Glenbow Ranch Park Foundation Opposed to Possibility of Dam on East End of Park

A reservoir on the east end of Glenbow Ranch Provincial Park is one of three proposals being considered to build additional flood and drought storage on the Bow River. Photo courtesy of Linda Vick.

Article written by Noel Edey of Cochrane Now

The Glenbow Ranch Park Foundation (GRPF) is concerned a new reservoir may be developed on the east end of Glenbow Provincial Park by the Alberta government and is asking park supporters to voice opposition.

A series of open houses have been announced by Alberta Environment and Parks to examine three options being considered to build additional flood and drought storage capacity on the Bow River.

It has been narrowed down to developing new projects near Morley or on the east end of the Glenbow Ranch Provincial Park or decommissioning the existing Ghost Dam and building a new one 2.5 km downstream, then expanding the size of its existing reservoir. Both the Morley and Glenbow East options would see the construction of a dam and the creation of a new reservoir.

A letter from GRPF executive director Sarah Parker has alerted park users to just how devastating it would be for the reservoir to be located at the east end of the park. She is encouraging people to attend one of the upcoming open houses and speak up on the importance of the park.

“We understand that protection from flood and drought is an increasing concern for Albertans and know first hand what devastation flooding can bring to the land. However, it appears clear to us that the negative impacts the proposed Glenbow Reservoir option has on the many environmental and social assets of the park warrant our strong opposition to this option.”

GRPF fears the reservoir would impact the ecological riches and wildlife habitat of the park as well as decrease recreational opportunities. The park is also home to many cultural and historical sites.

“It is for all these reasons that we are vigorously opposed to this option. It is important to get out in front of this issue now while it is in the conceptual study phase.”

A full report is expected from consultants in January and a decision is expected by March on whether or not to proceed with a feasibility study.

The first open house was held at the Cochrane RancheHouse, 101 RancheHouse Rd., on Sept. 30. The last one will be at the RockPointe Church, 255024 Lochend Rd., on Tuesday, October 15, from 4 to 8 p.m.*

Potential flood and drought storage projects on the Bow River were identified in a May 2017 report produced by the Bow River Working Group. AEP has since commissioned Wood Environment & Infrastructure Solutions to study the reservoir options.

*You can also share your thoughts online:

BBWMO Info Sessions
BBWMO Brochure
GRPF’s Full Letter

This article was shared with the us by the Glenbow Ranch Park Foundation.