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Don Andersen

Border Paving attempting to expand on Stauffer

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Folks,

Contrary to what Border Paving executive told us at the first public meeting, they wish to expand their gravel extraction below the water table according to ACA mouthpiece, Let’s Go Outdoors.

A public meeting hosted by Border Paving will make a presentation at the Butte Community Hall November 28/19 5>8 pm. 
 

Below is what arrived via the Backcountry Hunters and Anglers

 

From Let's Go Outdoors:

Breaking story:

Millions of conservation dollars and countless hours of work to improve stream bank and fish habitat along the North Raven River could go out the window.

Border Paving Ltd is proposing changes to their operation permit seeking to mine gravel below the water line.

Why is this significant?

The North Raven River is a spring fed river, it's soul source of water is provided by underground aquifers. The request by Border Paving to mine below the water line could have a significant impact on the under-ground water way, potentially cutting off the water source that provides the water to the river.

Open House

Border Paving will be hosting an open house Thursday November 28 at the Butte Hall from 5 to 8pm. If you are concerned about this proposal and the threat it poses to one of the top Brown Trout rivers in Alberta, I would encourage you to attend.

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The Border Paving site is adjacent to the Stainbrook Springs and Leavitt conservation sites.  These are two properties that are jointly owned by Trout Unlimited Canada, Alberta Fish and Game Association and the Alberta Conservation Association; originally acquired to ensure the protection of the head water springs of the North Raven River.  BP is seeking approval to operate a wet pit at the south property line of the 1/4 section they own (referred to as the Mcquiston Pit  NW-18-37-05-W5) and the next south property (referred to as the Kiem Pit SW-18-37-05-W5) which is directly south of our Leavitt Property and just 1/2 mile west of the Stainbrook Property.  The ground water flow from the Clearwater River to these springs is thought to go directly through the property proposed for the wet mining operation. Border Paving is apparently claiming that this is not the case and that they would never compromise the integrity of the Stauffer Creek.
 
 
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A bit more background courtesy of Don Andersen:

Why is Stauffer Creek important?

1) it is the closest trout stream to over 1.5 million people.
2) it is rare as it is long - typically spring Creeks are under 1/2 mile. Stauffer is well over 12 miles long.
3) it is self retaining requiring no supplemental stockings are needed
4) about 1/2 of the stream length is assemble to the public
5) there are very few spring creeks in Alberta. Most are located on private land.
6) the stream was abused by settlers and logging to the point where something had to be done or it was going to die.
7) Bob Scammell, the Alberta Fish and Game president at the time challenged Mel Kraft, Fish and Wildlife Regional Fisheries Biologist to run a population study about 1968 with Fish and Game funding the study.
8) from that information, the Buck for Wildlife Program which is funded by hunter and anglers undertook a remediation program.
9) the remediation program acquired land, completed in stream work to repair stream banks, removed beaver dams, installed fencing to exclude livestock and on and on.
10) land within the exclusion fencing was leased back to landowners.
11) over a period of nearly 30 years, most of the Creek length was protected from livestock
12) Trout Unlimited's Central Alberta Chapter undertook further stream remediation and beaver management.
13) Barry Mitchell and myself spent hundreds of hours working on this Creek.
14) the funding for Trout Unlimited works came from the Alberta Conservation Association, many local fishermen, several business and from Barry and myself.
Why is this Creek important to me. It is a one of one. Destroy it and no others exist. Like killing the last whooping crane. Why would you?

There is no question that society needs gravel. However, there are places it should or can be removed and places where it should not happen. This is one of those places.
Regards,

Don

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A thank you to Don for keeping us posted on this very important issue and for the background as detailed by Peter (via Don) on the history of Stauffer. Thanks to Michael for posting a PDF map link to the properties.

Vince

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Some more information from Don Andersen about the process that will be followed in getting approval for the wet gravel pits.  Note: we have just reached step 5.

Border Paving Application
Many of the folks who had read the Facebook or web site pages may not be aware of the steps that are taken for a Development Permit to be issued for the construction of the Gravel Pit. To aid in the understanding of what happens and when 
it happens I contacted Eleanor Pengelly, Development Officer, Planning & Development Department of Clearwater County where the proposed Gravel Pit will be located.
Here are some general guidelines for the process regarding gravel (aggregate) pit applications in Clearwater County and timelines in the process.
 
1] The applicants hold a pre-application meeting with the County's planning department 
 
2] The County provides the applicants with mailing information for adjacent landowners
 
3 The applicants schedule an open house to inform adjacent landowners of the proposal – this is to take place at the Butte Community Hall November 28/19.
 
4] The applicants invite adjacent landowners to the open house and advertise the open house in a local newspaper 
 
5] The applicants hold their open house and present their proposal to the public, gathering feedback and answering questions (up to this point, the County directs inquiries to the applicants and encourages the public to attend the open house)
 
6] After the open house, as part of their development permit application, the applicants submit an open house report to the County, including who attended, what the concerns are and how the applicants will mitigate those concerns
 
7] Once the County deems the development permit application complete, the County sends out a referral package to adjacent landowners and affected parties such as Alberta Environment, to solicit comments regarding the proposal.
 
8] The County gives 30 days for referral comments to be received (all written comments received are compiled to be presented to the Planning Authority)
 
9] At this point, the applicants may provide additional information or amend their application
 
10] Once the final application information is complete, the County schedules the application to go to the Planning Authority (the Municipal Planning Commission) for a decision (this board meets once a month)
 
11] Once a decision is made, copies of the decision are sent out to the adjacent landowners.  Municipal development permits are subject to appeal for three weeks from the date of decision
  

12] If appealed, a Subdivision and Development Appeal Board (SDAB) public hearing is held.  The SDAB can approve, change or refuse the permit
 
13] If a municipal approval is granted, the applicants provide a copy of their development permit to Alberta Environment so that the provincial applications can go forward (such as Water Act approvals, Code of Practice Registration, Reclamation etc.)
 
14] As far as municipal timelines go, these can vary anywhere from three to six months, depending on the complexity of the application and sequence of events.
 
 
 
OK – now you have the process, I will add some personal comments about the process
1] If you want additional information about the Proposal, contact Bobbi Medin at Border Paving at 403 343 1177. 

2] If you wish more clarification please contact Holly Bily (lead development officer) or Eleanor Pengelly at the Clearwater County Office.  
3] In addition to provincial approvals, gravel pits are subject to municipal development permit approval.
 
If you wish to comment on the Proposed Gravel Pit, you should:
 
1] Attend the public information session hosted by Border Paving November 28/19 at the Butte Community Hall from 5>8 pm. Your attendance and comments will be reflected in the Border Paving Development Permit Application to Clearwater County. 
 
2] Letters to the Dept. of Environment regarding the application. I would write the Minister, Jason Nixon detailing your concerns. 
 
3] My understanding, if the development permit is issued by Clearwater County, a Water Act Approval is required. This application triggers an another process where advertisements and public comments can be made.  At this point, The Dept. of Environment Approval Officer Terrina Perley in the Red Deer Office should be where you write to express your concerns.


4] It must be understood that your concerns may not be considered as you do not fall within the guidelines of the Dept. of Environment for the directly effected. To be directly effected you generally must live within a short distance of the proposed development. Over the last near 30 years, the "directly effected concept" has virtually stymied may citizens who have concerns of how their province is managed. However, loud voices scare politicians.   Make yours heard.


Regards,
Don Andersen

 

 

 

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