Trees Destroyed by ATVers

Local resident and volunteer land steward, Mr. Dave Gibson
Stephanie May, Conservation Officer, EALT

    Newly planted trees destroyed by ATVs causes anger and disgust. 
    On June 21st, 2013 a crew of workers and volunteers were busy planting balsam poplar seedling trees at the Edmonton and Area land Trust (EALT) Pipestone Creek property just west of Coal Lake.   Less than half a year later, local resident and volunteer land steward, Mr. Dave Gibson reported that on a recent check of the property, he noticed that ATVs had entered the property and were burning circles and damaging the newly planted trees and other vegetation.
    The Edmonton and Area Land Trust (EALT) acquired and manages 104 acres (42 hectares) overlooking Pipestone Creek just west of Coal Lake, several kilometers east of Wetaskiwin and approximately 60 kilometers southeast of Edmonton. The ownership of the Pipestone Creek property by EALT provides families and outdoor enthusiasts access to the wooded property that is abound with wildlife and several types of vegetation. It is a unique privilege to have access to conservation lands, free-of-charge. 
     Pam Wight, EALT reveals her disappointment. 
    Pam Wight, Executive Director, EALT explains the importance of respect. “Recently, we have had snowmobiles trespassing on our Pipestone Creek property, where we planted 50,000 tree saplings to restore the landscape and provide important wildlife habitat.  A number of these saplings, at their most vulnerable early stage, were damaged by these OHVs (off highway vehicles). We know that some people choose to knowingly trespass on off-highway vehicles, which is disappointing.  It not only degrades habitat quality by spreading weeds, it also erodes and destabilizes slopes, and of course the noise and tracks of OHVs spoils the enjoyment for other users.”
    The Edmonton and Area Land Trust works to conserve these and other lands for public enjoyment. The property is maintained as a nature sanctuary that can be enjoyed on foot by everyone whether hiking, cross-country skiing, snow shoeing, viewing wildlife or studying nature or photography. Protecting areas like Pipestone Creek ensures our children and grandchildren can see wildlife and natural spaces, first hand. 
     Ms. Wight describes the disrespect as a slap in the face. “EALT has wonderful local stewards and volunteers, who came to our Pipestone Creek lands to help plant the seedlings, as well as to sign the areas clearly, and to do other stewarding work to help maintain this area to be enjoyed by residents.  It is a slap in the face to these volunteers, to have snowmobile users knowingly flaunt the rules on these lands, and despoil what others have worked so hard to protect. 
     Conservation is a community effort and EALT needs all members of the community to cooperate to keep Pipestone Creek a safe home for wildlife, and a serene natural area for future generations to enjoy.”
    If you have any information about the trespassers, contact Pam Wight, EALT at  or phone 780 483 7578.


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