The Page – October 4, 2017

Wet spring. Dry summer. Now, a wet late summer and moisture still in the fields means the fall harvest in northern Alberta is falling behind normal.

As of Sept. 26, according to Alberta Agriculture, the average of all crops harvested in the Peace Country was just 39.8 per cent. Usually by that date about half of all crops are off the fields and in the bins.

Alberta Agriculture, in classic understatement, also said last week a “warm, dry weather system is needed across the northern half of the province. The problem is, this weather is not in the long-term forecasts.”

Last week, producers were going flat-out, taking advantage of the warm days and wind that was drying out fields. Now, there just isn’t that kind of weather coming the rest of this month in any forecasts. The good news of course, is that weather forecasts have not been very accurate this year.

So, everybody is keeping their fingers crossed.

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High Prairie has a new place for dining out!

Well, actually it’s an old place, but the old place was closed for many months. We’re talking about the Peavine Inn and Suites restaurant and lounge, more specifically, The Vine.

Peavine councillors [Peavine Metis Settlements owns the hotel] were at the VIP preview last week and were enthusiastic about the renovations for the food services and having the place open again. Manager David Nelson, formerly of the Sawridge in Slave Lake, says there will now be hot continental breakfasts available for hotel guests. Plus, due to some renovations in the back area, room service from the kitchen will now be available.

Overall in High Prairie, food places are talking about how business is improving after the several years of slowdown in the oilpatch. That seems to have stabilized.

Plus of course, the reopening of Tolko and upgrading at West Fraser are all having impacts, too.

Seems like a good time to be in High Prairie and region.

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Tuesday evening just past of this week was the date set for the High Prairie town council election forum.

Please see Website southpeacenews.com for a report on the forum.

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Interesting news from conservation officers is the story of the 6 1/2 year old female grizzly bear killed in the McBride area of British Columbia.

Bear 148, as she was known, was well-known in southern Alberta. But lately, she had been displaying aggressive behaviour in her home turf near Canmore. The bear was trapped and moved away from humans, but again there were problems as she returned. This time, the bear was trapped and moved to an isolated area north of Jasper.

Unfortunately, despite all the efforts of Alberta Fish and Wildlife, Parks Canada and Alberta Environment, the bear wandered into B.C. unprotected lands. There, a hunter and guide legally shot and killed the bear.

A couple of interesting things about this story.

First, in August, B.C. ended their bear trophy hunt. Stephen Legault, a member of the Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative says, “If she had made it into the den, she would have woken up to a very different regulatory regime. Now she is dead and that means all of the that genetic diversity that she represents, all of the various cubs she would have mothered, are no longer part of the recovery process for grizzly bears in Alberta.”

The entire grizzly population in Alberta is estimated at about 700.

Second, the bear was fitted with a remote tracking collar. The collar immediately sent a signal the bear was killed and conservation officers were on the scene immediately.

Something to think about for wanna be poachers.

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