Just to bring you up to speed on planned upcoming events. The Quad Squad along with the Crowsnow Riders and the Hillcrest Fish and Game have joined together to form a group called CARMA, www.castle-carma.com (Castle Area Recreational Management Association) which is combining our efforts with other OHV groups to put pressure on the Government to rethink the issues on OHV use in the Castle. We are a small group in the overall effort of all OHV groups in the Province that have banned together on this issue. We organized the town hall meeting in Bellevue and have supported other efforts in Lethbridge, the Rally on Feb 12th and the Rally at Shannon Phillips Wine and Cheese on Feb 19th. We have another group from the Crowsnest Pass who are planning a Rally in Blairmore on March 11th from 11:00 to 1:00 P.M. We will be meeting at the parking lot across from Scotia bank (Crowsnest Mall) and proceeding down main street to around where the Spry store is. We have applied to the Municipality for permission to ride our quads on the roads, and have the roads blocked off. We are still in the planning stage but we are thinking of riding down main street and parking around the Spry Store with possible speeches at the Gazebo, and then riding back. We will have barricades on all the side streets so that vehicles cannot come onto main street. We will need a large number of volunteers to man the barricades. That is one of the conditions the RCMP have requested. If you can make it, either bring your vehicle, quads, sleds, whatever and join the Rally or volunteer to man the barricades. If you wish to man the barricades, then please call or email the office with your name and phone number so we can set up a schedule of where each volunteer will be needed.
I attended the last meeting of the Castle Management Board meeting which was supposed to make recommendations on how the new parks should be managed, such as OHV use, hunting, fishing, cattle leases, infrastructure etc. We were supposed to review the draft management plan, but in essence, nothing was accomplished. I did make my thoughts clear on the process of the board.
I also asked the question of what will happen after the 60 day consultation period is over, (March 20th, 2017). We were advised by the Assistant Deputy Minister of Environment and Parks that all the public input would be reconsidered, and the Government would revisit stake holders and First Nations. (20 of the 46 stake holder meetings have been with First Nations) Although it was originally announced that Town Hall Meetings were also a part of the Public Consultation Process, it was confirmed that the Town Hall meetings will not be held. The Government is saying they do not believe that there would be any benefit. We believe that it is due to the fact there would be negative public input that the Government does not want to hear.
We are also planning a short survey which will be sent out for three weeks with different questions each week. Please, supply us with any questions you feel would be relevant on these surveys.
The A.O.H.V.A and the C.O.H.V.A are continuing their negotiations with the Provincial Government. We urge you to support all the Rallies, letter writing to the Government, news media, and surveys etc.
If you have any ideas on what else we can be doing, please let us know. This is not only your future, but also your children and grandchildren’s future.
Gary Clark, President Crowsnest Pass Quad Squad.