WaterValley, Alberta                                                                                                                         July,1998

Water Valley area residents have expressed shock and deep concern over  recent activities in Winchell Coulee.

Portions of the south-facing slope of the Coulee have been clear-cut of trees. The beaver dams at the western end appear to have been dismantled and dredged to drain  the wetlands. Soil, trees and other debris have been pushed into the Coulee to create road access to the north-facing slope.

Flow rates in Stoney Creek have been affected. Local farmers and other landowners have found Stoney Creek muddy and flowing  erratically. Contaminants such as diesel fuel have been been detected.
Alberta Environmental Protection, in response to a complaint  by downstream agricultural operations, have  investigated and found the following:

Winchell Lake Drained for Campground?

The County of MountainView has not yet approved redesignation of the land from Agricultural to Recreational land use. They have not approved the  campground/snowmobile facility. However, plans to drain portions of Winchell Coulee suggest that the campground may be going ahead regardless of the necessary approvals and community input.

If all of this comes as a surprise – it shouldn’t. Winchell Coulee residents have fought to preserve the water resources, wildlife habitat and natural beauty of the Coulee. We are now facing an important turning point in this conflict.

What is at Stake?


Many of us rely on drainage from Winchell Coulee via the Stoney and Little Dogpound creeks for agricultural and other commercial purposes. Alteration of this drainage may have a significant negative impact on these landuses.


The Coulee is a wildlife habitat. The area is a refuge for bear, moose, deer, elk and many species of birds including the great blue heron, the common loon, the sandhill crane and the great horned owl.


According to Trouts Unlimited the spring fed waters of Winchell lake make it one of the best fly-fishing spots for rainbow trout in the province. Success of the regular fish stocking program may be jeporidized by altered drainage patterns.

What Happens Next?

Alberta Environment has asked the landowner to apply for a permit to continue his activity in the Coulee.

To obtain the permit he must advertise in the local newspaper - the MountainView Times - for two consecutive weeks.The notice must indicate how and where residents can voice their concerns about his activity.

What Can I  Do?

You can do the following this week:

What Do I Say When I Call/Write?

To Alberta Environmental Protection and Provincial Politicians:
  To County of MountainView:  
Please find the time to express your concerns. If Alberta Environment and the County of Mountain View do not hear from you,  the permit application will go unchallenged.
If the permit is approved, you can expect that the campground/snowmobile trail
 will also be approved.

Thank you for your support.

 We need your help to protect the Coulee!

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