A brown trout in the Raven River system north of Sundre. (Contributed photo from William Young).

A brown trout in the Raven River system north of Sundre. (Contributed photo from William Young).

Emotions run high at public meeting about a proposed gravel pit near Raven River trout stream

Conservationists fear for brown trouts’ survival

Passions ran high at a meeting between conservationists and the Red Deer company wanting to extract gravel near a Raven River trout stream.

About 140 people from across Alberta attended the gathering at the Butte Community Hall on Thursday to learn more about Border Paving plans to excavate gravel from below the water table for use in road projects.

Kevin Gardiner of the Alberta Conservation Association said many people got emotional at the thought of possible siltation and warming of a world-famous brown trout fishing stream.

Millions of dollars and volunteer hours were spent improving habitat along this waterway, and anglers fear this will be wasted if a gravel mine disturbs the flow of groundwater that flows into the spring-fed Raven River north of Sundre.

“There was a passionate cry from some people that they didn’t want the project at all,” said Gardiner.

Gravel pit proposal raises concerns

He personally felt “underwhelmed” by the research presented by geological consultants, but he admitted they couldn’t fully present their case because they had to answer a steady stream of questions from the audience.

“I would say there was very strong resistance (to the project), and both sides had dug in,” Gardiner added.

Kate Walls, a co-owner of Border Paving, agreed with this general assessment.

She said she felt “scared” by the anger and loudness of some of the opinions expressed, as well as the entrenched mindset of some opponents to the project.

“There was a lot of just arguing; somebody says ‘black’ and someone else says ‘white.’”

Walls maintains her company doesn’t want to harm the environment or wildlife and is willing to work with experts and conservationists to take mitigating measures.

The company proposes to extract gravel from two quarter sections across the road from the Raven River. Walls said Border Paving would start excavating on the side furthest from the river while monitoring water conditions.

Holding this week’s meeting was the first step in the process. The next step will be filing an application with Clearwater County, along with a report that details how the company intends to respond to public concerns.

Walls expects to take several months to make this submission.


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Sarah Tittemore, interim chair of the city’s systems leadership team, announces the start-up of a one-year pilot project. A Social Diversion team will be dispatched to deal with non-emergency disturbances in the city through making a 211 call. (Screenshot by Advocate staff).
New Social Diversion team starts up in Red Deer to deal with non-emergency disturbances

A nurse and social services expert will be deployed to assist after calling 211

Sgt. Andrew Harnett, 37, of the Calgary Police Service is shown inthis undated handout image provided by the police service. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Calgary Police Service
Bail hearing continues today for teen accused in Calgary officer’s hit-and-run death

CALGARY — A bail hearing for a teen accused in the hit-and-run… Continue reading

President Donald Trump speaks near a section of the U.S.-Mexico border wall, Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021, in Alamo, Texas. (Delcia Lopez/The Monitor via AP)
Trump bids farewell to Washington, hints of comeback

‘We will be back in some form’

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is seen during a news conference in Ottawa, Friday, January 15, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada in touch with Biden admin about disputed oil pipeline

Premier Jason Kenney says ‘rescinding the Keystone XL border crossing permit would damage the Canada-US bilateral relationship’

B.C. to still administer second doses despite loss of Pfizer shipment next week: Dix

VANCOUVER — British Columbia’s health minister says the province is still on… Continue reading

A view of the stage on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2021, ahead of the 59th Presidential Inauguration on Wednesday. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, Susan Walsh, Pool
Canadians tune in to Joe Biden inauguration amid pandemic threat, violence concerns

TORONTO — Canadians tuned in Wednesday with a mixture of relief and… Continue reading

The constituency office of Derek Sloan, Conservative MP for Hastings-Lennox and Addington is show in Belleville, Ont., on Tuesday Jan. 19, 2021. Sloan says he’ll fight efforts by his party’s leader to boot him from caucus. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Lars Hagberg
Expelling Derek Sloan from Conservative caucus not entirely up to Erin O’Toole

OTTAWA — Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole wants Derek Sloan booted out of… Continue reading

Early morning fire destroys grocery and retail store in Igloolik, Nunavut

A fire has destroyed a grocery and retail store in Igloolik, Nunavut.… Continue reading

Parliamentary Budget Officer Yves Giroux waits to appear before the Commons finance committee on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Tuesday March 10, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
PBO says reformed fiscal stabilization program to cost Ottawa $4.5 billion

OTTAWA — Reforms to a federal support program for provinces will nearly… Continue reading

Bank of Canada Governor Tiff Macklem takes part in a news conference at the Bank of Canada in Ottawa on December 15, 2020. Canada’s central bank will update its economic forecast for the country that will offer a window when it expects a recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic to take hold. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Bank of Canada keeps key rate at 0.25 per cent, warns of economic decline in 2021

OTTAWA — The Bank of Canada says the national economy will go… Continue reading

President-elect Joe Biden speaks during a COVID-19 memorial, with lights placed around the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool, Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
Sighs of relief accompany a sense of unease as Biden takes oath, Trump departs D.C.

WASHINGTON — Relief, apprehension and a touch of pandemic-tinged festivity washed over… Continue reading

FIL - In this Nov. 7, 2020, file photo Vice President-elect Kamala Harris speaks in Wilmington, Del. Harris will make history Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021, when she becomes the nation’s first Black, South Asian and female vice president. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File)
Vice-President Harris: A new chapter opens in US politics

Harris moves into the vice presidency just four years after arriving in Washington as a California senator

Most Read