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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - April 18, 1973, Lethbridge, Alberta 4 THI IETHBRIDGE HERALD Aednesaay, April 18, i9, J A strange reversal In the matter of parks, Lethbriclge is more happily situated than most towns and cities in Alberta. Yet there cannot be too many parks or too much parkland, and growing city must keep adding to Ih's type of recreational area. Accordingly, there was considerable local inter- est in one item in the speech 1mm the throne that opened the current sitting of the legislature, an an- nouncement that tiie government would make provision for provincial parks in urban areas- The throne speech was delivered on February 15th. Now, little more than two months later, it turns out the government didn't mean urban areas at all; it meant Calgary and Edmonton. When West Lethbridge MLA Dick Gruenwald made inquir- ies about this supposedly new policy, Lands and Forests Minister Dr. Allan Warrack told him the new parks policy applies only to vihat he termed "metropolitan a description that fits only two cities in Alberta, Calgary and Edmonton. This interpretation of the new pol- icy if indeed there is anything new about it ignores two irnnort- ant points, concerning both of which the people of Lethbriclge and all other smaller-than-metropolitan cen- tres in Alberta have a right to re- mind the government. First, before the last provincial election and quite regularly there- alter. Mr- Loughecd and several of his colleagues who are now cabinet ministers kept saying the govern- ment Miuitkl slop favoring Edmonton and Calgary so much, and decen- tralize its largesse to cenires this could be done econo- micallv and rflicicnlly. When the head off'i-es of the Albeita Opportun- ity Company were assigned to Ponoka and an announcement made that an- other crown company would locate in Camrose, it seemed there was sub- stance to these views. It is most strange, then, that the government should reverse this policy when it comes to parks, which by any stan- dard are more important to a com- munity than offices. The other point is simply one of fact. Whatever the government may think tcday, the speech from the throne said nothing about confining this policy to metropolitan areas- To caiote directly from Alberta Hansard, the lieutenant governor said, con- cerning this matter, ''A new provin- cial parks policy, including for the first time provision for pro- parks within urban areas. vjll be presented." Tor the edification of anyone in- terested, tin standard dictionary de- finition of 'urban' reads of, pertaining to or comprising a city or More interest in coal As the U.S. becomes more and more concerned about its energy supplies, there is growing interest in previously disregarded sources such as coal. Montana, our neighbor across the line has immense sup- plies of coal, and is more than ling to share them, with the rest of the country. But at a price. The price Montana will ask for its coal is not entirely a matter of cash though cash is a part of it. Just as important, and in the long term probably much more so, are the measures Montana will prescribe for the protection and restoration of the land in which the coal is sit- uated. The first environmental require- ment will be a strict prohibition of contour stripping, usually the fast- est and cheapest of open pit mining methods, but the one that has prov- ed most devastating to the country- side, whenever and wherever it has been permitted. The next requirement will be for a surety bond of up to 85.000 per acre, to ensure that when the coal has been removed, the land will be restored to its original contour, land- scaped, and provided with a suitable vegetative cover. As for the cash consideration, there is to be a sharp increase in the tax, or royalty, collected by the state. Until now, Montana has levied a tax of 10 cents per ton of coal removed; from now on the tax is to be 40 cents. A point that should be noted by Albeitans, who also have huge sup- plies of coal for sale, is that the stiff environmental rules and the four- fold tax increase are Montana's offer to fellow-Americans. Presumably for- eign buyers won't do any better, if as well. ANDY RUSSELL The playful otter WATERTON LAKES PARK, ALBERTA ft was a morning in early winter oa upper reaches of Cottomvocd Creek with fow incbes of fluffy new snow en the grand and adorning the branches of wil- om and aspens in lacsy patterns. The whole creek was choked with beaver dams, one above the other like steps. It bad been frosty at night for more than a wwk and the ponds were frozen over with only the overflows running free, where the water rattled and chuckled down the sluice- ways. Aside from the sound of water it was very quiet without a breath of wind. UK whole valley lay glistening in the early tinder a cloudless sky, the mountains at its bead rising tall and jagged against the blue under new white mantles. I was standing on a grassy ant heap look- ing upstream along a series of dams, each one a bit higher than the last, when sud- deoly an animal poked head up at the top of the farthest one Iz view. After 3 brief look it launched itself in a slid 3 down the sluice into the water below and like the links in a chain, three followed in the same fashion. I stood in astonishment, for I was seeing my first oilers a whole family on the move downstream. White I watched, they reappeared at the top of the next dam below, slid down to disappear at its foot and so on till they passed me to drop from sight below. It was an enchanting sight in such surround- ings of pristine wilderness and a rare one in Southern Alberta for otters are scarce in this region. For the rest the winter otter signs wene common in the valley as they travelled m what appeared to he a fairly regular circuit. Once I found their tracks -where they a hnrTi4. of JaH between two creeks and many times places found bad mptls a down a steep bank or drift They loved tn play and took turns on their bellies time after time into a plunge hole n Hie ice. If it was freezing, continued appli- cation of water from their wet fur Imfl their slides with k-c till they were slick fts gJass. In spate of much I didn i again till spring. Then one morning at the height of the run-off I came out on a bench overlooking a partially flooded meadow where a small side-stream met the main creek. There the otters were playing in a backwater pool, swimming, diving and roll- ing as they frolicked with a piece of old dry cow manure. It floated like a cork and the otters were bunting it back and forth like children playing with a ball. There was no pattern to tha play it was purely a fun game, a happy family session of aimless gambolling. Finally the piece of cow manure came apart and the otters left, floating on the flood downstream. Since then I have observed otters over a wide area all the way from the Salmon River in Idaho to the Owikeno Lakes at the head of Riv-s Ir.Ict on tho cscft of Bri i.-h Columbia. Alwajs I am left ui'h an impression of ,1 -cry wise, intelligent and carefree srim 1 levin" arrt imkina of its to the limit of hch living snicins the serious part of survival with sessions of play, teaching their young how to live in their surround- ings all in zll a wonderfully warm and vibrant part of the wilds. I stood one evening at the mouth of a river running swift and slick down between two huge piles of drift Sops into Owikeno Lake. Suddenly an Oycr its head up out of the -watjT rot more than 15 feet away to look right into my face with an expres- sion of quizzical curiosity. It dived and was swallowed by 1hc flood, but one after an- other. four more oilers appeared to do ex- actly the same thing in sequence a few moments sport. To do this they must have cmrlivrr] come kind of r for cmild be no vvy for tr-cTi tn lime it i CHild 5fe Kif) yards up and rr -n .no-v aV.ut as'-omled Tmn the TJilh -.n'h u- a ,-i-_i ilc rxploralioTi art the bros'l Li 'TO WA. fcc. "Cfcse the Dinner's getting unknown. that Canada's surplus in its global balance of payments has existed for only a relatively few years and that part of the solu- tion may lie in currency re- adjustment. However, Mr. Flanigan de- clined to make any concrete statement on how the U.S. in- tends to proceed with Canada on such issues as the auto agreement. If the Nixon trade bill is pri- marily a rejection of protection- ism and an endorsement of freer world trade, the sweeping powers it would grant the presi- dent may be cause for some Ca- nadian concern. Although the U.S. and Canada have much in common in their desire for the reduction in world trading barriers, such sweeping powers in the hands of the White House might cause some future administration to succumb to protectionist pres- sures and impose retaliatory measures on Canada. Tha trade bill, as one econo- mic observer noted, "is simply a lot of potential clout." if approved by Congress, appears most likely, given the close consultation between the While House and Congress the bill was drafted, it will give President Nixon the bargaining power be needs for the upcoming round of multila- teral trade negotiations sched- uled to start this September in Tokyo. Strong retaliatory measures are in the legislation, but so is an underlying commitment to freer trade that has been reiterated in all the recent eco- nomic documents conning from the White House. The President's Jradc bill re- jects blanket import quotas and the punishing curbs embodied in the Burke-Hartke trade bill now before Congress, which has the strong support of AFL-C1O President George Meancy and organized labor. Observers here are waiting to see if protection- ist-minded senators and con- pressmen push through arnend- r, enls to the new legislation vlnch would alter its effects on Canada or Otter eations, 1773 Hjr Ktt, Inc. "It's a telegram from Georgie, at college. He's had a 'cost Letters True conservationists Recently The Herald published a letter on the subject of allow- ing Boy Scouts and Girl Guides to use axes. A true Boy Scout or Girl Guide is taught to conserve and protect forest life. Chopping down trees is not only against the forest code it also breaks the teaching of a true Boy Scout. Being on a survival camp means fhiding one's own food. Killing a squirrel may not affect the growth of a tree but to cut down a tree to get the squirrel is the death of two for- est inhabitants. My point is that a Boy or Girl Guide may not chop uovii a tree regardless of whether on a survival camp or not. A 17th LETHBRIDGE BOY SCOUT Lethbridge Anti-abortionist speaks I am not a member of the Knights of Columbus, nor am I one of'their supporters, ror am I confused by them as the article "Anti-abortionists are guilty" intimates. I do how- ever agree with them on their stand concerning abortion. It would seem that the writer of this article is confused to the point of obsession that abor- tion will cure all the ills of our society. "Drugs, alcoholism and suicide" "hate and vio- lence" "Damaged indivi- duals in turn have unwanted and abused children and there- by perpetuate our social ills." It also appears that the writer blames the anti-abortionist for famine and disease." Does he really believe this or is he trying to sell something else? Are unwanted children the on'y ones who get into trouble? I doubt it. Is someone who protects life to blame for the inequities of food distribu- tion and the inadequacies of the monetary system? I doubt that also. One thing that -he doesn't seem to blame the anti-abor- tionist for is promiscuity and prostitution. It seems rather that he promotes it saying "sexual abstinence does not work; its practice results in numerous physical and mental illness." I have never yet known anyone who has high moral standards and who practices chastity to have the hangups that promiscuous people have. Human beings are given the gift of creating only one form of life and that is another human being, and I believe that Lhey will be judged on how they use this gift. I wonder why the people who advocate sex, sex educa- tion, abortion and contracep- tion always sidestep the issue of morality. If they are really interested in people, that is what we lack in our educa- tional system. GEORGE HICHAM Ltthbridge. Praises camping program Recently, from March 30 to April 1, I had the privilege for the second time, of attending the annual winter camp of the Lethbridge Region Girl Guides, on Castle River in the Crows Nest Forest Reserve. Once again I was very im- pressed with the high calibre of camping skills and training dis- played by the girls and y.air leaders, their cheerful atti- tudes and their obvious enjoy- ment derived while camping tinder conditions that were far fiom They were all well equipped for winter camping. They on the ground in sleeping bags or foam rubber mattresses, in plastic-type lean-to's modelled after the Baker-type lean-to tent we have used for so many years in the mountains, cooked their meals over open fires and had a thoroughly enjoyable time. They were given instruction in winter camping survival under extreme condi- tions and survival in winter or summer wlh a minimum of equipment, with a special em- phasis on conservation and eco- logy. My sincere congratulations to the Girl Guides of Southern Alberta and their dedicated leaders, a group well qualified to camp under any conditions with a minimum of disturbance or disruption to the ecology. FRANK GOBLB Cardston Those beavers Re: The Heraid report (April 11) concerning the slaughter of seven beavers in Ir.dian Battle Park, we have two questions we. would like to ask. The first is, with tech- nology being what it is today, is it that this municipality cannot trap seven beavers alive and then move them? The sec- ond is, we were wondering if the Americans ever do this to their Eagle? Rest assured, the town is going io hear more on this sub- ject from ourselves and other members of the Univeirsity of Lethbridge. JOHN LUBERT AND JOHN BARBEAU Lelhbridge The UtJtbridge Herald 504 7th SL 5., Alberta LETHBRIDGE HERALD LTD., Proprietors and Pablisbert Published 1905 1954, by Hon. W. A. BUCHANAN Secana dws No. 001J Canadian Prtrss ana Canadian Anodalton the AuJrtf Bureau a cVctWI CLEO W MOWERS, Ednor THOMAS M. ADAMS, Geneml Manager DON P1LUWG WIUWW HAY Managing Edtisr Eflltor ROY F DOUM_Ai K. W Mmsw eaitorni] page THE HERAID SERVES THE ;