Re: "Opponents continue to advocate against gravel pitt near Big Hill Springs," article, Rocky View Weekly, June 21
As the Alberta NDP candidate for Airdrie-Cochrane I was pleased to learn Alberta Environment and Parks (AEP) has recently accepted statements of concern submitted by the Bighill Creek Preservation Society and others in relation to a proposed gravel pit near Big Hill Springs Provincial Park.
The park is one of Alberta’s oldest protected areas, having been established in 1957, and holds immense heritage, cultural, and environmental values. Big Hill Springs is nationally recognized as a significant thermal spring, and it attracts upwards of 250,000 visitors annually. Simply put, it is one of our local treasures here in Airdrie-Cochrane.
Economic growth requires access to a supply of aggregate, but we owe it to ourselves and future generations to pause and evaluate the impacts of extraction on nearby special places like Big Hill Springs Provincial Park. The proposed gravel pit will be located close to the park's boundaries and there are concerns that extraction activities may affect the aquifer that feeds water into the park.
Accordingly, I fully support the decision by AEP to establish an open and transparent process to consider the potential impacts of this extraction activity on the groundwater resources in Big Hill Springs Provincial Park, including springs, creeks, wetlands, and Bighill Creek, which is a significant part of our local environment and community in Cochrane. The decision by AEP to accept statements of concern and consider these potential impacts is a positive step towards sustainable and responsible development in our region.