Letter to the Editor for July 7

This week's letters discuss pit bulls, the Trans Canada Trail and a certain scent.

Letter to the Editor re: Elk Valley Trail (Trans Canada Trail) update

Thanks to favourable weather and the hard work of many individuals, the development of the Elk Valley Trail (Trans Canada Trail) progresses well. What follows are highlights of the different sections.

Elko to Morrissey section – Permission has been granted from BC Hydro to use the access road to the Elko Dam for the Trans Canada Trail. Some of the other sections in this area, including the Morrissey Bridge site, are currently being reviewed by BC Hydro. The Wigwam Hill layout is done and an application has been submitted to TransCanada Pipeline for approval. Also, Fernie Trails Alliance will reapply to Columbia Basin Trust to fund the proposed Morrissey Creek Bridge.

Morrissey to Fernie section –  Construction of the trail section on this land owned by “Montane” (the trail between Coal Creek and Roots) is being done by the contractor “Parastone” and is approximately 80 per cent complete. The trail is looking good. The layout for the new build between Cokato Road and the bottom of Branch H Road is currently on hold, awaiting land use agreement from Jemi Fibre. Construction on this section of trail, to be done by “Back Country Trail Experts” is scheduled for mid-July if permission is granted on time. Construction by “Parastone” has started on the new trail around the old Fernie landfill site. Drainage work is scheduled for the existing Montane Trail by early July.

Fernie to Hosmer section – A quick review of the first 1.5 kms of the Coal Discovery Trail upgrades are complete, with more detailed work still required. Plans for this area will be finalized once Jemi Fibre communicates their intended logging plans for this section. The Trans Canada Trail will follow the road from Porky Blue Creek to Hosmer for now, unless there is some of the budget extra at the end of this year.

Hosmer to Sparwood section – The new trail alignment is laid out to connect Ingham Rest Area at the valley bottom to existing Coal Discovery Trail on the upper bench. We are working with Nature Conservancy of Canada to secure a land use agreement at the Ingham area. In this Nature Conservancy area, there is approximately 750 metres of new trail being proposed to bring the grade down to 10 per cent from the existing 20 to 25 per cent. That’ll sure make it more user friendly for families. We are awaiting the comments and approvals of the Nature Conservancy. Work on the first eight kms of Coal Discovery Trail by “Cabin Forestry” from Sparwood to Black Diamond Creek is scheduled to begin on July 5. Also, a new trail around the gravel pit has been approved and work will commence in the near future.

Sparwood to Line Creek section – The trail sections within the District of Sparwood are ready for construction, with the site meeting having been held and bids accepted. Permission is still needed from Teck before the Wilson Corner section can be started. The proposal to route the trail under Wilson Creek Bridge still needs to be investigated with the Minister of Transportation & Infrastructure.

Line Creek to Elkford section – Land use agreement with Jemi Fibre is on hold and the contractor that was scheduled to start the Elkford South Trail has been relocated to the Mountain West Trail due to the Jemi Fiber delay.

Elkford to Round Prairie section – This section, north of Elkford, is on Crown Land and is referred to as the “Mountain Walk”. Full permissions have been granted for all proposed work on this section, with “Cornerstone Excavating” to begin trail construction on July 4.

More generally, materials for trail signage, cedar 6-inch x 6-inches and a good stock of 2-inch x 6-inch and 2-inch x 8-inch rough cedar has been purchased for various aspects of this big project.

What a great collaboration of efforts between the communities in the Elk Valley. How lucky are we to soon be able to ride/hike yet another 140 kilometres of family friendly trails – from Elko to Elkford.

Robert ChampagneFernie, B.C.


Montane Trail

The Trans Canada Trail will connect the Elk Valley communities with a multi-use trail when completed. – Submitted photo



Letter to the Editor re: That smell

Two brown masses have emerged from the winters snow at an empty lot adjacent to Canadian Tire. They stink, literally. I regularly ride and walk the dyke trail in Fernie and as the snow melted I began to notice these two mounds near the bank of the trail.

It was not until the ground started to dry up that the sickly stink began blanketing the area. When I commute to and from Calgary, as soon as I pass the green posts on the east side of the Highway 3 bridge, I’ve been attempting to hold my breath until I am well past the sludge.

At first, I thought this smell might have belonged to a transport’s refrigerator trailer that was not running and sitting vacant in the lot as the smell was of rotten meat. When the trailer left the area I realized that it was the two decomposing brown masses. I know a lot of trailers park in the area, so could it be a drained sewage tank? Smells like it could be to me.

At one point I saw someone scooping the stuff into buckets and putting them in the back of a pickup truck. By the smell I assume this would be a great fertilizer, but what is it? Why is it there? Whose responsibility is it to clean up the mess?

Rod ChapmanCalgary, Alta.


Letter to the Editor re: Pit bull solution

There is a simple solution to stop the constant reporting of pit bull dog incidents in the news, once and for all.   The solution is to put a muzzle on all pit bulls when they are out  in public parks.

My dog has passed on, but when I used to take her to the public  park, there was a pit bull at the park that had a muzzle on it. This pit bull had a great time playing with all of the dogs as the pit bull was now playing instead of fighting.

Pit bull dogs are taking a lot of blame these days, but a lot of the blame is due to the pit bull owners themselves  in the way that they are raising their pets.

The muzzle can also be used on other dog breeds that seem to have a problem with other dogs around them.  A muzzle does not constitute cruelty to an animal.

The emphasis to put this solution into action  is the  full responsibility of the animal’s owners.  Just plain common sense.

Joe SawchukDuncan, B.C.


Letter to the Editor re: Prescriptions

Like many Canadians we have worked for 50 years and some time in your life, you will have to see a doctor.

The doctor gives you a prescription and you take it to the pharmacist. There may be more than one medication on that prescription, you are charged $9 for each medication.

Then you send your receipts to the insurance company, if you are able to afford that insurance, they charge you $15 for each medication, it has cost you $72 before you buy the drugs. Question, why do the refugees have free medical?

Terence Keith PoultonSparwood, B.C.