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Tag: Beaver Mines

Topographic map showing location of proposed Rpger's cell tower near Beaver Mines in the MD of Pincher Creek.

Beaver Mines area residents against planned cell tower

A proposal that would see a 60-metre cell tower built northeast of Beaver Mines is facing some stiff opposition.

The application, submitted by Calgary-based LandSolutions Inc. on behalf of Rogers Communications, was brought before the MD of Pincher Creek’s municipal planning commission Sept. 5.

The development, if approved, would see the large structure built on private property just north of Highway 507 and east of Range Road 22. But nearby residents question not only its location on a lower section of terrain, but what benefit it would provide in cellular coverage.


Sparkly gold-wrapped gift box on ad for Blackburn Jewellers in Pincher Creek


Protect the environment 

“We’ve put a lot of energy into trying to keep this region pristine,” said Jim Parker, who lives about a half-mile south of the proposed site.

“You just have to go north and there’s a lot of wind turbines where you get the red lights at night. We’re lucky, (the turbines) aren’t right in our view, but I sure wouldn’t want to see a bunch of huge wind towers. It would destroy the beauty of that region,” he said.

“Residents live there because it’s one of the untouched areas, and when we’ve spent so much time and energy trying to develop that corridor into such a beautiful area, a tourist area, I think Rogers can try harder to find an alternative spot.”

Laura Parker, Jim’s wife, shares the same feelings about protecting the natural environment, but her leading concern following the meeting was not hearing from the other side of the equation.

“I think it was really disappointing that there wasn’t a representative from Rogers at a development meeting (so) that we could have had some of our concerns addressed directly.”

“Shame on them for nothing being here,” she added.

While not against better cell coverage, residents aren’t sure the location is ideal.

“I know the landowners don’t know what radius this will cover and I’m concerned that people would make such a decision for development and not have a good, strong knowledge of the impacts and benefits of it,” Laura said.

“Is it what the community really needs? I also worry more and more about the environmental impact,” she continued.

“I’ve tried to do some reading up and it says there really hasn’t been enough studies to know the impact (development has) on the environment, wildlife, birds, people. We need to start being more protective of our lands.”


White car surrounded by auto parts on Pincher Creek Bumper to Bumper ad


Location under scrutiny

Another nearby resident, Larry Bartsoff, knows all too well about setting up towers. Now retired, he has almost 40 years experience in erecting power grids, including with Fortis Alberta.

“If you look at a cell tower, they’re normally up high,” he said. “They’re in a local zone, but this one is supposedly covering a wide area, so what is the real coverage this tower is expected to do?”

Bartsoff and those living in the area had hoped to hear at the planning commission meeting.

“Why is it at this location? Why is it so low?” — referring to the terrain, with higher hills nearby.

“Why is it in a location that won’t provide better coverage?” Bartsoff questioned, following the public session.

Like the Parkers, Bartsoff wants to see the area’s scenery protected and migrating wildlife unaffected by further development.

“How come as an MD, the wind chargers are stopped at a certain location, a certain area. They’re not pressing to put further (turbines) in because it would be a total violation, and that’s, basically, what this is,” he said.

“And, if you come over the hill into Beaver Mines out of Mill Creek, and you hit the top and you look down, it’s like a Swedish village, almost. It’s serene. It is peaceful.”

There’s an added concern that the tower could cause an indirect traffic hazard.

“It’s not that far off the road … 300 feet, 130 metres, and as you come up that hill, that flashing light is going to be right in your eyes. There’s enough stuff to watch for, deers and other animals,” Bartsoff pointed out.

“And now you could potentially have this light blinking at you for a half a minute.”



What happens next

Needing more information on the application, the municipal planning commission has asked MD administration to write a letter asking Rogers to clarify some of the details of the proposal, including the area of coverage the new tower would provide.

It’s hoped directors will have a clearer picture when the commission meets again on Oct. 3.

Shootin’ the Breeze reached out to LandSolutions Inc. but was told the company couldn’t comment. A followup call to Rogers’ corporate media department was not returned by our press deadline.

Old fashioned log cabin with wooden bench in front – heading for Frontier Canadian Recollections

Pincher Creek winter weather extremes

The cold snaps experienced early this winter offer us a glimpse into those changeable winter weather patterns of the past. A look back to the winter of 1917-18 provides a few local illustrations of the volatile weather conditions to which we begrudgingly have become accustomed.

Winter weather for Christmas 1917

According to the old records, Christmas 1917 dawned cold and was accompanied by fairly high snowfalls. The coldest was the morning of Christmas Eve, when the temperature dipped down to 26 degrees below 0 Fahrenheit. Overnight temperatures remained almost that cold for the next four nights, and daytime readings fluctuated between –11 and 20 degrees on the old scale.

Meteorological notes indicate that seven inches of snow fell during those five days, and local press reports indicate that the snowfall was widespread throughout southwestern Alberta.


Crockets Trading Company building against an orange and purple coloured sunset on ad for Crockets local Christmas gift ideas.


A chinook rolled into town one day

In typical local fashion, everything changed virtually overnight.

On Saturday, Dec. 29, 1917, one of Pincher Creek’s infamous and most welcome chinooks blew fiercely into town. The temperature rose dramatically. Registering a cold 0 as the day’s low, it rose a tremendous 52 degrees by 8 p.m. that evening.

The editor of the pioneer press reported that water was running down Main Street by early Saturday morning and that locals, concerned about a possible flood, were clearing obstructions away from the street drains. By evening, most of the snow had melted but everything was one massive mud hole.


Two stockings, one red, one green, filled with candy on ad for Crowsnest Candy


The warm weather continued until January 1918, and within 24 hours of the initial warming trend, the streets in town had virtually dried out. Our pioneers knew they could never underestimate the power of those westerly winds.

Even in the country, the conditions were thawing out. As early as noon on that changeable Saturday, motorists were able to come into town from points as far south as Twin Butte. This was no mean feat, given motor vehicle technology as well as the road conditions of the time, aided and abetted by the heavy snow that had built up the previous month.

A March storm blew in

Local temperatures made the usual winter fluctuations during the rest of January and February. Late in February, another storm blew into the Pincher Creek area, and, although temperatures still hovered in the 10 to 20 F range, this weather change was noted more for its snowfalls and gusty winds.


Young girl in multi-coloured jacket and bright pink helmet and ski pants, grins broadly while skating with arms outstretched.


On Feb. 24, just under a foot of snow fell in town and, according to local folklore, up to eight additional inches fell in the foothills and mountains. The following two days the winds picked up to gale force, and the press reported that at times it was nearly impossible to see across any street in town due to the blowing snow.

By 9 p.m. on the 26th, the winds had died down and the snow-covered landscape had changed significantly in typical Pincher Creek fashion: there were wide areas where the ground was swept bare of snow, yet in the sheltered areas there were high, deeply crusted drifts.

Located in great numbers throughout the countryside, these drifts made travel difficult. Bus connections with the trails at Pincher Station had great difficulty in travelling back and forth, and reportedly got stuck on a regular basis.


Huge, loaded burger and onion rings on Bear Grass Bistro ad.


Conditions to the west and south of town told similar stories. Large drifts that accumulated along Lang’s Coulee as well as at Mountain Mill made it very difficult to reach Beaver Mines for several days, and blizzard conditions at Waterton Lakes virtually closed down activity there.

The only saving grace was that the storm did not block rail traffic along the Canadian Pacific Railway’s Crowsnest line: the trains had enough power to get through the drifting snow.

As we now watch the current winter weather unfold, we are reminded that Pincher Creek’s very changeable weather patterns truly have not changed all that much over the years.


Display of fall clothing at at Emerald & Ash Clothing in Crowsnest Pass.




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