Another disastrous meeting regarding logging in West Bragg Creek and the resultant destruction of parts of some recreational trails was held on 25 September, this time with Minister Diane McQueen in attendance.
This public meeting was a follow-up to two previous meetings that were called by Environment and Sustainable Resource Development (ESRD) on 2 August and 8-9 September. At the latter two-day workshop, five options for resolution were priorized and sent to Minister McQueen. Trail users were hopeful that their well-considered options would be favourably received by the Minister.
It was not to be.
In fact, the three options presented to the 25 September meeting did not reflect any of the options as submitted to the Minister, but were cut-and-paste creations taken out of context from submitted proposals. The deception was not lost upon a savvy audience that quickly realized that fire protection of acreages and the community of Bragg Creek, and restoration of trails were not the purposes of any of the newly-created options. Rather, it was clear that timber harvesting was the only priority of the government in its FireSmart Plan.
To learn more about the meeting, see the PDF attachment. Here, you can also read Alf Skrastins’ letter to Minister McQueen following the meeting in which he points out that none of the three options take into consideration natural or in-situ wildfire barriers.