September 2020 CORE Newsletter

Executive News

 

CORE is planning a Halloween Event

CORE executive is planning a Halloween Picnic, Cookout and a Urban Walk in Bowness Park on Saturday,  October 31. Stay tuned for more details.

 

 

 

 

  CORE, ACTIVITIES/EVENTS DURING     

                                                THIS UNPRECENDENTED TIME

Thank you for your patience during the COVID-19 pandemic. Since the Alberta government has re-opened the provincial parks and has announced that groups of up to 50 people can gather in the outdoors (while maintaining such practices as social distancing), CORE  re-started the club on June 15th.  CORE executive has put in place guidelines and recommendations for trip coordinators, and COVID-19 guidelines for keeping members safe, when participating in CORE activities/events. CORE executive would like to thank all CORE members that put on hikes, bike rides, urban walk’s for their club members during this unprecedented time.

Fall is now with us, Many more activities are planned for the coming months. Continue to watch your emails and CORE calendar for activities/events. Since restarting the club on June 15th, 2020 CORE has put on many activities/events. Have a look at the Activity Scoreboard below and/or go to CORE photo album .

Members are encouraged to read the Guidelines “Hiking with CORE in the Time of COVID-19 pandemic.”

If the province of Alberta mandates different requirements, the organization may have to make appropriate changes.  If the situation changes a newsletter with the updated information will be sent to the members.

No September or October CORE Monthly Member Meeting

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

Highlights of Activities/Events

Here are a few highlights from the CORE calendar of hikes and bike rides from August 15, 2020 to September 22, 2020.  Please visit the CORE photo albums for more pictures from recent and past activities. Plus a hike from July.

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July 18 2020 Bowmont Ridge Urban Hike

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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August 15 2020 Inglewood Pearce Estate Wetland Urban Hike

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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August 25 2020 Cannop Property Hike

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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August 29 2020 Glenbow Ranch Hike

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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August 30 2020 Horse Creek Rd Bike Ride

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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September 5 2020 CORE Coordinator Mentoring Hike

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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September 9 2020 Okotoks to High River Cycle ride

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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September 10 2020 Barrier Lake Fire Lookout Hike

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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September 12 2020 Upper Kananaskis Lake Circuit Hike

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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September 13 2020 Sheep River Loop Okotoks

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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September 18 2020 Prairie Viewpoint via Quaite Valley

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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September 20 2020 Rawson Lake

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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September 22 2020 Taylor Lake Hike

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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News and Notes

Update to Canada Park Passes

For pass holders with a Discovery Pass valid as of March 2020, Parks Canada will automatically extend the end date of Discovery Passes by 4 months. E.G. A Discovery Pass that would have originally expired March 2020 will now expire July 2020, similar if a Discovery Pass would have expired September 2020 will now expire January 2021. A Discovery Pass expires on the last day of the month. E.G. July 31, 2020. For more information go to Parks Canada website.

High Rockies, Lower Kananaskis Lake

Alberta Parks Survey for Recreation User Fees

Alberta Parks is looking at the possibility of recreation user fees in provincial parks. There is an online survey aiming to get feedback from Albertans of new or increased fees to support programs, services and facilities.These fees would be for hiking trails, cross-country ski trails, beaches, parking, boat launches, learn-to-camp and building rentals such as a picnic shelter for the day.

The public is being asked for their ideals on an all-inclusive pass covering multiple activities for a day or an all-inclusive pass covering multiple activities for a year. Similar to the National Park fee pass.

Alberta Parks spokesperson stated “We are thinking to the future to ensure sustainability of the provincial parks system. There are already some fees in place. Camping fees, winter access at the Canmore Nordic Centre, Writing on Stone and Dinosaur Provincial Park tours, and some visitor services programs.

The questionnaire on user fees is part of an online survey for campers who book campsites on Alberta Parks website.  You can email your MLA, with your ideals regarding this issue.

Rocky Mountain Outlook has an article regarding Alberta Parks Survey on Park User Fees.

Many of the local news outlets have written articles regarding the Alberta Parks and User Fees.

 

Bow Valley Parkway from a bike, Notice NO Vehicles

Parks Canada and CPAWS want your input on Keeping the Bow Valley Parkway Closed to Vehicle Traffic

Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, Banff National Park has kept the Bow Valley Parkway (1A) closed to vehicle traffic. As the national park needed to restrict the number of visitors allowed in area. The closure was from the east end junction with Highway 1 to the junction with Highway 93 (Castle Mount Junction) south. This included closure of vehicles to Johnston Canyon area. Parks has only allowed cycling on this roadway all summer.

Banff National Park would like your input regarding to either keep this section of the Bow Valley Parkway closed to all vehicle traffic for cycling only. Or open the road to all vehicle traffic, or some days vehicle traffic only and other days closed for only cycling.

You can email Banff National Parks with your input at pc.banff-vrc@canada.ca.

In the fall of 2020, Parks Canada will resume consultations for the Banff National Park management plan. CPAW’s is part of this consultation. This management plan will guide all management activities in the park for the next 10 years. CPAW’s would like to know what you think of the current Bow Valley Parkway vehicle closure. To take the Bow Valley Parkway survey go to CPAWs.

 

 

Defend Alberta Parks Lawn Sign

Defend Alberta Parks Campaign

CPAWS (Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society) and AEN (Alberta Environmental Network) have teamed up to raise awareness of the Alberta Governments plans for provincial parks. This campaign is called Defend Alberta Parks.

The website has information regarding the governments decision to close parks and much parks are vital for Albertans and Canadians. They are asking Albertans to write to their MLA and/or request a Lawn Sign stating, “Defend Alberta Parks.” The two organizations are asking for a donation for the lawn signs. For more information go to Defend Alberta Parks, website.

CORE members cross country ski trip

Kananaskis Cross Country Ski Trail Grooming Update

February 20, 2020, Albertans were advised by the UPC provincial government, they would no longerbe funding trail maintenance and grooming in three areas in Kananaskis Country: Ribbon Creek, Mt Shark and Peter Lougheed Provincial Park.

In April 2020, the MLA for Banff/Kananaskis brought together a number of stakeholders in the Kananaskis area to hear their concerns and to discuss possible solutions to the issue. May 7, 2020 MLA Miranda Rosin sent a letter to the Minister of Environment and Parks, Jason Nixon providing suggestions for a fee-based approach to winter activities in Kananaskis to help offset some of the costs.

On August 2, 2020, Fortress Mountain Ski Resorts submitted a proposal to the Alberta Government to keep cross country ski trails going in Kananaskis. The proposal is based on a groomed trail user fee program that would have direct users contributing to the grooming services in the three areas.

August 20, 2020, it was brought to Nordiq Alberta’s attention that the complete cancellation of grooming within Kananaskis Country is going forward as planned by the provincial government. This could mean, in the future, more cross-country skiing locations will be at risk of shutting down.

Individual Albertans need to voice their concerns to their local MLA and/or the Minister of Environment and Parks, Jason Nixon.

To keep up to date on this issue go to Kananaskis grooming update by Nordiq Alberta.

 

CPAWS

CPAWS gets access to Alberta Government Documents on the closing and de-regulating Provincial Parks

CPAWS (Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society) requested an access-to-information for correspondence, briefing notes and emails between the Minister of Environment and Parks, Jason Nixon and senior civil servants in his department. These documents covered from January to March of this year.

Nixon announced in March the provincial government plans to fully or partial close 20 provincial parks and give another 164 parks to third party managers. Parks for which no managers can be found are to lose park status and revert to general crown land.

Top advisors to Alberta’s environment minister about the government’s plans to shrink the province’s park system, had made recommendations that Nixon did not follow.

Briefing notes showed:

  • As of Dec 2019, park selloffs were at least considered. Possibilities for small use areas included as lease/sell to a third party.
  • Remove facilities and revert to vacant public land or sale in the white zone.
    • White zone refers to the province’s agriculture area.
    • 1 unprotected patch of native grassland in southern Alberta was sold for potato farming.
  • Minister has stated the parks decision was made to save money
    • But notes, marked, confidential advice to minister, suggest achieving that is unlikely.

Alberta Parks Minister of Environment:

  • Has never stated how much closing/selling the parks would save.
  • Nixon ignored advice to consult the public.
    • High level dept officials in Dec 2019 recommended there be 2 sets of consultations – a broad high-level consultation/engagement followed by a second phase for specific parks.
    • A later update advising cabinet states recommended option not to have consultations. No explanation given.
    • Duty to consult with Indigenous people is referred as a very live question.
      • Nixon stated no consultation was necessary as the party’s intentions were in its 2019 election platform. There is one sentence on park policy in the election platform.

For more information on above go to CPAWS website.

Albertan’s need to write to their MLA’s and/or directly to Alberta Minister of Environment and Parks and voice their concerns on the closing/selling of parks.

David Thompson Rocky Mt House

Alberta Government announces $1 million for trails and recreation improvements, Majority of funding goes to Motorized Trails

Alberta government announced that $1 million for trails and recreation improvements in David Thompson Country. Alberta Hiking Association has found out that three quarters of this funding will be directed to motorized users.

AHA is a member of the Bighorn Backcountry Standing Community, a group of recreational users that provide advice to the Gov’t of Alberta on management of the Bighorn Backcountry. This committee was not consulted on what the priorities  for trail investment should be.

AHA is grateful for the improvements to hiking trails at Fish Lake PRA and to improve or remove damage in random camping areas. AHA is concerned that provincial recreation areas and amenities for hikers, including campsites, outhouses, garbage receptacles are still to be delisted or closed for cost constraints. While new investments are made in motorized trails.

Hiking is the largest single recreational use of parks and lands in Alberta. AHA will continue to reach out to the Alberta Gov’t to consider their users in land decision making and funding priorities for parks and public lands in Alberta.

MEC (Mountain Equipment Co-op) sold to US investors

MEC has obtained court protection from its creditors and agreed to be sold to a private US investment firm Kingswood Capital Management LP. This would end MEC’s 49 years as a cooperative. MEC operates 22 stores across Canada, prior to COVID-19 pandemic was having financial difficulties. The COVID pandemic made their financial problems worse. California based Kingswood has created a B.C. affiliate to run the business’s in Canada and appointed a new chief executive officer. Kingswood has plans to retain a minimum of 17 of the 22 stores. For more information go to global/cbc/ctv news websites.

Friends of Fish Creek Provincial Park:

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.

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.

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

 

Hiking Quote by G.M. Trevelyan

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

 

 

New Coordinators Mentored Hike

Carol and Mike put on a mentored hike for new trip coordinators on September 5. This event took place at Nose Hill Park. At the meetup, Carol and Mike gave us a handout, on how to prepare for the hike, what needs to be done prior to starting the hike, what to watch for along the hike. 

Before you put on a hike or other event, there is some questions you need to ask yourself.

  • When should you put on this hike/event?
    • match your hike/event to the season
  • Where ?
    • are you familiar with the trail. If not, try to find another coordinator that is familiar with the trail and see if that person would co-coordinate with you.
    • Or do some research on the hike/event. On CORE website there is a database of hikes and links to the internet or guidebooks.
  • How far to go?
    • This is base on what distances you are comfortable in doing. And if you prefer easy, moderate or difficult hikes.
  • Rating the Difficulty of a Trail?
    • On CORE’s website go to the guides tab.
      • In the drop-down list you will find difficulty ratings.
      • CORE would like coordinators to use the rating system that is on the website.
  • Checking the Weather?
    • On CORE’s website under the resources tab, you will find a section called weather, road and trail conditions.
    • Or use the internet to check the weather.

You need to break the hike into sections – by distances, elevation, time to travel that section, terrain type, difficulty of that section.  

Now you have planned out the hike and posted the hike on CORE calendar.  Remember you need 4 members to have an official CORE hike.

You need to break the hike into sections – by distances, elevation, time to travel that section, terrain type, difficulty of that section. As you will need this information in case something goes wrong.

At every Junction you should check for:

  • Weather  – should you continue or not
  • Timing – Check the elapsed time at the start of each section – are you behind your planned breakdown, is there enough daylight to finish?
  • People – the group will mover at the speed of the slowest person, identify this early and adjust as necessary. As another member may start hiking more slowly.

In your plan did you have an escape route built in, if something goes wrong?  This could be going back along the same route.

At the trail head make introductions. Advise members , to wait for the group at junctions or sections as per your pre-planned hike and when there will be breaks (water, lunch).

Carol and Mike have put together a document to give pointers to new coordinators and a refresher for other coordinators. This document(Pointers for New Coordinators) has alot of information and has an actual breakdown of a hike. Document can be found on the CORE website under the tab guides.

 

Have Fun and Stay Safe!!!!