June 14th, 2017 ~ Vol. 87 No. 24
OHV Bylaw 918, 2017
Crowsnest Pass Herald Front Page
The following letter was written to the Municipality of Crowsnest Pass Council.

I've travelled the world from the Northwest Territories to South Africa, and I always return to the Crowsnest Pass. There is no more beautiful place in the world. We have here some unique and exquisite country and because we are here and our presence changes the landscape, it is our responsibility to be good stewards of this area we call home. Stewardship is an ethic that embodies responsible planning and management of resources.
We have in the Crowsnest Pass and surrounding area limited resources and they need to be managed well.

Decisions regarding OHV regulations fall to our council, I hope you will make good ethical stewardship decisions. If we who live here and call this home and are not prepared to be good stewards of our resources who will?

I have heard talk that the Crowsnest Pass is positioning itself to be the gateway to the park. What a fantastic idea! If done properly this could be a win win for the locals as well as the visitors to the area. To be a gateway to the park we need to have policies and regulations that are consistent with those that will be in place outside our municipal borders on public lands and in parks. We are all well aware of the controversy in the

Castle area regarding OHV use and random camping. Science tells us activities on public lands need to be restricted in order to restore and preserve what we have here. If we are to be good stewards we can do no less with-in our municipal boundaries. A gateway to a pristine park does not have off-highway vehicles driving up and down the ditches creating unnecessary unsightly destruction of the roadways, obnoxious noise, noxious weeds and safety issues for others sharing the roadways.
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As a gateway to the park there is much recreation that can promoted and supported and yet does not contribute to the destruction of the environment that off-highway vehicles and random camping are contributing to. We cannot condone and support off-highway vehicle use that is going to permanently damage the habitat, the bio diversity and the headwaters that are what make our area special.

We need to be part of the land footprint management plans and the recreation plans that our provincial government is developing to protect our area. When the science tells us that we need to reduce the number of trails and roadways in the surrounding area, why are we providing random access points into Forestry instead of insisting off-highway vehicle enthusiast use the staging areas that are for that purpose. Why for example would Tecumseh Road be an access point for OHVs when at the end of Tecumseh Road is the cross country ski trails with an off leash dog area.

As a resident of Tecumseh road I am absolutely opposed to off highway vehicle traffic in this ROW or on the roadway. The Municipality has in the last 10 years approved a campsite on the other side of the highway behind the old Arctic spa, they've approved a development at Tecumseh Mountain Guest ranch for something like 27 units, and they've approved a bed-and-breakfast right next door to me. All of this increases the off-highway vehicle traffic on Tecumseh Road. I don't want that traffic anymore than any person who lives within an OHV Exclusion Zone. I am not a second rate citizen that I should tolerate what other members of the community are protected from. If there's areas of the Crowsnest pass where it is not appropriate for off-highway vehicles because it's disturbing other people then I expect the same consideration. I live in the country and I pay hefty taxes for that luxury. I do not then expect the peace and quiet of country life to be destroyed by combustion engines going up and down my roadway.
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I acknowledge that OHVs provide a good deal of fun and excitement and they have become a part of our community culture. I mean look at our local transportation, the bus has a picture on the side of it of a family quadding. But let's be realistic quads have only been around for the last 20 years, they're not historical fixtures here. And it is not a personal right for people to ride OHVs on municipal or public lands, it is simply a sense of self entitlement that appears to put self pleasure in front of stewardship, and that needs to stop. This present controversy around the OHV use within our municipal boundaries has been ongoing for the last

year. I have watched the process and I have some serious concerns about how decisions are made and and how mayor and council have gone about disseminating and collecting information regarding these regulations. I have witnessed conflicts of interest as a councillor improperly, if unwittingly, stood in a position of power to voice his opinion at what was supposed to be an unbiased public opinion gathering open house. I have heard mayor and council themselves question how they were going to make these decisions as they shook their head and had no identifiable clear process for decision-making while simultaneously voting to pass the first reading of the draft bylaw.

I understand that council is proposing bylaws that are not recommended by their own legal council or Protective Services. My question then is regarding your decision making process. What is the process and criteria on which you have based your decision? And I ask is this going to stand the test of time? Is your plan in line with the global demand to be good stewards of our earth, of our home? Is your proposed bylaw even remotely enforceable given the resources we have had and the complexity of the 24 page bylaw?

There is a simple and defendable solution and that is to simply follow the Traffic Safety Act which will eliminate all OHV traffic from our roadways. Then nobody will have to listen to the additional combustion engine noise, or look at unsightly chewed up roadways, or wonder how old that kid on that vehicle is and does he have a licence? We can instead get on board with those who would be good stewards of the mountain pass and start funnelling OHV traffic to staging areas with designated trails so we can all enjoy our home.
Thankyou for the opportunity for public input. My questions are not rhetorical and I expect answers. I will be in attendance on May 9, 2017 and hope to hear your responses at that time.

Carol Ostrom
June 14th, 2017 ~ Vol. 87 No. 24
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