Letters to the Editor

Respect and Best Wishes

Hats off to the fans of the Kootenay Ice during what has been a trying year for their beloved WHL franchise. As we all know the continued future of the franchise became clear during the early stages of this season. Once the ownership group finally came clean on their pending move many Ice fans had to come to terms with the finality of the Kootenay Ice in the WHL.

The fans did this in a most respectful manner toward the players , their families and the billet families. Volunteers did not abandon ship and continued their duties under trying circumstances out of respect for the players.

On Sunday afternoon it was evident during the game the respect the fans had for the players. The players returned that respect with a spirited effort. The player’s salute to the fans at the end of the game was emotional and sincere! It was evident the players enjoyed their time in Cranbrook and will have lasting memories of their time here.

It was one last chance for the players and the fans to come together and enjoy each other. The good people of Cranbrook and area will now move forward knowing they were good hosts for many fine players who donned the Kootenay Ice uniform. Great memories were formed over twenty one seasons . That will continue on in the hearts of many players and fans over the years in Cranbrook.

To the players on this Ice team, I wish you all the best in your future endeavours, thanks for entertaining us. You have been great ambassadors for Cranbrook and area.

John Hudak/Cranbrook

South Star Recreation

This is a response to Mr. Jones’s letter of March 13, 2019 regarding the South Star Recreation Area trails.

Mr. Jones begins his letter stating that the South Star trails should not border residential land – or that it should be left the way the proposal was explained to residents. The South Star recreational area has been functioning in its present form for many years. City parks are in residential areas. Recreational areas are on land that is outside of municipal jurisdiction, falling under — in this case — the Provincial Government.

It would be wrong to say that those families who have the financial resources, the ability and the desire to live on acreage in a rural area would not be able to use municipal parks and facilities simply because they have chosen to live outside city boundaries.

The same is true in the other direction … families and individuals who live in cities should be able to access and enjoy recreational activities in rural and wilderness areas designated by Regional Districts or the Province.

It’s unfortunate that some residents in the South Star area are unhappy – but that shouldn’t mean that they feel entitled to ignore the rights of others to enjoy those areas and ignore the requests for co-operative, respectful use.

The one area where I sympathise with Mr. Jones’s comments is when he addresses the parking issue.

I do feel that the two homes which are immediately adjacent to the road leading to the new parking area have, in the past, had to put up with lots of traffic and parking on that small stretch of the street. The parking lot, which is used in winter, has alleviated this problem. However, in the summer and fall the parking lot can’t be used because of the need to keep motorized traffic out of the area as it is a grazing area for cattle.

I think that a worthy project would be that the gate system used for security during open grazing season might be moved so that the security is still taken care of and the parking lot can be used in all seasons.

We all know what happens when areas can’t be secured behind gates — the motorized recreational users access them and the results of these activities are often a deterioration of the environment. There are responsible motorized vehicle users – but in many cases these folk are given a bad name by the irresponsible actions of a few bad eggs.

The issue of the use of the trails has become a frustration and very hot topic of late because the ski trails — which are groomed and maintained by the SS Recreation Society volunteers — have been effectively ruined on a number of occasions due to use by equestrians. The horses destroy the tracks which are set and their droppings make it very unsafe for skiers— particularly on the downhill return trip. The trails provide use by individuals who walk — both with and without dogs, snowshoers, cross-country skiers and fat tire bike riders.

Signage on the main information kiosk in the parking lot requests that those who want to ride horseback use other areas. These alternate areas may even be specified on the sign, but I can’t be sure of that. This is not a private ski club as Mr. Jones suggests but a recreational area designed for use for a variety of activities. I should point out here that I have never seen a biker attempting to ride on the groomed ski trails and most definitely the skiers don’t “get it all”!

It’s too bad that Mr. Jones can’t see the compelling argument that winter use has to be designated and respected. Suggesting that the South star Recreational area be moved or that there is actually room and compatibility for horses and skiers on the same trails is not a reasonable or practical idea. All we need to do is use common sense and everyone’s needs could be met.

Jan Gordon-Hooker/Cranbrook

Another Option to a Paved Trail at Idlewild?

I wonder if Cranbrook Rotary and JCI Kootenay have considered constructing a permeable trail rather than the more traditional paved one for the proposed Idlewild Ridge Trail, which includes access to viewing areas above Idlewild Lake?

I understand that there are a number of factors to consider in such an ambitious project including cost, but paved surfaces are non-permeable and tend to absorb heat where there is little vegetation or moisture to absorb the sun’s energy, as appears to be the case along that ridge.

Also one of the results of water running off a paved, impervious surface into a creek or lake on a warm day is that it will tend to be much warmer than the temperature of the water in the creek or lake, which can add to the stress of fish and aquatic creatures during a hot spell, not to mention raise the possibility of an algae bloom. Something else worth considering is water can’t soak naturally into the earth with paved surfaces, which may result in erosion of the bank as happened along the existing paved trail around the lake following an extreme weather event last summer.

I wish Cranbrook Rotary and JCI Kootenay well in their partnership to construct the Idlewild Ridge Trail, and will be happy to volunteer my time if I can be of assistance.

Stewart Wilson/Cranbrook

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