CALGARY HERALD                                                                                        July 22, 1998

 W A T E R   V A L L E Y   D E V E L O P M E N T
Neighbors say road affects flow of stream
Calgary Herald

    The province is investigating complaints that a developer is altering water flow in the Water valley area with a road he built on his land. 
    At issue is whether the road affects water flow, and, the fact Robin Stewart didn't get a permit to build it, said Ray Kerber, a manager with Alberta Environment's natural resources service. 
    Kerber said Stewart must halt work that could affect water flow in the area 60 kilometres northwest of Calgary while the investigation is on-going. 
    Stewart has now applied for a permit at the request of the department 
   Douglas Meyers, who owns ... land "downstream" from Stewart's land, said the road had changed Stoney Creek which runs  through this land. 
    "It was a nice, clear blue stream. You could drink out of it", said Meyers, adding it is now cloudy with silt, and the water level has dropped. 
    Robin Stewart countered that he put his log road on the marshland, where water doesn't flow unless it rains, and then it flows in two directions. 
    Stewart said Stoney Creek starts from spring water farther west on his land, not from the marshy area where the road is. 
    Stewart said he will put a culvert under his road, as the department requests. He said an investigator told him at the site that he didn't need a permit, but called the next day to tell him to get one. 

    "We are in discussions with Mr. Stewart to hopefully legalize whatever he's doing," said Kerber. 
    The area is the site of Winchell Coulee, an environmentally sensitive area that is rich in wildlife, including beaver, deer and moose. 
    Stewart, a businessman who lives in Rocky Mountain House, bought his 280 acres about three years ago. It includes the marshland where he put the log road, a nearby slope, where he clear-cut trees to build the road, and land he plans for a campground. 
    The Meyers family has owned its land about 30 years. Meyers is a vet who works and lives in Cochrane and has a cow-calf operation on his land. 
    Kerber said the investigation will determine which way the water drainage and, whether it affects Winchell Lake. The lake is well-known as a quality fly-fishing lake for trout.
    This is not the first controversy in the Water Valley area. 
    Landowners earlier staged a court battle to block Stewart's bid to have his agricultural land rezoned for residential. They lost. The valley with the road is downhill from the residential development. 
    "It seems like I can't turn around on that property ... without everyone else becoming involved," said Stewart. "I could bulldoze every damn tree in there and put cows in. At this point, it's getting tempting," he said. 

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