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Notes from County of Forty Mile

Posted on May 21, 2014 by 40 Mile Commentator

By Jamie Rieger

Yellow Lake

Stewart Payne, bylaw officer for the County of Forty Mile, in his report to council, said that fishing and illegal parking are once again become an issue at certain areas of Yellow Lake.

“Charges are already being laid,” said Payne, adding that most of the fishing is occurring at the crossing at Township Road 100.

Payne also noted that Range Road 121 is becoming a safety hazard with people illegally parking on the road so they can fish.

“There is more traffic, traveling at higher speeds. It is a safety issue.

County council said they are not in favor of people parking on the roadways and it was suggested that people wanting to fish ask the landowners for permission to park.

Fireworks bylaw

County of Forty Mile council discussed whether or not to allow the sale of fireworks at Forty Mile Park.

While the county has a bylaw that requires a fire permit prior to fireworks being discharged, it does not have one for the actual sale of fireworks.

“This bylaw would be just for the sale of them and not the use,” said county administrator, Dale Brown.

Fire chief, Nathan Cote said a bylaw would give him more knowledge of what is going on with fireworks in the county.

Councilor Craig Widmer said the issue was discussed at the last park meeting.

“They are supposed to have permits now and don’t; but they are still shooting them off,” said Widmer.

Council discussed when and where fireworks could be discharged at the park, specifically at the beach overlooking the water.

“We already have that with the fire permit bylaw. This one would just be for the sale of fireworks at the park,” said Brown.

Reeve Bryne Lengyel indicated he wants consensus for the sale of fireworks.

“What about liability insurance, storage. Is this sales bylaw going to be county-wide or just for the park?” asked Lengyel.

Council recommended a bylaw get drawn up and brought back at the next meeting.

Water conveyance agreement

County council went into an in-camera to discuss a draft water conveyance agreement  prepared by MacPherson Leslie and Tyerman LLP, which includes amendments to St. Mary River Irrigation District’s Water Conveyance Agreement. Once coming out of camera, a motion to approve the proposed water agreement was carried.

MRWCC pulls withdraws support for Sage Grouse Partnership

County of Forty Mile council received a letter from John Ross, chairman of the Milk River Watershed Council of Canada that the organization voted on March 27 to withdraw its support for the SGS.

“The MRWCC strives to deal with complex environmental issues facing the watershed; of which sustainable management of native rangelands and maintaining wildlife populations is indispensable,” wrote Ross.

The letter goes on to say that correct approach is for voluntary stewardship, while aware of the ramifications, rather than enforcement.

“Supporting legal actions to enforce protection measures as was spearheaded by the AWA under EcoJustice is counterproductive and disrespectful to existing stewardship processes, beneficial management practices, and recovery actions. The resulting Environmental Protection Order for the Greater Sage Grouse has forced the hand of the federal government hastily and is negatively impacting other initiatives including the MRWCC IWMP.”

The letter went on to indicate it will continue to support a community-driven, grassroots stewardship group.

“The MRWCC will continue to provide support to this grassroots group, ensuring the community has the best possible information available to make decisions within the area and provide coordination, technical assistance, and facilitation.”

The Milk River Watershed Council also supports the recommendation to rescind the EPO in favour of the provincial recovery plan.

Bylaw officer a hero after rescuing cat

County of Forty Mile bylaw officer, Stewart Payne was called upon recently to rescue a cat that had its head stuck in a jar. Payne did not indicate how he removed the jar or whether it was a mayonnaise or pickle jar.

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