Cattle graze winter pasture in the foothills of the Canadian Rockies near Longview, Alta. on Jan. 8, 2004. Concern over the provincial government’s decision to drop a coal policy that has protected the eastern slopes of the Rockies for decades is growing among area communities. At least six cities, towns and municipal districts in southwest Alberta have now expressed concern about the decision and the fact it was made with no consultation. The latest is Longview, where mayor Kathie Wight is drafting a letter to the government opposing the move. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh

Cattle graze winter pasture in the foothills of the Canadian Rockies near Longview, Alta. on Jan. 8, 2004. Concern over the provincial government’s decision to drop a coal policy that has protected the eastern slopes of the Rockies for decades is growing among area communities. At least six cities, towns and municipal districts in southwest Alberta have now expressed concern about the decision and the fact it was made with no consultation. The latest is Longview, where mayor Kathie Wight is drafting a letter to the government opposing the move. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh

More southern Alberta communities voice concern over province’s plans to expand coal

Concern over the Alberta government’s decision to drop a coal policy that has protected the eastern slopes of the Rockies for decades is growing among area communities

At least six cities, towns and municipal districts in southwest Alberta have now expressed concern about the decision and the lack of consultation.

The latest is Longview, where mayor Kathie Wight is drafting a letter to the government opposing the move.

Others, such as Black Diamond and Clearwater County, plan to discuss the issue at upcoming meetings after hearing concerns from residents.

Lethbridge, High River and Nanton, as well as Foothills and Ranchlands County, have already written letters to the province or made public statements of concern.

The Municipality of Crowsnest Pass supports the one mine now before an environmental review, although mayor Blair Painter says council hasn’t considered the larger issue of the coal policy.

Almost all members of the legislature from those communities are from the governing United Conservative Party.

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