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April 2021 eNewsletter
issue no. 153


Who We Are:
We are a diverse group of individuals with a passion for nature and the beautiful landscapes in the Crowsnest Pass and surrounding area. We share a strong conservation ethic and a desire to integrate this into the mainstream of our community. We are active in undertaking and supporting programs that preserve, protect and enhance nature and the landscapes we cherish, while ensuring a vibrant growing community. We are a registered charitable organization.

To learn more about Crowsnest Conservation and to support our work, visit our webpage here.
To sign-up for our monthly eNews, click here.


Crowsnest Conservation Society would like to offer our sincerest gratitude to our retiring board members.

Judy Cooke has been on the CCS board for 16 continuous years. For 12 of those years she served as President, two as Vice-President, and one as Secretary. She has been the considerate and self-effacing backbone of this Society. Her commitment to environmental education and action through the CCS has made our Crowsnest Pass community better.

Rick Cooke has been a Director of the CCS board for 12 years. His most recent contribution has been writing the CCS response to the Grassy Mountain Coal Mine proposal. He devoted over 500 hours of work to represent CCS for the Joint Review Panel hearing in 2020.

John Husch has been the CCS Treasurer since late 2015. Over the past five plus years he has contributed his extensive business and managerial expertise. He learned new accounting software and was able to de-mystify financial statements for board members and volunteer auditors.



CCS invites you to learn about or make a difference to the environment of the Crowsnest Pass this spring and summer. For details or to sign up contact us by email at or by phone (403) 583-5884. We will be looking for volunteers for:

Birding walks
Communities in Bloom
Forest Stewardship Day (June 5)
Doors Open Festival (July 30-Aug 2)
Earth Day (April 22 or May)
Grant Writing
Municipal Planning Commission (4th Wed)
Recycling Issues
Speaker Series
Trail Signage and Boardwalk
Water Issues
Weed Pulls
Wildflower walks

The Great Divide Trail Association-Volunteers

No events at this time.



April 8, 12:30-1:30 p.m. - Carbon, water, and recreation: protecting the land that sustains us

Event by: Yellowstone to Yukon

For more information and to register, visit


April 22, 4 p.m. - Alberta Emerald Foundation, Tickets by donation, Minimum $5.00

Need some environmental inspiration this Earth Day? Join AEF for a special virtual presentation of Emerald Speakers Series. Their version of TED Talks, the Emerald Speakers Series provides Emerald Award recipients with a stage to share their inspiring environmental work. Thanks to the virtual platform GreenShows, this special event will include a Q&A session with our presenters and the opportunity to chat with fellow audience members.

2021 Emerald Speakers are:


The Great Divide Trail Association - 2021 Trail Building & Maintenance Trip Schedule

Thursday, June 17 to Sunday, June 20 – Cairnes Creek Bridge (Trip 1)

Saturday, June 26 to Wednesday, June 30 – High Rock Trail

June 30 to July 5 – High Rock Trail

July 5 to July 10 – High Rock Trail

July 10 to July 15 – High Rock Trail

July 14 July 18 – Cataract Creek Bridge (Original GDT)

July 16 to July 21 – High Rock Trail

July 23 to July 27 – High Rock Trail

July 27 to August 1 – High Rock Trail

August 13 to August 17 – Cairnes Creek Bridge (Trip 2)

Additional Info:

  • 10 people maximum per trip.
  • Basic camp set-up: Kitchen shelter, fire pit & latrine. Volunteers will bring their own tents and sleeping gear.
  • Volunteers will bring & cook their own food.
  • Trail building experience is not required, but volunteers should have experience backcountry camping and hiking.
  • Free for GDTA Members.
  • The GDTA will not be organizing carpooling this year due to the pandemic so volunteers will have to arrange their own rides to the trailhead.
  • The GDTA will provide all trail maintenance tools, tool training, and safety orientation for all trips.

If you are interested in participating in one or more of our 2021 GDTA Trail Building & Maintenance Trips, or if you have any questions, visit

Crowsnest Pass News


Tent Mountain Mine Environmental Impact Assessment

Public invited to comment on the proposed Terms of Reference for the EIA of Montem Resources proposed Tent Mountain Mine.   Print documents may be obtained from Montem at 7720-17 Ave., P.O. Box 610, Coleman, AB T0K 0M0 or from the government at 1-587-425-5996.

DEADLINE IS APRIL 5, 2021. For more information, see


Provincial News


Public invited to complete a survey on coal development in Alberta. DEADLINE IS APRIL 19, 2021.


Province announces coal consultation committee, online survey

Alberta has struck a “fiercely independent” five-member committee to assess how people in the province feel about coal mining in the Rocky Mountains.


First Nations say Alberta review of coal project inadequate, seek federal involvement

Two of southern Alberta’s largest First Nations have asked the federal government to step into an environmental review of a coal mine proposed for the Rocky Mountains.


Covid weakened environmental rules across Canada, mostly in Alberta

According to a study from U. of C., Alberta relaxed more environmental rules in response to Covid-19 than any other government in Canada. Out of 143 different rules and regulations that were eased from every jurisdiction in the country, except Manitoba, 54 were in Alberta. Most benefited the oil and gas industry.


In the Media



Grizzly bears might be using ‘rub spots’ to find mates

If you’ve ever been lucky enough to see a grizzly bear rubbing itself against a tree, you may have thought it was simply scratching an itch in a hard to reach spot. But new research indicates the rubbing also plays an important role in the mating game.


U.S. hunters facing ban after black bear killed illegally in Alberta

Two Americans have been banned from hunting in Alberta for one year and the local company that hosted their hunts owes thousands in fines after a black bear was illegally killed near Gypsy Lake Lodge, southeast of Fort McMurray.


Grizzly number have doubled in parts of Alberta Rockies

A new survey suggests grizzly bear numbers in Alberta’s central Rocky Mountains have doubled since 2005.




Alberta producers launch coal mining studies

Ranchers fighting against open-pit coal mining in the Eastern Slopes are waiting for the provincial government to provide details about public consultations for a new coal policy for Alberta.


Coal exploration approvals already exceed legal road thresholds, data suggests

Documents from the Alberta Energy Regulator suggest road-building approvals for coal-exploration already exceed legal limits in some parts of Alberta’s Rocky Mountains and foothills.


Petition asks Ottawa to review overall effect of expanded coal mining in Alberta

The federal government needs to step in and consider the potential overall effects of Alberta’s intent to expand its coal-mining industry, says a petition tabled in the House of Commons.


A tale of two provinces: how coal mining plowed ahead in B.C. Rockies while Alberta hit the brakes

Mountain-top-removal coal mining is much more prevalent in B.C. than Alberta. To understand why, you need to go back decades to unfurl a story that defies stereotypes of environmental values


When is mountain top removal not mountaintop removal? In Alberta, of course!

In Alberta, the government has one definition for mountaintop removal, while most people have another. You might think that excavating the top of a mountain until it’s reduced to a series of carved away “benches” that arise like giant steps to a last shred of a mountain’s peak is “mountaintop removal”. If so, you disagree with the Alberta government.




Logging company clears Cree Nation ancestral trail without recourse

Last summer, logging company, Alberta-Pacific Forest Industries Inc., cleared approximately 1,200 metres of an Indigenous ancestral trail in Bigstone Cree Nation, Treaty No. 8, despite government regulations in place to protect the land.


B.C. is flunking on old-growth forests

B.C. government is getting failing grades when it comes to protecting B.C.s old-growth forests, according to a report card issued by a coalition of environmental groups.




Canada takes important steps to protect critical trout habitat in Alberta

Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard has signed two critical habitat orders for trout in Alberta: Rainbow Trout (Athabasca River populations), and Bull Trout (Saskatchewan-Nelson Rivers populations).


Feds fund greater sage grouse conservation efforts

Activities to support habitat for greater sage grouse received a $1.27M funding boost from the federal government and climate change department.





Alberta proposing new $30 annual random camping permits

The Alberta government plans to introduce a $30 annual fee this spring for people who random camp on public lands.


Alberta closer to establishing new provincial park in Edmonton’s river valley

The provincial government is working to convert a 68-hectare parcel of Crown land along the North Saskatchewan River, in southwest Edmonton, into a provincial park.


Alberta Parks Reservation system now open

Parks Canada Reservation system accepting some BC/AB parks




Supreme Court rules carbon price constitutional

In a 6-3 decision, Canada’s highest court rules the federal price on carbon, does not violate the rights of individual provinces and is a critical response to the existential threat of climate change.


Powering Past Coal Alliance (PPCA) Global Summit

On March 2-4, the UK and Canadian governments, co-chairs of the PPCA, co-hosted a virtual PPCA Global Summit to boost international commitment and cooperation to shift away from coal power generation ahead of the U.N. Climate Change Conference in November 2021. Read the summary article below:


Covid gave climate scientists a natural environment. Here’s what they learned

Carbon emissions dropped 7% in 2020, but that had only a minimal impact on our warming climate.


Northern Continental Divide listed as ‘crisis ecoregion’ in NCC study

A recent study has found that hundreds of species in nine ecoregions across Canada are threatened by habitat and biodiversity loss due to climate change. The Northern Continental Divide, including Crowsnest Pass, is one of them.




New plant-based plastic can be printed – and fully recycled

Could this be the chemists’ answer to the plastic problem chemistry helped create?


Irrigation canals covered in solar panels are a powerful combination

This one simple trick generates renewable energy, saves billions of gallons of water, and shrinks farmers’ carbon footprint – all at the same time.


Gravity power? How to store wind, solar energy without batteries

One of the challenges in the shift to clean energy is that wind and solar power generation produces electricity only when the wind is blowing and the sun is shining, which doesn’t always coincide with when we need the most electricity.




Return of bison to Waterton celebrated

Six plains bison were transferred to Waterton Lakes National Park in February with several Indigenous elders on hand to commemorate the occasion.


Wolf collared in Banff is killed in U.S

A lone male wolf from Banff’s Bow Valley pack journeyed nearly 500 km in just five days, before being legally killed in northwestern Montana.


Humans force wild animals into tight spots, or send them far from home. Just how big is the impact?

Covid has shown that disruptions to the way we move around, complete our daily activities, and interact with each other can shatter our wellbeing. This doesn’t only apply to humans.




Oldman River Basin Water Allocation Order explained

Alberta is considering amending the Oldman River Basin Water Allocation Order to help spur economic development including coal mines, upstream of the Oldman Reservoir. The Oldman Watershed Council explains it here.


Environment Minister reassures rural areas coal mining doesn’t threaten water

Minister Jason Nixon said Alberta continues to have some of the most rigorous water licence and environmental rules when it comes to protecting water.


Thank you to Raymond Toal for the use of his images.

Contact Information - Crowsnest Conservation Society
Mailing Address:
P.O. Box 242, Crowsnest Pass, AB, T0K 0E0
Office: 12707-20 Avenue, Crowsnest Pass, AB (403) 583-5884

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