Author Topic: Alberta Eyes Land Sale  (Read 1570 times)

BullShooter

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Alberta Eyes Land Sale
« on: August 31, 2011, 08:46:25 AM »
Here we go again! It's worth noting, that if the article is correct, irrigation is a "must" for any potential development of the land. This requirement would appear to preclude any conservation-minded groups or individuals from bidding on the property.


http://www.lethbridgeherald.com/front-page-news/alta-eyes-land-sale-83111.html


Alta. eyes land sale

WEDNESDAY, 31 AUGUST 2011 02:01    WOODFORD, JAMIE        

Jamie Woodford

Lethbridge Herald (with CP files)

jwoodford@lethbridgeherald.com

The Alberta government is seeking requests for proposals to develop 16,000 acres of native grassland into irrigated farmland, most likely a potato farm.

The plot for sale, located southwest of Medicine Hat, is the source of last year's "potatogate" scandal when a Taber-area potato producer approached the government for a private, direct sale of the land without any public hearings or open bidding.
"It was refused simply because it's not the way that the government deals with the sale of public land," said sustainable resources minister Mel Knight.

The land is currently being use for grazing.

Knight said after the deal was killed, the government took a closer look at the land and saw a "very viable opportunity here for agricultural development in the area."

"So I went back and asked our department to develop a request for proposals to make this thing completely open and transparent, and anybody that would have an interest in the real estate can put forward a request for proposal," he said.

Knight told the Canadian Press that he expects last year's proponent, Louis Ypma of SLM Spud Farms, to try again.

Ypma's original bid blew up a windstorm of protest from environmentalists and ranchers, who use the area for grazing.

"So little of Alberta's grassland region is left," said Carolyn Campbell of the Alberta Wilderness Association. "Only 30 per cent remains and, of that, less than two per cent is protected."

Nearly three-quarters of Alberta's endangered species live in grasslands, she said. The land being offered is home to the endangered ferruginous hawk and burrowing owl.

Knight countered that the area for sale represents less than one per cent of Alberta's remaining native prairie.

"There's about 1.4 million acres of grassland in Alberta, and what we're talking about here is about 0.15 per cent of that, so it's a significant piece of real estate, but with respect to the amount of grassland we have, it's a relatively small amount," he said, adding that the sale won't be cut and dry.

A buyer would have to abide by federal and provincial regulations for endangered species.

"If we sell this - and it is an 'if' . . this request for proposal is going to have to meet a number of requirements," he said.

"Anybody that is successful with the RFP must meet all the requirements in the species at risk regulation and legislation around it . . . and they also would be required to address any impact to wildlife and biodiversity in the area.

"It's not just a drop kick here, there's some significant hurdles (for) individuals interested in the real estate."

Irrigation is a must for any potential project suggested for the land, Knight noted.

"There's an opportunity here for a valued added agricultural project, but only if you irrigate, so the request for proposal is specific about that. We won't sell the land unless there's an opportunity for it to be irrigated," he said noting the soil on the plot is Class 2, which "has good drainage features to it."

The money from the sale would be placed in the Enhanced Land Stewardship Fund, which is used to purchase and protect lands with high conservation value.

"Also, it can be leveraged to provide opportunity for conservation easements on private land and leased land," Knight added."We think we can get at least 2:1, if not a lot higher, acreage put aside of conservation by using the proceeds from this real estate."

The Alberta government transfers an average of 10,000 acres of public land for agricultural use every year.

"This year alone we're going to move something in excess of 40,000 acres of public land into opportunities in agricultural use in northwestern Alberta as well," said Knight.


Chris K

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Re: Alberta Eyes Land Sale
« Reply #1 on: August 31, 2011, 12:48:54 PM »
Sounds like somebody in government really wants Louis Ypma of SLM Spud Farms to own that chunk of land!


CK 

Lurch

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Re: Alberta Eyes Land Sale
« Reply #2 on: August 31, 2011, 04:11:38 PM »
This looks familiar.

With Morton's paid hunting push - in the face of stiff opposition - he went back to the table and pretended to spin it as though he were listening. Absolutely would not drop it though....

Considering the opposition to this - I would think it surprising it would surface right now. We are being played yet again.


The sooner we realize that the PC's are an outdated old boys club, the quicker we can resolve the lack of responsible government.


MAV

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Re: Alberta Eyes Land Sale
« Reply #3 on: August 31, 2011, 11:15:31 PM »
The soil has good drainage features to it. What the hell does that mean when a drough hits it will all blow away because its sand.

The money will go into a fund that will pay to protect land with high conservation values. Do these idiots not read there own documents. What can be more absurd than to sell high conservation value land to replace it with highly valueable conservation land. I guess the only thing would be if it turns out that the money goes to the buyer of this land to protect some coulee he owns on the other land he destroyed in the first land purchase.

Another question I have, where do you get the water to irrigate this land considering it is outside of any irrigation district. Is this water allocated by some other means and what happens during a drought year, is he going to be restricted first or is it going to be the last one to be restricted because he isn't under the same rules.

Finally was it not clear enough to these dolts the last time, that Albertans do not want to see any more of the public land held in grazing leases in the south country sold off to the highest bidder. These lands are public resource that have been held now for over a hundred years in a manner that allows all Albertans to benefit from them in a fair and manageable way. Why does everything have to be bulldozed, plowed or paved for this govt. to see any value in it.

Again, when does some of what this govt. is doing become criminal?
“Things which matter most must never be at the mercy of things that matter least”
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Lurch

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Re: Alberta Eyes Land Sale
« Reply #4 on: September 15, 2011, 08:08:02 AM »
Quote
The soil has good drainage features to it. What the hell does that mean when a drough hits it will all blow away because its sand.

Good drainage is important to Potato producers. And virgin rangeland would likely be great for growing seed potatoes - which in turn would be extremely lucrative to SLM spud farm.....

Quote
The money will go into a fund that will pay to protect land with high conservation values. Do these idiots not read there own documents. What can be more absurd than to sell high conservation value land to replace it with highly valueable conservation land. I guess the only thing would be if it turns out that the money goes to the buyer of this land to protect some coulee he owns on the other land he destroyed in the first land purchase.

This is a joke isn't it - use to the proceeds to protect sensitive areas, just like the one we are about to destroy...

Quote
Another question I have, where do you get the water to irrigate this land considering it is outside of any irrigation district. Is this water allocated by some other means and what happens during a drought year, is he going to be restricted first or is it going to be the last one to be restricted because he isn't under the same rules.

I hear that he is getting the water from the Bow River Irrigation district - and that he has plans to "pipe" it over the river with the help of a bridge. This is coffee shop talk - but unfortunately in Alberta we are forced to listen to this stuff as it usually bears fruit. Wouldn't it be great to have open and transparent (oh and maybe honest) government?

Quote
Finally was it not clear enough to these dolts the last time, that Albertans do not want to see any more of the public land held in grazing leases in the south country sold off to the highest bidder. These lands are public resource that have been held now for over a hundred years in a manner that allows all Albertans to benefit from them in a fair and manageable way. Why does everything have to be bulldozed, plowed or paved for this govt. to see any value in it.

Again, when does some of what this govt. is doing become criminal?

Money talks - and my guess is a fellow that could hire a lobby group from Toronto to better work on the second thrust of this has a fair amount of it.


MAV

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Re: Alberta Eyes Land Sale
« Reply #5 on: October 19, 2011, 02:41:00 PM »
News Release


Lurch just found this:

October 19, 2011
Request for Proposals for agricultural development cancelled

Edmonton... A Request for Proposals is cancelled that would have sold 16,000 acres in southern Alberta for irrigated agricultural development.

Government cancelled the RFP after people expressed concerns that there was no public input into using a Request for Proposals and that there might be an impact on water and on the ranching community. Public consultation and water use and availability are priorities for this government.
The land is in Cypress County and is all under grazing lease or grazing permit. The Request for Proposal was issued in August 2011.
“Things which matter most must never be at the mercy of things that matter least”
         Goethe

Lurch

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Re: Alberta Eyes Land Sale
« Reply #6 on: October 20, 2011, 10:00:08 AM »
Chalk one up for Redford.

I don't know why it's such a hard concept to understand that we as Albertan's don't want to see our public land sold off...

walleyes

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Re: Alberta Eyes Land Sale
« Reply #7 on: October 20, 2011, 09:33:40 PM »
Chalk one up for Redford.

I don't know why it's such a hard concept to understand that we as Albertan's don't want to see our public land sold off...

Actually Lurch our public land is sold off on a regular bases. In the north every year there are tracts of public lands sold on open auction that everyone has an opportunity to bid on. I have bid on more than one tract of land over the years. These northern lands garner very little attention from the general public.

I think what makes this one unique is the fact of where it is. In a spot where there is a battle for land that has public access. And the big thing for me anyways is the way it was initially being sold,, in a more or less private manner, to a no doubt large contributor to the PC party. I am glad this deal will be trashed hopefully the person and party responsible for this will be next on the block..

MAV

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Re: Alberta Eyes Land Sale
« Reply #8 on: October 21, 2011, 09:22:54 AM »
Walleys you are correct about the amount of Northern Land being bid and sold every year. I was just in the Alberta Ag offices and the list of bid sheets right now is probably over 25 active sheets. I guess my question to you is would the land they are selling off be as rare as the grassland in question at Bow Island, is the process as shady, is the entire situation as crooked as this one because if it was I would have a big problem with that as well.

It just drives me crazy in this province right now that everything seems to be for sale for "development". The great part of this province was the fact you could find wild places but now if it isn't subdivided, logged, plowed or paved over the govt. thinks it is a waste. It just doesn't seem anyone is looking out for the future. Which brings me to the fellow that was trying to benefit the most from this land deal. There is  not one wild place left in is home land, I doubt they even have a hunting season of any kind and that is what these new Canadians are trying to do here. The only benefit would have been to him personally but these corrupt politicians and bureaucrats somehow go along with it... to what end???

It drives me crazy!!!
“Things which matter most must never be at the mercy of things that matter least”
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walleyes

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Re: Alberta Eyes Land Sale
« Reply #9 on: October 21, 2011, 11:41:07 AM »
I am with you on this one Mav. This deal stunk right from the get go. Like I mentioned in my post its the way this deal was going down that I think really pissed people off and as you mentioned, where the property is. This type of public property is no doubt getting rairer and rairer. It won't be long and we will have to fight to stop the sale of these lands in the north as well.

Good post Mav.

GlennSimon

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Re: Alberta Eyes Land Sale
« Reply #10 on: October 07, 2013, 02:43:59 AM »
Good post !

BruceW

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Re: Alberta Eyes Land Sale
« Reply #11 on: October 07, 2013, 08:02:29 AM »
This was the second attempt.  The first garnered national media attention, this time I wouldn't have heard of it if not for on here.

I'm guessing third time'll slip it through.  Just a matter of shuffling the pea around 'till no one notices what cup it's under.

Yes, I have exactly, "0" faith in the integrity of our current prov. gov..   


Tuc

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Re: Alberta Eyes Land Sale
« Reply #12 on: October 07, 2013, 11:02:45 AM »
You know what pisses me off is the ones that complain about our lands being sold off and will still vote Conservative. (not pointing fingers at anyone particular) The PC government has been the culprits here for a good many years. Nothing will change until we get rid of this government.