Alberta Environment and Parks (AEP) is proposing to deregulate and sell a small portion of land within Bow Valley Wildland Provincial Park (Proposal) to support long-term flood mitigation for the Town of Canmore.
Heavy rains in the Bow Valley in 2013 caused a debris flood on Cougar Creek that resulted in widespread damage. As a result of the risk assessment, the Town of Canmore is proposing to construct and operate the Cougar Creek Debris Flood Retention Structure Project (Project). The Director of the Natural Resources Conservation Board responsible for Environmental Assessment has directed the Town of Canmore to conduct an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Report for the Project. As part of the EIA process, the Town of Canmore is conducting First Nation and public consultation.
The Project is currently located within Bow Valley Wildland Provincial Park. As part of the designation of wildland provincial parks, the construction of roads is prohibited unless in connection with freehold mineral interests. In order to accommodate the Project, AEP is proposing to deregulate and sell approximately 2.87 hectares (ha) of land where the related infrastructure will be located in Cougar Creek, to the Town of Canmore. This will allow for the construction and operation of the Project, which supports public safety and flood mitigation objectives for the area. As part of the Proposal, AEP is conducting public, stakeholder and First Nation consultation.
Bow Valley Wildland Provincial Park was initially designated in 1998 and expanded in 2001 covering an approximate area of 37,346 ha. The intent of a wildland provincial park is to retain large areas of high quality, natural landscape where opportunities for backcountry recreation and tourism activities are provided that ensure the retention of the land in a natural state and reduces interference with natural processes. Under the current legislation, the access road as part of the debris flood retention structure is not permissible. AEP explored other options to reclassify the lands from Bow Valley Wildland Provincial Park and add to lands identified under Bow Valley Provincial Park. However AEP determined the deregulation and land sale is the preferred option.
As part of the Proposal, the process will include:
If the AEP deregulation and land sale is approved, and public, stakeholder and indigenous consultation is completed, the Land Use Secretariat will amend the boundary of the SSRP map to ensure the change in land use aligns with those indicated in the SSRP. This amendment will be initiated by the Stewardship Minister, who will seek approval from Executive Council and the Legislative Assembly.
The Proposal is conditional on the approval of the Project through the EIA process, as well as the First Nation consultation and public participation processes.
The 60-day public input period for the Cougar Creek Deregulation and Land Sale proposal is now closed. Thank you for your feedback.
Thea Mitchell*Flood Recovery Planner*Alberta Environment and Parks*Canmore Provincial Building*Suite 201, 800 Railway Avenue*Canmore, AB T1W1P1*
Separate First Nation consultation will follow the Government of Alberta’s First Nations Consultation Policy on Land Management and Resource Development and associated Guidelines.
AEP will make a final decision regarding the Proposal after considering all comments received during the public participation period. A summary of public comments will be posted online at www.albertaparks.ca/consult and www.landuse.alberta.ca once a decision has been reached.
Disclaimer: We thank you for providing your input. Those who submit feedback will not be contacted individually regarding their submission.