Two of the proposed AltaLink Western Alberta Transmission line routes pass either through or along the edge of environmentally significant areas near Pine Lake.
Although some of this land has been acquired by conservation groups such as the Nature Conservancy of Canada and Ducks Unlimited, most of this land is privately owned and has been maintained to a large extent in its natural state.
After the first stage of public consultation last winter, I emailed AltaLink expressing my opposition to the proposed route along the east edge of a quarter section of land which I partly own and which is effectively part of a larger natural area.
The reply I received stated “where possible, we avoid infringing on areas like yours,” which was acknowledged as “environmentally sensitive.”
One of the new route segments proposed in this current second stage of public consultation goes right through the environmentally significant area, as opposed to along the edge.
The required right of way, 55 metres wide and approximately 19 km long, represents about 260 acres of environmentally significant land.
I understand that landowners don’t want the AltaLink transmission line in their backyards, but proposing to run the line through an environmentally sensitive area is a poor alternative.
As evidenced by the Rethink Alberta campaign, we have a bad environmental reputation internationally.
I suggest we get really serious about reducing our energy consumption and supporting green alternatives rather than building another transmission line whose energy source is likely to be coal-fired generators.