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AWA Opposition to Helipad at Base of Mount Yamnuska

June 28, 2017

Honourable Shannon Phillips
Minister of Environment and Parks

RE: Helipad at Base of Mount Yamnuska

Dear Minister Phillips,

Alberta Wilderness Association (AWA) is writing to state our opposition to the proposal from Rockies Heli Canada to build a helipad at the base of Mount Yamnuska. Founded in 1965, AWA works throughout Alberta towards more representative and connected protection of the unique and vital landscapes that are the source of our clean water, clean air, and wildlife habitat. With more than 7,000 members and supporters in Alberta and across Canada, AWA remains committed to ensuring protection of wildlife and waters in Alberta.

It has come to our attention that your Ministry is currently reviewing the application from Rockies Heli Canada to build a helipad at the base of Mount Yamnuska, which is located within Prime Protection and Critical Wildlife Zones as designated by the Eastern Slopes Policy. AWA believes there should be no commercial or non-essential helicopter activity over protected lands or lands zoned as Prime Protection, Critical Wildlife, and ESA (environmentally significant areas).

We believe that the use of helicopters especially for commercial and recreational purposes is often incompatible with non-motorized recreational users and the requirements and behavior of wildlife.

This area is beloved and used by many and already experiences significant helicopter use and noise pollution from nearby existing helicopter tours. Additional traffic and extreme noise pollution may negatively impact not only those wishing to enjoy this area, but will also aid in further fragmenting this critical wildlife corridor.

To conclude, AWA is not supportive of this development as we believe it is not appropriate for Prime Protection and Critical Wildlife Zones and may pose negative impacts on wildlife and recreationists in the area. We respectfully urge your Ministry to reject this proposal.

With regards,

Joanna Skrajny, Conservation Specialist

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