News for the XC Skiing World:



On May 13, 2022 DEMOCRATIZE Ab brought to the skiing community's attention that the Parks Canada capital budget has fallen significantly, relative to past years. This was reported by Mia Rabson of The Canadian Press. The Canadian Press News Release

The news release states: "The government's main estimates published this spring allocate a capital budget of $138 million, down from $448 million spent last year and $556 million in 2020-21."

This is a very significant reduction of spending.



On Feb 3, 2022 Marlaine and KHSC announced the following great news:

The Field Kicking Horse Ski Club would like to say “THANK YOU” to Parks Canada for their offer to continue on with the x-c trails that Kicking Horse Ski Club have done for over 30 years in Yoho-- starting next winter(2022-2023).

Jen Coffman, Denise, Bruce and Marlaine had a phone meeting with visitor experience manager Jed Cochrane and Julie Champagne on Monday morning. Jed disclosed the good news that "Parks will be carrying on the work that KHSC has done". The Club is very please with the outcome of the phone conversation. Everyone we spoke to is so happy that the ski trail will continue on-- and with Parks.

Go ahead and give your thanks to Parks.... And to Joe when you see him on the sled. And on Jen’s behalf --to all those that participated in an efforts to keep the trails going, their letters were testament to how important winter activities are in Yoho. Thank you. Looking forward to skiing more and seeing you on these beautiful trail. Marlaine & Bruce & Denise

On Oct 29, 2021 Ken Hewitt provided the XC skiing community with an update regarding the usage of funds obtained in 2020-21 from Kananaskis parking passes:

2020-21 Kananaskis Parking Funds.

During the 2020/2021 winter season, funds from the sale of parking passes and public donations enabled Nordiq Alberta to reimburse Alberta Environment and Parks (AEP) for the cost of ski trail grooming, and we were left with a surplus of funds to further sustain and enhance ski trails. In March, readers of the SkierBob blog contributed suggestions for the use of the surplus fund, and this post provides an update on the fund uses to date.

Over the summer, a small committee from Nordiq Alberta and AEP have considered a variety of proposals and moved ahead with funding a few specific projects. The funds were accessed to

a) Provide a new trail signage system at Mt. Shark which will be installed this fall,

b) Build signage tools for use in other cross country ski areas of Kananaskis, primarily Peter Lougheed Park,

c) Purchase of new grooming equipment for Sandy McNabb and Bragg Creek

d) Acquire a new snow machine to replace the aging equipment at Ribbon Creek.

e) Install wifi in Pocaterra Hut (still in progress - see photo)

Suggestions for grooming of new or older de-commissioned trails were considered but, in the end, NOT funded since such activities would not be sustainable in the long term with the one-time funding currently available.

Ken Hewitt

403-680-4141



The following historical reports are from SkierBob.ca:

Kananaskis Conservation Pass

The final results of the CTV poll question, “Do you support user fees for Kananaskis Country?” were 1509-1415 in favour. 52% – 48%.

The CBC Eyeopener podcast from April 28 has a segment on
Pay-to-Play in Kananaskis.



Statement from Bragg Creek Trails re: Kananaskis Conservation Pass:

Alberta Environment and Parks (AEP) Minister Jason Nixon announced the details of a Kananaskis Conservation Pass on April 27th. The pass will help pay for conservation, public safety, and services. It will take effect starting on June 1, 2021.

Bragg Creek Trails (BCT) is pleased to see that trail stewardship and access to public lands continues to be a focus of this government during a time of provincial financial constraint. The pledge to reinvest 100% of the collected fees back into K-Country infrastructure and services in response to the increased public demand will ensure the long term sustainability of this precious area.

In his address, Minister Nixon mentioned maintaining partnerships with nonprofit organizations such as BCT. BCT is dedicated to trail and environmental stewardship activities and relies heavily on grants and donations to operate. It is reasonable to expect that implementation of a user fee will result in most of that private funding to BCT evaporating.

The details around how partnership agreements will be implemented and funded moving forward have not been discussed with us yet. We look forward to building this new model with AEP to ensure the existing services provided by BCT remain sustainable well into the future. As the details become available, BCT will provide further updates to all BCT members and donors.

Sincerely,
Conrad Schiebel
BCT President



$90 fee to access Kananaskis Country

“The pass will support the continued grooming of xc ski trails” – Jason Nixon

Effective June 1, The Kananaskis Conservation Pass will be required for vehicles entering K-Country.

It will go by your licence plate and you can include two vehicles for the fee.

A $15 day pass is also an option. The good news is that we won’t have to pay extra for ski grooming.

It costs the provincial government $107 million to provide recreation, conservation, and public safety services in K-Country. The pass is expected to bring in $15 million.

Kananaskis Emergency Services responded to 428 calls for help last year, a 51% yearly increase.

The announcement includes $1 million for upgrades to the Canmore Nordic Centre.

Visitor Centres will be re-opened.

Among those exempt from the fee will be low-income earners and First Nations people.

You can watch a video of the news conference.

CBC has a story Alberta to charge $90 annual fee for Kananaskis Country…. “the Kananaskis Conservation Pass will allow the government to invest $11.5 million in K-Country. That will include trail maintenance, search and rescue operations, visitor services and the upkeep of facilities at day-use areas and campgrounds. “

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