Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Westslope Cutthroat Protected

Photo, courtesy Kevin Turner/Oldman Oldman River Chapter- Trout Unlimited Canada

"Trout Unlimited Canada was pleased to learn that DFO registered and published a Critical Habitat Order for the Alberta population of Westslope Cutthroat Trout ". Read more here: http://www.tucanada.org/index.asp?p=2055&vn=399

Cutthroat trout get habitat protection from federal government

by Colette Derworiz, Calgary Herald, December 2, 2015 

Alberta’s threatened population of westslope cutthroat trout is getting additional protection from the federal government.

The critical habitat order — registered by Department of Fisheries and Oceans Minister Hunter Tootoo on Nov. 20 and announced in Wednesday’s issue of the Canada Gazette — prohibits the destruction of the native trout’s habitat.

“The prohibition will apply to anyone undertaking activities in and around the critical habitat that would result in the destruction of any part of it,” according to an email from a Fisheries and Oceans biologist that was obtained by the Herald.

The prohibition pertains to any recreational, commercial or industrial use that could destroy trout streams in the southern Alberta foothills.

Conservation groups said they are thrilled with the additional protection provided by the federal government.

Read more here: http://calgaryherald.com/…/westslope-cutthroat-trout-get-cr…

‪#‎bowriver‬ | ‪#‎cutthroattrout‬ | ‪#‎flyfishing‬ | ‪#‎yyc‬

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

SPARK Disability Art Festival (Calgary) - Nov 30-Dec 04, 2015

Artist Paula Timm holds her mixed media piece entitled “I wonder, Woman” in Studio C Gallery in the Burns Building downtown. Timm is one of the artists taking part in SPARK, a festival of artists with disabilities in galleries around Calgary.  

SPARK Disability Art Festival (Calgary) - Nov 30-Dec 04, 2015

***** Our grandson, Morgan Paul ( Artist: Morgan M. Paul ) is involved in this special event. He will be participating as a panel member at the Closing Reception at Studio C, December 3, 2015. Those attending this event (it's FREE, 6:30-8:30 pm) will hear feedback directly from the diverse artists who exhibited in SPARK 2015. They will learn about the challenges and successes of being a Calgary artist from five emerging visual artists who approach art and disability from unique perspectives.***** 

(http://calgaryartsdevelopment.com/…/industry-event-spark-di…) (http://www.indefinitearts.com/PDFs/SPARK_Event_Flyer.pdf)

Spark Festival showcases creativity regardless of disability (text & video)

by Stephen Hunt, Calgary Herald, December 1, 2015

It took dying for Paula Timm to understand the value of art in her life.

Timm is one of the close to 100 artists featured in the 2015 Spark Disability Art Festival, which kicked off Monday at a quartet of venues across Calgary (ACAD, Studio C at the Burns Building, Loft 112 in the East Village and InDefinite Arts Society at 8030 Fairmount Dr SE).

It’s a festival that’s been produced since 2011 by Studio C, an arts centre run by Prospect Human Services, a non-profit focused on helping anyone who has barriers to employment, says program manager Colin Menzies.

“We offer skill development,” says Menzies, “so that people can get those skills to get out into the workforce through art — or we train companies as to how to be more diverse and inclusive and again we engage them through the creative process.”

That culminates each year in the Spark Festival, which showcases artists from across the city, and the country, Menzies says.

“It’s Calgary’s only disability visual art festival,” Menzies says, “and so in that sense, it’s a celebration of creative expression by emerging artists and professional artists who identify as having mental, physical or sensory disabilities.

“It’s also for artists,” he says, “who might be experiencing mental health barriers, brain injury or any chronic illness as well — so it’s really just creating a really cool platform for them to share about their experiences and it allows them to advance within their own arts practice in Calgary.”

Read more here: http://calgaryherald.com/…/spark-festival-showcases-creativ…

Monday, November 30, 2015

Ladies night at Fish Tales - December 04

Ladies night at Fish Tales - December 04

Fish Tales Fly Shop writes: "Ladies - you're invited to join us for a fun-filled night on Friday, December 4 starting at 7 p.m. This is a great opportunity to take advantage of some deals on Patagonia and SIMMS gear for yourself, expand your product knowledge, and more.

As per previous Ladies nights we will have some fun activities during the event.

Ladies if you have an avid fly angler in your life.... this may be a great opportunity to get some Christmas shopping taken care of." 

More info here: https://www.facebook.com/events/608511645954875/

Sunday, November 29, 2015

B.C.'s Elk River a crown-jewel fishery

Ben catches a huge bull trout on our 2015 October trip. Photo, Jim Hoey

B.C.'s Elk River a crown-jewel fishery

by Jim Hoey, Calgary Herald, November 10, 2015

Rarely does a fly fisher find a crown-jewel fishery.

I have been fishing for most of my 43 years, and have fished all over Canada for many years as host of The Dimestore Fishermen TV show. The Elk River in southeastern B.C. is arguably one of the best fly fisheries I have ever fished.

We first covered the fishery on our program in 2001. We met and fished with Darren Servatius, owner and operator of Pro Fish Guiding and Rafting Service. It was mid-July, with a warm sun greeting us every morning to carry us through our days. My good friend Devon and I fished for two days on the river.

Together we caught more than 200 fish on “dry fly.” Fish commonly key on young insects that are emerging from their pupal state in the river — the dry fly technique mimics this. Fly fishers love dry fly fishing, as the thrill of watching a fish rise to the surface of the water to eat a fly is exhilarating. Caddis flies were the choice of the trout on our first sojourn. Our experience in 2001 was remarkable.

Read more here: http://calgaryherald.com/…/b-c-s-elk-river-a-crown-jewel-fi…

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Don't Tell These Ranchers Climate Change Isn't Real

Mac Blades (middle) fellow ranchers Frances Gardner and Gordon Cartwright recently won a long battle to have their drought-resistant heritage rangelands protected from coal bed methane and other energy developments. Photo by Ed Struzik.

Don't Tell These Ranchers Climate Change Isn't Real

The push to make Alberta's cattle ranges drought resistant.

By Ed Struzik, TheTyee.ca, November 17, 2015

Among the many pictures on the walls of the Rocking P ranch house is one of owner Mac Blades with singer Ian Tyson and other local ranchers riding their horses across a snowy hillside in the Livingstone Mountain range of southwestern Alberta. The photo made the front pages of both national newspapers in the fall of 2002, when Tyson, Blades and the Pekisko group of ranchers went public with their call for a moratorium on oil and gas development in the region.

Their call came on the heels of the worst prairie drought in more than 70 years.

Read more here: http://thetyee.ca/…/20…/11/17/Alberta-Cattle-Ranges-Drought/

Friday, November 27, 2015

REI ‪#‎OptOutside‬

REI ‪#‎OptOutside‬

"REI is closing for Black Friday. Instead, we’re going outside and we want you to join us. Learn more and find ways to #OptOutside."

28 mega retail chains will remain closed on Thanksgiving—one throws in Black Friday

By Leslie Salzilloj, Daily Kos, Nov 10, 2015

"... And then, we have companies that are taking positive steps in treating their employees with high regard by giving them Thanksgiving Day off. REI, a large outdoor gear and clothing store, is going the extra mile by closing their stores on Black Friday, and giving their employees that day off, as well. They are reportedly one of the only major chains to do so. Some might ask, “what about online shopping?” 

Again, REI takes the lead:

About 20% of REI's sales are made on its website, but the retailer won't try to lure online shoppers on Black Friday either. Customers will be able to place orders, but its homepage will try to divert buyers with a "cover screen" encouraging them to explore the outdoors instead.
"You need people to go to the mountain, you need people to catch that outdoor bug," says Jerry Stritzke, CEO of the REI chain.

That mantra has worked for REI. With 5.5 million members, it's the nation's largest retail co-op and has seen two years of double-digit growth..."

Read more here: https://www.dailykos.com/…/-28-mega-retailers-will-stay-clo…

Sunday, November 22, 2015

World Fisheries Day - November 21

photo, Canadian Wildlife Federation

World Fisheries Day - November 21

From Canadian Wildlife Federation: "It’s World Fisheries Day! This is a day to celebrate the importance of Canada’s aquatic habitats and its role in sustaining both aquatic life and life on land. It’s a day to salute Canada’s fishermen – many of which are becoming stewards of water conservation. But it’s also a day to reflect and recognize the negative impacts we have had on our marine and freshwater resources.

The Canadian Wildlife Federation is determined to make a difference to our water. We’re proud to announce that we have published a document about open-pen aquaculture which you can read here."

Read more at this link:  http://cwf-fcf.org/…/do-som…/events/world-fisheries-day.html

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Biologists race to save fish from Brazil river contaminated by dam collapse

Biologists race to save fish from Brazil river contaminated by dam collapse

So-called Operation Noah’s Ark aims to relocate aquatic life from Doce river by moving fish in tanks provided by mining company Samarco to area lakes

The Guardian, November 16, 2015 

Teams of biologists are rushing to rescue fish from a river that was contaminated after two dams at an iron ore mine in Brazil collapsed earlier this month, unleashing a deadly wave of mud.

Read more here: 

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Opinion: Stopping the floods has barely begun

A truly progressive approach to mitigating flood risk would mean restoring the badly impaired forest landscapes that produce the water that drains into our rivers. Gavin Young / Calgary Herald

Opinion: Stopping the floods has barely begun

by Kevin Van Tighem, Wendy Francis, Stephen Legault and Katie Morrison, Calgary Herald, November 13, 2015

"...Repairing the scars and restoring the water retention capacity of our headwaters would not only mitigate flood risk basin wide, it would restore the vast, green, living reservoir that stores groundwater against future droughts. It would also restore and improve habitat for the threatened grizzly bear, bull trout and west slope cutthroat — and all of us who go into the foothills and mountains in search of stunning beauty, spiritual renewal and outdoor recreation...." 

Read article here: http://calgaryherald.com/…/opinion-stopping-the-floods-has-…

Friday, November 13, 2015

TUC Bow River Chapter - 2015 Fall Splash - Nov 26, 2015

TUC Bow River Chapter - 2015 Fall Splash - Nov 26, 2015

Country Pleasures Fly Fishing writes: "Now is the time to support this! Trout Unlimited Canada - Bow River Chapter has seen a revitalization this year. More conservation projects done, under way, or slated than we have seen in years. This dinner is an important source of funds for these projects (yes, the money will be used by the chapter) so get out there and support it." 


Thursday, November 12, 2015

Artist Robert Bateman explores creative process, love of nature in new memoirs

Artist and author Robert Bateman. Courtesy, Birgit Freybe Bateman. Calgary Herald

**** Robert Bateman will be at Indigo Signal Hill (Calgary) Thursday, Nov. 12 at 7 p.m. ****

Artist Robert Bateman explores creative process, love of nature in new memoirs

by Eric Volmers, Calgary Herald, November 9, 2015 

At 85, Robert Bateman may seem like a creature of habit.

The acclaimed wildlife artist and naturalist still paints seven days a week, from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., although admits these days he is “interrupted a lot.”

For instance, he goes on a 40-minute hike each afternoon with his wife Birgit, taking the same route every day on his property near Ford Lake on Saltspring Island.

In the epilogue of his new book, Life Sketches: A Memoir, Bateman takes the reader on one of these walks. We join him on the gravel driveway, past what he calls the “map of little mysteries” of his own property, onto a forest road, into a meadow and past the giant beaver pond. Along the way, Bateman writes about a painting he did for Birgit in 2009, inspired by what he calls an “Aha!” moment that happened during one of these daily walks. It was simply the sight of his wife up ahead, carrying an umbrella and “wistfully looking at the ground.”

It was “a very quiet and unspectacular moment, but full of meaning and the memory of so many hikes together,” the artist writes.

Read more at this link: http://calgaryherald.com/…/artist-robert-bateman-explores-c…

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Lest We Forget...

"Lest We Forget..."

Veteran Affairs minister vows to change how Ottawa treats returning soldiers
by Steven Chase, The Globe and Mail, Nov. 08, 2015

Read story here: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/…/veteran-a…/article27171466/

You're Not Alone

More info here: http://www.forces.gc.ca/…/caf-…/mental-health-resources.page

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Flood mitigation: Springbank reservoir selected to protect Calgary

Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi, standing next to Alberta Environment Minister Shannon Phillips, speaks to reporters about the planned Springbank reservoir flood-mitigation project. (Evelyne Asselin/CBC)

Flood mitigation: Springbank reservoir selected to protect Calgary

Environment Minister Shannon Phillips joined Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi to announce the project

via CBC News, October 26, 2015

Alberta will build a major reservoir in Springbank to protect Calgary from Elbow River flooding, the province has announced.

The move is sure to upset area landowners opposed to the project, but was welcomed by Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi.

Read more here:  http://www.cbc.ca/…/flood-diversion-plan-phillips-nenshi-1.…

Thursday, October 15, 2015

#Fight For Your Parks

Yesterday, October 14, was the CPAWS day of action to stop commercial projects in Banff and Jasper National Parks. Once they're developed there is no going back.

A group of individuals, scientists, business owners, First Nations, environmental organizations & former parks staff have rallied. To learn how you can still take part visit http://www.fightforyourparks.ca/

National park supporters hold day of action against commercialization

by Colette Derworiz, Calgary Herald, October 14, 2015

BANFF — A national day of action in the Fight for Your Parks campaign featured a rally of a couple dozen supporters in Banff on Wednesday.

The campaign, which was launched in Banff about a month ago, is designed to get Canadians to stand up against commercialization in Canada’s national parks — particularly in Banff and Jasper.

“Today marks a day of action where people across Canada can stand up and say enough is enough,” said Anne-Marie Syslak, executive director for the southern Alberta chapter of the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society.

It came after a report from CPAWS suggested national parks are under siege with the approvals of developments such as Maligne Lake in Jasper and the future expansion of the Lake Louise ski area in Banff.

Read more here: http://calgaryherald.com/…/national-park-supporters-hold-da…

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

IT’S MENTAL presented by AMELIA CURRAN (Calgary) - Oct 14


**Our grandson Morgan Paul ( Artist: Morgan M. Paul ) will be part of this event, coming up tomorrow! **

"...Morgan M. Paul’s autobiography Break From Reality is filled with short stories based on traumatic events leading up to his hospitalization. The result is a gripping, enlightening dramatic novel filled with bizarre and dangerous tales. His second book, A Lunatic’s Guide to Art, is a series of lists for overcoming mental illness, artist struggles and how to dominate your objectives. Morgan will also be creating a painting during the event, inspired by the live music. The painting will be auctioned off at the end of the evening..."

More information and ticket purchase here: 

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Province investigates allegations of environmental damage to Alberta’s Oldman River

A backhoe works in the Oldman River near Cowley, AB. Taken on Sept. 21.
Chris Davis / Pincher Creek Voice

Work in Oldman River prompts water concerns

by Erika Stark, Calgary Herald, October 2, 2015

Alberta Environment is investigating the extent of damage to the Oldman River after residents complained a local landowner was doing unapproved work in the river.

The landowner had approval under the Water Act to clean out a small withdrawal channel for irrigation upstream of the dam, but on Sept. 21, the department received a complaint about the work.

“We conducted a site inspection that day and determined that work had been conducted outside the scope of the approval,” said Envrionment spokesman Jamie Hanlon. “We ordered that all work cease at that moment.”

According to one resident, the landowner “tore up the entire river,” building a dike and changing the water’s path.

“The impact in the area where it is cannot be fixed,” said Dr. Alan Garbutt, who lives downstream. “The impact, down the stream, if there were spawning fish down there, can’t be fixed.

Read balance of Calgary Herald story here: http://calgaryherald.com/…/work-in-oldman-river-prompts-wat…

Read Global News story at this link: http://bit.ly/1L0OBqM

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

It's a beautiful day for a mental health checkup

Comedian Robin Williams suffered from depression and eventually committed suicide. TIZIANA FABI / AFP/Getty Images
1 in 5 fly fishers...

It's a beautiful day for a mental health checkup

by Karin Klassen, Calgary Herald, Oct 05, 2015

Today, on this most beautiful Alberta fall day, someone will go home to find the person they most love in this world, dead of something self-inflicted.

This devastating scene will play out close to 500 times this year in this province alone, maybe more with the bad economy. That’s the highest suicide rate in the country.

Anyone can join this club, and they do — across genders, cultures and ages — but the victim will probably be male, because they’re almost four times as likely to call it a day on their life, and with probably just 40 to 60 years spent on this Earth. Teenagers are also tragically welcome; it’s the most likely way they’ll leave their families behind to keep their rooms just as they were left, the day they “left.” In obituary terms, this is known as “died suddenly.”

As it turns out, people who feel desperate, do desperate things.

Today is National Depression Screening Day, and the Calgary Counselling Centre has provided an online link for you to take a free, anonymous screening test for this mental health issue that more than half a million people are treated for in Alberta every year.

Read more here: http://bit.ly/1GvuRrb

‪#‎NationalDepressionScreeningDay‬ | ‪#‎yyc‬ | Canadian Mental Health Association - Calgary Region

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Sunday, September 27, 2015

We Just Don't Get It!

The following was posted by Country Pleasures Fly Fishing. Given the subject, we took the liberty of including a photo from Keepemwet along with the the CP logo. We hope that neither will mind. :-) 

We Just Don't Get It!

This has been getting under my skin since early in July this summer..... with water levels running at about half of normal for most of the late spring and summer, and the resultant high water temperatures, why do we continue to see excessive handling of fish on the Bow River before they are released?

Since the temporary closure, water temperatures have been continuing to drop below critical and have been as low as 12 Celsius recently. But before the closure, when temps were approaching, and exceeding 20 Celsius there are guides/outfitters and recreational anglers posting all sorts of photos with fish held out of the water. What the heck are we doing? Do we want a healthy fishery in the future? Is it really that important to have that type of photo of a fish we have caught?

Given the tribulations that the Trout inhabiting the Bow River have endured of late, even with cooler water, shouldn't we be as careful as possible to quickly play, keep in the water, and then release these fish as quickly as we can?

I pretty much reached the tipping point on this on Tuesday of this week. While floating the Policeman's to Mac section we were overtaken by a guide/outfitter/shop owner who I thought was a proponent of proper fish handling and conservation practices. You would certainly think so by the sentiment expressed by this individual on multiple avenues of social media.

On two separate occasions, before moving on ahead and out of sight, I saw this individual land fish, pull over to the bank, and proceed to photograph the fish in different poses and angles for several minutes.
The second of these instances resulted in the fish being photographed for 14 minutes after it had been landed until it was released.

What the hell are we doing? As a group involved in this sport have we become so obsessed with our 15 minutes of social media fame that the fish that give us this enjoyment have to suffer the consequences?
As shop owners, shop employees, and guides, should we not take the initiative and knock this off?

Don't get me wrong, photographing the beauty of a fish is no different than photographing beautiful scenery, it's great to be able to go back and appreciate something special. But can't we do it quickly?, and photograph these fish while they remain in the water?

‪#‎KeepEmWet‬ | ‪#‎BowRiver‬ | ‪#‎flyfishing‬ | ‪#‎yyc‬

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Alberta Conservation Groups Launch Court Action Against Fisheries and Oceans Canada

Westslope Cutthroat Trout hold position in spawning habitat, 8 July 2012. These fish are part of a pure population introduced into Rawson Lake, Kananaskis Country. (Photo credit D. Mayhood)

Alberta Conservation Groups Launch Court Action Against Fisheries and Oceans Canada

News release, Sept 22, 2015

The Alberta Wilderness Association and Timberwolf Wilderness Society are taking the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans Canada to Federal Court over her failure to issue a critical habitat order for Alberta’s threatened population of westslope cutthroat trout. The order is required by law under the Species at Risk Act (SARA).

“The Minister’s critical habitat order, or an equivalent protection statement, has not been issued within the statutory time limit, and is now almost one year overdue,” says Brittany Verbeek, AWA Conservation Specialist.

The Environmental Law Clinic, operating in the University of Calgary’s Faculty of Law, filed the application with the Federal Court of Canada on Friday, 18 September 2015.

Read more here: http://hosted-p0.vresp.com/456864/afbd74ca31/ARCHIVE

H/T to Oldman River Chapter- Trout Unlimited Canada

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Commercial development causing a 'crisis' in national parks, says CPAWS

Commercial development causing a 'crisis' in national parks, says CPAWS

by Colette Derworiz, Calgary Herald, September 10, 2015

A new report (http://cpaws.org/…/cpaws-special-report-on-commercial-devel…) suggests there’s a crisis in Canada’s national parks, calling on Canadians to stand up against commercial developments such as an expansion plan at Lake Louise ski area in Banff and the proposed Maligne Lake resort in Jasper.

The report by the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society suggests national parks are under a growing threat.

“Canada’s national parks are part of the heart and soul of this country,” said Alison Woodley, national director of the CPAWS parks program. “They are our natural treasures and they belong to each and every one of us as Canadians, but private commercial development is putting our most special protected areas at risk.

“There’s a crisis in our national parks.”

Read more here: http://calgaryherald.com/…/commercial-development-causing-c…

‪#‎bowriver‬ | ‪#‎flyfishing‬ | ‪#‎yyc‬ | CPAWS Southern Alberta | CPAWS

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Morning paddle on the Bow River. See you at the #GlobeDebate #yyc

Morning paddle on the Bow River. See you at the Globe debate tonight!
Posted by Justin Trudeau on Thursday, September 17, 2015

 Nice to see Justin Trudeau out on our "home waters"! 

Monday, September 14, 2015

Bow River Basin Council (BRBC) - Quarterly Educational Forum - Sept 09, 2015

click on poster for larger image

Bow River Basin Council (BRBC) - Quarterly Educational Forum - Sept 09, 2015 

Last week, the BRBC held another very interesting education forum. 

Speakers on the agenda included Kevin Van Tigham, John Pemeroy and Judy Stewart. 

Following Kevin Van Tigham's retirement as superintendent of Banff National Park, the conservationist, fly fisherman, and author wrote the book he had been waiting his entire life to write — Heart Waters: Sources of the Bow River. http://calgaryherald.com/news/local-news/timely-book-takes-readers-on-a-journey-to-the-heart-of-the-bow-river

Tickets are now available for his official book launch on November 19, 2015. https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/heart-waters-sources-of-the-bow-river-tickets-18442459894

Professor John Pomeroy; Canada Research Chair in Water Resources & Climate Change, Director, Centre for Hydrology, University of Saskatchewan.

Professor Pomeroy's name is often in the news these days, especially it seems, since our 2013 flood. . For example, he's quoted in this recent Calgary Herald article "Water expert astonished by proposed location of CalgaryNEXT along Bow River" http://calgaryherald.com/news/local-news/water-expert-astonished-by-location-of-calgarynext-along-bow-river

Judy Stewart, Cochrane Environmental Action Committee. Judy is a passionate speaker on water issues, with a particular love for wetlands. Amongst other things, she notes that wetlands continue to dissapear at an alarming rate. For example, 90% of wetlands in Calgary have been destroyed.