Beef up wildlife ranks

To the West Country slobs, venturing from their city dens on the long weekends into the pristine wilderness of the Eastern Slopes, then leaving behind a mini-landfill of garbage and devastation to sensitive wildlife habitat in their wake.

Dart…

To the West Country slobs, venturing from their city dens on the long weekends into the pristine wilderness of the Eastern Slopes, then leaving behind a mini-landfill of garbage and devastation to sensitive wildlife habitat in their wake.

And a double dart to the province which appears it couldn’t care less about what’s happening out there, refusing to beef up its contingent of wildlife officers to properly reign in the rowdies.

Fuelled by booze, and whatever else these Neanderthals choose to alter their brains, they are a major menace and a threat to the West County.

This behaviour can no longer be tolerated. It demands the province address the problem by increasing the number of wildlife officers to patrol these areas where thousands of other legitimate campers are seeking solitude from an hectic world in the cities.

Premier Ed Stelmach has preached one of Alberta’s blessings is its tourist industry. His pamphlets boast of pristine wilderness areas and lakes teaming with fish so eager to bite you have to hide behind a tree to put a fly or lure on your line.

But those glossy brochures don’t show the war zones after a long week: campsites littered with garbage, human feces, puke, used condoms, empty booze containers and ATV trails slicing through sensitive forest habitat.

Cutis Thomas, a foreman at the Husky Ram River gas plant, is among those who like to spend their quiet weekends in the wilderness. But when the long weekends roll in it’s Hurricane Katrina, West County style.

“On the long weekends here, it’s a convoy eight hours long of campers and quads and whatnot, heading out into the West Country. That’s the worst time . . . the long weekends . . .”, said Thomas. “ . . . it’s just an ungodly, unsightly mess. The whole thing is total lack of respect for the wilderness you’re out to enjoy.”

A member of Thomas’s crew was recently so disgusted with one trashed campground, he marched out there, and with the help of another person, filled up three large garbage bags. But that’s the government’s responsibility.

It’s time to start seeing the forests for the trees. If we want to boast of pristine camping opportunities, we need to add some muscle to wilderness patrols.


Bouquet…

To the Alix Wagon Wheel Museum that recently set aside a special spot in its displays honouring one of that area’s most famous citizens: Irene Parlby.

And a bouquet to Dow Chemicals, which provided a grant to help the museum board make the appropriate salute to such an honourable lady.

Parlby helped champion the rights of women, becoming the second woman in the British Empire to achieve a Cabinet post after she entered the male-dominated turf of politics. Her drive, compassion and determination for equality inspired a movement that opened the eyes of so many blinded by ignorance and archaic tradition.

Also deserving recognition is the community and area in which Parlby planted her roots, and inspired her to reach for the moon.

Since its inception, Alix, and the surrounding rural community, has been blessed with citizens whohave worked hard to uphold an old-fashion tradition of pulling together. Parlby reflected that drive.

It’s a community that strives to put at the forefront what really counts in life – family, camaraderie, and good friends.


Dart…

To the consultant for Health Ontario, who claimed $2.98 for a can of pop and a muffin on her expense account, while being paid $2,700 a day for whatever advice she was handing out to the government.

Are the Ontario taxpayers mad? Ask this: “Do geese fly south for the winter?”

Such ridiculous claims at the expense of taxpayers have put Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty in the hot seat.

Good grief. Ontario, like the rest of Canada, is going through tough times. Yet, its government hires ultra-expensive consultants allowed to claim frivolous expenses. Such was the recent case with the $2,700-per-day health consultant at the Richtree Market in College Park in Toronto who consumed that muffin and soda. Was it healthy? Ask her, she’s the high-paid expert.

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