Submissions to August 16, 2016 Kneehill County Bylaw #1718 Public Hearing Click here


 

Letter to the Premier from P. Kelly Colberg

First Name: P. Kelly
Last Name: Colberg
Postal Code: T0J 0Y5
Email Address: xxxx
Your Letter: Premier Rachel Notley, Bob Long and others involved with this Racetrack. Dear Madam, Sir, I am frankly quite shocked that this undertaking is even being thought about, in light of Alberta’s current financial situation, the coming of age of environmental awareness and the complete disregard for the long time resident’s wishes, rights and concerns. Firstly, with the financial straits the current provincial government has put us in, in terms of ever-increasing taxes, runaway unemployment, and a strain on existing infrastructure maintenance, who in their right minds would entertain such a ghastly notion? Now is the worst possible time for an undertaking such as this, in a fragile ecological zone, where several species of wildlife will surely be scared away forever, should this racetrack come to be. It is all well and good to say the funding and financing can and will be there for construction, but it looks to me like nobody has taken the time to look at the “big picture”, and look, say, 20 years down the road, after this thing is built. By then, interest will have waned, the original investors will be long gone, and the longtime residents who fought this thing will be left with a terrible mess, and there will be no way to clean it up, and make things the way they were, it will be impossible. So it will be nothing but an eyesore (continue to be an eyesore), and for what? For a few seasons of enjoyment for a few high rollers who have more money than brains? After they realize the folly of their dream racetrack, they will be on to some other glitzy plan, while residents around the Rosebud area will be left gritting their teeth, saying, “I knew it!” How can a project that so negatively impacts the environment be feasible, viable or acceptable in 2016. There are precious few areas left with such pristine beauty as the area in question, and it is obvious a noisy, polluting racetrack, with it’s inherent conflict with nature just does not fit. I think it is reprehensible, too, that this “attraction”  will benefit Kneehill county, yet have almost all the negative environmental effects on Wheatland residents. The reeves of Kneehill County should be ashamed for getting behind this on so many counts. In conclusion, I ask “How can it be possible for some group of wealthy racetrack enthusiasts that don’t belong here, have no other vested interest here, have no concern about the area, it’s wildlife or it’s citizenry, be allowed to march in and build something that is totally unwanted by every single citizen who resides in and around this affected area?” It is my sincere wish that this racetrack idea is shelved, for the good of the environment, the people involved and for the sake of a government that is becoming increasingly well known for turning a deaf ear to it’s citizenry. Because of all of the points listed above, and from a common sense standpoint it should not be built! Thanks for reading my letter. P. Kelly Colberg, P.O. Box 744, Rosebud, Alberta T0J 2T0

Letter to the Premier from George Comstock

George
Last Name: Comstock
Postal Code: T0J 2T0
Email Address: xxxxxxxxxx
Your Letter: July 11, 2016

Premier Rachael Notley Legislature Building Edmonton, Alberta

Dear Premier Notley,

My name is George Comstock and I was born, raised and have lived in the Rosebud Community for eighty-six years.  You have probably heard about the problem we are having in our community.  A group of rich, playboy promoters called “Badlands Motorsports” is planning to build a Four Hundred Million dollar race course complex on the banks of the Rosebud River Valley.   Badlands Motorsports (BAMS) appears to be forging ahead with their plans without regard for the environment, the ecology or the concerns of our Community.   They (BAMS) will be required to build a seven mile paved road from Highway Nine to the site, and a ten mile pipeline to bring water from Drumheller.  When asked about waste and sewage disposal, they are vague and evasive, saying “That matter will be addressed when the time comes”.   The site of this proposed project is a five hundred acre parcel located fifteen miles southwest of Drumheller and about two miles east of the hamlet of Rosebud.  It is situated on the north bank of the Rosebud River in the jurisdiction of Kneehill County.  The south side of the river is Wheatland County.   The County Council for Kneehill is eager to see this project succeed.  They have already changed some of their bylaws and land use designations to accommodate the proposed race course.  The Kneehill Council also refuses to meet or discuss the concerns of anyone who is in opposition.   The Rosebud River Valley is a very scenic area with an abundance of wild life, including Elk, Deer  and Moose and many other animals.  It is a nesting place for many birds, some of which are protected by law.  The River Valley is rich in history and is very scenic with a multitude of different plants, trees and flowers.  A four hundred million dollar race course resort would be nothing but a blight on the landscape.   In a recent article in our local newspaper, the promoter of Badlands Motorsports, (BAMS) was quoted as saying that his race course complex is being built for the use of the general public, ordinary people with ordinary vehicles who I assume would expect to pay ordinary prices to drive on his race course.  I believe this is a misconception.  A four hundred million dollar project needs rich people with fat wallets in order to satisfy the needs of the operators and investors. I am not normally opposed to rich playboys or race courses, but in this case the Rosebud River Valley is simply theWRONG place for an undertaking of this nature and size.   On behalf of the Community of Rosebud, I request your advice and assistance to stop this race course project, and to have the Rosebud River Valley between the hamlets of Rosebud and Wayne designated as a Provincial Wildlife Reserve.   Thank you for your attention,

Sincerely,

George Comstock

Letter to the Premier from Keith and Donna Nelson

First Name: Keith and Donna
Last Name: Nelson/SandenNelson
Postal Code: T0J3G0
Email Address: xxxxxxxx
Your Letter: Premier Rachel Notley Leader of the NDP Party Province of Alberta

Dear Ms Notley:

We need you! We need your support and your Leadership! We need proof that your Environmental Focus is a true commitment by you and your new government! We are faced with a more than serious situation and with heart and soul are fighting to keep a huge Private Moto-sport Facility from being developed in our beautiful and pristine valley! They have purchased a piece of designated farmland on the ledge of the Rosebud River and intend to develop a concrete private track, and private club close to our 100 year old farms where we have treasured for years the grasses and plant life, the exceptional and rare wildlife and nesting sites, the clean air, and our beloved Rosebud coulees and River. Environmental studies have shown that this will forever alter the valley, the air, the wildlife, and the river, yet our Kneehill Councillors have been negligent in their responsibility to protect what is so fragile! This beautiful area is on the very corner of their jurisdiction, and every surrounding farmer and village have launched a huge protest. It seems “money” speaks louder than the respect we have for our environment!   This must become a Provincial Matter!   Air quality, protection of animal and plant species, and water quality are our most important and valuable natural resources! Hobbyists who are wanting to develop a Private Motosport Track and Club to race their expensive and high-powered cars, far from a city in a pristine corner of our Province is not only wrong…..it is unacceptable!   We need you and we need you now!  Your visit, with your Environment Minister, and your Deputy Premier would be of utmost importance! We would appreciate your immediate response!

Sincerely, Keith and Donna Nelson

Letter to the Premier from The Poulsen Family

First Name: Harvey
Last Name: Poulsen
Postal Code: T0J 0Y0
Email Address: xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Your Letter: Premier Notley, My wife and I, our two sons and their families live downstream from the proposed Badlands Motorsports Resort. We have several concerns regarding this proposed project.  One being that excellent quality cultivated land will be taken out of production, never to produce food for the people of the world again.  The animals that will be forced from their natural habitat and the native grasses and flowers that will be destroyed for ever. A racetrack in the Rosebud Valley will have such a huge affect on the environment.   It is proposed next door to the Rosebud River in an environmentally sensitive area making it unacceptable and should not be allowed. Please do what you can as soon as possible to STOP this project.   The Poulsen Families

Letter to the Premier from Rick and Linda Skibsted

First Name: Rick
Last Name: Skibsted
Postal Code: T0J2T0
Email Address: xxxx
Your Letter: Dear Premier Notley, My family has lived in or near the Rosebud River Valley for over 100 years. We are very much opposed to the destruction or maiming of such a provincial jewel by the development of a racetrack. Thousands of people and hundreds of loud high-powered cars and motorcycles daily in a very sensitive part of our River Valley will forever change the valley. Protecting our watersheds and remaining native grass habitat on the prairies is of vital importance. Not only is it important for our many species at risk but also for future generations to see and enjoy. Kneehill County Council has chosen to ignore a whole community but we are united in our determination to protect our treasured valley. Please take the time to visit www.savetherosebud.com and hear our story or better yet meet with some of our people. We have a better alternative and that is to protect the valley through a conservation easement for generations to come. Please help us to save this valley. Stop the racetrack. Rick and Linda Skibsted Box 747 Rosebud

Letter to the Premier from Jim Clark

First Name: Jim
Last Name: Clark
Postal Code: T0J 0Y5
Email Address: xxxx
Your Letter: Dear Premier Notley: I am writing this letter about the racetrack development that is being proposed on land four miles east of Rosebud in the beautiful river valley.  I am a concerned retired farmer who lived beside this property for 65 years, and have been associated with the area for the entire 83 years of my life.  This valley is a very environmentally significant area with its wetlands and plenty of ravines to shelter and protect the wildlife which, as of now, lives there.  Disturbing this area should not happen!  The moment a bulldozer touches the land, the environmental value will be gone forever.  Furthermore, how long would it take for such a development to have a negative effect on the agriculture industry in the surrounding area?  Would the users of the development begin to complain about such things as too much noise from farm machinery, smells from chemical during spraying season, and grain dust during harvest season?  And would they then try to dictate how and when the local farmers could do their work?  I am also concerned about garbage, and the possibility of pedestrian traffic on adjacent private property as visitors of the development use the area for such activities as hiking. I have been to several public hearings about the development, and I find it quite amazing that whenever the developers want something, the municipal council just changes the land-use bylaws to accommodate them.  What is the use of even having bylaws?  And if the municipal council won’t listen to the concerns of the residents in their area, what is the use of having council members? This is not a place to have a racetrack and/or any kind of development, and we are very concerned!  Can you give us some support in stopping it? Thank you. Jim Clark

Letter to the Premier from Richard Cass

First Name: Richard
Last Name: Cass
Postal Code: T3E 4W6
Email Address: xxxx
Your Letter: Dear Premier Notley, I was appalled to hear of the proposed development in the Rosebud Valley. If there are to be more racetracks such as the one proposed, they should be placed in areas of poor land quality, preferably near existing noisy environments such as heavy industrial areas where the noise, fumes, traffic, etc. would be less of an imposition. In addition to the racetrack, of course there is the proposed residential development. Given the location of the project I suspect that most of the houses built there would be secondary residences rather than primary ones, the existence of which would provide no significant value. Nor would the presence of the inevitable shopping facilities that would follow. We need to preserve the character of rural areas such as the one in question, not degrade it as the proposed development would undoubtedly do. I understand that there are valid ecological concerns and, although the developers maintain that plans are in place to minimize those concerns, it is beyond belief that the proposed development would not harm the ecology of the area. It needn’t require expensive environmental assessments to foretell the outcome, just common sense. It would only be after the project is underway that the harm will be realized. If approvals are given, any attempt to put a halt to the project could result in law suits against the government ( think Keystone pipeline, for example). I believe Cross Iron Mills is a case in point. By the time the project began to receive much media coverage and the question of water supply was highlighted, work on the ground was already underway. Even though water would have to be brought in from another jurisdiction and that had not yet been approved, the project was allowed to proceed. One can speculate as to why that was the case. I trust that your government will, through whatever channels necessary, ensure that the afore-mentioned project is not allowed to proceed further. It would be ideal if, as a follow-up, guidelines were created to make clear to future developers, what types of habitat are not open for large-scale developments such as the subject one. Yours sincerely, Richard Cass

 

Letter to the Premier from Bob&Barb Neigum

First Name: Bob and Barb
Last Name: Neigum
Postal Code: T0J 0Y2
Email Address: xxxxx
Your Letter: Dear Premier Notley: Due to the apparent greed and definite lack of foresight of a group of municipal council members, there is an amazing parcel of land in southern Alberta which is at risk of being ruined forever.    The area is a beautiful river valley near the quiet hamlet of Rosebud, and it is not only home to local residents, but is a natural habitat to a multitude of wildlife.  Most important of all, the area is a natural watershed, and the local community very much needs your help in trying to preserve it in its natural state. The area of which we write has been purchased by a developer who proposes to build an elite racetrack development on this piece of pristine river valley, an urban activity which definitely does NOT meld with the beautiful rural landscape, and which would have a hugely negative impact.  The community has appealed to council members in the Municipal District of Kneehill to reconsider their support of the project, but potential tax dollars are evidently more important to council than protecting a natural, ecologically sensitive landscape; a mentality which is becoming increasingly disturbing.  When will our disregard for water supplies, green space, and wildlife stop? A few years ago, quite by happenstance, we had the pleasure of hosting a lady from New Zealand when she came to Drumheller to attend the Badlands Passion Play.  We had time to spend, so took our guest for a drive around the local area.  We visited a number of local highlights such as the hoodoos and the Horseshoe Canyon.  Having grown up on a farm which neighbors the area being proposed for the racetrack, we continued our trip to include this breathtaking valley, stopping at vantage points where we could best take it all in.  Our guest was overcome by the beauty, asking us why anyone would even bother with the Horseshoe Canyon when they could see what she was seeing?!  How sad that a visitor from another country appreciates our landscape more than the council members who live right in the same municipal district! Something to think about is the fact that many local residents have made their lives and their livelihood on adjacent lands for literally hundreds of years, much of the land currently being farmed by a fourth generation of people who are fighting to prevent the tragedy of its destruction, but who will have no choice but to live with whatever is ultimately deemed ‘best’ by their municipal government. These are people who cannot pick up and move elsewhere; their life is the land and the land is their life.  The developer of the proposed racetrack development, on the other hand, could certainly explore other options. Another point to consider is the possibility that this proposed project might fail, especially because the site is very rural and relatively remote.  Who, then, would be responsible to attempt to restore the area to its original state?  Would the wildlife driven away from its natural habitat ever return?   And what about the natural watershed??  The damage done could likely never be repaired!  We all know that changes made by urbanization are often forever! As is too often the case, money seems to be the key factor in this issue.  We have a developer who seemingly has an endless supply of dollars to build a ‘playground’ in a river valley in spite of local residents spending literally thousands of their own hard-earned dollars in efforts to save that valley; and, sadly, we have a municipal council whose vision is very obviously clouded by dollar signs, giving their constituents nothing but a deaf ear when the point is made that such a development is undoubtedly a poor choice of use for the land. We desperately need assistance from someone with the power to decide what is best for the natural state of our province and the impact on its people….it seems to us that you could be that someone. Please help NOW! Sincerely, Bob and Barb Neigum

 

Letter to the Premier from Dan&Carrie Gallaugher

First Name: Dan +Carrie
Last Name: Gallaugher
Postal Code: T0J 2T0
Email Address: xxxxx
Your Letter: Dear Premier Notley, I am writing you in relation to the proposed Race track in the Rosebud Valley. We farm along the Rosebud Valley and live over looking the Rosebud River, we as a Family have been farming and ranching along this,Pristine valley since my great grandfather John Martin and his father 1885. We have a deep history here. Environmentally this race track will change and demolish what has been untouched and pristine since there is a camera to take a photo ‎,we need to protect this and leave it in it’s natural state. We need the support from you and the Alberta Government to stop this development and to do what is right for the Environment and us the people that have lived here for generations. As a community we have and are trying to advocate at the Municipal level and are having great difficulty in making this development come to an end. Please help us to insure this valley will stay pristine for generations ,this is a issue that needs your attention. Sincerely, Dan +Carrie Gallaugher Rosebud, Alberta

Letter to the Premier from Brenda Schultz

First Name: Brenda
Last Name: Schultz
Postal Code: T0J 3G0
Email Address: schultz_52x2@hotmail.com
Your Letter: To the Premier please do not approve the racetrack development in the Rosebud valley.  A racetrack and development of the size proposed would do great harm to a sensitive environment. Brenda Schultz Landowner approx 2 miles from proposed development

 

Letter to the Premier from Diane Illerbrun

First Name: Diane L.
Last Name: Illerbrun
Postal Code: T1Y 1N9
Email Address: xxxxx
: Dear Premier Notley, I am very opposed to the threatened ECOLOGICAL DESTRUCTION of a large racetrack development in the Rosebud River Valley. The racetrack could bring thousands of people and hundreds of loud high-powered cars and motorcycles into a remote part of the valley on a daily basis. I recognize water is the key to life on the prairies, and protecting our watersheds and wild lands for future generations is a critical issue not only for environmental reasons but also for economic, tourism and agricultural purposes. A whole community of people has proven their determination to protect this ecological treasure. They have BEEN IGNORED. Please meet with the people of “Save the Rosebud” and hear their story. Follow up with decisive action, put a stop to this racetrack threat, and and help ensure that the conservation goals of the Rosebud community will be realized. Please act now to save this important community-supported conservation effort in the beautiful Rosebud Valley. A racetrack is not necessarily a bad thing, but this is the irreversibly WRONG PLACE for it. Please stand up in your role as protectors of this sensitive environment in Alberta. Use your governmental status for good, and LISTEN to the serious concerns of your fellow Albertans. If we cannot gain your ear on this, then do we even have a responsive government at all that is prepared to keep promises and protect our tender resources?

 

Letter to MLA Derek Fildebrandt from Angela McLellan

Hello Mr. Fildebrandt,

My name is Angela McLellan, and though I am not currently one of your constituents, I grew up in your constituency and my family still owns land there and I will always consider Rosebud to be my home.   I have an issue with my family owning land very close to this proposed track. This is my home. It’s where I grew up. It’s quiet and peaceful and a place where I can go to truly unwind and get back to nature and my roots. A nearby racetrack would rob me of this special experience that fewer and fewer people are even capable of having in this technology driven, fast paced world we live in. I would just prefer it be left the way it is, natural and beautiful. I understand that there are economic benefits that would come along with having this racetrack, but is there a price we can put on these pristine ‘few acres in the middle of nowhere’? In my opinion, no. Money is great, especially now in our cratered economy, however, once this is done it cannot be undone, and that is something that needs to be very carefully considered when making this decision.
 
Thank you for taking the time to hear my concerns.
 
Angela McLellan
xxxxx
Drumheller, AB   T0J 0Y1

 

Letter to the Federal MP Minister Martin Shields from Wendy Clark

A CBC radio spot by renowned naturalist Brian Keating sets the stage

http://www.savetherosebud.ca/our-cause-in-the-news/
These are a very visual representation of what we are trying to save!
http://fb.me/80m5Rzyut
Our website has tons of information.

Facebook @helpsavetherosebud

Dear MP Shields,
Today I write to you from our farm near Rosebud, Alberta. Our previous riding representative, MP Kevin Sorenson, toured the site of a proposed racetrack facility near Rosebud in 2013. He was supportive of our cause to prevent the destruction of the Rosebud River Valley in any capacity he could.
The development proposal is back to haunt us and we urgently need all the help we can get. The Provincial government has pushed responsibilities for most species at risk to the local municipality, Kneehill County. They do not embrace that responsibility. Quite honestly, contrary to the rhetoric of this province, apparently a gap in legislation means no one is necessarily protecting the wildlife in the Province of Alberta. All wildlife are the property of the Crown, irrespective of whether they occur on public or private land. The Government of Canada and the provinces signed an accord to protect species at risk. We can show that accord is not being respected.
MLA Derek Fildebrandt of the opposition Wildrose held a townhall in Rosebud. Over 140 people attended, most your constituents.
On our website savetherosebud.com you will find all our information. We have worked very hard to pull it together.
Could we discuss this matter further? If you are touring the area this summer we would love to give you a personal guided tour of the incredible Rosebud River Valley.
Respectfully,

Wendy Clark
Farmer, Rosebud, AB

Letter to the Federal Environment Minister Catherine McKenna from Wendy Clark

A CBC radio spot by renowned naturalist Brian Keating sets the stage

http://www.savetherosebud.ca/our-cause-in-the-news/
These are a very visual representation of what we are trying to save!
http://fb.me/80m5Rzyut
Our website has tons of information.

Facebook @helpsavetherosebud

Dear Minister McKenna,
Today I write to you from our farm near Rosebud, Alberta. Our previous riding representative, MP Kevin Sorenson, toured the site of a proposed racetrack facility near Rosebud in 2013. He was supportive of our cause to prevent the destruction of the Rosebud River Valley in any capacity he could. I have also reached out to our new riding representative, MP Martin Shields.
The development proposal is back to haunt us and we urgently need all the help we can get. The Provincial government has pushed responsibilities for most species at risk to the local municipality, Kneehill County. They do not embrace that responsibility. Quite honestly, contrary to the rhetoric of this province, apparently a gap in legislation means no one is necessarily protecting the wildlife in the Province of Alberta. All wildlife are the property of the Crown, irrespective of whether they occur on public or private land. The Government of Canada and the provinces signed an accord to protect species at risk. We can show that accord is not being respected.
On our website savetherosebud.com you will find all our information. We have worked very hard to pull it together.
Could we discuss this matter further? News reports show you have been touring the Rocky Mountains. You may be surprised to know an incredible gem lies east of Calgary in the Rosebud River Valley as well. We would love to give you a personal guided tour and even a canoe trip!
Respectfully,

Wendy Clark
Farmer, Rosebud, AB

Letter to the Premier from Wendy Clark

Dear Premier Notley,
My family has been farmers for over a century in Wheatland and Kneehill Counties, in an area adjacent to the Rosebud River (a tributary of the Red Deer).  On this wide open, mostly cultivated prairie landscape the Rosebud River Valley and coulees are cherished for natural beauty and as rich habitat unique for its variety of wildlife and plant species.
By now you have received many letters from concerned citizens working hard to Save the Rosebud. I am concerned Kneehill County, having ignored their environmental responsibilities in their planning process, will imminently make a disastrous environmental decision. Please give this issue your immediate attention.
Badlands Motorsports Resort proposes to establish miles of race courses and build hotels, condos, & townhouses with a daily capacity for 1,800 people and some 400 racing cars a day on the escarpment above and in the remote Rosebud River Valley (on the border of Wheatland and Kneehill Counties). This is a totally inappropriate use of the land.
The initial decision by Kneehill County should have been an easy “No”. The County adopted a comprehensive Environmentally Significant Areas (ESA) Report, only 7% of lands including the Rosebud River Valley, warrant the highest value protection.  The County adopted provisions in its Municipal Development Plan (MDP) essentially precluding development in ESAs.  Yet the county approved the ASP and proceeded to adopt a Direct Control Land Use for it, absolutely ignoring its own ESA report and MDP!  Neither comply with the Municipal Government Act and are a travesty of the municipal planning process.
The proposal contains a site and stormwater plan involving filling and substantially altering wetlands and discharging into the Rosebud River. Alberta Wetlands Policy 2015 places avoidance of wetlands as a top priority. Biologists say there will be loss of rare prairie native fescue grasslands, blocking of wildlife corridors, and loss of special status wildlife habitat (among them federally threatened bank swallows and provincially listed prairie falcons and golden eagles). This is not acceptable.  Racetracks can be built elsewhere!
Attempting to influence Kneehill County from a remote corner and another county is hopeless – recent events make it clear any trust in them has been naïve and misplaced. We’ve spent three years and hundreds of thousands of dollars working with lawyers and experts to be sure we understand the facts and the issues. We’ve filled two public hearings with opposition speakers from our community and beyond, armed with facts and pleas. We’ve patiently “followed the process”, placed trust in our municipalities, and yet intervened whenever official channels allowed. We’ve asked for provincial meetings and been ignored.
“Save the Rosebud” envisions the whole valley in a conservation easement to protect this important watershed. We are threatened and have the momentum now! A Land Trust is eager to work with us. We will make a community funded offer to purchase the land from the proponent, providing a fair and equitable exit. Save the Rosebud is determined, and I am personally committed, that this historic agreement will be a source of pride to our community, all levels of government, the entire Alberta Legislature, and to the people of Alberta.
I respectfully request a meeting, we need someone to listen to us. I am one of the spokespersons for Save the Rosebud and can facilitate the representation of the Rosebud community.
More information is attached and can be found on our website www.savetherosebud.com or by contacting me.Sincerely,
Wendy J Clark, BSc.Farmer

Letter to the Premier from Debra McIsaac

July 5, 2016

Dear Premier Notley,
I am writing about a racetrack Development that Kneehill County Reeve and Councillors have accepted and will be built in an environmentally sensitive area if there is no intervention from the Government of Alberta. It has been difficult writing because the issues span between two ministries and each ministry has their own mandate. Your governments’ campaign promise when you got elected was a commitment to protect the environment for current and future generations. From a provincial perspective, with the policies that you are introducing, it may look as though you are making gains however any progress will be negatively impacted by municipalities such as Kneehill County, who has chosen development and tax revenue rather than protecting environmentally sensitive areas.
According to a 2013 report by Dr. Geoff Holroyd, retired Research Scientist for the Canadian Wildlife Federation (this was represented to Kneehill County), the Rosebud Valley, where the racetrack will be developed, was identified as the highest environmentally significant area (ESA) in 1990 and again in 2010. From 1990 to 2009, Kneehill County reduced their environmentally significant areas by about 25% and for the same time period, the Rosebud ESA was reduced by 50%. This development will mean another 7% gone and that would not include what has been reduced and not mentioned in this report, from 2009 to 2016.
Dr. Holroyd’s full report as well as a letter to Kneehill County by Cliff Wallis, Biologist can be accessed on the savetherosebud.ca webpage. Twenty bird species identified in this environmentally sensitive area are listed as sensitive by Alberta, four are listed as threatened and three species are listed with special concern. Also this report includes plant species (S1) and wetlands that that will be lost.  An environmental assessment was done by the developer and it is noted the area is classified as environmentally significant however it was suggested that all bird and animal species can move to adjacent areas somewhere else.
Kneehill County’s own Bylaws recognise this area as being environmentally significant as well. They are asking any developer who wants to build in an ESA to provide an Environmental Assessment at the developer’s cost. There is nothing, however, in Kneehill County’s current bylaws or their draft bylaw (that will go to council on August 16, 2016) that would suggest that, based on the assessment, a development permit would not be given to the developer. In their draft bylaw, mitigation requirements are given but there are no set guidelines for stoppage of a development permit based on environmental concerns.
Over a hundred and thirty people met with MLA Derek Fildebrandt on June 27th at a townhall meeting, to voice their concerns about this proposed racetrack and the lack of regard for the concerns of constituents of Wheatland and Kneehill Counties by the Councillors of Kneehill County.  On July 1st, MLA Rick Strankman met with the Save the Rosebud group and listened to their concerns.  As far as Kneehill County is concerned, the councillors believe it is a “done deal”, they are amending and changing their bylaws to ensure that this development does go through.
In my view, the only way that environmentally significant areas such as this can be protected is for the Provincial government to strengthen their own environmental laws and policies as well as enact strict policies within Municipal Affairs that enforce “no build/build” guidelines for municipalities to follow (rather than making their own) when reviewing development permits.
I encourage you, your Environment Minister and Municipal Affairs Minister to meet with the SavetheRosebud group and listen to our concerns. For every concern that we have, I am sure there are others in Alberta who are facing the same issues, seeing environmentally significant areas  receding and replaced with development in the name of profit.
Thank you for listening to my concerns.Sincerely,
Debra McIsaac

Letter to the Premier from David Adamson

First Name: David
Last Name: Adamson
Postal Code: T1P 1K5
Email Address: xxxxx
Your Letter: Dear Premier Notley: Regarding the proposed Badlands Motorsport development, the Rosebud River Valley is NOT a place where a race track should be built.    If Kneehill County wants to promote tourism and/or to bring in tax dollars, they should build it further North, near Three Hills.    It makes more sense to have it near a larger centre; not in a remote, environmentally sensitive area of the County. Because the development is on the border of Wheatland County and Kneehill; it affects Wheatland residents as well as those who live in Kneehill; but the residents in Wheatland have had no say in the matter. What is happening makes no sense at all and is wrong for a multitude of reasons. Yours truly, David J. Adamson

Letter to the Premier from Rob Loewen

First Name: Rob
Last Name: Loewen
Postal Code: V3A 8N4
Email Address: xxxx
Your Letter: I am writing this letter with regards to the possibility of a race track going in to the Rosebud Valley. Rosebud is a quaint town with lots of artists and upcoming artists as well as others who have chosen to live there because of the quiet,peaceful atmosphere. If a racetrack is put in it will destroy something that millions of people come to see. The noise generated from the races will tarnish the ambiance of Rosebud. I have visited Rosebud a number of times and have come away inspired and thankful that a place like this exists. Please do not allow a race track to destroy something this valuable

Letter to the Premier from Shauna Kenworthy

First Name: Shauna
Last Name: Kenworthy
Postal Code: T1P 1P8
Email Address: xxxx
Your Letter:   July 5, 2016 Premier Rachel Notley Legislature Office 307 Legislature Building 10800 – 97 Avenue Edmonton, Alberta T5K 2B6   Dear Premier Notley: Re:  Rosebud River Valley – Proposed Badlands Motorsports Development I’m hoping you can help us in regards to our opposition against the proposed Badlands Motorsports Raceway that is currently being considered by Kneehill County to be situated in the Rosebud River Valley. Many people, including myself, never thought that Kneehill County would ever consider this as an option for this land, as it has been deemed an Environmentally Significant Area by the County. We are also shocked and saddened by the bullying tactics the developers have used to get as far as they have with Kneehill County. Underhanded and deceitful are two words that come to mind. I feel a raceway should be built in a more appropriate area, not in the peaceful and serene valley let alone in an area that has been deemed an ESA.   The noise of race cars will reverberate through the valley, with obvious repercussions. I live in Strathmore and have a deep love for the Rosebud River Valley and feel it is one of the most beautiful, serene, untouched places in the world.  It is a gem tucked away in Kneehill and Wheatland Counties.   I feel fortunate to live a short distance away from it and I’m able to hike and take drives through the diverse landscapes that the area offers.   Fields of grain lead you down to the Rosebud River with its breathtaking scenery including coulees and steep cliffs, its assorted vegetation and abundance of wildlife. Not long ago, I took a drive through the valley and saw a mule deer running to divert us from where her newborn fawn was.   Golden Eagles were hovering over their nest.   Occasionally, a moose can be seen grazing in the hills. It makes me physically ill to think that the valley could be converted into a motorsport speedway.   It would be nothing less than rape if this development is allowed to go forward.   The steady noise of race cars and the increase in traffic will change the face of the valley forever. Any assistance you can provide in this regard, would be greatly appreciated.  As guardians of the land, I feel we have an obligation to future generations to conserve this gift of nature that we have been so freely given. Respectfully yours,   Shauna Kenworthy #5, 43 Westlake Circle Strathmore, Alberta   T1P 1P8 Phone:  403-803-4605

Letter to the Premier from Karen McMillan

First Name: Karen
Last Name: McMillan
Postal Code: T0J 2V0
Email Address: xxxxx
Your Letter: For what then is government – if not for the people?  Throughout this racetrack debacle, there is one factor that has deeply offended my sense of political integrity.  How is it that the voters, the rate-payers, the residents of this rural democracy are abandoned to protect their own rights?  What wrong have we witnessed as people are moved to strike against their own elected officials, the very chosen who are placed to protect them?  I am no policy expert and I am not politically motivated, but I do know right from wrong.  My expression for the political process that I’ve witnessed can be summed up in 3-D:  despondent, derelict and despicable. Be a part of the solution and help us to SAVE THE ROSEBUD !!

Letter to the Premier from Deanne Bertsch

First Name: Deanne
Last Name: Bertsch
Postal Code: T 0L0
Email Address: xxxxx
Your Letter: Dear Premier, Kevin Sorenson, I live on the Beynon corner in Kneehill county 8 minutes north of Rosebud. I work in the Rosebud community and I bought a beautiful 100 year old farm house on a quiet acreage. I run and hike with my dogs on the quiet gravel road south of our home and I canoe down the Rosebud river in the summertime. I cherish my quiet life. Some city people are trying to get a racetrack in the beautiful Rosebud valley which is close to my home. Not only will this affect the valley environmentally but will also impact my life with huge increases to traffic on my road which I bike, hike and run with my children and dogs. Our councillors are voting for this racetrack because it makes money for Kneehill county and they are not representing the people’s wishes. We have attended several forums and part of the problem is that most of the people who are being affected directly by the racetrack are people from Wheatland county. Who holds our councillors responsible? Having a racetrack in the quiet ROsebud valley which is home to endangered species such as the golden eagle is a horrendous idea. Please help to stop this from happening. And give me ideas how we can stop it from happening.   Sincerely, Deanne Bertsch

Letter to the Premier from Zachary Habermehl

First Name: Zachary
Last Name: Habermehl
Postal Code: T0m 2t0
Email Address: xxxxx
Your Letter: Dear Honorable Premier. Colonials stole this land from my people. We have since made great strides in learning to share it. We live in an age where infrastructure is destroying the planet, and the whole world knows it, and the loudest voices are the ones on the side of restoration of our world, and yet those with the bigger bank account get their way. The earth is shrinking, but you as the government we elected, in a province that leads the world in forward thinking, don’t have to let it continue. For the sake of us artists who, from this tiny valley, enrich the greater community every day, on behalf of the living beings that live here and have no voice, and simply exist, and as a voice for the people who have watched this land be uprooted for generations, I respectfully, but not quietly,  ask that you take a good long look at the Badlands motor sports resort that is on the verge of polluting the Rosebud river Valley. Consider who you represent, and speak up for us. We are not malicious people seeking to slow progress, we are the very people who want to preserve the progress already made in bettering our world. Stand up, take action, and be the leader we elected. Sincerely, a pleading, angry, but peaceful artist and spoke person for the land.

Letter to the Premier from Fiona Lauridsen

First Name: Fiona
Last Name: Lauridsen
Postal Code: T0J 2T0
Email Address: xxxxx
Your Letter: Premier Notley, The purpose of this letter is to state my opposition to Badlands Motorsports Resort. A racetrack facility cannot be allowed to proceed in an Environmentally Sensitive Area. It would be a irresponsible to allow it to proceed. Even if this development brought in a billion dollars we could never replace what nature has given because money can’t do that. I am trained as a scientist. I have been a victim of Scientific studies and reports conducted by experts and accepted by the previous Alberta government. I know first hand how science can be abused and molded to suit the purposes of the rich and powerful. I have given up on being a scientist and I now submit  my artistic and passionate plea to stop the madness this racetrack would bring to this area and to our community. Here’s my noise study for your consideration: I lived two miles upstream from the hamlet of Rosebud. My home was 500m from the river’s edge. I liked to play my small African hand drum on my deck on a beautiful summer’s night. Many times I would come to town for the mail and someone would say “Hey, I heard you drumming last night – nice!” One little hand drum, two miles away, heard in town. Would that show up on a model? This is real life – not a theoretical speculation. I urge you to protect the very real beauty that is the Rosebud Valley.

Letter to the Premier from Kimberley Murray

Dear Premier Notley,

I am an environmental science student writing to you about my strong opposition to the proposed racetrack development of the Badlands Motorsports Resort near Rosebud. I grew up in this area and was extremely dismayed to learn that the proposed development may be completed, especially after attending a public hearing in Kneehill County in 2013 and realizing all the local opposition to the project.

 In my opinion, the destruction to wildlife and fragile ecosystems is not worth any amount of money tourism can bring to this lovely area. Wetlands, which provide important ecosystem services, will be impacted if the project does go through. From working in wetland reclamation I understand the difficulty in constructing wetlands or ever returning disturbed wetlands back to function in a way a natural wetland would.

 I do not currently live in Alberta, but I do have an attachment to this area. I would love to move back to Alberta knowing it is a province that places a high value on environmentally significant areas such as the Rosebud Valley. Any support that you could give to the Save the Rosebud cause would be highly admirable. Thank you very much for your time,

Kimberley Murray

MSc Student

Department of Geography and Environmental Management

University of Waterloo

 

Letter to the Premier from Jaala Cutbill

First Name: Jaala
Last Name: Cutbill
Postal Code: T0J 2T0
Email Address: xxxxx
Your Letter: To Whom It May Concern,

I don’t think I need to belabour the point, as I’m sure it is coming in loud and clear from our beautiful hamlet of Rosebud, I would just like to add my voice to those saying:  I AM AGAINST THE RACETRACK disturbing, disrupting and destroying our pristine and magnificent river valley.  For something that is simply an expensive pass time for those who have the money and cars to take advantage of it.
Please – leave our bit of heaven undisturbed!
Sincerely,
Jaala Cutbill

Letter to MLA Derek Fildebrandt from Kim Murray

From: Kimberley Murray <xxxx>
Sent: July-02-16 9:09 AM
To: Aep.minister@gov.ab.ca
Cc: savetherosebud@hotmail.com
Subject: Opposition to the Badlands Motorsports Resort near Rosebud

 

Dear Minister,

 

I am an environmental science student writing to you about my strong opposition to the proposed racetrack development of the Badlands Motorsports Resort near Rosebud. I grew up in this area and was extremely dismayed to learn that the proposed development may be completed, especially after attending a public hearing in Kneehill County in 2013 and realizing all the local opposition to the project.

 

In my opinion, the destruction to wildlife and fragile ecosystems is not worth any amount of money tourism can bring to this lovely area. Wetlands, which provide important ecosystem services, will be impacted if the project does go through. From working in wetland reclamation I understand the difficulty in constructing wetlands or ever returning disturbed wetlands back to function in a way a natural wetland would.

 

I do not currently live in Alberta, but I do have an attachment to this area. I would love to move back to Alberta knowing it is a province that places a high value on environmentally significant areas such as the Rosebud Valley. Any support that you could give to the Save the Rosebud cause would be highly admirable. Thank you very much for your time,

 

 

Kimberley Murray

MSc Candidate

Department of Geography and Environmental Management

University of Waterloo

Letter to the Premier from Madi Mueller

First Name: Madi
Last Name: Mueller
Postal Code: T0M 2A0
Email Address: xxxxx
Your Letter: Honourable Rachel Notley,

Residents of the Rosebud area and nonresidents alike urge you to be a voice of opposition against the environmentally unjust development – the proposed Badlands Motorsport Resort. Since Kneehill County is obviously overstepping their responsibility to protect the environment, we seek your help. As an environmental science student, I often despair at how Albertans are portrayed in the media as environmentally destructive. We need to prove the rest of Canada wrong – let’s save the Rosebud.
Sincerely,
Madi Mueller

Letter to the Premier from Jacqueline Skytt and Jeanne Skytt

First Name: Jacqueline
Last Name: Skytt
Postal Code: T0J0Y0
Email Address: xxxxx
Your Letter:
Dear Premier Notley, The Skytt family farm has land in both Kneehill and Wheatland County totalling 6400 acres.  Our farm site is two miles north and one mile east of the proposed racetrack and we have two sections of land bordering the Rosebud River Valley east of the proposed racetrack. Our family has worked to preserve the natural ecosystem of all the coulees on our land for more than 50 years. We have created and posted all this land as an ecological preserve and as such do not allow hunting or motorized ATV or snowmobiles in these areas. We severely protest the destruction of the land, vegetation, birds and wildlife that will result from the development and operation of the proposed racetrack. The coulee banks in the Rosebud River Valley are very unstable – as evidenced by the slides that have repeatedly occurred on both the north and south sides of Heart Coulee road. This road is an access route to the proposed site and the proposed racetrack is on the north coulee bank. We are also very concerned that the parties involved in this “resort” development do not have the funding to fulfill their vision and the result will be destruction of the land, an abandoned site and eyesore for decades.
The County of Kneehill seems to have no regard for the provincial environmental reports and are being romanced by talk of increased tax revenue in a vacant, hideaway corner of the County.  We have paid taxes on 6400 acres over both counties for more than 50 years and received in return six miles of gravel road; which we are happy about. We are very concerned that for a few tax dollars the Counties are prepared to destroy this natural ecosystem that is unique to the Alberta landscape and should be preserved for future generations. Pavement is permanent. Sincerely,
Jacqueline Skytt and Jeanne Skytt

Letter to the Premier from Joel Stephanson

First Name: Joel
Last Name: Stephanson
Postal Code: V5W 1X4
Email Address: xxxxx
Your Letter: Dear Premier; I recently moved away from Rosebud, Alberta, after living there for three years. I was a resident member of the theatre company, and it was with considerable sadness that I left to pursue more work in film. Rosebud remains a very special home to me, and I’m proud to say a beloved destination for thousands of Albertans. I am deeply troubled and frustrated at the prospect of the Badlands Motorsports Resort being established and built about three miles away, for multiple reasons: it would threaten a designated environmentally sensitive area; it jeopardizes potential farmland in the face of a growing population; and it may be close enough to dramatically alter the tranquil, out-of-the-way nature of the Rosebud Theatre destination. Unfortunately, the Kneehill County Council appears ready to press ahead despite these very real concerns, and despite impassioned objections from Wheatland County residents, who would arguably be more negatively affected by it. To them, to local MLAs, and to your office I again plead for a reconsideration of this drastic move.  Premier Notley, please act with urgency to ensure that the Badlands Motorsports Resort is never built in its proposed destination.  Development should be carried out sustainably – with a consideration to long-term business sense, preservation of the local environment, and great care taken to ensure it doesn’t impact existing cultural destinations.  None of these ‘boxes’ are checked in this case, so it’s a proposal that must be rejected. Thank you for your consideration. Sincerely, Joel Stephanson

Letter to MLA Derek Fildebrandt from Nathan Schmidt

From: Nathan Schmidt <xxxxx>
Sent: June-20-16 3:17 PM
To: strathmore.brooks@assembly.ab.ca; savetherosebud@hotmail.com
Subject: Badlands Motorsports Racetrack

Dear Mr. Fildebrandt,

    I am a resident of Rosebud, Alberta, a resident of this community for 20 years, a landowner in the hamlet, I work and teach with Rosebud School of the Arts.  This work consists of building the culture and tourism in this province.  I’m newly married and looking to continue my life and work in this remarkable part of Alberta.
    I am troubled with the proposed development of the Badlands Motorsports Resort both as an environmentally inappropriate use of sensitive river valley land as well as a resident of, and investor in the cultural gem of Rosebud that is prized for it’s solitude and serenity.  Solitude and serenity that will no doubt be affected by this development.
    Your investment in this discussion would be greatly appreciated and valued as residents of Wheatland County will be largely affected by the decisions of a neighbouring county and the residents of this development, I believe, largely fall in your constituency.
Thank you for your time and consideration,
Nathan Schmidt
Rosebud Resident
Head of Acting, Rosebud School of the Arts

Letter to the Premier from Bob Davis

First Name: Bob
Last Name: Davis
Postal Code: T1P 0B9
Email Address: xxxxx
Your Letter: Dear Premier Notley, Please hear the voices of the Rosebud River Valley and region. The proposed Badlands Motor Sports Development is an immediate, critical and irreversible environmental and social threat to Alberta. Local (municipal) government land use choices are being made which are placing people and the environment at risk. This region is located in the Strathmore-Brooks constituency, represented by Derek Fildebrandt. He is currently actively seeking ways to address the numerous conflicts at play: Struggles between private landowners, environmental protection and developers, farming and rural lifestyle and the imposition of an elite, privately funding private motorsports club, the surrounding impacts on tourism, arts and culture. This is a chance for the government, and NDP, to take leadership and set aside partisan politics in other government spheres, and work on a united front to address the issues at hand. Like the Fort McMurray wildfire situation, the fate of Albertans override political parties and lines. Please consider this situation – to hear the issues, listen to the voices, and yes – join Mr. Fildebrandt in addressing this matter directly. At the very least, please task Environment Minister Shannon Phillips with an investigation into the matter. Alberta’s future needs your action. Thank you. Bob Davis xxxx, Strathmore

 

Letter to MLA Derek Fildebrandt from resident Chelsey Chevrier

From: Chelsey Chevrier <xxxx>
Sent: June-16-16 4:23 PM
To: strathmore.brooks@assembly.ab.ca
Cc: savetherosebud@hotmail.com
Subject: Racetrack Destruction

Hello Mr. Derek Fildebrandt,

I would like to convey my concern for the construction of the racetrack that is to take place directly adjacent to Rosebud in amongst the beautiful river valley.

I grew up on a farm outside of Rosebud and now currently reside on an acreage 1 min from the hamlet. We too, are along the river valley. We chose this place to raise our children, and my brother in law moved his family here shortly after to raise their kids. They are even closer to the proposed racetrack than we are, a mile or two away from it within the valley.

Not only does this racetrack pose major risks to endangered species and the environment, it is also a great concern for trash and noise pollution. The valley acts as an amplifier for sound and this will travel up the valley, disturbing residents and wildlife. Our choice to raise families in this area was due to the Rosebud community being very grounded, quiet, clean, beautiful and peaceful. To honour and respect the land and the environment that supports us. All of this is disturbed by the construction of the racetrack. Wheatland county residents are not being properly represented regarding this issue and we are asking you to hear us and support us. To give us a voice in this matter.

Thank you, I am looking forward to how you can help Rosebud and Wheatland County residents.

Sincerely,

Chelsey Chevrier
xxxxx

 

Letter to the Premier from Clive Elliott, non-resident environmental consultant with over 30 years experience studying prairie ecology

First Name: Robert Clive
Last Name: Elliott
Postal Code: T3G 2S2
Email Address: xxxxx
Your Letter:
In many parts of Kneehill and adjacent counties, we are left with less than 10% of the natural (and essential for wildlife) prairie habitat remaining.  And in the southwest corner of the county, undamaged parts of the Rosebud River Valley, with its many side coulees, seasonal tributary streams, etc., are nearly all that is left holding the remaining ecosystem together.  This is why this valley is considered to be extremely important, with warnings not to allow “development” (or even heavy grazing) within this essential wildlife corridor.
 
According to plans, the proposed Motorsports Resort will definitely do significant physical damage to parts of this very important ecosystem and wildlife travel corridor, in its proposed location, and with its many facilities and housing for up to 1400 people with numerous roads and many other facilities very near other parts of the ecosystem which they claim won’t be physically damaged.  And all the planned human activity, the necessary fencing, and resulting noise, smells, etc., will definitely make even the“undamaged” part of the local ecosystem unusable by many species presently dependent on it for their survival in the region.
 
Because of the ecological importance of the Rosebud River Valley, we cannot allow the Badlands Motorsport Resort proposal to proceed in this location.  Such a resort can probably be built in many other places without doing significant ecological damage; but the Rosebud River ecosystem cannot be rebuilt or replaced if badly damaged, so it is the wrong place for such a development.
 
Because the Motorsport Resort proposed for part of that ecosystem will have so many detrimental effects on that ecosystem, I and many other residents and scientists conclude that it should definitely not be built in its proposed location.  And because this part of the Rosebud Valley ecosystem enables and maintains the survival of several endangered species and other species “at risk”, all of which are very important parts of local, provincial, national, and world ecosystems, is it not our duty to do what we can to protect and restore these irreplaceable world resources, and the habitat necessary for their survival?
 
In view of the damage that the Motorsport Resort can and will do to wildlife, very important habitat, and the lives and culture of many residents of Kneehill County and beyond, what could be the reasons or excuses for not telling the resort proponents that they have to build their resort in some other location, where it will not have significant harmful effects?
 
R.C. Elliott, BSc, MSc
Elliott Environmental Research and Consulting Service

 

A Letter to the Premier from residents Patrick and Shauna Murphy

First Name: Patrick and Shauna
Last Name: Murphy
Postal Code: T0J 2T0
Email Address: xxxxx
Your Letter: Dear Premier Notley, We are writing to alert you to an environmental concern in our area of Rosebud.  We are residents of the Hamlet for the last 20 years and have worked and raised our family enjoying the beauty and peace offered along with an abundance of wildlife and birds.  The proposed development of a racetrack for a wealthy group of racing enthusiasts a short distance from the hamlet to the east threatens that way of life.  Governed by a distant municipal council our concerns are being ignored especially those regarding the environment in that area.  We ask that you and your government step in and take a close look at this sensitive ecological area that is at risk of being lost should this development go ahead.  We, the residents  of Rosebud invite you and the Environment Minister to survey the area and hear our story.  We feel the municipal council in control of this proposal is turning a blind eye in favour of money which will be generated for the county by this racetrack.  Money superseding our precious resources?  Please help!

A Letter to MLA Derek Fildebrandt from residents Patrick and Shauna Murphy

From: Shauna Murphy <xxxx>
Sent: June-24-16 8:21 AM
To: Strathmore.Brooks@assembly.ab.ca
Cc: savetherosebud@hotmail.com
Subject: Save the Rosebud!

Dear Mr.Fildebrandt,

My husband and I have lived and worked in the hamlet of Rosebud for 20 years.  We moved here in part because of the beautiful serene surroundings and we want to protect that. Are you aware we are on a major migratory path for birds?  These along with all the other wildlife in the area will be negatively affected by the noise, construction and further exhaust pollution from this planned racetrack.
Also Rosebud Theatre attracts over 30 thousand people a year to the hamlet again in part because of the retreat from busy, noisy, urban centres.  We feel the construction of a racetrack which will further disrupt our peace and threatens the sensitive environment along the river valley is completely counter productive to what we feel is important to our lives and livelihoods. There must be other places this small group of wealthy race enthusiasts can find that won’t be so detrimental to so many of us living in the vicinity. Please add your voice and clout to our fight against this development.
We look forward to meeting you in person on Monday night at our community hall June 27th
Patrick and Shauna Murphy.

A Letter to the Premier from resident Royal Sproule

First Name: Royal
Last Name: Sproule
Postal Code: T0J 2T0
Email Address: xxxxx
Your Letter:
I am a landowner and have been a resident of Rosebud since I was 12 years old. I’ve lived most of the following 40 years in this beautiful little hamlet. I have watched Rosebud transform from a run down ghost town to a beautiful thriving hamlet that attracts tens of thousands of tourists who enjoy “getting back to the quiet beauty of the country”.
The proposed Bandland Motorsports Racetrack will jeopardize all the things that make our hamlet and valley so beloved.
One of our greatest assets is our river valley.  When I was a youngster, the Peregrine falcon was an endangered species and one of the places that was chosen to reintegrate them was our valley, right next to where the racetrack is now proposed. The Peregrine falcon is no longer endangered, thanks to valleys like ours. Bank Swallows, another “at risk species” are also a bird that makes it’s home here.
Another great asset that puts Rosebud on the map is Rosebud Theatre. Our many patrons tell us that more than coming to a particular theatrical production, the main reason they frequent Rosebud, is because of the magic of the valley. The peace and quiet. Needless to say, a motorsport racetrack up the valley a few miles will cause sound pollution and jeopardize our arts economy.
Please help us save the Rosebud.
Royal Sproule
Rosebud Landowner
p.s. If you would like a canoe trip with me, I’d be happy to take you down the river and I’ll wager that you’ll see wildlife around every corner. The creek is fairly high right now, so we’d have to do it soon. I offered a canoe trip to our MLA Derek Fildebrandt last week. He accepted and now he is on board with our Save the Rosebud Campaign. I hope you take me up on the offer.Near Langlett's

 

A Letter to MLA Derek Fildebrandt from resident Royal Sproule

A Letter to the Premier from Renita Hamm

First Name: Renita
Last Name: Hamm
Postal Code: T0J 2T0
Email Address: xxxxx
Your Letter: Hello Ms. Notley.

I would love you to meet members of the Save the Rosebud group.  Community-minded, impassioned, intelligent people, some of whom have tended their particular corner of the earth for generations, all while contributing to the world’s growing food needs.
I’m a relative new-comer to this area, having been a resident in Rosebud for ‘only’ about 27 years. But I have a deep appreciation for the beauty  – and the fragility  – of the landscape around Rosebud.  It is an exquisitely unique landform in the middle of the prairies, and as such, I am STRONGLY OPPOSED to the area east of Rosebud being developed into a racetrack resort.  
I believe that our province and indeed our world will receive more lasting value from the tranquility and exquisite blessing that this valley affords, than by providing a short-term noisy playground for an entitled handful of auto enthusiasts.
As the government chosen by Albertans to look after our province, please do all you can to preserve this pristine valley.  I believe that it is our responsibility (and yours) to step in now, so that we can protect the habitat of protected plant and animal species in the valley, and maintain a hidden treasure for future generations.
Thanks,
Renita Hamm

 

A Letter to the Premier from Joel Stephanson

First Name: Joel
Last Name: Stephanson
Postal Code: V5W 1X4
Email Address: xxxxx
Your Letter: Dear Premier; I recently moved away from Rosebud, Alberta, after living there for three years. I was a resident member of the theatre company, and it was with considerable sadness that I left to pursue more work in film. Rosebud remains a very special home to me, and I’m proud to say a beloved destination for thousands of Albertans. I am deeply troubled and frustrated at the prospect of the Badlands Motorsports Resort being established and built about three miles away, for multiple reasons: it would threaten a designated environmentally sensitive area; it jeopardizes potential farmland in the face of a growing population; and it may be close enough to dramatically alter the tranquil, out-of-the-way nature of the Rosebud Theatre destination. Unfortunately, the Kneehill County Council appears ready to press ahead despite these very real concerns, and despite impassioned objections from Wheatland County residents, who would arguably be more negatively affected by it. To them, to local MLAs, and to your office I again plead for a reconsideration of this drastic move.  Premier Notley, please act with urgency to ensure that the Badlands Motorsports Resort is never built in its proposed destination.  Development should be carried out sustainably – with a consideration to long-term business sense, preservation of the local environment, and great care taken to ensure it doesn’t impact existing cultural destinations.  None of these ‘boxes’ are checked in this case, so it’s a proposal that must be rejected. Thank you for your consideration. Sincerely, Joel Stephanson

A Letter to the Premier from Kristin Ormiston

First Name: Kristin
Last Name: Ormiston
Postal Code: V8M 1S2
Email Address: xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Your Letter:   Dear Premier Notley, For seven years in the 1990s I lived with my young family in the Hamlet of Rosebud, and worked for The Rosebud Theatre, participating in what has been an Arts and Culture project that began thirty or forty years ago. This project has benefited thousands of Albertans and has taken the work and commitment of an entire community of farmers and artists working together for decades in order to give the province something rare and treasured.

The thought that the peace and tranquility of this valley could be destroyed with the noise pollution of developing a nearby race track is absolute absurdity. What on earth are members of municipal and provincial and federal governments for the purpose of it is not to protect precious resources, including Arts and Culture, and regional areas for the purpose of peaceful recreation?

Alberta has many places for a race track that does not include a location that is the heart of the Arts and Culture retreat region of the province. The fact that this site is being considered by your region is mind boggling.

I currently work at the Butchart Gardens in Victoria BC. It is the third largest local employer in my region. We host MILLIONS of guests from around the world. Can you imagine the destruction of our business and Cultural offering to our community and country and world community should a race track be built within hearing distance of the Butchart Gardens? Why on earth would you allow something similar to be done to the Albertan equilvalent of the Butchart Gardens. Do you not understand the great treasure of the Rosebud Valley that you have been entrusted to protect for current and future generations?

It is my hope that you will wake up to the great treasure within your care.

Sincerely,

Kristin Ormiston

A Letter to the Premier from resident John Elton

First Name: John
Last Name: Elton
Postal Code: T3A 0C2
Email Address: xxxxx
Your Letter: Dear Premier Notley, Re: Proposed Badlands Motorsports Resort I am writing to protest about the above proposed development, which is located in Kneehill County, and ask that you urgently review this proposal and do what you can to reject this application as it would result in the loss of good farmland and the destruction of a beautiful environmentally significant area, located in an adjacent coulee.  The proposed resort may benefit a few motor sports enthusiasts but the perceived benefits would mean the loss of farmland, the destruction of high value wetlands and the consequent devastating impact on wildlife and vegetation in the area.  These losses would affect many people for generations and such losses are simply not justified given the importance of preserving a unique coulee environment vs. very questionable benefits.  I note with pride that preservation of the environment is a key policy of this government. My wife and I live in Calgary and have a cabin in Beynon, which is 6 km from the proposed site.   We know the site and local area well and love the tranquility, wildlife and vegetation there.  It is my understanding that the Red Deer office of Alberta Environment is currently reviewing a proposed Stormwater Management Plan, which would result in the loss of some wetlands and the substantial modification of other wetlands.  In a case like this, which is a non-essential development, then the Alberta Wetland policy should be followed and any impact on the wetlands should be avoided. Finally, I take my hat off to the local residents who are proposing to buy back the land from the developer and ensure the preservation of the area by establishing a Land Trust.  This is a win win solution to a difficult problem:  The developer recovers much of his investment and an unspoiled area is preserved  for the benefit of all.  In addition, Kneehill County would be able to maintain, not reduce, the amount of  environmentally significant areas within its jurisdiction. I would encourage you and others within government to visit the site.  Once viewed, the true value of this special place will be really appreciated and the need to ensure its preservation will be apparent.  I would be happy to facilitate a visit to the area.   Respectfully submitted, John Elton xxxxx

A Letter to MLA Derek Fildebrandt from resident Shauna Kenworthy

From: Shauna Kenworthy <xxxxx>
Sent: June-17-16 2:49 PM
To: strathmore.brooks@assembly.ab.ca
Cc: savetherosebud@hotmail.com
Subject: Badlands Motorsports Resort Area Structure Plan

Dear Mr. Fildebrandt:
It was a pleasure meeting with you on Wednesday regarding the Rosebud River Valley.   I am glad to hear you’re on our side in continuing our fight against the Badlands Motorsports Resort Area Structure Plan.  I am a Strathmore resident and have been impressed by how you are an outspoken ally representing your constituents.  I hope, in some way, we can borrow your voice in order to save the Rosebud River Valley.

 

As a Strathmore resident, I have a deep love for the valley and feel it is one of the most beautiful, serene, untouched places in the world.  It is a gem tucked away in Kneehill and Wheatland Counties.   I feel fortunate to live a short distance away from it and I’m able to hike and take drives through the diverse landscapes that the area offers.   Fields of grain lead you down to the Rosebud River with its breathtaking scenery including coulees and steep cliffs, its assorted vegetation and abundance of wildlife.

 

Not long ago, I took a drive through the valley and saw a mule deer running to divert us from where her newborn fawn was.   Golden Eagles were hovering over their nest.   Occasionally, a moose can be seen grazing in the hills.

 

It makes me physically ill to think that the valley could be converted into a motorsport speedway.   It would be nothing less than rape if this development is allowed to go forward.   The steady noise of race cars and the increase in traffic will change the face of the valley forever.
Many people, including myself, never thought that Kneehill County would ever consider this as an option for this land and are shocked and saddened by the bullying tactics the developers have used to get as far as they have with some of the landowners and Kneehill County.    Underhanded and deceitful are two words that come to mind.

I feel a raceway should be built in a more appropriate area, not in an area that has been deemed an Environmentally Significant Area in Kneehill County.

 

I have attached copies of letters  collected from other concerned residents of Wheatland County, as well as a few from Calgary, that were initially sent to Kneehill County in opposition of the project.

 

As guardians of the land, I feel we have an obligation to future generations to conserve this gift of nature that we have been so freely given.
Thank you and I look forward to meeting with you again on June 28th.

 

Regards,

 

Shauna Kenworthy

xxxxxx

Strathmore, Alberta   T1P 1P8

xxxxx

A Letter to MLA Derek Fildebrandt from resident Jordan Cutbill

From: Jordan Cutbill <xxxxx>
Sent: June-21-16 9:33 PM
To: Strathmore.Brooks@assembly.ab.ca
Cc: savetherosebud@hotmail.com
Subject:

        Just wanted to say that I am very strongly opposed to the proposed race track in the rosebud river valley. I don’t understand how it got this far along the process, being that the Provincial Government had declared it an environmentally sensitive area and had just stated that they wanted to protect areas just like this one. Thank you for everything you’re doing to help put a stop to this so clearly poor plan.
Jordan Cutbill 212 main st
Rosebud Alberta

Your Letter to the Premier from resident Richard Clark

July 2, 2016

First Name: Richard
Last Name: Clark
Postal Code: T0J 0Y0
Email Address: xxxx
Your Letter: Dear Premier Notley, A racetrack in a river valley. How do you pen the words to express the frustration brought on by a municipality that would a actually consider this? Our community has filled two public hearings voicing our concerns only to be ignored. We have addressed poor decision making in a shared river valley made easier because of Kneehill County’s refusal to consider an intermunicipal development plan with Wheatland County. We have witnessed Kneehill County treating Alberta Land Use Policies as some sort of checklist to disregard and move onto the next. We have witnessed Kneehill County’s recognition of Environmentally Significant Areas and their mission to protect and enhance them in their Municipal Development Plan only to completely ignore that MDP and allow a racetrack in this valley. Seven percent of Kneehill County is considered high value Environmentally Significant Areas and the Rosebud Valley is part of that. This pristine valley is home to species at risk, critical wetlands, and native grasses. We have read reporting in the Three Hills Capital where the proponent threatened Kneehill Council with recouping losses if the County does not reduce standards for road construction. This has gone beyond bad decision making to legislation by intimidation. I am opposed to this development and am part of a group that is willing to buy this land. We would incorporate it into a conservation easement with adjacent landowners. Basically a park if you will. Private individuals are willing to lead, recognize and protect the valley. We’re willing to do this because from what we have seen our County and this province is long on rhetoric and short on real action. The province has made the commitment of recognizing climate change and protecting the environment. I am requesting your help to let us do the same. Sincerely, Richard Clark Rosebud, AB

A Letter to MLA Derek Fildebrandt from resident Brenda Schultz

From: Ray & Brenda Schultz <xxxxx>
Sent: June-22-16 5:58 PM
To: Strathmore.Brooks@assembly.ab.ca
Cc: savetherosebud@hotmail.com
Subject: Save Rosebud Valley

We do not need a racetrack development in the Rosebud Valley. Pease do what you can to stop it!
Thank you
Brenda Schultz
Landowner about 2 miles from proposed development

A Letter to MLA Derek Fildebrandt from residents Mark&Sherri Skibsted

From: Sherri Skibsted <xxxxxxx>
Sent: June-21-16 12:33 PM
To: Strathmore.Brooks@assembly.ab.ca
Cc: savetherosebud@hotmail.com
Subject: Badlands Motorsports Racetrack – OPPOSITION

Good morning Mr. Fildebrant,

I am writing you today to let you know that my husband, Mark Skibsted, and I are strongly opposed to the BadlandsMotorsports Racetrack.
There are several reasons why but the most important reason is that it would destroy the absolutely breath taking areas in all of the Rosebud River Valley.  This area is home to numerous birds, wildlife and plants that will other wise be destroyed if this racetrack is built in this location.
We are not opposed to a racetrack being built – we are VERY STRONGLY opposed to the location that has been chosen.
Thank you for agreeing to meet with us at the Rosebud Community Hall, Monday, June 27.  We are looking forward to meeting with you.
Thank you,
Sincerely,
Mark & Sherri Skibsted

 

A Letter to MLA Derek Fildebrandt from resident Brad Graham

From: Brad Graham <xxxxxx>
Sent: June-19-16 12:23 PM
To: strathmore.brooks@assembly.ab.ca
Cc: savetherosebud@hotmail.com
Subject: The Rosebud River and Badlands Motorsport

Hello Mr. Fildebrandt,

I understand you’ve been in conversation with some friends and fellow community members from Rosebud and the surrounding area and I want to add my voice to the throng.  I have been a part of this community and its work for 17 years, working for Rosebud Theatre as a Stage Manager and technician.  Before that, I’ve been connected here for all my life as my Grandparents came to this community for Church and performances and regularly we would come with them and enjoy the culture of this little hamlet.  I met my wife here and am now building a home here.  All that to say, I feel like I am keenly invested in and passionate about the success of this place.

I’m grateful for your willingness to meet with the group and hear our concerns, not just about the potential development, but about the places in the process where we feel unprotected or unheard by other different levels of governance in this issue

I’ve attended a few of the hearings at Kneehill county and read much of the documentation about this issue on both sides.  Its important to me that the place continues to grow in a sustainable and culturally appropriate way, and those two issues are what raise my flags about this development.  I dont see how this development can do all they claim to protect some very important natural features; land, water, and animal life that make this area unique.  I dont believe the level of development proposed can be accomplished without vastly altering the soil and waterway (the soil here is sandy and very prone to washing away and slumping when altered by natural forces, let alone man-make alterations).  I dont see how the increased traffic wont create some significant issues in the area, potentially impacting even human life by creating the potential for traffic accidents.

Im not opposed to development, and I see where Kneehill councillors are hoping for this to contribute to the community, which is how the developers are promoting this, but I also see many promises that ring hollow about how this project wont impact the landscape and our community negatively.  That dichotomy is what concerns me about how this development is playing out.  I think its very likely that if this project goes through, in a dozen years or so it will have made a mess of our river valley, created infrastructure concerns in 2 counties, and disrupted a way of life that is connected to thousands of people in the province by way of its cultural reach.

If there is a way you can help us in opposing this development, I would be grateful to have your support to see it declined.  Thanks for taking the time to learn more about this issue.
~Brad G. Graham~!

“Unless the theatre can ennoble you, make you a better person, you should flee from it.”
~Constantine Stanislavski~

 

An Open Letter on Noise Issues from Andy Blundell

Date: Mon, 3 Jun 2013 13:03:38 -0600
From: xxxxx
To: xxxxx
CC: xxxxx
Subject: Noise concerns

Hi John,
I took another look at the Acoustic consultants report after our conversation. Here are my notes …

The racetrack noise might give you a headache. The noise consultant’s reports almost certainly will! I have 3 main areas of concern

Existing racetrack data

The promoters say “There is often a misconception that all motorsports facilities cause a large amount of noise pollution.” If this is the case, why do they provide no empirical evidence of noise levels around existing facilities?

There are hundreds of tracks in North America and I would guess thousands worldwide. If this is a misconception, surely they can give actual observations of noise levels 1 mile downwind of actual facilities. But there is very little data available of the web. What there is suggests 70 db is not unusual. I would suggest questions like

1.      Can you give us a complete list of similar facilities across Canada and/or the US?

2.      For which of these facilities is actual noise information related to peak usage times available?

3.      When can you provide us with a complete list of this information?

Permitted Sound Levels

The ERCB’s Permitted Sound Levels (PSL) in Directive 038 are inappropriate because

a)      The directive aims to not adversely affect indoor noise levels for residents near a facility.

b)      I believe the valley falls into the Directive 038’s definition of a pristine area in which it is necessary to determine the ambient sound level on order to calculate PSL: “A pure, natural area that might have a dwelling but no industrial presence, including energy, agricultural, forestry, manufacturing, recreational, or other industries that already impact the noise environment.”

c)      Directive 038 relates to developments which have already been deemed to be in the public interest and are geographically constrained by the location of mineral resources.

d)      The PSL are not recommended or socially acceptable levels of noise. Under Directive 038 Licensees are encouraged to adopt and incorporate a best practices approach to noise management.

What data is used in the model?

Why does the model not match the number and noise levels of the vehicles envisaged in the application?

The application envisages 100 cars racing at any given time. Why does the data used in the model assume only 70 cars? The model assumes 70 vehicles emitting from 81 to 95 dBA. What would the effect on the model be if each of 100 cars anticipated emitted the 103 dBA permitted under the proposed regulations? Specifically, if the model used 100 cars each emitting 103 dBA, what would the peak noise level be and where would this peak be located?

Figure 3 Modeled Day-Time Noise Levels shows the entirety of the area surrounding the Valley Track having a sound level below 45 dBA.  How is this consistent with the data in Appendix 1 showing a noise level of 124.6 dBA generated by 16 cars on that course alone?

Assuming that there are 100 cars active, 50 on the main course and 25 on each of the others, what would the noise level be at the point on perimeter of the site where the Rosebud River exits? Assuming a prevailing westerly wind, what would the noise level be 1.5km from the perimeter, given the contours of the river valley coulee or ravine?

Given the shape of the river valley, Directive 038 explicitly states that one cannot use the rule of thumb that the noise level 3km will be 6dBA less that at the 1.5km point and at Beynon, approximately 6 km distant, 12 dBA less than at the 1.5km point? How do the proponents propose to model the anticipated noise level at Beynon?

(Directive 038 says “Simplified or other informal calculations are only acceptable for a smaller stationary single source facility without any existing industrial infrastructure and with flat ground between the facility and a single dwelling at a close distance or in remote areas where there are no dwellings within 1.5 km of the facility.”)

Conclusion

The proposed By-law should set explicit limits on permitted noise levels so that affected parties can seek an injunction to prohibit further activity if stipulated levels are exceeded. I would like to suggest a set of automated noise measurement stations on the site perimeter feeding a website on an e.g. hourly basis.

-- 
Andy Blundell
xxxx
Phone xxxx

 

An Open Letter to Kneehill County from resident Deanne Bertsch

Dear council,

My name is Deanne Bertsch and I live in Kneehill county at #9 hwy and Beynon corner. I am a teacher at SHS and was a teacher in Carbon and I am a contract teacher and artist with Rosebud Theatre, my husband is an accountant with west jet and grew up on a family farm just north of Rosebud, we make this area our home, Cam for 48 years and myself for 20, because we value Rosebud, the beautiful valley, the quiet, rural lifestyle and the values our children will learn growing up in this community. I do not want to see the Motorsport track passed for many reasons:

  • increased traffic on the Beynon road which is where I run daily and ride bikes with my seven year old daughters
  • I do not want to see industrial impact on the beautiful rosebud river, the surrounding valley and the wetlands. I take my family canoeing down the river to Langlet siding several times a summer
  • citizens are terribly opposed
  • your responsibility is to the people you represent

In your mission and vision you state:
” we will serve, enhance and promote our community” Please do this by not allowing the Motorsport track.

“Kneehill county values safety and we encourage responsible development that supports resource based economy.”. If the Motorsport track is passed, safety to myself, to my children and to the environment is compromised. The Motorsport track is not supporting resource based economy.

“We promote environmental responsibility and prosperity.” If a Motorsport track is developed the natural environment is compromised and environmental responsibility and prosperity are not promoted.

We encourage positive relationships with our citizens. I feel that Kneehill county Council does great work and I hope you will support me, my family, and my neighbors in accordance to your mission and vision when voting on the Motorsport track. Thank you for representing me in this matter as my government representative and not allowing the Motorsport track to happen.

I would appreciate hearing back from you on this matter.

Sincerely,

Deanne Bertsch

An Open Letter to Reeve Long from resident Joel Stephanson

Dear Reeve Long;

I am writing to let you know of my intense and abiding opposition to the BMR. I feel almost desperate, on behalf of those who live adjacent to the proposed site, and also for my fellow residents of Rosebud.

My reasons for opposing it are many. I will revisit them briefly, in no particular order.

  • Noise levels. As professional acoustician Paul Lassen pointed out during the second reading, we should be very concerned about the actual sound level that would be generated from this project, and see BMR’s own calculations as suspect. It could intervere severely with the quality of life and farming for those nearby, and significantly disturb the appeal of Rosebud Centre of the Arts – a beloved cultural landmark for the past 30 years.
  • Potential for an influx of hundreds of cars daily, assuming the track is at all successful. This can cause serious traffic and safety problems for farmers and their vehicles, especially when shortcuts are taken.
  • Environmental degradation. You will recall Prof. Geoff Holroyd’s assessment of the project, where his work established a much more negative picture of the BMR’s effects on endangered plant and bird species.
  • Of the 86 letters council received by the June 6 deadline, 85 of them were opposed.
  • Of the numerous speakers at 2nd reading, a vast majority of them were opposed, including everyone who spoke from Rosebud, and everyone who lives on adjacent farms, to my recollection. There is a complication here in that some residents, including those from Rosebud, live in Wheatland county. But I am sure you will agree that each county must take into consideration the effects of its actions on all those who live nearby. We all live downstream, so to speak – and I, for one, hope that our county will always extend consideration and courtesy to Kneehill residents in any of our own big decisions, as we would expect from you.
  • As of this moment, a Facebook group called “Residents AGAINST the Badlands Motorsports Resort” has 419 members. Despite this surge in opposition, BMR has not mobilized its own alleged supporters similarly, and only 25 likes are seen on BMR’s Facebook page.
  • Tax revenue is a key incentive for this track to go ahead. It worries me that money may be the sole material reason this gets a green light, as it overrides the need to protect livelihood and well-being of area residents. Moreover, once this track gets built, BMR will have an ever-increasing amount of leverage with future county councils. Noise and other regulations may be sacrificed so that this supposed cash cow can stay viable. Maybe they will decide that louder vehicles or racing bikes will need to be allowed; or that events should be held later at night so that they can meet their enormous bottom line. Enforcing clear boundaries with BMR will only get harder once this pristine land is lost, and the county starts to count on them for their revenue.
  • On the previous note, building a racetrack will be a risky venture; even moreso when it is done amid a sea of opposition, and when it may have to compete with the proposed Rockyview Motorsports Park much closer to Calgary. And if the BMR fails, what becomes of that once pristine land? It will be sold, and the new buyer will have a newly redesignated plot of land with much less of the scrutiny that BMR has currently. So whether it succeeds or fails, it appears to be a lose-lose for residents.
  • Finally, I have read that this project would eliminate 145 acres of viable farmland from Alberta. This runs counter to several tenets of Kneehill’s own development plan. In the words of Alberta Agriculture Agronomist Ross McKenzie, “Society must really get much more serious about protecting our land for future generations.”

Thank you very much for hearing my concerns. Again, I plead with you to vote against the BMR on Tuesday. If it passes, I know that legal counsel has been retained and is looking into means of appealing such a decision. But I hope that, for the good of our two counties, it will not have to come to that.

Sincerely,
Joel Stephanson
Rosebud, AB

 

An Open Letter to the elected representatives of Kneehill County from Resident Kari Eliuk

Dear Kneehill County Councillors,

We are the residents of the Rosebud area. We are your neighbours. We share so much – landscape, community events, and heritage. Our children play in your parks and swim in your pool – they are friends with your children. We eat in your restaurants and shop in your stores. But our connections run much deeper than that. We hold the same basic principles – we are community minded, family oriented, and honour traditional values. We are intentionally rural – towns, villages, and hamlets which work side by side with our faming neighbours. Some of the residents of this area have been here for generations, as stewards of the land. Others of us moved to these communities because we chose to embrace a lifestyle which values togetherness over money, and connectedness over flashiness. We know from experience that bigger is not better, and that the rat race is not for us. We are part of your community.

We are people who love this land. We hike in the hills, and bring home rocks and flowers and shells in our backpacks. We skate on frozen ponds, gather around campfires, and walk safe and quiet streets late at night. We sit on old church pews and new park benches, listening to frogs and geese and enjoying the peace of our valley. We have collected shards of broken dishes from our yards that we hope were left by the first European settlers in the area, and bones that we pretend are from dinosaurs, but which we know are really from cows. Our primary mode of transportation here in Rosebud is the bicycle (although in winter, it’s not unusual to see someone snowshoeing down the street), and we do a lot of gardening. People with yards share them with people without. We love to see the local wildlife – the yellow finches and woodpeckers and porcupines and moose and foxes and beavers and rabbits and muskrats and coots and salamanders and deer. We had a mother with three fawns that ate out of our compost bin all through one winter.

We also love the arts. I and my family have had the pleasure of attending several musicals in Three Hills, and I expect your families have had the same pleasure in Rosebud. Our choirs have performed jointly, in both locations, and painters from either county have had their work displayed in the galleries and public buildings and at fundraisers of the other. We have worshipped in each other’s churches.

Our family came to Rosebud from Calgary, via Crossfield. We knew we wanted to raise our children outside of the city. We were searching for a community in which our children could have the freedom to spend all day in a group of friends, moving from house to house, or park to yard to pond to hill, but remaining, all the time, under the watchful eyes of people who care about them. We moved to Crossfield and did not find what we were looking for there, and so our search continued. The two centres around which we based our search were Three Hills and Rosebud. After viewing many homes in Three Hills, the perfect property became available in Rosebud, and so our choice was made. I have never regretted our decision until now – I suddenly wish I was a Kneehill ratepayer so that my voice would carry more weight in this racetrack debate.

Make no mistake – the “professionals” who intend to build and use the racetrack have no intention of becoming part of the amazing community to be found in Kneehill. Their online posts are full of derision for the people of this area, the existing facilities, and the lifestyle that we all love. The obviously-less-than-professionals who are posting in the same threads take it even farther and are prejudiced, sexist, and downright offensive. The communities, farmland, and natural beauty of your county are nothing more than inconveniences to them – hurdles in the way of their full enjoyment of the rich man’s sport which they are pursuing. They do not intend to shop in your stores, spend time in your museums and libraries, or befriend you. They will not be your neighbours. They are using you, your land, your roads, and your acquiescence (where others have refused their requests), and all you will get in return is tax money, if indeed the endeavour is successful.

Right now, the people of Rosebud – your neighbours – need your help. Just as we know we could count on you in a time of emergency – just as you know you can count on us at times like this, when, as I write, our volunteer fire department and other community members are helping surrounding communities prepare for the imminent floodwaters. Our peace, our way of life, our environment and wildlife, and, for many, even our livelihoods are being threatened.

The developers and supporters of the Badlands Motorsports Resort would have you believe differently. They have made some claims. Consider:

1. Rosebud is a transient community, and lacking in community spirit.

Yes, Rosebud has a student and otherwise temporary population (not unlike Three Hills). But most of the people who have left, for whatever reason, seem to come back as often as they can. I just had a couple of them walk in my door – one fresh from the floods in the mountains, and one fresh from eight months serving in Africa. Neither of them were born or raised here, and yet here they are, because Rosebud is home to so many people. We love our community. I have never had a need that my neighbours knew about go unfulfilled. We ARE community. Ironically, the CEO accuses those opposed to his scheme of emotional responses, devoid of facts. How can we be both lacking in community spirit, and emotional in our defence of said community? We ARE emotional – we are passionate and desperate! We want to save our lifestyle, and not have it dictated by a few rich people who have no interest in our success or happiness – or yours.

2. The sound will be no louder than a hairdryer.

Even if this were true (which seems unlikely, as their sound testing was not site-specific and didn’t take into account the ease with which sound travels through a valley), it is not something we want. Would you like to have people outside your window on a fresh, summer Saturday morning, while you try to sleep in, turning on and off their hairdryers? How about that amount of noise while you pull weeds, go sledding, talk over the fence with your neighbour. How about in the back of your council meetings and in your workplaces? And, best of all, how about all of the above? Doesn’t sound so good? Don’t worry – they’d be no louder than hair driers. Maybe.

3. The resort will benefit the area’s tourism industry.

Why do tourists – 40,000 of them a year – flock to Rosebud? Is it because they cannot see excellent live performances in the cities or towns in which they live? Of course not. It is because they love to enjoy top-notch theatre and concerts in the idyllic rural surroundings of Rosebud. What will happen when these guests exit the theatre to the sound of revving engines? I think they’ll decide that they might as well stay in the city the next time they have tourism dollars to spend. Rosebud will no longer be the getaway they love. The resort will destroy an already thriving tourism industry, one that is nourished by a community – and surrounding communities – that love the arts produced here. And the destruction of that industry will destroy our hamlet, and everything that has been worked for here.

4. The development will bring dollars into the area.

Have you read the posts online? (http://forums.beyond.ca/st2/badlands-motorsports-resort-first-reading-of-re-zoning-application-approved/showthread.php?s=1740bd18e0986246fecc2661ffac8ac3&threadid=367999&perpage=20&highlight&pagenumber=11) Comments like “severely lacking”, “isn’t going to cut it”, and “what were you thinking when you chose this area”, as well as the intention to develop shopping and other amenities on site, show that this is unlikely to be a benefit of this development. I believe that these people are not looking to spread their wealth throughout your county – they will spend it on site or bring it back home with them. Admittedly, it will bring in tax dollars (again, if successful), but will this be enough to offset the increased costs of road maintenance, crime management, fire support, etc., as well as the cost to the environment and to the well-being your neighbours?

5. The development will draw wealthy professionals, therefore there is no risk of increased crime, public drunkenness, drug abuse, etc.

Again, I call your attention to the thread linked above. Not all motorsports enthusiasts seem to be as trouble-free as has been suggested. In addition, crime, public drunkenness, and drug abuse are not unheard of in wealthy, professional circles.

The Badlands Motorsports Resort seems to have been either extremely wily or extremely lucky in their choice of location right on the corner of your county. They can infringe on the peace of the vast majority of their neighbours without disturbing too many voters in the county that gets to make the decisions. Please, we ask you to think in terms of the larger community, of those who share your values and will be there for you in a crisis, those who are happy to be called your friends and neighbours. Please vote as if this development was going to be within earshot of YOUR home, instead of ours. Please vote against the Badlands Motorsports Resort.

This proposal has already been turned down, I believe in more than one location. Please think about why that is. No one else wanted it. Neither do we. Not In My Back Yard? You got it! We live here for community, fellowship and the arts, not for car racing. Please say, “no thanks” to this proposed invasion.

Sincerely,

Kari Eliuk
Cory Eliuk
Hadden Eliuk
Lachlan Eliuk
Asher Eliuk
Arwen Eliuk

An Open Letter to Elected Officials of Kneehill County from resident Jessica Ernst

June 24, 2013

Dear Elected Officials of Kneehill County,

The extreme rains and flood disaster currently unfolding in Alberta, and past heavy sudden rains and floods in the Rosebud area, make it abundantly clear that the location and steep access for this race track is inappropriate and appears to have been chosen based on something other than sound expertise and fact. The tracks, housing and associated facilities need to be constructed on stable ground, not in an environmentally sensitive, steep river valley and flood plain in the badlands.

The coulees significantly amplify noise. I’ve lived with EnCana’s compressor noise for 10 years now and I find it highly imaginative that the race track developer promises – like  EnCana – the “sound” will be inaudible at Rosebud. The noise will be relentless, especially for those living adjacent to the facility, and traffic noise to and from the facility is likely to be much more invasive.

In my opinion, Kneehill County councillors are conducting themselves in the same bad neighbour way as EnCana:  to conclude that significant impacts to the many living here is acceptable so that a few rich may play invasive, environmentally harmful games with expensive machinery. If the track were needed to provide food or safe water to communities in Wheatland and Kneehill counties, perhaps people may agree that the damages, impacts and liabilities are worth it.

There has been no accountable socio-economic impact assessment – including costs of the environmental degradation, adverse affect to area businesses and farms, repeatedly [repairing] eroded and slumped paved access, and loss of quality of life for area residents. The race track costs may thus outweigh any benefit to rate payers.  Repairs to paved access will quickly eat up millions in tax revenues, notably with the cumulative impacts from heavy drilling and fracing vehicles, and others drawn to the excitement of remote, paved steep valley runs. There has been no accurate assessment of costs to police and rescue for [man] made accidents or natural disasters such as currently taking place in Alberta.  Obviously, the rich who come to play at the private track do not want to pay to maintain or police the access, especially after heavy rains and spring thaw, and erosion and slumping. Thus the county agreed ratepayers will.

This from Page 26 of the Badlands Motorsports Resort Area Structure Plan:

The full extent of the selected route will be maintained by Kneehill County and will be constructed to the most stringent of Kneehill or Wheatland standards with two paved traveling lanes within a 30-metre right-of-way.

This from Page 67:

Paving would be required to allow users of the facility to access the areas of the development within the Valley.

Maintaining remote pavement on unstable terrain is extremely expensive.

Has this question been appropriately answered and the appropriate documents provided to rate payers for their review:

Will the developer be able to get commercial liability insurance at the current badly selected location?

Kneehill County is willing to maintain safe water for the rich at play, but not for ordinary tax-paying citizens living with contaminated water after Encana’s hydraulic fracturing experiments. Reportedly, fresh water to the development will be pipelined from Carbon and the track and related facilities will be closed in winter. Will EnCana then be given, or allowed to purchase, water for drilling and fracing? These matters require complete and appropriate public consultation and disclosure.

There are also the environmental impacts, but it appears that Kneehill County council is looking the other way.

I remind you, you are elected officials, not developers. You represent the voice of the people. We are speaking – loudly. We say no.

I respectfully request that you accept my submission and acknowledge receipt of it. Thank you.

Sincerely,

Jessica Ernst

Refer also to the supporting information below.

Mail Attachment

Calgary immersed after hit by triple the previous rainfall record.

http://thetyee.ca/Opinion/2013/06/24/Calgary-Floods-Climate-Change/

Insurance Bureau of CanadaTelling the Weather Story, 2012:

“extreme precipitation events will likely result in continued flood risk throughout Alberta”

Mail Attachment-1

Flooding has been the second most frequent cause of disasters in Alberta. Public Safety

Canada reported 34 flood disasters in the province from 1900–2005. Flooding in southern
Alberta in 2005 resulted in approximately $300M in insured payouts – one of the largest loss
events recorded by IBC between 1983 and 2005.85 These large losses occurred despite the fact
that residential property insurance policies typically do not provide coverage for flooding in
Canada, while they oft en do provide coverage for losses from sewer backup.

While drought and low stream flow conditions may become more severe in the future, the
changing nature of extreme precipitation events will likely result in continued flood risk
throughout Alberta. Heavy rainfall events causing flash flooding in small catchment areas
could be a particular concern, as extreme precipitation events are expected to increase in
severity across Alberta by 2050. One in 20-year events, which from 1958 to 2007 resulted in
an average of 25–50 mm in 24 hours in southern and northern Alberta, could increase in
severity by 10–15% by 2050. A 15% increase in the severity of these events would result in
historical one in 20-year events occurring once every 10 years. By extension, historical one in
20-year events could increase in severity by 5–10% in central Alberta in the next 40 years.

 http://www.ibc.ca/en/natural_disasters/documents/mcbean_report.pdf

Alberta flood zone development was a mistake, former MLA says
2006 flood report called for the end of land sales in known flood risk areas

by Mark Gollom, CBC News, 23, 2013

2006 Provincial Flood Mitigation Report

Mail Attachment

report at link: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/story/2013/06/21/calgary-flooding-groeneveld-report.html
A former Alberta MLA who headed up a flood mitigation task force after the 2005 floods says new development should not have been allowed to spring up in the flood zones.

“The one thing they could have done … they should have stopped building some housing and buildings on the flood plains. And that was a strong part of that report,” George Groeneveld, who chaired the flood mitigation committee and report, told CBC News.

“If you’re going to build in those areas, you take on the responsibility yourself. That to me was the strength of the report, stop building where we shouldn’t be building.”

The 2006 Provincial Flood Mitigation Report, which was just released last year, recommended a cessation of the sale of Crown lands in known flood risk areas.

“Selling lands in flood risk areas is the opposite of flood mitigation,” the report stated. “The province loses its say in the use of these lands and any protective measures would need to be taken through cumbersome mechanisms such as legislation or regulations.

“Undeveloped flood plains are the natural and most effective form of flood mitigation, and this recommendation will protect those areas.”

Sale of flood-prone Crown lands creates the potential “for increased financial liability for the province in terms of Disaster Recovery Program funding that must outweigh the short-tem financial benefits of the sale,” the report stated.

With the demand high to live in such scenic areas, along with a new source of tax revenue from properties, Groeneveld said he understands the pressure on the municipalities to sell.

“Once developers buy that land, it takes real political will from the municipal governments to shut them down and say ‘No, you can’t do it,'”
 said Groeneveld, who served eight years as the Tory MLA for Highwood.

The report also recommended that disaster recovery payments for “new inappropriate development in flood risk areas” be prohibited.

“To me that was the real issue with the report, if you’re going to [build there] the individuals themselves are responsible,” he said. “When you have a disaster, don’t be looking for the government to bail you out when you build in these areas.”

As well, the report recommended a notification system be established that informs potential buyers that the property is located in a flood-risk area.

Groeneveld said he was disappointed that the report was never released during his time in government and that by the time it was released it was “so far after the fact that a lot of the report had become redundant.”

The report also recommended the completion of flood risk maps for urban areas in the province; a program to ensure those maps are updated; the identification of priority rural flood risk areas that require flood risk mapping; and making historic flood information available to the public on a website.

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