SLM proposed development would fit into the NE part of Calgary about 2 ľ times. Overall the City of Calgary occupies 180,000 acres of land with the Metropolitan Foot Print of Calgary (according to Wikipedia) of 1,300,000 acres of Land. This means that the proposed SLM development was only about 1.2% the size of the city of Calgary. The SLM development doesnít sound so big anymore does it?

In the beginning wasnít the entire province public land that was up for grabs? This was how we settled the west wasnít it? This was the Canadian dream ďcome to the west and stake you claimĒ. The Canadian and Provincial governments advertised far and wide trying to encourage people to come to Canada and develop our land.

Iíve driven the road north of Bow Island many times and it is a barren place, thereís not much for wildlife at all and the land goes on for miles and miles. I would even question the statement that this native prairie. Follow the following link to the history of the town of Alderson a once booming town that is now a ghost town and is located only 15 miles (as the crow flies) from the proposed SLM development. http://www.ghosttownpix.com/alberta/alder.html In the early 1900ís there were many that settled in this area and had to leave because of drought and crop failure. The history of Alderson mentions that grain exports were around 700,000 bushels at the peak, this would equate to around 35,000 to 40,000 acres of crop land for that period. This would mean that much of the land in the area had most likely been cultivated or has been seeded to grass for grazing cattle. After leaving the land after drought forced early famers from their claims the land has not be cultivated for nearly 95 years which would make it appear to be native prairie. Many of these settlers gave the titles back to the province or lost that land because they could not pay the taxes. Many of our now public lands were acquired in this way and are called tax recovery lands.

So this land would take a lot of water would it? Letís put this into perspective as well...

There are approximately 1.2 million people in Calgary and letís assume they all flush a toilet twice a day.
Average toilet = 1.5 gallons/flush
1,200,000 x 2 x 1.5 gallons = 3,600,000 gallons per day 3,600,000 x 365 = 1,314,000,000
Thatís 1.3 billion gallons per year just to flush the toilets in Calgary. How often do you flush a toilet? Most likely more than 2 times per day. At 2 flushes in Calgary per day this equates to over 4,000 acre feet of water. If SLM was going to use 16,000 or 20,000 acre feet of water for food production is this really all that much water? The history of the Bow River Irrigation Project had originally planned to irrigate this block of land and this history is still visible north of Bow Island. There is a canal that is nearly 60 miles long that was built in the early 1900ís that never ran any water. The plan was to run water east of Hays across the Bow River all the way up to across the #1 Hwy and supply it from the McGregor Lake and Travers developments. The project was never finished for many reasons and the vision of the early investors and entrepreneurs was never realized. SLM could have made history by completing the dream of these early Alberta visionaries.

I agree that the price of public land needs to be at fair market value, but I find it difficult to believe a $2,000 PC campaign contribution would get you any privileges with any political party. I would guess that many Alberta businesses have made similar or in some cases much larger contributions in the past. Isnít that how politics works? You support the party you believe in?

Iím always amazed as to why nobody complains when we widen a highway, grow our cities, develop oil leases and take farm land out of production forever. Does anyone else see the irony in the fact that through our development we are reducing our capacity to grow food and feed ourselves? Potatoes are typically grown on farm land every 4 to 5 years so I would assume that SLM would be growing grain, canola, dry beans, corn and other crops on this land as well, not just potatoes. Farmers are some of the best conservationists I know. Their land is their most important investment and keeping it fertile and productive for the next generation is important to them.
The population in the world is growing and the demand for food will continue to rise. By not developing land in Alberta that would sustain food production we are contributing to the destruction of rainforest in other countries that need to develop farm land to feed their population. As our population grows do we want to import food from these countries or do we want to feed ourselves?

Letís assume for a minute that SLM would have paid fair market value for this land, my guess would be around $800-1000 acre, and the province could have put it towards education, health care and other areas. Thatís around $15 million dollars. Letís assume that developing the land would take several other millions that would have gone straight into the southern Alberta economy.

So in all of this where is the victory? What have we really won, if anything? Think about this the next time you go to a grocery store or a restaurant. There is no substitute or alternative to food.
Someone had to stick up for agriculture nobody else was...

Trev

I forgot that two wrongs make a right.

You should ask Mr. Ypma (or yourself) how the economics of potato farming look if he paid $800-1000/acre for UNIRRIGATED land.

Now ask yourself how much value liquiditating this public asset for a one time payment of 15 million dollars (0.0004% of AB's annual budget) actually adds for Albertans.

Last I checked, we as Canadians aren't facing a food shortage, we're an exporter.

Okotokian
11-04-2010, 10:00 AM
So this was a big piece of land was it? Is 16,000 acres really a big piece of land? Maybe, depending how you look at. I estimate that the new Calgary Ring Road (when complete) and Deer Foot Trail in Calgary, together will occupy nearly 10,000 - 12,000 acres of land by themselves. Why didnít anyone complain about these developments and the wildlife it would displace?

NE Calgary is roughly about 36,000 acres in size so the 16,000 SLM proposed development would fit into the NE part of Calgary about 2 ľ times. Overall the City of Calgary occupies 180,000 acres of land with the Metropolitan Foot Print of Calgary (according to Wikipedia) of 1,300,000 acres of Land. This means that the proposed SLM development was only about 1.2% the size of the city of Calgary. The SLM development doesnít sound so big anymore does it?

In the beginning wasnít the entire province public land that was up for grabs? This was how we settled the west wasnít it? This was the Canadian dream ďcome to the west and stake you claimĒ. The Canadian and Provincial governments advertised far and wide trying to encourage people to come to Canada and develop our land.

Iíve driven the road north of Bow Island many times and it is a barren place, thereís not much for wildlife at all and the land goes on for miles and miles. I would even question the statement that this native prairie. Follow the following link to the history of the town of Alderson a once booming town that is now a ghost town and is located only 15 miles (as the crow flies) from the proposed SLM development. http://www.ghosttownpix.com/alberta/alder.html In the early 1900ís there were many that settled in this area and had to leave because of drought and crop failure. The history of Alderson mentions that grain exports were around 700,000 bushels at the peak, this would equate to around 35,000 to 40,000 acres of crop land for that period. This would mean that much of the land in the area had most likely been cultivated or has been seeded to grass for grazing cattle. After leaving the land after drought forced early famers from their claims the land has not be cultivated for nearly 95 years which would make it appear to be native prairie. Many of these settlers gave the titles back to the province or lost that land because they could not pay the taxes. Many of our now public lands were acquired in this way and are called tax recovery lands.

So this land would take a lot of water would it? Letís put this into perspective as well...

There are approximately 1.2 million people in Calgary and letís assume they all flush a toilet twice a day.
Average toilet = 1.5 gallons/flush
1,200,000 x 2 x 1.5 gallons = 3,600,000 gallons per day 3,600,000 x 365 = 1,314,000,000
Thatís 1.3 billion gallons per year just to flush the toilets in Calgary. How often do you flush a toilet? Most likely more than 2 times per day. At 2 flushes in Calgary per day this equates to over 4,000 acre feet of water. If SLM was going to use 16,000 or 20,000 acre feet of water for food production is this really all that much water? The history of the Bow River Irrigation Project had originally planned to irrigate this block of land and this history is still visible north of Bow Island. There is a canal that is nearly 60 miles long that was built in the early 1900ís that never ran any water. The plan was to run water east of Hays across the Bow River all the way up to across the #1 Hwy and supply it from the McGregor Lake and Travers developments. The project was never finished for many reasons and the vision of the early investors and entrepreneurs was never realized. SLM could have made history by completing the dream of these early Alberta visionaries.

I agree that the price of public land needs to be at fair market value, but I find it difficult to believe a $2,000 PC campaign contribution would get you any privileges with any political party. I would guess that many Alberta businesses have made similar or in some cases much larger contributions in the past. Isnít that how politics works? You support the party you believe in?

Iím always amazed as to why nobody complains when we widen a highway, grow our cities, develop oil leases and take farm land out of production forever. Does anyone else see the irony in the fact that through our development we are reducing our capacity to grow food and feed ourselves? Potatoes are typically grown on farm land every 4 to 5 years so I would assume that SLM would be growing grain, canola, dry beans, corn and other crops on this land as well, not just potatoes. Farmers are some of the best conservationists I know. Their land is their most important investment and keeping it fertile and productive for the next generation is important to them.
The population in the world is growing and the demand for food will continue to rise. By not developing land in Alberta that would sustain food production we are contributing to the destruction of rainforest in other countries that need to develop farm land to feed their population. As our population grows do we want to import food from these countries or do we want to feed ourselves?

Letís assume for a minute that SLM would have paid fair market value for this land, my guess would be around $800-1000 acre, and the province could have put it towards education, health care and other areas. Thatís around $15 million dollars. Letís assume that developing the land would take several other millions that would have gone straight into the southern Alberta economy.

So in all of this where is the victory? What have we really won, if anything? Think about this the next time you go to a grocery store or a restaurant. There is no substitute or alternative to food.
Someone had to stick up for agriculture nobody else was...

Trev


I have no idea how you equate the land and water needs of over a million people with basically giving away 1/10 of the amount Calgary uses of public land to ONE PERSON in a sweetheart insider deal no one else has a chance to get in on. :snapoutofit:

DarkAisling
11-04-2010, 10:13 AM
So this was a big piece of land was it? Is 16,000 acres really a big piece of land? Maybe, depending how you look at. I estimate that the new Calgary Ring Road (when complete) and Deer Foot Trail in Calgary, together will occupy nearly 10,000 - 12,000 acres of land by themselves. Why didnít anyone complain about these developments and the wildlife it would displace?

NE Calgary is roughly about 36,000 acres in size so the 16,000 SLM proposed development would fit into the NE part of Calgary about 2 ľ times. Overall the City of Calgary occupies 180,000 acres of land with the Metropolitan Foot Print of Calgary (according to Wikipedia) of 1,300,000 acres of Land. This means that the proposed SLM development was only about 1.2% the size of the city of Calgary. The SLM development doesnít sound so big anymore does it?

In the beginning wasnít the entire province public land that was up for grabs? This was how we settled the west wasnít it? This was the Canadian dream ďcome to the west and stake you claimĒ. The Canadian and Provincial governments advertised far and wide trying to encourage people to come to Canada and develop our land.

Iíve driven the road north of Bow Island many times and it is a barren place, thereís not much for wildlife at all and the land goes on for miles and miles. I would even question the statement that this native prairie. Follow the following link to the history of the town of Alderson a once booming town that is now a ghost town and is located only 15 miles (as the crow flies) from the proposed SLM development. http://www.ghosttownpix.com/alberta/alder.html In the early 1900ís there were many that settled in this area and had to leave because of drought and crop failure. The history of Alderson mentions that grain exports were around 700,000 bushels at the peak, this would equate to around 35,000 to 40,000 acres of crop land for that period. This would mean that much of the land in the area had most likely been cultivated or has been seeded to grass for grazing cattle. After leaving the land after drought forced early famers from their claims the land has not be cultivated for nearly 95 years which would make it appear to be native prairie. Many of these settlers gave the titles back to the province or lost that land because they could not pay the taxes. Many of our now public lands were acquired in this way and are called tax recovery lands.

So this land would take a lot of water would it? Letís put this into perspective as well...

There are approximately 1.2 million people in Calgary and letís assume they all flush a toilet twice a day.
Average toilet = 1.5 gallons/flush
1,200,000 x 2 x 1.5 gallons = 3,600,000 gallons per day 3,600,000 x 365 = 1,314,000,000
Thatís 1.3 billion gallons per year just to flush the toilets in Calgary. How often do you flush a toilet? Most likely more than 2 times per day. At 2 flushes in Calgary per day this equates to over 4,000 acre feet of water. If SLM was going to use 16,000 or 20,000 acre feet of water for food production is this really all that much water? The history of the Bow River Irrigation Project had originally planned to irrigate this block of land and this history is still visible north of Bow Island. There is a canal that is nearly 60 miles long that was built in the early 1900ís that never ran any water. The plan was to run water east of Hays across the Bow River all the way up to across the #1 Hwy and supply it from the McGregor Lake and Travers developments. The project was never finished for many reasons and the vision of the early investors and entrepreneurs was never realized. SLM could have made history by completing the dream of these early Alberta visionaries.

I agree that the price of public land needs to be at fair market value, but I find it difficult to believe a $2,000 PC campaign contribution would get you any privileges with any political party. I would guess that many Alberta businesses have made similar or in some cases much larger contributions in the past. Isnít that how politics works? You support the party you believe in?

Iím always amazed as to why nobody complains when we widen a highway, grow our cities, develop oil leases and take farm land out of production forever. Does anyone else see the irony in the fact that through our development we are reducing our capacity to grow food and feed ourselves? Potatoes are typically grown on farm land every 4 to 5 years so I would assume that SLM would be growing grain, canola, dry beans, corn and other crops on this land as well, not just potatoes. Farmers are some of the best conservationists I know. Their land is their most important investment and keeping it fertile and productive for the next generation is important to them.
The population in the world is growing and the demand for food will continue to rise. By not developing land in Alberta that would sustain food production we are contributing to the destruction of rainforest in other countries that need to develop farm land to feed their population. As our population grows do we want to import food from these countries or do we want to feed ourselves?

Letís assume for a minute that SLM would have paid fair market value for this land, my guess would be around $800-1000 acre, and the province could have put it towards education, health care and other areas. Thatís around $15 million dollars. Letís assume that developing the land would take several other millions that would have gone straight into the southern Alberta economy.

So in all of this where is the victory? What have we really won, if anything? Think about this the next time you go to a grocery store or a restaurant. There is no substitute or alternative to food.
Someone had to stick up for agriculture nobody else was...

Trev

Hey Trev . . . you make some great points!

We've already done so much damage. Why break with tradition or think critically about doing any further damage? Let's just destroy all of our wild spaces! Who cares about future generations anyway?

DarkAisling
11-04-2010, 10:14 AM
Double post.

lolanr
11-04-2010, 08:44 PM
I completely agree with TrevorD.

You have preserved this land for what antelope and gopher hunters???? Oh but there was all the comments about the pasture users and how upset they were, well where are they? Have you noticed that you didn't ever hear from an actual person that grazes in this area?

What about the economic advantage to the surrounding communities for the next how many years. I know for a fact that the people in the surrounding communities have very little problem with this proposal, but those of you living hundreds of miles away stop your feet and affect the lives of these people for your own selfish gain. Yes maybe it would have been owned by one family but it have employed how many people, supported how many jobs?

Heaven forbid some city people drive down the highway and see pivots instead of pasture. I have a feeling that very very few people would miss this wild space. I would love for someone to explain how farm land makes an area any less wild.

Do you realize that more money is generated in the irrigated farm land of Southern Alberta is greater than all of the ag receipts combined North of the #1? Do you realize that Agriculture not oil or anything else is the #1 employer in this area???

Instead of getting crazy and stopping progress in agriculture maybe you should put your energies into defending the rights of children. A cause most of those whining about this proposal would never consider because it doesnít affect you and what you want for your own selfish reasons.

I have been avoiding comment on this subject because i know very few of you could stand a rational discussion on the topic. But I live in this area and I know people that would have had jobs because of this deal. Sleep well tonight and I hope you burn holes in that highway from all the trips you take to see your precious pasture.

antler addict
11-04-2010, 08:51 PM
lolanr where were they going to get all the water for this project?

lolanr
11-04-2010, 09:03 PM
BRID has opened I believe 19-20,000 acres over the last 5 years due to effieciencies in the system and holding capacity of their resevoirs. The water was to come from the irrigation district NOT the river. No one in their right mind would ever tackle a project this size without having water lined up before hand.

Besides whats wrong with another 800 acre lake to fish in???

TreeGuy
11-04-2010, 09:09 PM
The outrage over this has very little to do with current or future use of that piece of land. It's about HOW this deal was made.

If such a transaction is as economicaly beneficial as some claim, would not this battered administration be falling all over themselves telling everyone how good a job they're doing? Hmmm.....

lolanr
11-04-2010, 09:19 PM
So Treeguy what exactly did they do wrong? Or is it the process you have a problem with. From what I understand nothing illegal happened here. Argue to change the process then not a deal that has followed the laws and precesses set forth. Where are the posting of members banging their chest for that????

TreeGuy
11-04-2010, 09:37 PM
So Lolnar, what exactly did they do right?

IF this deal is on the up and up, then why the secrecy?

IF this deal is good for not just the local economy, but ALL Albertans who actually own this land, why not trumpet it from the rooftops?

lolanr
11-04-2010, 10:00 PM
What was so secret? I am sorry I guess I must have missed the notice for every transaction that the Alberta Gvt proposes. Sorry Tree I just don't see your point. Some very active citizen looked it up or heard about it and raised the flag and called other like minded people to protest and that's okay. I understand that is how our society works, but from what has been reported at no time was anyone acused of wrong doing. Thats a pretty big acusation you are throwing around. The worst thing they could be accused of was donating $2000 to a political party. Hardly bribe money in anyone's book.

I feel that the process may very well be flawed but at no point did anyone ever say they didn't follow the rules layed out by the government. Never, and you know if they had it would have been "yelled from the roof tops".

You and I both know that puplic opion isn't always based on whats best for majority but what's best for the loudest. No member of government, especially one is the shape this one is has the balls to stand up to the pressure of so many.

TreeGuy
11-04-2010, 10:39 PM
Concerned citizens contact their political representitives every day. Yet in this instance the circumstances raised enough red flags to not only have the media involved, but for it to be brought up in the legislature. Within days, the deal is dead after Mr. Ypma has claimed to have spent millions of dollars on the proposal that has been in the works since 2006. Does that not sound strange to you?

avb3
11-05-2010, 09:01 AM
There are a number of issues at hand, seperated into roughly two categories, the process, and conservation values.

Some are OK with a process of the sale of public land that does not require public input. I don't agree with that point of view, but the fact remains the process is legal. On a longterm basis, pressure needs to be put on politicians to change this.

The other, and in this case, the more important issue, is conservation values. You may argue, "It is only a small amount of land", but where do you stop? This is a death of our prairie landscape by a 1000 cuts.

If you don't value conservation, then of course you could care less if "just a little bit of land" gets taken out of its natural state forever.

I choose to value conservation.

dirtywater
11-05-2010, 09:10 AM
So Treeguy what exactly did they do wrong? Or is it the process you have a problem with. From what I understand nothing illegal happened here. Argue to change the process then not a deal that has followed the laws and precesses set forth. Where are the posting of members banging their chest for that????

they were selling a public asset for pennies on the dollar, I'm sorry but that is just not right

Stipa comata
11-05-2010, 09:45 AM
I completely agree with TrevorD.

You have preserved this land for what antelope and gopher hunters???? Oh but there was all the comments about the pasture users and how upset they were, well where are they? Have you noticed that you didn't ever hear from an actual person that grazes in this area?

What about the economic advantage to the surrounding communities for the next how many years. I know for a fact that the people in the surrounding communities have very little problem with this proposal, but those of you living hundreds of miles away stop your feet and affect the lives of these people for your own selfish gain. Yes maybe it would have been owned by one family but it have employed how many people, supported how many jobs?

Heaven forbid some city people drive down the highway and see pivots instead of pasture. I have a feeling that very very few people would miss this wild space. I would love for someone to explain how farm land makes an area any less wild.

Do you realize that more money is generated in the irrigated farm land of Southern Alberta is greater than all of the ag receipts combined North of the #1? Do you realize that Agriculture not oil or anything else is the #1 employer in this area???

Instead of getting crazy and stopping progress in agriculture maybe you should put your energies into defending the rights of children. A cause most of those whining about this proposal would never consider because it doesnít affect you and what you want for your own selfish reasons.

I have been avoiding comment on this subject because i know very few of you could stand a rational discussion on the topic. But I live in this area and I know people that would have had jobs because of this deal. Sleep well tonight and I hope you burn holes in that highway from all the trips you take to see your precious pasture.

My guess is that by keeping a plow out of this ground you have preserved a piece of the remaining native range land (which only encompasses 5% of it's former range across the Canadian Prairies) for all Albertans - not just a few Gopher and Antelope Hunters. It also aids in keeping biodiversity that has taken several thousand years to develop and is arguably irreplaceable.

I suppose there would have been an economic upside, for at least the short term. As the producer developed the land there would be the typical infrastructure "mini-boom" such as development of the land (eg. pivots etc). It may also have supported some additional jobs. Is that short term economic boom worth destroying the land for generations - I would argue that Albertans have shown they do not believe that the case.

I guess I revert back to what little I know about business and ask; "why can this not happen exclusive of the purchase of this lease land?". I know that there is a fair amount of area under irrigated production in the area that would not preclude such a development. A fair amount of this is tied up in commodities that are far less lucrative than Potatoes. It isn't as though there are not other options.

I would certainly miss this space. I think it is under a heavy amount of pressure already with oil and gas development. Beyond my own selfish desire to see it stay or disappear I can appreciate what large contiguous blocks of range land may mean to different living creatures, species at risk and biodiversity. I also think that the current type of land use (grazing) is a sustainable form of agriculture that needs to be protected as well. The pressure and demands for water especially on the Bow river system make this proposed development a sketchy long term investment. If it comes to Calgary or Potatoes in 20 years, we know who is going to get the water...
And farmland is less wild - it's why you don't see burrowing owls on cultivated land and why I can't find Pheasants on an old honey hole one of the Colonies bought...lol.


I realize the important contribution of Agriculture - particularly irrigated. When we grow barley under pivots it just tells me we may not be making effective use of our resources...

I agree with defending the rights of children - just not sure how that ties in to the commercialization to one producer of a publicly held land trust.

I will leave you with one simple concept. If the deal were as good as you claim, why would SLM spud farms not have went public with the info and had the region help champion their efforts? If you choose to "take the advice of government - and keep quiet about it" as the family spokesman mentioned on CBC, be prepared for folks to ask questions.

I think the whole issue has been good in one sense - it has brought unified attention to a important issue and perhaps Albertans will begin to demand that government be transparent in their transfer of public lands.

SC

sjd
11-05-2010, 09:57 AM
Good work to everyone on this board for raising a stink, and good work by AWA for getting their media machine going on this.

Time for all conservation and environmental organizations to bury the hatchet and work together to make sure public land is not sold off in private again.

I did argue we should now be working on changing the process here. Selling of public land with no consultation happens all the time, but not usually on parcels this size, or under such suspicious circumstances, and the fact that this was being rushed through while planning for the land use framework is underway is double suspicious.

We (rightfully) demand that the government consults us when land is turned over from SRD to parks (most of which is still available to hunters), yet we don't demand the same changes to the system when land is turned over from SRD to private hands, potentially losing the habitat and access forever.

walking buffalo
11-05-2010, 10:07 AM
I did argue we should now be working on changing the process here. Selling of public land with no consultation happens all the time, but not usually on parcels this size, or under such suspicious circumstances, and the fact that this was being rushed through while planning for the land use framework is underway is double suspicious.

We (rightfully) demand that the government consults us when land is turned over from SRD to parks (most of which is still available to hunters), yet we don't demand the same changes to the system when land is turned over from SRD to private hands, potentially losing the habitat and access forever.

Parks land may not be safe from these underground dealings. See the thread
on the new Alberta Parks Act Bill 29

http://www.outdoorsmenforum.ca/showthread.php?t=73731



Alberta Parks Act Bill 29

"Agreements respecting sale of land

(1) Subject to subsection (2), when land is no longer required
for the purposes of this Act and the Minister proposes to sell the
land, the Minister may enter into an agreement to sell the land in
accordance with the Public Lands Act.

(2) The Minister may sell land to a municipality for fair market
value, or for less than fair market value if the land is to be used for
the purposes of a municipal park.

(3) The Minister may impose any conditions the Minister
considers appropriate on a sale of land referred to in subsection (2)."

freeones
11-05-2010, 10:41 AM
I completely agree with TrevorD.

You have preserved this land for what antelope and gopher hunters???? Oh but there was all the comments about the pasture users and how upset they were, well where are they? Have you noticed that you didn't ever hear from an actual person that grazes in this area

What about the economic advantage to the surrounding communities for the next how many years. I know for a fact that the people in the surrounding communities have very little problem with this proposal, but those of you living hundreds of miles away stop your feet and affect the lives of these people for your own selfish gain. Yes maybe it would have been owned by one family but it have employed how many people, supported how many jobs

Heaven forbid some city people drive down the highway and see pivots instead of pasture. I have a feeling that very very few people would miss this wild space. I would love for someone to explain how farm land makes an area any less wild.

Do you realize that more money is generated in the irrigated farm land of Southern Alberta is greater than all of the ag receipts combined North of the #1? Do you realize that Agriculture not oil or anything else is the #1 employer in this area???

Instead of getting crazy and stopping progress in agriculture maybe you should put your energies into defending the rights of children. A cause most of those whining about this proposal would never consider because it doesnít affect you and what you want for your own selfish reasons.

I have been avoiding comment on this subject because i know very few of you could stand a rational discussion on the topic. But I live in this area and I know people that would have had jobs because of this deal. Sleep well tonight and I hope you burn holes in that highway from all the trips you take to see your precious pasture.

Selfish of people to want to protect valuable public land from a backroom deal to sell it for pennies on the dollar to a single private individual, yeah, that makes nothing but sense.

Tons of info out there on the value of the land for wildlife and why it should be preservd, why not supply some real numbers on the jobs and economic benefits?

I comes down to water, and BRID or Bow river, it's a shrinking supply.

Ben Dover
11-06-2010, 11:52 PM
So, let me get this straight...people who hunt and kill animals for sport are upset with a farmer who wants to buy public land and break it because he is going to possibly displace or kill animals? Don't Ferrogineous hawks have wings?

Could any of you self righteous morons find this land on the map? (how is life in Calgary anyway?)

How comfortable are you buying food from south america and asia? Do you think their food safety policies have your families health at heart.

Do you idiots believe everything you read? Wow.

Celebrate your victory...jump in your car and drive down your new ring road to the nearest Starbucks...and move on to your next crusade - nothing to see here.

There really is no cure for stupid.

PS:
Trevor D - you are the only person on this discussion string who:
A. Knows WTF they are talking about, and
B. Has my respect for having the balls to speak out.

TreeGuy
11-06-2010, 11:57 PM
Whole lotta first posters on this thread, eh?

SLH
11-07-2010, 12:41 AM
So, let me get this straight...people who hunt and kill animals for sport are upset with a farmer who wants to buy public land and break it because he is going to possibly displace or kill animals? Don't Ferrogineous hawks have wings?

Could any of you self righteous morons find this land on the map? (how is life in Calgary anyway?)

How comfortable are you buying food from south america and asia? Do you think their food safety policies have your families health at heart.

Do you idiots believe everything you read? Wow.

Celebrate your victory...jump in your car and drive down your new ring road to the nearest Starbucks...and move on to your next crusade - nothing to see here.

There really is no cure for stupid.

PS:
Trevor D - you are the only person on this discussion string who:
A. Knows WTF they are talking about, and
B. Has my respect for having the balls to speak out.


Moderators get me a straight jack because I'm going to get the punt here with this guy.

I'm not from Calgary I'm close enough to smell the **** you are spreading and a lot of the posters against this aren't as well and it really doesn't matter, all Albertans should have a say in this land deal. By the way where is this land developer originally from that put this deal together. So don't for a second go down that road. As for jobs what are you talking about, minimum wage jobs sorting dirt from spuds; please! Just because you can't see the big picture doesn't mean there isn't one.

I've posted on this thread before suggesting that this isn't a farmer this is a developer and with the sweet deal he was negotiating that was what it was nothing more. The bloated equity he would have been able to secure with this deal would fund the next land deal or million dollar mansion at the Alberta taxpayers expense. None of this even addresses the loss of an environment that CAN NOT be replaced.

The death by 1000 cuts is very valid "Don't Ferrogineous hawks have wings?" Yes they do but were would they fly too? What an ignorant comment, you would rather see a species go extinct! I think some where I heard that it was only something like .5% of the remaining short grass. But we take a little here and a little here and soon it is 10% of the remaining. Then the next time oh its only .5 of the remaining, where does it end. This is the same arguement used when they tried protecting buffalo in the early 1880's. I'm sorry but I don't want to live in Europe where nothing of the wild is left, I don't want to live with 2 million people living in the county of 40 mile or Taber or Cypress or Lethbridge. If you are comfortable with that go back to Europe.

As far as my families health goes do you really think that McCain's or Ypma has my families health at heart what a "STUPID" comment. When the world is starving we in Canada will be ruling the world and it won't be because of potatoes. Plus wasn't there something about the two plants cutting back contracts I wonder if that had anything to do with the withdrawl?

The one thing you do have right is that there really is no cure for stupid I just wish we would stop importing it.

Stipa comata
11-07-2010, 09:05 AM
So, let me get this straight...people who hunt and kill animals for sport are upset with a farmer who wants to buy public land and break it because he is going to possibly displace or kill animals? Don't Ferrogineous hawks have wings?

Do not be fooled here Ben - if you believe a few "sport hunters" are behind the push to scuttle this deal you are badly mistaken. I think the majority of Albertans want to see their public resource managed correctly - and selling to a land developer for a non-sustainable farming operation probably doesn't fit that bill.


Could any of you self righteous morons find this land on the map? (how is life in Calgary anyway?)
Way to bring credence to your argument. Can find it, have found it, spent some time there. Should I have a right to put a bid on it to develop it?



How comfortable are you buying food from south america and asia? Do you think their food safety policies have your families health at heart.

Are you suggesting this development would have led to change regarding the supply of local potatoes to Alberta? Absurd.
In the major grocery stores we find American potatoes more often that not.

As for food safety policies in Canada, I am guessing if all of the producers are willing to "benefit" their local communities by developing irreplaceable native land tracts for local economic gain - I indeed may need to explore it some more. Not all issues relating to food safety are linear. Perhaps in Mayberry....





Do you idiots believe everything you read? Wow.

Nope. I certainly do not believe some of what has been written on this issue, particularly the notions that this would in some way be beneficial to Albertans.



Celebrate your victory...jump in your car and drive down your new ring road to the nearest Starbucks...and move on to your next crusade - nothing to see here.

I don't particularly care for Calgary (or Starbucks for that matter), nor do I agree with the footprint the city swallows. I will celebrate this decision as a good show of common sense, however I won't celebrate completely until the public lands sale process actually has fair and equitable public consultation.




There really is no cure for stupid.

PS:
Trevor D - you are the only person on this discussion string who:
A. Knows WTF they are talking about, and
B. Has my respect for having the balls to speak out.

I have to agree with a former poster here - I wish we would quit importing the stupidity.

I am sure if YPMA would have taken this forward publicly it would have been easy for all of us to see the merits, or did he recognize that everyone might not have the same perception of developing that public land?

Jamie
11-07-2010, 09:19 AM
Whole lotta first posters on this thread, eh?

NO KIDDING!!!!!!

This reaks of a total setup.

Jamie

pikergolf
11-07-2010, 09:22 AM
So, let me get this straight...people who hunt and kill animals for sport are upset with a farmer who wants to buy public land and break it because he is going to possibly displace or kill animals? Don't Ferrogineous hawks have wings?

Could any of you self righteous morons find this land on the map? (how is life in Calgary anyway?)

How comfortable are you buying food from south america and asia? Do you think their food safety policies have your families health at heart.

Do you idiots believe everything you read? Wow.

Celebrate your victory...jump in your car and drive down your new ring road to the nearest Starbucks...and move on to your next crusade - nothing to see here.

There really is no cure for stupid.

PS:
Trevor D - you are the only person on this discussion string who:
A. Knows WTF they are talking about, and
B. Has my respect for having the balls to speak out.

Welcome to the board and thanks for sharing your thoughts so eloquently!!

Scott h
11-07-2010, 09:22 AM
Hey Ben Dover, I hope if you're worried about yours or my families health you aren't feeding them to many "tater tots" (sourced from Alberta or elsewhere ).
That line of reason just doesn't add up. I believe most of these potatoes will be turned into fries of some sort . If anything that will do nothing but increase the level of heart disease and diabetes in Canada.The facts are the facts.

It's much healthier to go for a walk -behind a pointer for instance- and stay away from McDonald's .

DarkAisling
11-07-2010, 10:09 AM
So, let me get this straight...people who hunt and kill animals for sport are upset with a farmer who wants to buy public land and break it because he is going to possibly displace or kill animals? Don't Ferrogineous hawks have wings?

People hunt and kill animals for a variety of reasons. "Sport" may play into it, or it may not. It is awfully presumptuous to assume that everyone on this forum has the same mindset. If you had spent any time here at all, before this thread, you would know that it would be virtually impossible to randomly select three members who would give you the same answer about anything relating to anything other than the regulations we follow.

Could any of you self righteous morons find this land on the map? (how is life in Calgary anyway?)

You do realize that hunting/fishing/trapping opportunities are very limited in Calgary, and those of us who live here put many, MANY, kilometres on our trucks on a weekly basis pursuing our outdoor activities, don't you? And, that land we are talking about, actually winds up well inside the boundaries of my "playground."

How comfortable are you buying food from south america and asia? Do you think their food safety policies have your families health at heart.

We only eat french fries once a month, and when we do, we make them from fresh potatoes (which are cheap and in abundance). I have many options when I purchase them: Canadian and US grown.

Trevor D - you are the only person on this discussion string who:
A. Knows WTF they are talking about, and
B. Has my respect for having the balls to speak out.

My. Whatever will I do without YOUR respect?

DarkAisling
11-07-2010, 11:01 AM
If you had spent any time here at all, before this thread, you would know that it would be virtually impossible to randomly select three members who would give you the same answer about anything relating to anything other than the regulations we follow.

And . . . just to prove my point . . .

The outrage over this has very little to do with current or future use of that piece of land. It's about HOW this deal was made.

I disagree with you. My outrage has to do with the species at risk that inhabit that particular piece of land.

:D

Reeves1
11-07-2010, 12:12 PM
Hey Bend Over......you wouldn't be a "silent" investor, would you ? :innocent:

freeones
11-07-2010, 12:15 PM
So, let me get this straight...people who hunt and kill animals for sport are upset with a farmer who wants to buy public land and break it because he is going to possibly displace or kill animals? Don't Ferrogineous hawks have wings?

The lack of logic, let alone basic common sense, in this statement is staggering. Don't people have brains?

Could any of you self righteous morons find this land on the map? (how is life in Calgary anyway?)

Ah yes, if you live in a city, you must be clueless!

This tired old refrain is nothing but humourous. The proof lies right in this thread about who really "gets it" and who doesn't, and from I've seen, your address has very little to do with.

How comfortable are you buying food from south america and asia? Do you think their food safety policies have your families health at heart.

I'm actually quite confident that the food we import into this country is completely safe for consumption. It's inspected and certified.

Even if my family isn't their #1 concern, I'd bet their family is, and if the crops they're growing don't meet international standards, and can't be exported, then they'd only be hurting themselves, and people tend to look out for #1. See Mr. Ypma for a prime example. I believe he has my best interest at heart about as much as I believe you're a fist time poster on the board and not just some chicken chute doing a fly by.

Do you idiots believe everything you read? Wow.

Do you read?

There really is no cure for stupid.

Actually there is, it's called educating yourself. However, it's only effective about 99% of time, some will inevitably fall into that remaining 1% who are incurable.

TrevorD
11-07-2010, 10:20 PM
reposted with proper format below

Jamie
11-07-2010, 10:32 PM
Trevor....

What are you getting out of this deal?

Jamie

TrevorD
11-07-2010, 10:34 PM
Shelley aka "Little Miss Cranky Pants"
ďWe've already done so much damage. Why break with tradition or think critically about doing any further damage? Let's just destroy all of our wild spaces! Who cares about future generations anyway?Ē

Damage? We have altered the use of lands to our benefit. In the 20th century we called this progress. We went to school, got a job and built homes and improved our standard of living every chance we got. We all have an environmental foot print. Every time we get a raise at work or have the chance to increase our standard of living our footprint grows. Donít we all want to have a good life? Isnít that why so many of us buy lottery tickets? How much would your footprint grow if you won the lotto max?
Donít you enjoy driving on our roads and going to the shopping mall? Every working citizen in Alberta that owns a home has contributed to the destruction of native grassland havenít they? It was all native grassland before we showed up! What right do we have to condemn or be critical of someone who wants to develop land when we, just by being here have done the very same thing?

Freeones
ďI forgot that two wrongs make a right.

You should ask Mr. Ypma (or yourself) how the economics of potato farming look if he paid $800-1000/acre for UNIRRIGATED land.

Now ask yourself how much value liquiditating this public asset for a one time payment of 15 million dollars (0.0004% of AB's annual budget) actually adds for Albertans.

Last I checked, we as Canadians aren't facing a food shortage, we're an exporterĒ.

Which to wrongs are you referring to?

Yes you are right I doubt anything would grow on this land without water. It currently is quit sparse of anything including wildlife.

So you are saying that $15 million wouldnít make a difference to Albertaís bottom line? I know several school boards that would disagree with you.
So you think all your food comes from Canada? Whatís on your supper plate tonight? Is it all grown right here in Alberta or even Canada? Do you have any idea where any of the food you eat is grown at all? Yes we export grain and beef, but what else? Do you think we will always be in an export situation? Our population will continue to rise along with the demand for food. If we keep expanding our cites and infrastructure and taking farm land out of production we will have to develop new land or increase or food imports from other countries. This is a simple fact. It is estimated that it takes 0.5 hectares (1.25 acres) to feed one person in a developed country. I would like to challenge everyone on this message board to only eat locally grown food or products of Canada. Follow the link to this below to learn more about how much food we import.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CRfjMOjrfnI


Okitonian
I have no idea how you equate the land and water needs of over a million people with basically giving away 1/10 of the amount Calgary uses of public land to ONE PERSON in a sweetheart insider deal no one else has a chance to get in on.
So you are only upset about this deal because you couldnít get it on it?

avb3
The other, and in this case, the more important issue, is conservation values. You may argue, "It is only a small amount of land", but where do you stop? This is a death of our prairie landscape by a 1000 cuts.

If you don't value conservation, then of course you could care less if "just a little bit of land" gets taken out of its natural state forever.

How is this death of a prairie landscape exactly? Death is a harsh word. What exactly will change when this land goes from grass to farmland? The farmland of Alberta is flush with wildlife isnít it? Probably more flush than when it was grassland. Growing up on a farm we always had hunters wanting to hunt our land. In the fall we had dozens that asked for permission. We had ditches and fence lines that were habitat for many different species of wildlife. Our land border up against the prairie and in comparison the prairie land seemed void of life as it was dry and brown and our fields were green and full of life with rabbits, gophers, deer and many different birds.

Stipa Comata

You make some good points in your post. However I did want to comment on some things you wrote.

ďI realize the important contribution of Agriculture - particularly irrigated. When we grow barley under pivots it just tells me we may not be making effective use of our resources...Ē

Barley is grown for 3 reasons, malting for beer or feed barley for the cattle industry. The third reason is for a rotation crop. One of the oldest farming practices there is, is crop rotation. If a farmer grows the same crop year after year disease can build up in the soil and reduce yields or in some cases cause a total crop failure.

Can find it, have found it, spent some time there. Should I have a right to put a bid on it to develop it? Yes you can. It sounds like it will take more than 4 years to find out if you were successful so you might want to get the ball rolling on this.

Are you suggesting this development would have led to change regarding the supply of local potatoes to Alberta? Absurd.
In the major grocery stores we find American potatoes more often that not.

As for food safety policies in Canada, I am guessing if all of the producers are willing to "benefit" their local communities by developing irreplaceable native land tracts for local economic gain - I indeed may need to explore it some more. Not all issues relating to food safety are linear. Perhaps in Mayberry....Why wouldnít you want to buy Alberta Potatoes instead of American potatoes? Why wouldnít you want to support locally grown food? As I mentioned earlier this isnít just potatoes. Crops are grown in rotation and potatoes are typically grown every fourth or fifth year. That means there would be grain, corn, canola, dry beans, and a variety of crops grown on this land not just potatoes.

freeones
ďSelfish of people to want to protect valuable public land from a backroom deal to sell it for pennies on the dollar to a single private individual, yeah, that makes nothing but senseĒ

Backroom deal? Pennies on the dollar. Do you know this for a fact? Or did you hear it on the news and because you did it must be true. When has the media ever reported anything accurately? Locally there were most likely at least 2 counties involved and a grazing association. Why would you think this was a backroom deal? Why would it need to be? If the grazing association currently leases the land donít you think they would oppose a cheap deal? They would want the same consideration.

ďI'm actually quite confident that the food we import into this country is completely safe for consumption. It's inspected and certifiedĒ.
Really? Inspected and Certified by who? To what standard? Do you really think food imported from China and Thailand is grown to the same standards as Canadian production? Thailand has become known as the land of `knock offs` you can buy an imitation Rolex watch for $5 and a Gucci hand bag for $10. Why would you want to buy food from a country that has become good at imitating things?
Google CanadaGAP when you get a chance. This is a food safety program that all McCain farmers have to belong to in order to sell them potatoes. The program indicates farmers have to go through production audits every year. Does that happen in Thailand or even in the US?



SLH
I've posted on this thread before suggesting that this isn't a farmer this is a developer and with the sweet deal he was negotiating that was what it was nothing more. The bloated equity he would have been able to secure with this deal would fund the next land deal or million dollar mansion at the Alberta taxpayers expense. None of this even addresses the loss of an environment that CAN NOT be replaced.The death by 1000 cuts is very valid "Don't Ferrogineous hawks have wings?" Yes they do but were would they fly too? What an ignorant comment, you would rather see a species go extinct! I think some where I heard that it was only something like .5% of the remaining short grass. But we take a little here and a little here and soon it is 10% of the remaining. Then the next time oh its only .5 of the remaining, where does it end. This is the same arguement used when they tried protecting buffalo in the early 1880's. I'm sorry but I don't want to live in Europe where nothing of the wild is left, I don't want to live with 2 million people living in the county of 40 mile or Taber or Cypress or Lethbridge. If you are comfortable with that go back to Europe.

As far as my families health goes do you really think that McCain's or Ypma has my families health at heart what a "STUPID" comment. When the world is starving we in Canada will be ruling the world and it won't be because of potatoes. Plus wasn't there something about the two plants cutting back contracts I wonder if that had anything to do with the withdrawl?

The YPMA family are farmers not developers, that is a fact!
How about your contribution to the loss of environment and your own environmental foot print? If you own a home south of Edmonton you have also contributed to the loss of prairie environment havenít you? We have all contributed to the loss of grassland that is a fact. So why is it okay when you gain from it but condemn someone else for the same thing?
Why do you think the hawks would leave and fly anywhere? Maybe they would stay and feed on the rabbits that would flourish on the new farmland and all the field mice that would now be there. But maybe all the rattlesnakes would be eating the mice. In my travels I have seen hawks throughout all the farmland of southern Alberta. They are not just found on the native prairie.
So how do you plan to control population growth in Alberta? Seems to me Calgary is looking like a mini Berlin already. Iím not sure how developing this land as farm land is going to cause a population boom?

Trev

TrevorD
11-07-2010, 10:37 PM
The opportunity to share my thoughts on Agriculture...

Jamie
11-07-2010, 10:50 PM
So Trevor, let me get this straight.

You, your family, your employer, your friends have no financial interest in this project going forward, you (Or any of the above) will not benefit in ANY way whatsoever.

Instead you jumped on a forum that you have never posted on before (A hunting one I might add) and decided this was the day to "Share your thoughts on agriculture"

Donít get me wrong, at this point I really donít have a opinion on the subject, I just find it kind of funny that you showed up with such passionate arguments.

BTW the same questions are directed at Ben Dover as well. (Nice name BTW....)
Jamie

TreeGuy
11-07-2010, 11:08 PM
My question has yet to be answered......

If Mr. Ympa has admitedly invested 4 years and millions of dollars into this deal, then why walk away over (within days) a few news reports and internet chatter?

BTW, I'm not really expecting an honest answer.........

TrevorD
11-07-2010, 11:13 PM
I have been to this forum many times and have never posted until now.
I have nothing to gain.
I felt that someone had to stick up for agriculture as this has been such a one sided story. I'm always amazed on how little people know about where there food comes from and how it is grown. Someday we might find an alternative energy source for our trucks, cars and homes but we will never find an alternative souce of energy for our bodies.

Trev

By the way I don't hunt anymore but I do fish.

DarkAisling
11-08-2010, 06:15 AM
Damage? We have altered the use of lands to our benefit. In the 20th century we called this progress.

Wow. I am virtually left speechless by this statement: which is so incredibly asinine I have to assume you don't actually think that is true, but rather have made the statement to try to prove a point.

Stipa comata
11-08-2010, 06:43 AM
Hey DA

No more asinine than a "Hellman's" you tube clip on eating locally.
Hellmans is owned by Unilever, and is likely more part of the problem than the solution. And we believe everything we read lol.

If you are truly worried about agriculture, safe food supply and eating locally you don't have to look beyond your own garden or farmers market. To suggest a new "corporate" potato farm might be any better than imported food is a joke too, they are bound only by the regulation that the government sets and that policy is largely driven by us as consumers. Go see what a potato producer adds for fertilizer and pesticides and see if it gives you a warm fuzzy feeling like Grandma's garden lol.

If this deal was so great for Southern Alberta, all Albertans and the safety of the nations food supply why does no one jump to answer Treeguy's question?

Stipa comata
11-08-2010, 07:00 AM
I felt that someone had to stick up for agriculture as this has been such a one sided story. I'm always amazed on how little people know about where there food comes from and how it is grown. Someday we might find an alternative energy source for our trucks, cars and homes but we will never find an alternative souce of energy for our bodies.

Trev

By the way I don't hunt anymore but I do fish.

That is a pretty large assumption - that folks here do not know where their food comes from. I would hazard a guess that most on here are far closer to knowing where the vast majority of the food they consume comes from, or have you forgotten that this is a hunting forum?

I would be pretty surprised if the guys that harvest fish and game here are not able to make the same connections to the fruit and vegetables they eat.

I know that I am far better off eating a Potato grown by my next door neighbor's market garden than a processed "tater tot" grown under a maximum production corporate farming regime.
I am amazed at how people think they know what they are eating when perhaps they don't really stop to view all of the details. And that lack of understanding seems to have no urban/rural demographics either. 's

And one final point, if these concerns of yours were actually front and center why does the PGA (Potato Growers of Alberta)move to reduce acreage in their future business plans?

DarkAisling
11-08-2010, 08:10 AM
That is a pretty large assumption - that folks here do not know where their food comes from. I would hazard a guess that most on here are far closer to knowing where the vast majority of the food they consume comes from, or have you forgotten that this is a hunting forum?

In addition to that (our hunting/fishing/trapping activities), I suspect that many of us come from agricultural backgrounds. Just because we urbanites no longer live on the farm/ranch, doesn't mean we've lost our connection to it and our roots.

In addition to that, there are grazing leases on the land in question and the surrounding area. This region already serves an agricultural purpose. For those who supported the sale of these lands to conclude that we (as in "those of us who opposed the sale") are anti-agriculture is not a solid argument when it comes to this parcel.

The regions with the green dotted fill below are grazing leases (this is the land in question, AND surrounding area):

http://lh3.ggpht.com/_bKySdrQ8G1M/TNgP9pvMu0I/AAAAAAAABu8/EtOivfAA6CI/s912/grls.jpg

Also worth considering . . . have a look at the area with the O&G layers turned on:

http://lh5.ggpht.com/_bKySdrQ8G1M/TNgRUbW7B9I/AAAAAAAABvE/U1fXNqoqNQg/s912/o%26g.jpg

Perhaps Ypma was hoping to rake in some cash as a result of this, as well (land owner compensation). I'm not sure how that would work in the transfer of crown land.

avb3
11-08-2010, 09:41 AM
Posted by TrevorD
How is this death of a prairie landscape exactly? Death is a harsh word. What exactly will change when this land goes from grass to farmland? The farmland of Alberta is flush with wildlife isnít it? Probably more flush than when it was grassland. Growing up on a farm we always had hunters wanting to hunt our land. In the fall we had dozens that asked for permission. We had ditches and fence lines that were habitat for many different species of wildlife. Our land border up against the prairie and in comparison the prairie land seemed void of life as it was dry and brown and our fields were green and full of life with rabbits, gophers, deer and many different birds.

I am going to use the word ignorant (defined as:1. lacking in knowledge or education; unenlightened 2.lacking in awareness or knowledge 3. resulting from or showing lack of knowledge or awareness an ignorant remark lack of knowledge).

Trevor D, ignorant as defined above is exactly what your comments are. Do you have any idea that over 50% of Alberta's endangered species need prairie grasslands to survive? Or do you even care?

Could antelope survive with out prairie grasslands? How much sage brush would you propose exists in a potato field to maybe, just maybe, provide some nutritional benefit for them?

Where would you suggest ferruginous hawks nest so they are close to their food supply? I strongly suspect that one of their major food sources, the richardson ground squirrel, does not do very well in a potato patch.

No, Trevor D, your ignorance as defined above is obvious. You just don't have the knowledge or awareness. Sad, it is people like you who feel cultivating from ditch to ditch is the best and highest use of a landscape.

Ranchers "get it". They know the nutritional value in native prairie grasses, they know the drought resistance that native prairie has, and they value the compatible agriculture use of these native areas by grazing.

Trevor D, if your in the prairie area, talk to your ranching neighbors and learn from them.

But quit being a shill for a corporate farm that has no interest in conservation.

DarkAisling
11-08-2010, 12:51 PM
Curious timing:
http://www.calgaryherald.com/technology/Water+fight+looms+Alberta/3792548/story.html

freeones
11-08-2010, 12:55 PM
Damage? We have altered the use of lands to our benefit. In the 20th century we called this progress. We went to school, got a job and built homes and improved our standard of living every chance we got. We all have an environmental foot print. Every time we get a raise at work or have the chance to increase our standard of living our footprint grows. Donít we all want to have a good life? Isnít that why so many of us buy lottery tickets? How much would your footprint grow if you won the lotto max?
Donít you enjoy driving on our roads and going to the shopping mall? Every working citizen in Alberta that owns a home has contributed to the destruction of native grassland havenít they? It was all native grassland before we showed up! What right do we have to condemn or be critical of someone who wants to develop land when we, just by being here have done the very same thing?

I guess you really don't understand the concept of two wrongs don't make a right.

Let me clarify and simplify it for you. Just because someone else is doing something, doesn't make it OK for you to do something. People steal cars all the time, that doesn't make it OK for you to steal a car. Try going to court for grand theft auto and using the fact that "X" number of cars are stolen every minute in Canada and see how far it gets you with the judge. Get it now? Pointing out the loss of prairie and farmland to urban sprawl doesn't make it OK to destroy a large tract of native grassland to grow potatoes. That's logic 101.

There's also some simple logic at play here in terms analogies and equating things that are not equitable, ie, comparing apples and oranges, as well as using the past to justify the future.

Which to wrongs are you referring to?

Yes you are right I doubt anything would grow on this land without water. It currently is quit sparse of anything including wildlife.

So you are saying that $15 million wouldnít make a difference to Albertaís bottom line? I know several school boards that would disagree with you.

See above.

Essentially no, spread across AB's school districts, it's peanuts really. That's not to say it couldn't do some good if directed to a small number of school districts, but at what cost? What will those school boards do next year? The year after that? Hope that we sell off some more crown land?

Selling the finite supply of crown land is a VERY short sighted solution to a long term problem.

So you think all your food comes from Canada? Whatís on your supper plate tonight? Is it all grown right here in Alberta or even Canada? Do you have any idea where any of the food you eat is grown at all? Yes we export grain and beef, but what else? Do you think we will always be in an export situation? Our population will continue to rise along with the demand for food. If we keep expanding our cites and infrastructure and taking farm land out of production we will have to develop new land or increase or food imports from other countries. This is a simple fact. It is estimated that it takes 0.5 hectares (1.25 acres) to feed one person in a developed country. I would like to challenge everyone on this message board to only eat locally grown food or products of Canada. Follow the link to this below to learn more about how much food we import.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CRfjMOjrfnI

We live in a global society Trevor. Self sufficiency can be a goal, but it's completely unrealistic IMHO for today's population, especially in Canada, to "eat locally". I know where the majority of my food comes from, and I'm more than OK with it.

It'll be a LONG time before Canada is any kind of a position where we no longer have the ability to produce or trade for the food necessary to feed the population. I think Canada will always be in an export situation for those commodities that we produce here in abundance - grain, beef, etc..., while needing to import those commodities that our climate doesn't permit us to provide for ourselves.

I'm not sure where your panic comes from regarding our food supply. It seems largely unjustified to me.

How is this death of a prairie landscape exactly? Death is a harsh word. What exactly will change when this land goes from grass to farmland? The farmland of Alberta is flush with wildlife isnít it? Probably more flush than when it was grassland. Growing up on a farm we always had hunters wanting to hunt our land. In the fall we had dozens that asked for permission. We had ditches and fence lines that were habitat for many different species of wildlife. Our land border up against the prairie and in comparison the prairie land seemed void of life as it was dry and brown and our fields were green and full of life with rabbits, gophers, deer and many different birds.

We don't agree Trevor, but I don't think you're stupid. I think you know very well the value of the unique landscape in question, and that once destroyed, it can't be replaced. There's no arguing that point, it's simple fact. We've got millions of acres of the type of farmland you describe, but very little of what you'd propose to plow.

Backroom deal? Pennies on the dollar. Do you know this for a fact? Or did you hear it on the news and because you did it must be true. When has the media ever reported anything accurately? Locally there were most likely at least 2 counties involved and a grazing association. Why would you think this was a backroom deal? Why would it need to be? If the grazing association currently leases the land donít you think they would oppose a cheap deal? They would want the same consideration.

To the best of my knowledge, and obvious that of many others far more in the loop than I am, this was not done through any type of a competitive bid process, there was no enviromental assessement done, and there was as little publicity as possible surrounding this deal. It was intended to slip through the cracks using the loophole of "agricultural expansion". When deals of this magnitude, involving PUBLIC property, are done in such a manner, I consider that a backroom deal. I'm far from alone in that assessment.

The reported price tag for the deal was $75/acre. You yourself put the fair market value at $800-1000/acre. I call that pennies on the dollary. If you have better information on the actual dollar values in place for the deal, please do share it. Otherwise, I'd say we as taxpayers in AB were getting screwed.

It is my understanding that the ABP and grazing association did oppose the deal, and in particular, the lack of a competitive bid process, the notion that the gov't was going to "trade" one parcel of land for another, and the implication that the deal would come with some form of water rights in an area where water rights are highly coveted.

If the media is biased and innaccurate, then where are you getting your information? Why not set the record straight and answer Treeguy's question?

Really? Inspected and Certified by who? To what standard? Do you really think food imported from China and Thailand is grown to the same standards as Canadian production? Thailand has become known as the land of `knock offs` you can buy an imitation Rolex watch for $5 and a Gucci hand bag for $10. Why would you want to buy food from a country that has become good at imitating things?
Google CanadaGAP when you get a chance. This is a food safety program that all McCain farmers have to belong to in order to sell them potatoes. The program indicates farmers have to go through production audits every year. Does that happen in Thailand or even in the US?

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency. They aren't perfect, but for my money, I think they do a pretty darn good job.

You really like the ol' rope a dope don't you Trevor. What the heck do imitation Rolexes have to do with the food supply or food safety? Are you suggesting that Thailand is selling me imitation potatoes?

I'm guessing the USA has very similar standards. I'd also guess that most produce is grown under similar, if somewhat more lax, standards, China being the possible exception, but then, I avoid things made or grown in China whenever possible.

Okotokian
11-08-2010, 06:15 PM
Okitonian
I have no idea how you equate the land and water needs of over a million people with basically giving away 1/10 of the amount Calgary uses of public land to ONE PERSON in a sweetheart insider deal no one else has a chance to get in on.
So you are only upset about this deal because you couldnít get it on it?



That's a cute retort, but people would take you more seriously if you actually provided a sober response. So are you saying that it's fine for one individual with connections to be able to arrange a purchase of a tract of PUBLIC land equal to 10% of Calgary's size in private for a price WAY below market value? As a supporter of free enterprise don't you think it would have been better for the government to conduct a public auction of the land?

I await your thoughtful reply.

kinniro
11-08-2010, 10:21 PM
My question has yet to be answered......

If Mr. Ympa has admitedly invested 4 years and millions of dollars into this deal, then why walk away over (within days) a few news reports and internet chatter?

BTW, I'm not really expecting an honest answer.........
__________________
Tree
Reply With Quote

They backed out before they were turned down. What other choice would you have? I admit I don't know all the details, but I do know that this deal has been in the process on for years. Grazing Associations fought over it, but made deals. SRD, ministers, counties had info on environmental, surveys etc.to base their decisions on. BRID made an agreement for water. They are farmers working on their business.

We can judge and speculate forever. It will be interesting how this will play out.

avb3
11-08-2010, 10:31 PM
The Ypma's are not sitting still. They are circulating a missive to local businesses and "friendlies" asking them to contact their MLA's with the following lobbying messages:

With Regards to the so called, ďcontroversial potato-gateĒ we would like
business people to phone in to their MLAís, premierís office, Hon. Mel
Knights office and Hon. Jack Hayden. Below are contact numbers, a few
very brief facts and a few messages that need to be told. The facts are
just a brief overview, to explain the whole process, the economic benefits,
and how Ypmaís were led astray to invest millions of dollars in a process
where they followed all of governmentís recommendations and processes
would almost take a book. (Not a bad idea, I could write one and call it
government-gate!)

"Long list of MLA's inserted here"

Key Messages:

ē
The two biggest issues facing agriculture in southern Alberta are water and land use for crop rotation, this project would have provided options for both.
o

It increased land without using additional water allocation.
o

Used excess water that was being returned to river

Development of an off stream water storage

ē

How can I trust a government that backs away from its own processes?
ē

How can I invest in this province if I canít trust the government wonít change the process in the middle or bow to political pressure?
ē

How can I act in good faith on government recommendations when I see what has happened to the Ypmas, who have done just that?

Facts:

ē

Ypmas first approached government with a request to obtain the land in 2006.

ē

Ypmas followed government regulations throughout the four year process.

ē

Ypmas were advised by government that they could pursue a private land sale when a moratorium was placed on nominal sum land transfers in spring 2009.

ē

Ypmas continued to invest money in this project because they were acting on
government recommendations in good faith.

ē

Fair market value was determined by two independent appraisals. It was significantly greater than the $75 per acre suggested in media.

ē

The proceedings were not hush-hush.

ē

Grazing lands would have been traded at no net loss to ranchers.

The land was purposed for irrigation since the early 1900s. Ypmas planned to capture the excess spill water from Bow River Irrigation District using a bridge first built in 1914 and create a 500-acre lake.
ē
Land underwent an independent environmental assessment, finding two active burrowing owl nests and one Ferruginous hawk nest (on top of a man made pole).

There is so much misinformation here it is hard to see where to start. I am sure many, many residents of Southern Alberta want to know where all that excess water is, especially since inflow stream needs have not even all been assessed, never mind met.

Maybe the Ypma's should remember that their own association, the Alberta Potato Association, wants less, not more acreage due to the excess capacity of potato farming.

TreeGuy
11-08-2010, 10:38 PM
Kinniro, thanks for the response. :)

AVB3, sounds like the makings of a massive lawsuit (read: out of court settlement) to me. Perhaps this was the scheme from the very beginning...... :(

TrevorD
11-09-2010, 12:28 AM
Stipa Comata

Farmer markets are typically smaller growers that want to market their product directly to you the consumer. What food safety or production guidelines do farmers markets have? Do you know how much manure they put on their vegetables? Who monitors their pesticide use? Do they have production records? Or letters of assurance from their fertilizer dealer? Do they work with a certified pesticide applicator? Nobody in Alberta is regulating products sold at farmers markets. Did you know that? If you buy at these markets it is up to you to ask these questions.
On larger scale commercial production many companies demand production records and test the crop for unregistered crop protection products and refuse the crop if something was found. In my opinion if there is a food safety risk in Canada it is at a farmers market.

Why do you think that I would be able to answer Treeguys question? I have learned that there are always at least 2 sides to a story or possibly more. We have heard from the govít but we have never really heard from Ypma family, other than the short clip posted above. I could speculate an answer but there has been enough speculation on this subject.
Where did you find a statement that says the Potato Growers of Alberta are reducing acres in their business plans? The PGA does not determine the potato acres in Alberta this is done by consumer demand and companies like McCain who give growers contracts to grow potatoes.

Shelley aka "Little Miss Cranky Pants"
You showed us some nice maps. I would suggest you find out who the oil revenue on public land currently goes to.

Freeones
You make some good points! But, if we are both in the business of stealing cars what right do you have to criticise me on how I steal my cars? If you steal a big car and I steal a small car arenít we both still guilty of grand theft auto?

Do you enjoy the roads, cities, shopping malls, golf courses that we have developed on what was once native prairie? If so arenít you by default encouraging more of this type of development? If we displace a farmer with a shopping mall and he still wants to be a farmer he will seek out a new farm or look at developing new farmland. Kind of like finding a new hunting spot when the old one isnít so good anymore.

Yes hopefully Canada will remain an exporter of grain and beef for years to come. However, there are opportunities in Agriculture to grow other products in Alberta but there hasnít been the economic market because of cheap food coming in from other areas. When oil hits $200 a barrel it might not be as economical to fly produce into large cities like Calgary from Mexico. When transportation gets too expensive it will create opportunities in Alberta to grow products we have never grown before. More fresh produce could be grown here but it would need to be started in a greenhouse and then finished in a field. Currently this scenario is too expensive.

I donít think were all that far away from agreeing on many things. The pressure to develop grassland into farmland is not going to go away. I hope in future proposals all the details are transparent as it is speculation, perception and emotion that create doubt. Much of this doubt could have been avoided.

My rolex rope a dope dialog was referring to the fact that food (not just potatoes) imported from a country that imitate things canít be good. Ever had a shrimp ring from Thailand or China?

As far as standards in the USA I have to disagree with you. From the produce side of the market I donít believe the food safety standards are as high in the US as they are in Canada. The fact that US is considering adopting Canadian standards in some areas indicates that we are ahead of them. In the area of crop protection chemicals the US has far more products available to them on every commodity. In Canada the PMRA Ė Pest Management Regulatory Agency a division of Health Canada registers crop protection products under the policy of ďNo health Risk` where the US system is `Minimum Health Risk`. There are pesticides still being used in the US today that Canada took off the market years ago. In some commodities US growers have access to three times as many chemicals with higher maximum allowable residue limits than Canada does.


I enjoyed my visit to your message board.
I`ll go now as quickly as I showed up. No need to reply. Some of you are harsh but some of you I think I could enjoy a dayís fishing with. We might not agree but we`d have lots to talk about.
And remember eat Canadian whenever you can...

Trev

DarkAisling
11-09-2010, 07:41 AM
Shelley aka "Little Miss Cranky Pants"
You showed us some nice maps. I would suggest you find out who the oil revenue on public land currently goes to.


Is that a general question with regards to the division of revenue for facilities on public land? It varies by parcel.

On this land I could find out in around 30 seconds, and 25 seconds of that would be waiting for my software to open. For each and every facility/pipe/well in all of Alberta, I could not only tell you the operator/s but also tell you the original application dates, who the original applicant was, when the license expires, and a host of other data that has absolutely no relevance to this discussion at all (even the diameter of the pipes and the spud dates of the wells).

I enjoyed my visit to your message board.
I`ll go now as quickly as I showed up. No need to reply. Some of you are harsh but some of you I think I could enjoy a dayís fishing with. We might not agree but we`d have lots to talk about.
And remember eat Canadian whenever you can...

If it is too hot for you in the kitchen, yes, it might be best if you run along. It just kind of proves an earlier point.

freeones
11-09-2010, 09:26 AM
You make some good points! But, if we are both in the business of stealing cars what right do you have to criticise me on how I steal my cars? If you steal a big car and I steal a small car arenít we both still guilty of grand theft auto?

Do you enjoy the roads, cities, shopping malls, golf courses that we have developed on what was once native prairie? If so arenít you by default encouraging more of this type of development? If we displace a farmer with a shopping mall and he still wants to be a farmer he will seek out a new farm or look at developing new farmland. Kind of like finding a new hunting spot when the old one isnít so good anymore.

A valid point Trevor. Things are rarely black and white. The difference is, while we both may be commiting a crime, not all crimes are equal, and they don't carry equal punishment. You don't do life in prison for speeding.

There's numerous things here that make this deal a no go for myself and the majority of people, but two things make this case stand out -

#1 - The land in question is native prairie, which is very rare, and needs to be protected. That's the biggest thing to my mind. If Mr. Ypma chose to expand his potato operations by buying adjacent farmland, land that has already been broken, there would be no outcry whatsover regarding his plans for expansion. There's no comparison between building Cross Iron Mills for example, on land which was purchased solely with the intention of being developed in the future and farmed for the heck of in teh meantime, and the plowing of a huge tract of native prairie.

#2 - The scale of the project. This is a LARGE tract of land. It's not like building a shopping mall. Even golf courses pale in comparison. (I hate golf, so if we never built another golf course, in the middle of a desert, so people could chase around a little white ball in a sterile artificial oasis, I'd be a happy man. I'm just sayin...)

The last factor is the water. I personally don't think there's any such thing as "excess" water in southern AB, or anywhere for that matter. I think the suggestion that the water he plans to use is somehow "excess" is downright assinine.

Yes hopefully Canada will remain an exporter of grain and beef for years to come. However, there are opportunities in Agriculture to grow other products in Alberta but there hasnít been the economic market because of cheap food coming in from other areas. When oil hits $200 a barrel it might not be as economical to fly produce into large cities like Calgary from Mexico. When transportation gets too expensive it will create opportunities in Alberta to grow products we have never grown before. More fresh produce could be grown here but it would need to be started in a greenhouse and then finished in a field. Currently this scenario is too expensive.

Our food prices need to increase. Food has become so cheap and subsidized in our society that it accounts for an ever shrinking percentage of a household's budget. That's not right to my mind. The luxury of fresh out of season produce is going to cost more down teh road, and it should. Food in general is undervalued.

Grwoing it here is not a realistic option IMHO. Every increase in the price of transportation will be equally, if not to a greater extent, reflected in the cost of production. How are you going to heat those greenhouses?

My rolex rope a dope dialog was referring to the fact that food (not just potatoes) imported from a country that imitate things canít be good. Ever had a shrimp ring from Thailand or China?

I still don't get what that has to do with imitating things, but I do agree that health/safety/environmental standards are lower in China, Thailand, etc... I'm not keen on there shrimp rings.

As far as standards in the USA I have to disagree with you. From the produce side of the market I donít believe the food safety standards are as high in the US as they are in Canada. The fact that US is considering adopting Canadian standards in some areas indicates that we are ahead of them. In the area of crop protection chemicals the US has far more products available to them on every commodity. In Canada the PMRA Ė Pest Management Regulatory Agency a division of Health Canada registers crop protection products under the policy of ďNo health Risk` where the US system is `Minimum Health Risk`. There are pesticides still being used in the US today that Canada took off the market years ago. In some commodities US growers have access to three times as many chemicals with higher maximum allowable residue limits than Canada does.

I'm not real well versed on the USA's food production standards. They do seem to be more lax in their views on chemical use.

I enjoyed my visit to your message board.
I`ll go now as quickly as I showed up. No need to reply. Some of you are harsh but some of you I think I could enjoy a dayís fishing with. We might not agree but we`d have lots to talk about.
And remember eat Canadian whenever you can...

I don't think you're a bad guy either Trevor, a little misguided yes lol, but not a bad guy. This would be a pretty boring place to be if we all agreed on everything.

Stipa comata
11-09-2010, 04:30 PM
[LEFT]Stipa Comata


I donít think were all that far away from agreeing on many things. The pressure to develop grassland into farmland is not going to go away. I hope in future proposals all the details are transparent as it is speculation, perception and emotion that create doubt. Much of this doubt could have been avoided.


I enjoyed my visit to your message board.
I`ll go now as quickly as I showed up. No need to reply. Some of you are harsh but some of you I think I could enjoy a dayís fishing with. We might not agree but we`d have lots to talk about.
And remember eat Canadian whenever you can...

Trev

I agree 100% with you on this one Trev - the Native Range will continue to see pressure regarding expansion as long as it appears to be a lucrative option. Even more reason for us to be extra careful regarding subsequent applications to sell it off. I also agree the process needs to be transparent and perhaps fair and equitable public consultation could aid in alleviating some concerns.

Thanks for your opinions on this - even though I do not agree with some of what you say I appreciate your perspective.
Good Fishing!

SC

Okotokian
11-09-2010, 09:03 PM
[I enjoyed my visit to your message board.
I`ll go now as quickly as I showed up.

Pretty much explains all. The fellow just did a google search of the issue, came on, mounted a defence, and left. Obviously either works for the fellow who wanted to buy the land, or WAS the fellow who wanted to buy the land. They ARE conducting a PR campaign right now. Beware of the poster who shows up out of the blue, only posts about one topical issue, and then disappears.

pikergolf
11-09-2010, 09:56 PM
"#2 - The scale of the project. This is a LARGE tract of land. It's not like building a shopping mall. Even golf courses pale in comparison. (I hate golf, so if we never built another golf course, in the middle of a desert, so people could chase around a little white ball in a sterile artificial oasis, I'd be a happy man. I'm just sayin...)"

Easy now.

Sneeze
11-09-2010, 10:41 PM
I think the most important question in regards to all of this has nothing to do with the actual ethics of the sale (obviously in question).

It was how a "Family" Farm was going to develop something to this magnitude. It would be like me - with a pick up truck and $3000 in savings putting a bid in to build the new Encana tower. Who were the investors? What bank was backing these plans?

A 500 Acre lake takes some major millions to complete, irrigation piping & equipment, roadways, fences & general farm equipment etc. all have price tags that would make our eyes pop out.

I just can't see the Taber Credit Union coughing up tens of millions of development dollars even with loads of land liened on the deal.

There was something going on here. I wonder if a curious reporter will dig it up. If Ypma was a limited company a freedom of information request might dig up some shareholders who's names can also be seen on the doors of some office's in the legislature.

It would also explain why the deal was dropped so quickly.

Ryry4
11-10-2010, 09:01 AM
If Ypma was a limited company a freedom of information request might dig up some shareholders who's names can also be seen on the doors of some office's in the legislature.


SLM Spudd Farms is one of his companies, as far as I know that's the company behind the deal, but I know he's got more than one company.

walking buffalo
08-31-2011, 11:54 AM
BUMP....

Potatogate is ALIVE again. :mad3:

Avb3, Thanks for keeping on top of this.
Potatogate - back with a vengeance!
http://www.outdoorsmenforum.ca/showthread.php?p=1063990

SRD Minister Mel Knight just won't give up on getting this deal done for his friends.

Let's smack him down again.

A re-read of this thread is a good education of what the PC Gov thinks of Public property. It's time for these Jack-As's's to leave town.

MAC
10-19-2011, 03:37 PM
From the telus news page

"EDMONTON - The Alberta government has mashed a land deal that could have seen a large tract of native prairie sold off for an irrigated potato farm.

Sustainable Resource Development has pulled a request for proposals to buy nearly 7,300 hectares of grassland for an irrigation project.

Government officials had acknowledged a Taber-area potato farmer was expected to bid for the land.

The proposal was widely criticized by environmentalists and area ranchers, and seemed to contradict advice from the government's own experts.

Nigel Douglas, a spokesman for the Alberta Wilderness Association, is praising Premier Alison Redford for living up to her campaign promise to cancel the sale.

He says his group now wants the government to protect habitat for disappearing species such as the sage grouse and woodland caribou. "


I thought it was close to 16000 acres being offered the second time around.

MAC

boku
10-21-2011, 04:02 PM
The press release on the SRD website says:

"October 19, 2011
Request for Proposals for agricultural development cancelled

Edmonton... A Request for Proposals is cancelled that would have sold 16,000 acres in southern Alberta for irrigated agricultural development.

Government cancelled the RFP after people expressed concerns that there was no public input into using a Request for Proposals and that there might be an impact on water and on the ranching community. Public consultation and water use and availability are priorities for this government.
The land is in Cypress County and is all under grazing lease or grazing permit. The Request for Proposal was issued in August 2011."

I thought the new Minister in charge of SRD should be encouraged so I sent him an email expressing my appreciation.

WayneChristie
10-22-2011, 08:08 AM
The press release on the SRD website says:

"October 19, 2011
Request for Proposals for agricultural development cancelled

Edmonton... A Request for Proposals is cancelled that would have sold 16,000 acres in southern Alberta for irrigated agricultural development.

Government cancelled the RFP after people expressed concerns that there was no public input into using a Request for Proposals and that there might be an impact on water and on the ranching community. Public consultation and water use and availability are priorities for this government.
The land is in Cypress County and is all under grazing lease or grazing permit. The Request for Proposal was issued in August 2011."

I thought the new Minister in charge of SRD should be encouraged so I sent him an email expressing my appreciation.

:sHa_shakeshout::sHa_shakeshout::sHa_shakeshout:

Redfrog
10-22-2011, 04:00 PM
http://www.predatormastersforums.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=2025010&#Post2025010

hadda
10-26-2011, 12:04 PM
:love0025:

Ridolpho
10-26-2011, 06:17 PM
Now if they could just get the cattle off of it !!!! Ranchers and Farmers- stewards of the land- right.

avb3
10-26-2011, 10:36 PM
Now if they could just get the cattle off of it !!!! Ranchers and Farmers- stewards of the land- right.

Actually, cattle are not necessarily incompatible with the prairie landscape... think buffalo. In fact, some endangered plants (I think sand verbena if I remember correctly) needs the pitter patter of hooves to propogate.

duffy4
10-27-2011, 07:37 AM
Actually, cattle are not necessarily incompatible with the prairie landscape... think buffalo. In fact, some endangered plants (I think sand verbena if I remember correctly) needs the pitter patter of hooves to propogate.

But buffalo grazed an area heavily then moved on to another and may not have returned for some time (they invented "rotational grazing").

Often cattle are overstocked and continually pound an area, especially the riparian areas.

Not saying all livestock grazing is bad but some could be managed better for the good of the habitat and wildlife. Particularly on crown lands.

MountainTi
10-27-2011, 07:41 AM
Now if they could just get the cattle off of it !!!! Ranchers and Farmers- stewards of the land- right.

You wanna eat? Figure all that food from Safeway is just built in a factory in another country? You wanna feed the expanding population there is going to be some trade offs.` I suppose your house is built with wood but you are against logging in Alberta? Like to heat your house with gas and drive your car around but disagree with oil exploration in your back yard?
Unfortunately there are far too many people with narrow minded ideas such as your own

sheephunter
10-27-2011, 07:46 AM
Actually, cattle are not necessarily incompatible with the prairie landscape... think buffalo. In fact, some endangered plants (I think sand verbena if I remember correctly) needs the pitter patter of hooves to propogate.

Species like burrowing owls benefit greatly from large grazers as well. Well managed large grazers are definitely an important part of the prairie ecosystem.

walking buffalo
10-27-2011, 07:59 AM
But buffalo grazed an area heavily then moved on to another and may not have returned for some time (they invented "rotational grazing").

Often cattle are overstocked and continually pound an area, especially the riparian areas.

Not saying all livestock grazing is bad but some could be managed better for the good of the habitat and wildlife. Particularly on crown lands.

Cattle and Buffalo behave very differently even when confined to small areas.

Buffalo DO NOT trample raparian areas, particularly stream shorelines. Buffalo still have the instinct to respect water and avoid streambanks (a dangerous place, easy to break a leg or be attacked by a predator).

Ranching should put more emphasis on protecting raparian areas from cattle. Fencing and controlled access to water should be mandatory on public land.

sheephunter
10-27-2011, 08:02 AM
Cattle and Buffalo behave very differently even when confined to small areas.

Buffalo DO NOT trample raparian areas, particularly stream shorelines. Buffalo still have the instinct to respect water and avoid streambanks (a dangerous place, easy to break a leg or be attacked by a predator).

Ranching should put more emphasis on protecting raparian areas from cattle. Fencing and controlled access to water should be mandatory on public land.

There's a lot of work being done by groups like MULTISAR and OGC addressing those exact issues right now.

DuckBrat
10-27-2011, 08:56 AM
To all those that went out of their way to send letters, call, and alert media, when the effort was needed I appreciate it.

I would like to ask that we all take the next step now and protect this area from development. There are no protected large grassland habitats in this part of the province (or in any part for that matter). Now that Alberta residents have stepped up to the plate twice to stop the antics of the old regime we need to make the Bow Island Grazing reserve a protected park area(with grazing/hunting allowed). I will be sending out a request for protected status today to those that have the ability to do this. I ask you to follow suit and make those calls and forge strong letters. Thanks.

J