March 2020 CORE Newsletter

Executive News

 

Effective Immediately all CORE

Events and Monthly Meetings are

Cancelled until Further Notice

Please be advised, Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, CORE executive has cancelled all CORE events and monthly meetings until further notice. Other outdoor clubs have taken the same initiative as CORE. And Scarboro Hall will also be closed until further noticed. For any further information regarding the CORE event and meetings being cancelled, please email the executive at mailbox@corehike.org

For more information about COVID-19 virus, go to Alberta Health Services webpage.

Renewal of CORE Membership for 2020/2021 membership year is Put on Hold till Further Notice

CORE’s 2020/2021 membership renewal is put on hold due to the COVID-19 virus. The 2020/2021 membership will be available once the club recommences activities post COVID-19. CORE will advise members when 2020/2021 membership is open.

Coordinator’s Meeting for 2019/2020 Summer Event Planning Meeting

This meeting has been cancelled due to the COVID-19 virus, until further notice.

Car Pooling Contribution Rate Revised Effective January 22, 2020

CORE executive revised the car pooling $contribution rate as of January 22, 2020. The new contribution rate is one set rate of, $0.25 cents per km.   CORE executive will re-visit if vehicle expenses go up.

CORE’s Car Pooling guideline, is to contribute per kilometer multiplied by two times the distance, from the meetup place to the trailhead, multiply by .25 cents then divide by the number of people in the vehicle. For more information on car pooling and locations go to CORE Carpooling guideline.

When car pooling, if the road has been very dusty, slushy or muddy, you should help your driver out by giving an extra loonie ($1.00) or toonie ($2.00) for a vehicle wash. Your driver will appreciate this gesture.

Valley Ridge Community Parking Lot

CORE uses the Valley Ridge Community parking lot for car pooling. CORE has been asked by the community association, when we leave our vehicles at this parking lot, to park near the east end of the lot. By the entrance to the parking lot. This is to increase safety for the “in and out” skaters accessing their gate near the west end of the lot.  The two outdoor arena’s, above this community parking lot, creates heavy vehicle and foot traffic.

Event Coordinators Guidelines

Trip Reports

Please remember that the best and fastest way to send your Trip Reports to the  Executive Trip Coordinator,  is to attach the report as a pdf or a scanned photo to an email  to mailbox@corehike.org   if this is not possible, then you can bring the hard copy to one of the monthly meetings. Electronic or hard copy the trip reports must be given in as soon as possible after the event.

Event Calendar

Information on the title part (front page) of the calendar event should have the kind of event, the name of the event, the area, the kilometers, the elevation and the difficulty rating of the event – NOTHING ELSE. All the rest of the information should be in the description of the event.

e.g. Snowshoe, Hare Loop, West Bragg Creek, 7 kms, 100m, E.

Please refer to the Guides tab on the CORE website for information on Guidelines, Difficulty Ratings, etc..

Safety

Please ensure that you have with you, your membership card (with your emergency contact information) visible on your backpack, as well as your own first aid kit. Refer to the Guides tab on the CORE Website under Clothing and Equipment to make sure you have the appropriate clothing/footwear and equipment for the particular event, as well as food and plenty of water. Remember that event coordinators may refuse anyone not adequately equipped to participate in that event (hike, scramble, snowshoe, x-country ski, bicycle, etc.).

Members, you need to be aware of your own capabilities and limitations, in relation to how difficult the event is. You can check the Guidelines, Difficult Ratings for reference.

CORE Photo Album

All CORE members participating in CORE activities are welcome and encouraged to post photos taken on your outings in the CORE website Photo Albums. There are Photo Management instructions on the CORE Guides web page. If you have any trouble uploading your photos, please ask the event coordinator or other experienced CORE member. Some guidelines when posting photos :

  • Post just the highlights of the event
  • No parking lot photos. We should not identify members vehicles
  • Do not post unflattering pictures of other members
  • If you mention a person’s name, use only the person’s first name

Contacting your Executive

CORE has a couple of different purpose-oriented email addresses through which you can contact various executive members. If  you have a general question’s about the club, for instance upcoming presenters planned, event, etc, please email us at mailbox@corehike.org. If it is a question about membership or joining the club, please direct your query to membership@corehike.org.

Remember that our CORE Executive members are volunteers who also have day jobs and a life outside of CORE, so please be patient if it takes a few days to respond to your queries.

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ACTIVITY SCOREBOARD

From February 15 to March 1, 2020

Here are a few highlights from the CORE calendar for February 15 to March 1, 2020. Please visit the CORE photo albums for more pictures from recent activities.

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Cascade Fire Road February 15 2020

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Sundance Lodge XC Ski Adventure February 21 2020

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Terrace Kovach XC Ski February 29 2020

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Mt Murray Viewpoint Snow Shoe March 1 2020

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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News and Notes

Bow Valley Parkway

Bow Valley Parkway Mandatory Seasonal Travel Restriction 2020

From March 1st to June 25th, 2020, travel is not permitted between 8 pm and 8 am on the 17 kilometer section of the parkway from Johnston Canyon Campground to the Fireside Picnic Area. All business and commercial accommodation remain OPEN and are accessible by the Trans-Canada Highway (#1) and Castle Junction.

The eastern section of the Bow Valley Parkway traverses a small but important area of the park for wildlife. This area is important in the spring when most of the park is still snowbound, as it provides species like grizzly bears and wolves with much needed food and a place to raise their young. These animals are more aware of the presence of people, especially between dusk and dawn when their natural activity is the highest.

This mandatory travel restriction is part of an action plan to ensure the ecologically and culturally rich Bow Valley Parkway area continues as a world class setting for visitors, to learn and experience the park and as a safe and secure environment for wildlife. To learn more go to Parks Canada website.

Parks Canada closes National Parks, Historic Sites to Vehicle Traffic

Parks Canada is restricting all motor vehicle access after people flocked to the popular areas this past weekend (March 20 to 23, 2020). Parks Canada stated they still noticed lots of visitors despite suspension of service and facility closures last week. Crowding on the trails and at day use areas in the national parks and historic sites is unsafe, as it increases the risk of transmitting the COVID-19 virus. People cannot keep the appropriate 2 metres or 6.5 feet distance from each other.

Effective March 24, 2020 until further notice, all national parks and historic sites are off limits to all vehicle traffic, unless you live there. This includes all parking lots and any parking on the highway or roadway through the national parks. You can travel on Highway #1, but you cannot stop anywhere along this highway in the parks. RCMP and Canada Parks wardens will be patrolling, and if they see a vehicle pulled over, they can give you a ticket or impound your vehicle.

Parks Canada closes all Park Campsites and Visitor Facilities to the Public

Effective March 18, 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, all national parks, national historic sites and national marine conservation areas across Canada.

The closure begins midnight Wednesday, March 18, 2020 and will be in effect until further notice. This includes washrooms, day use facilities and campsites.

Visitors will be able to use front and back country areas and green spaces but should check the Parks Canada website first to verify safety conditions and trail closures.

No new reservations for camping or accommodations can be made until April 30th, and all existing reservations will be refunded. Parks Canada states “they are working on an approach to honour passes(annual park pass) in light of travel restrictions and closures.

National parks will stay open, if people are in their private vehicles and coming out, and if you are social distancing and proper hand washing, going for a cross country ski or snowshoe is still an option.

Alberta Government gives authority to law enforcement to enact the Public Health Act under the Alberta Emergency Act

What does this Mean?   If you are caught not self-isolating, including mandatory self-isolation for traveler’s returning to Canada and not self-distancing (2 metres or 6 feet apart) you will be fined. This includes, if you are in a group less than 10 people and each person is not 2 metres, 6 feet from each other, you will be fined!!!

The Alberta government has given this authority to all law enforcement, including police officers, peace officers, park wardens, RCMP and military personnel that are working in the province of Alberta under the Alberta Emergency Act. Minimum fine is $1000 dollars per occurrence. The Alberta court can impose a $100,000 dollar fine for the first occurrence and $500,000 for the second occurrence and/or put you in jail.

Alberta Government is closing Provincial Parks to the Public due to COVID-19 pandemic

Alberta Parks remain accessible, but the public is prohibited from using Alberta Park facilities. This includes toilets, picnic areas and park warm-up shelters. You can still book campsites online. Alberta Parks will continue to assess the impact to the pandemic to the camping season and refund online reservations and waive cancelation fees, as necessary. Anyone wishing to cancel their current reservations for arrivals up to April30, 2020, will be provided a full refund or the opportunity to change their reservation depending on availability, with no penalty. Contact Alberta Parks online or at 1-877-537-2757.

Both Alberta Parks and Parks Canada has asked the public for their cooperation to choose outdoor activities that are low risk during the COVID-19 pandemic. As any emergency assistance during this time period puts additional strain on the health care system, put public safety staff at risk, including exposure to COVID-19, which then can impact resources to support search and rescue.

Avalanche Canada shuts down its forecasting service due to COVID-19 Outbreak

Avalanche Canada stated a lack of data due to the COVID-19 outbreak has prompted the warning service to shut down its website effective immediately (March 24, 2020).

 

Barrier Lake

Alberta Government Releases the list of 20 Park full or partial closures:

For more information go to Alberta Parks website.  

To view the 164 Parks for Sale Go to Alberta Parks website.

 

 

 

 

Parks with Full closures starting spring 2020:

  • Kehiwin Provincial Recreation Area near St. Paul
  • Running Lake Provincial Recreation Area north of Worsley
  • Stoney Lake Provincial Recreation Area north of Fairview
  • Little Fish Lake Provincial Recreation Area east of Drumheller
  • Bleriot Ferry Provincial Recreation Area north of Drumheller
  • Crow Lak Provincial Recreation Area south of Fort McMurray
  • Green Valley Provincial Park east of Peace River
  • Sheep Creek Provincial Recreation Area north of Grande Cache

Parks with Partial closures, some areas will remain open but non-serviced:

  • Bow Valley Provincial Park – Barrier Lake Visitor Information Centre (facility)
  • Gooseberry Lake Provincial Area west of Bragg Creek – Elbow Valley Visitors centre (facility).
  • Gooseberry Lake Provincial Park north of Consort – campground.
  • Sulphur Lake Provincial Recreation Area north of Peace River.
  • Engstrom Lake Provincial Recreation Area south of Fort McMurray – campground.
  • Chain Lakes Provincial Recreation Area north of Athabasca – campground.
  • Lawrence Lake Provincial Recreation Park southeast of Athabasca – campground.
  • Dry Island Buffalo Jump Provincial Park southeast of Red Deer – Tolman Bridge Campgrounds
  • Notikewin Provincial Park north of Manning – campground.
  • Smokey River South Provincial Recreation Area west of Grande Cache – campground.
  • Dinosaur Provincial Park northeast of Brooks – Comfort Camping (facility).

Friends of Fish Creek Park Events:

Friends of Fish Creek Park is offering different events regarding the park’s history, wildlife, archaeology and other events in the park this spring/summer/fall.

Visit Friends of Fish Creek Park event calendar for daily and weekly events.

Friends of Kananaskis Park Event Series:

For more information go to Friends of Kananaskis Park event calendar.

Ann & Sandy Cross Conservation Area, New Parking Fee Effective January 1, 2020

ASCC is a not-for-profit charity in Alberta. They have estimated the cost of providing an opportunity for visitors to experience over 20 km of observation trails to be approximately $50, 000 per year or $5 per visitor to maintain the trails and facilities. Visitor donations do not cover these costs and the government only covers less than 1% of their operation budget.

Starting January 1, 2020, visitors will be required to pay a fee of $10.00 per vehicle seven days per week, from 4 am to 11 pm. Their parking lot will be regularly patrolled by volunteers and staff and is monitored 24/7 by security cameras. ASCC is implementing a parking pass system.  Annual pass will be $120.00 for the calendar year.

For more information go to ASCC.

 Avalanche Season

Avalanche conditions are high in many parks. Before you go out into the mountains, verify the avalanche conditions in the area of the event. Go to  Parks Canada Avalanche page or  the direct link to Alberta Parks – Kananaskis.

Grizzly Bear

Grizzly Bears are spotted in Banff and Chester Lake areas. Be Bear Aware, Carry Your Bear Spray!!!

Trailhead Parking Security

It has been reported that car break-ins and theft has been happening at trail-head parking lots. Be sure to lock up your belongings and ensure nothing is visible when you leave your vehicle to mitigate the visibility of tempting items for thieves.

New Snow Shoe Trails in Kananaskis

Check out the Kananaskis Trails for six new snow shoe loop trails in Kananaskis.

Trail Closures and Trail Report Link

Alberta Parks and Banff National Park are urging people to be bear aware. There have been multiple sightings of bears, and other wildlife in the parks. Depending on which park you are in, contact either Alberta Parks (403-591-7755) or Parks Canada Banff office (403-762-1470) if you come in close vicinity of a bear, cougar, elk or wolf.

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Members Corner

The Members Corner section of the CORE Newsletter is meant to allow CORE Members to connect with other members of like interest, or to seek or sell outdoor equipment. Please submit any request to mailbox@corehike.org and include your contact info for interested parties to contact you. No photo’s of items will be posted on CORE newsletter. Also, please keep your words to a minimum (50 words or less).  Please note that the CORE Newsletter is in the public domain, and that by submitting a request, you give permission to CORE to publish your contact information thus provided. CORE will not act as intermediary in any resulting transactions. All members who submit any request have relinquished CORE from any and all liabilities, claims, suits, and causes of action, and property (including loss of use or damage) on the part of the CORE club (individually or collectively).

{member’s AD and contact info to be posted here}

 

Adventure Stories

 

Quote by John Muir

For all CORE members, this spot is for you. If you have a little story to tell about something you’ve seen on a CORE outing, or some article or book you may have read that you would like to share, please send it along and we’ll publish it in the next newsletter. Keep it to a couple paragraphs, and stick to topics related to the outdoors or the environment.  mailbox@corehike.org

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Hither and Yon

Bow Valley Wildland Provincial Park

Bow Valley Wildland Provincial Park

Alberta Conservative Government to hand off management of 164 Provincially run parks to outside groups

Jess Sinclair spokesperson for Environment Minister Jason Nixon stated “government is subsidizing a financially struggling system year after year, while attempting to ensure maintenance, programs and services remain at a high level.” ” Alberta Parks envisions municipalities, Indigenous communities, and non-profit societies to assist with provision of park operations and quality of visitor experiences” “This will allow for focused spending in high value areas (conservation, recreation, tourism) of the parks systems and improved leveraging of resources.” Sinclair stated “the Conservative government will begin looking for partners to run the parks in May.” See list attached.

Alberta currently manages 473 provincial parks, wildland provincial parks, provincial park areas, ecological reserves, wilderness areas, natural areas and heritage rangelands.

The 2020 budget forecasts a $4 million cut to parks over the next three years. These cuts include shutting down some campsites and picnic areas, starting September 2020 provincial park employees will not be grooming cross country trails at PLPP or any other park.

Critics state the plan reduces preservation of Alberta’s outdoors to a profit and loss calculation. Opposition NDP states “Parks should not be seen as a cost subsidy. It is how the province preserves the natural heritage for future generations.”

The Alberta gov’t is marketing the province’ parks for people (inside and outside Canada) to come and visit these parks. It is the responsibility of the government to ensure these tourists receive a high quality experience. This will encourage more tourism. The new system will have varying degrees of quality. The province will not be able to hold these provincial park managers accountable. Municipalities and Indigenous groups do not have the money to look after these parks!!!!

The Alberta Wilderness association states “we are supportive if these partnerships with municipalities or Indigenous groups or non-profit societies are able to meet the very high quality experience standard.”

Joanna from AWA stated the association would like the government to show them :

  • The usage numbers for these parks:
    • How much money each park was bringing in.
    • How much money each park was losing/or profit.
    • How many nights per year were the campgrounds booked/reserved/paid for? and which days of the week?
  • How did the government arrive at these numbers?
  • AWA would also like a true cost accounting of closing the parks. E.G:
    • What is the cost to municipalities, Indigenous groups and non-profit groups to take over these parks?
    • What is the cost to the health and wellbeing of Albertans on closure of these parks?

AWA also stated:

  • Taking these parks out of the system will cause:
    • More overcrowding in other parks
    • Increase of fees
    • Ecological benefits of the parks will decrease
  • The government committed to protecting 17 per cent of provincial land and water by 2021. The gov’t has now removed 0.30 per cent of these protected areas from gov’t inventory.

A survey done in 2017 of thousands of Albertans, found that 90 per cent agree that preservation of landscapes, plants and animals was an important purpose of provincial parks. And 75 per cent stated provincial parks was important contribution to the local economy.

 

There are many petitions online. From posting photos of your favourite park to signing a petition. You can also write your MLA, and let them know your thoughts on closing these parks.

 CORE executive does not endorse any petitions. 

        Take Care, Be Safe And Have Fun!!!!