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Adventure for Wilderness – Save the Rosebud Valley

Saturday, July 6, 2024
9 a.m.
Rosebud, AB
by donation


The Rosebud River Valley is an ecological marvel. Come experience it for yourself.

The valley is in an area of Alberta subject to intense agriculture and oil and gas development. Despite those cumulative impacts, the valley, and the Rosebud River itself, maintain a level of biodiversity unparalleled in Southern Alberta.

A Racetrack is proposed for lands along the Rosebud River. The project is massive in scope and impact, and in an otherwise undeveloped and pristine part of Alberta. Its construction will change the ecology of the entire valley, irreparably altering its biodiversity.

A provincial Water Act approval was issued to enable the massive stormwater plan and destruction of wetlands for the racetrack development. Members of Save the Rosebud, a group of local landowners, farmers, conservationists, photographers and concerned residents and business owners from Rosebud, appealed. But the Alberta Environmental appeals board upheld the approval.

This May, the group applied for judicial review of the decisions by the Alberta Environmental Appeals Board and the Minister of Environment and Protected Areas. The judicial review application also alleges that the appointment of Board members created a “reasonable apprehension of bias” because the members were appointed to ensure that “[the Badlands Motorsports Resort near Rosebud] can proceed”.

“We have a lot more to say and we have a lot more fight in us,” says Rick Skibsted. “We’re going to see this through to the end and we’re looking forward to the whole story coming out and for a Court Justice to take a hard look at what was done here.”

So what is in this tiny prairie valley worth fighting for? The ecological integrity and importance of the Rosebud River Valley is highlighted by the fact that it provides habitat to four species listed under the Species at Risk Act: the bank swallow, barn swallow, little brown myotis and northern leopard frog.

The valley is also home to numerous species deemed sensitive by the Province of Alberta, including the short-eared owl, northern harrier, prairie falcon, sprague’s pipit, common yellowthroat, American badger and plains rough fescue.

Recognizing the importance of the Rosebud River Valley to the community, local land owners and non-governmental organizations placed conservation easements on a large portion of the valley and watershed, surrounding the portion that is under consideration for the racetrack development. This is an extraordinary conservation achievement and a real example of Albertans’ commitment to preserving our natural environment.

We hope you will join us for a tour of the area (exclusive access through private lands), especially for you to experience the beauty of this special place and learn about its importance and what you can do to stop this development and conserve this ecological gem for generations to come.

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