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Letter to the Editor: Millet Fish & Game Association

The Millet Fish & Game Association has owned 155 acres of land located on range road 255 south of highway 616 for over 25 years. The county of Wetaskiwin owns five plus acres roughly in the middle of this quarter. Many years ago this five acres was the site of a gravel crushing operation.

Over the past 25 years the Millet Fish & Game have maintained this land including the County’s five acres by pulling and spraying the noxious weeds that have spread onto this land.

In October of 2020 a realtor had posted a for sale sign indicating that the County has intended to sell the five plus acres. Although we realize that the county can do what they want with their property, we do think that a common courtesy is to notify the surrounding land owner(s) of an impending sale, this was not done.

The Millet Fish & Game land is open to all residents, not only to the residents of the county of Wetaskiwin but to all residents of Alberta to enjoy this natural habitat. This land is home to grouse, pheasant, whitetail and mule deer, moose, elk as well as the occasional bear, wolf and lynx.

The Millet Fish & Game sponsors or supports activities on this land such as safe firearm training, instructing youth and adults in archery and orienteering. Access to this property is by foot only.

The sale of this five acre property for a private residence would be detrimental to not only the habitat on this land but to the viability of the Millet Fish & Game Association. The events and activities such as 3D archery and skeet shooting which are an integral part of our club and one of the major reasons the club has a 200 + continued membership, most being from the Wetaskiwin area. We cannot safely hold any of these events on this land if there is a private residence located in the middle of this quarter section.

The Millet Fish & Game Association had initially asked the county to donate this land to the Millet Fish & Game for the continued preservation of habitat. This request was denied. The club then offered to purchase this property at what was determined from outside realtors to be an extremely fair and generous offer, this offer was also denied.

Of note: this offer was not taken to County Council. It was also relayed to the Millet Fish & Game that a real property report is not available and if we would want one it would be at our cost! As well since this was once the site of a gravel pit excavation and gravel crushing operation in the 1950’s and 1960’s, it was not the time when environmental safety was taken seriously. The millet fish & game further inquired if an environmental study had been done on this five acre piece and we were told that it would be up to the club to do it and endure the cost!

The Millet Fish & Game association’s objective is to be able to maintain this land for habitat and to be able to offer access to this land to all residents of Alberta to enjoy the natural wildlife and habitat.

We ask to please contact your area County Councillor and forward your concerns regarding the sale of this land to the private sector and the possibility of losing this recreation opportunity.M