Letters to the Editor: April 29

Off-Leash Park; Coming soon to a watershed near you

Off-Leash

On behalf of the BCSPCA East Kootenay Community Council, we would like to thank and applaud the City of Cranbrook and School District 5 for the creation of the Muriel Baxter Off-Leash Dog Park, located at 2nd St. South and Victoria Ave.

This is a functional and attractive addition to the community, far surpassing such efforts in much larger BC communities. This is an environment where dogs can socialize, experience stimulation and exercise and be in a safe place. It fulfills #5 of the BCSPCA mission and charter statements: animals need “Freedom to express behaviours that promote well-being”.

We hope our citizens will practice “responsible pet management” and pick up after their pet so it can continue to be an attractive asset to the city. Congratulations on a job well done!

Sincerely, Peter Johnson, Vice Chair, BC SPCA East Kootenay Community Council

Coming soon to a watershed near you

There has been a lot of controversy lately about a proposed recreation site on the Bootleg side of the Matthew Creek watershed which supplies water to Marysville.People I talk to around town seem to know little of what is going on so I looked up some figures.

I found an application dated August 25/14.In it there are proposals for 6 trails,18kms to rehabilitate and 20kms to be built new.This shows a price tag of $440,000 which is to come from grants including $84,403 from the City of Kimberley RMI grant which will be used outside of city limits.

I was told by people working on the Round The Mountain Trail in 2014 that this would be the last trail in the watershed.This turned out to be a bit of a fib.

I met twice with the forestry about this with my concerns that it was in the watershed and there was no mention of the impact on both black and grizzly bears.They said only old trails would be rehabilitated.I then asked about the infamous Pinch and Roll trail that is clearly advertised as opening in 2013.This trail is clearly unauthorized.Rogue builders stand to be rewarded.

My biggest concern is humanized wildlife being pushed into town.A couple of grizzlies as well as any black bear that shows up have been killed in town.We have had a number of human/grizzly conflicts where these bears should not be.Poor berry crops are always the excuse but I blame it on more trails and people all over their turf.You can’t have this without harvesting some of them.These bears need a big area so naturally bigger bears put the run on younger bears as their habitat shrinks.Sows and cubs move closer to town.

If and when this goes through we could see 2-3 hundred person events on these trails.Right now there is an application pending that wants use of all roads and trails around Kimberley for 500+ participants.An independent party should investigate how many trails are already built or under construction before any agreements are signed.

As one letter from the Forestry to myself reads”the key to this area is to keep the trail network to a minimum,eliminate unauthorized trails ,and proper education for the public using the area.”

This hasn’t happened

Randy Wallach, Marysville

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