Monthly Archives: July 2009

Alberta Wild Horses in Danger

Wild horses in Alberta you say? I’m sure some of you didn’t realize they still existed. They are in a constant struggle to survive, and their numbers are becoming weaker by the day. Their are no laws in Canada protecting this important part of our Western Canadian heritage.

In the United States, their is Federal law for the protection of wild horses. Even our often disagreed with neighbour to the south is doing something to protect a sacred part of their western heritage.

In 1971, the Free-Roaming Wild Horse, and Burro Act was created. The bylaw has a strong backbone as anyone caught breaking the law will have severe penalties placed upon there actions.

There are a multitude of groups who help the Americans protect their wild horses. They realize these Wild horses are a viable resource, and an integral part of there American heritage. Horses broke the land, hauled produce, and helped harvest our forests, and crops.

Cattle ranchers would have been nearly helpless without the horse, not to mention these beauties were the only form of transportation in those times. I’m sure horses saved many lives.

My grandmother had pneumonia as a child, but a Doctor was able to take a horse in the middle of a cold Manitoba blizzard to provide the medicinal treatments that saved her life. These pristine beauties deserve our thanks, not a bullet.

These horses delivered coal, and water to farm yards. Walk in any museum, and you will see that nearly every picture symbolizing early western life, shows a horse.

Wild horses present a great value to future generations, and should be recognized for their service to Canada. Do we not give great honour to veterans who provided freedom for the future. These horses went to war for us, and without them, civilization would not be the same.

Wild horses are a valuable piece of Alberta, and should have our protection, much like the grizzly bear, elk, deer, and sheep. We have forgotten about that four legged beauty who forded the survival of our ancestors when they first set foot on Canadian soil.

Columbus introduced these horses to North America in 1493, and by the late 1500’s, horses were a major part of plains life. In 1630, the first horse was brought into what is now Alberta, by the Blackfoot Indians, and by the 1800’s, horses were a common site.

John McDougal, a missionary, documents that horses were prayed upon by wolves in the areas between the North Saskatewan, and Oldman rivers. We are at fault for the drastic reduction of the wolf, and wild horse populations.

The governments only plan to save the caribou population was to kill off numerous wolves, but if their were enough wild horses, the wolves natural food source, the caribou population would no longer be in danger. Wolves are now forced to go outside their usual food sources to survive, and that’s causing a larger mess to our food chain.

Government officials approach the wild horses plight with apathy, and indifference. Some experts say that the wild horse takes away from the food sources of the deer, elk, and moose, but an expert on the subject has experienced something quite different in conducting research for his new book, “The Last Wild Mustangs.”

Renowned Photojournalist, and long time wild horse enthusiast “Patrice Halley, has seen barren slopes covered with hard crusted snow without a trace of another animal. Wild horses come in with their broad hooves, and break the frozen crusted snow, pawing for feed. The deer, and elk follow to get at the food they wouldn’t have been able to reach with their small hooves.

Watching a deer run into the safety of a herd of horses to escape a predator is also worth nothing, and that unselfish nature has been a part of the temperament of any horse throughout time. It’s clear horses have a high capacity for caring, and accept there role in society. A horse is no less a man’s best friend, than a dog is.

Wild horses are an important food source to wolves, who are growing in numbers so much that the government has requested over a hundred wolves to be shot to help with the caribou recovery plan.

The government states that wild horses are feral, strays, which don’t belong in the area, but history contradicts this.

If you would like to provide your support for these beautiful, strong animals, contact the Wild Horses of Alberta Society or visit their website at http://www.northernhorse.com

In 1985, there were over a thousand Free-roaming horses in Alberta. Today, less than 300 remain.

Summer, a time of new possibilities.

The snow has melted, and the warm summer air is upon us once again. For many, the summer is a time to hope, and search for romance. The hot sun seems to give everyone a pleasant disposition, and heightens any sense of attraction you may feel.

I’m a guy, so lets face it. When that hot sun is blazing, and you see someone you find attractive doing everyday things, it drives you crazy, because the heat wave is similar to a Doctor pumping pharamone’s into your body. Ladies want to see manly legs exposed to the elements, and tanned arms, so you know those summer toxin’s, very well.

New couples walking around the park, hands swinging with that crazy Lethbridge wind. Flowing conversation, smiles, and picking up doggy doodoo after Happy the Westie drops a deuce, are all part of the intoxication of my favorite season. With dating on the minds of many, here’s where you should go when you want to make a lasting first impression.

A: A dog park is forever endearing in the hearts of women who won’t tolerate you leaving the toilet lid up, but will gladly scoop up a bag of poo. Go here, and you sure to find a more open, friendly crowd. Even better if you have a dog yourself. It shows your willing to give up some of your time, and you can handle the responsibility of looking after someone other than yours truly.

B: Take a trip to the mountains or anywhere that you can escape from the hustle, and bustle of city life. You will both feel enthralled by going on an adventure.

C: If you have secret spots located within the city, take her to one of them. Tell her why you like that particular spot. It will make her feel more included in the date, and you’ll feel even more comfort from your place of solitude. You might want to save this for the second date.

D: Take her to a local park. Bring a blanket, and a snack. Bubbly is optional. Then make sure you have a great book full of short stories. You can take turns reading to each other, and you’ll both enjoy the new experience.

E: Take a dance lesson or any, one day course. Even if you two don’t feel a spark, you’ll be learning a new skill. There are other single people taking these courses. This gives you an automatic wing-man for those moments when you feel like you have nothing to say, but should speak. Great first date.

F: If you have heard the expression, “try something new, as often as you can, and live in the moment.”, you can’t pick a better time to express yourself than now. Do something crazy, and if nothing else, it will be a rewarding experience, creating a priceless memory. You’ll both be turned on, but it takes two people who are open to the mantra of going for it.

No matter what, have fun, let loose, enjoy the summer of love, and acuna-matata, “no-worries.”

Raymond hosts 12th Annual National Amateur Motocross Championship

The 12th Annual Western Canadian Amateur Motocross Championship took place at Temple Hill motorcycle track in Raymond, Alberta. Over the four day race weekend, competitors came from all parts of Western Canada, and the United States to determine the best rider in the west.

The four day race weekend taking place over Canada Day, and the 4th of July celebrations, is dubbed as the biggest amateur motocross competition in western Canada. This years event showcased riders from the age of four to 65 years old competing in 31 different classes from 50cc peewee to 450cc pros.

The 1.8 km track sports natural high speed whoops, off-camber corners, and massive jumps with smooth landings. Temple Hill’s rugged nature becomes apparent when even the straight-away’s are rough, chopped out with constant changes in elevation, including one of the gnarliest up hills in Canada. Known to riders as ,“The Equalizer.”

The first ever nationals drew 150 amateur entries, and 98 pro entries. The number of riders, and classes has grown since then, and this year around 800 athletes were a part of the competition.

Temple Hill was originally allocated for a Mormon Alberta Temple, but when it came time to building they discovered that the hill was mostly composed of sand, and would not support the weight of the temple.

That did not stop riders from noticing the hills potential, and soon after, staked its claim as a great place to ride a dirt-bike. That cool Canadian Rockies air, and mild weather patterns, including 300 days of sunshine each year, makes riding at Temple Hill ideal under the clear blue skies.

Locals Nellie and Rens Visser played an important part in the tracks history by arranging for the Lethbridge Motorcycle Club to use Temple Hill as their new riding venue.

In no time, Lethbridge Motorcycle Club signed a lease with the town of Raymond for 20 acres of land. The LMC then purchused an additional 10 acres of land, adjacent to the main area.

Enthusiasm for Temple Hill picked up quickly, and the track has been known as a riders paradise ever since. The conditions are perfect for amateur riders to show their skills to the sponsors, and ride like the pros at the Western Canadian Amateur Nationals.

A special mention should go out to the meticulous efforts of Garry Nelson, who spends countless hours grooming, watering, and sculpting the course into the best track in motor sports. Thanks to Nelson’s diligence, the track is used by amateur, and professional riders year long.

A new annual award was introduced at the event, “The Top End Promotions Inc. Heart Award.” This year the award focused on racing families, and the recipients were Trevor and Renee Turner’s family from Barons, AB.

The event’s big winner was Fort St. John, BC’s, Trae Franklin. The 14 year old KTM rider dominated in the Super Mini, Junior and GP Junior classes the entire week. Franklin won all nine races he entered, and took home the coveted Gaerne Bronze Boot award for the event’s top rider. “Trae Franklin was as good as we have seen at Raymond in all the years we have done the event. He was the best rider here, and deserves the recognition.” said Nelson.

The Gaerne Bronze Boot award is given to the rider who shows dedication to the sport, and finishes with the most points during the race week. The boot that goes to the best rider in the west is called the Gaerne Bronze boot, and it is given to the Western Canadian Amateur National champion.

The four day race week was done with class, and the encouraging feeling young racers come away with, are priceless memories that spur a young athlete to greatness. Every child from 10th to first place was awarded a trophy. There were a few classes such as the Intermediate, Pro, and GP classes that were awarded some cash along with trophies going to the top three finishes.

Gerry and Heather Nelson of Top End Promotions Inc, were the main sponsors behind this years event, and are thankful to the people who dedicated there time, and efforts to making the event a huge success.

Heather Nelson said the success of the event was due to everyone who raced, worked and participated in the event: “Each year we say thanks, and we want to say it again. Thanks to the riders, their families, the Lethbridge Motorcycle Club, the Over the Bars Club and all the people who helped make this race a special event for Canadian motocross, but maybe more importantly, Western Canada”

The race week features on-site camping, local accommodations, bike wash facilities, economical concession stands, group campfires, and a variety of evening entertainment including a scavenger hunt, and co-ed races.

Big Dog races and security helped make the 12th Annual Western Canada Motocross Championship a fun time for friends, and family, and was the highlight of the racing year for everyone who attends, whether a competitor or spectator.


Parks and Recreation, vital to every community.

I’m sure like many, you have sat upon a park bench over-looking a pond, lake or river a time or two. Having parks, and recreation grounds gives the whole community a chance to be out enjoying the sun with there friends, and family.

It’s fair to say that whether taking a walk at the park on a first date, enjoying a picnic with the family or working off that extra helping you had for dinner, parks, and recreation services are important to everyone. Parks, and Recreation facilities encourage growth in community spirit, and is a slam dunk in the building blocks of every town or city.

Kids swinging on the monkey bars while parents make new friends, and expand their potential business circles. New in town, call up the recreation department, and they will send you in the right direction. Do something your already interested in or try something new, your guaranteed to have fun, and meet many new people.

No dollar value can be placed on the health benefits, which steady exercise provides. A million dollars may buy you many toys, but it doesn’t buy you that clean bill of health that comes from a run in the park every day, for twenty years.

If you don’t like walking, give rollerblading a try. Buy a bicycle, and if your fleet of foot, take in the long boarding craze that has taken North America by storm.

Another sport taking flight, is Frisbee Golf or as loyal enthusiasts would say, “Frolf.” It adds something to the sometimes boring walk around the park Take a few buddies with you or ask your neighbor if he would like to “Frolf”, with you. Would be an ideal first or second date.

The ponds provide fishing within city limits, while giving Happy the West highland terrier with some drinking water, and a refreshing sprint through the shallow waterline near the shore. Dogs love going for walks, especially in the park. In many areas, the dogs are free to roam, free from the constraints of their owner, who wants a relaxing evening out too.

Recreation is at the forefront of most town, and city hall meetings. People don’t mind paying taxes to repair damaged roads or providing for a sustainable health care system, but they want to increase their enjoyment around the community. Parks, and Recreation is a grass roots initiative, and is the staple in every municipality.

Parents get a much needed break from their kids sports coaches providing brief stints of babysitting relief. Kids need a break from parents too. Kids who exercise, and/or participate in competitive sports grow into stronger, more confident, and relaxed adults. Able to handle any difficult situation they run into in the future.

If the child is not outdoors, they are indoors playing video games, watching dvd’s, eating not so healthy food alternatives, steadfast on a path which leaves the child lacking the necessary social skills to step into the real world.