Development of the Dead Man’s Flats area has been proposed since the early 1990s, but was held up due to concerns about the area being a significant wildlife corridor. A judicial review in 1995 directed that an environmental assessment be completed. The area east of the hamlet of Dead Man’s Flats has since been recognized as a significant wildlife corridor and, in 2004, an underpass crossing of Highway 1 was constructed as part of the Kananaskis G8 legacy project.
Since 2004, Alberta Environment and Sustainable Resource Development (ESRD) and Alberta Tourism, Parks and Recreation (TPR) have been in discussions with the Municipal District of Bighorn (MD8) on a land exchange. There have been a number of proposals and counter-proposals made by the Province and MD8.
The intent for the lands obtained by the Crown in the land exchange would be to transfer them to TPR and have them included as part of the Bow Valley Wildland Provincial Park. This would secure a wildlife corridor from Canmore, along the Bow River, and south through the Highway 1 wildlife underpass to the wildlife patches and corridor located south of Highway 1.
Focused consultation with the affected First Nations, facilitated by ESRD, and local area stakeholders occurred over the winter of 2010. An open 60-day public consultation on the exchange was also conducted from October 1 to November 29, 2010. There were 15 public responses to the proposal received during that period. Supplementary discussions on modifications to the proposal were further conducted with directly affected stakeholders in the summer of 2012 and with First Nations in the spring of 2013. The province took all comments into consideration and Alberta Parks would like to thank everyone who provided feedback on the proposal.
In November 2013, the Minister advised MD8 that lands in the Bow Valley Wildland Provincial Park will not be part of any land exchange in the Dead Man’s Flats area. The Minister of TPR has encouraged the Municipal District to continue working with ESRD on land exchange solutions. The Government of Alberta is still willing to accept the lands around Dead Man’s Flats in order to better protect the significant wildlife corridor.
If there are any further questions about the proposed exchange, please contact Joey Young, Senior Parks Planner, Kananaskis Region (403-678-5508).
All of the input received from the public has been reviewed and is provided in the summary entitled “What We Heard”. All of the comments were supportive of the acquisition of lands around Dead Man’s Flats to be added to Bow Valley Wildland Provincial Park, but many expressed concern over having to remove lands in the Yamnuska area in order to complete the exchange. Several respondents also expressed their concerns with the future light industrial designation proposed by MD8 and brought attention to the existing landfill adjacent to the Yamnuska area as an example of what they perceived to be negative impacts of development in the area.
Disclaimer: We thank you for providing your input. Those who submit feedback will not be contacted individually regarding their submission.