Bird death facts important

I appreciated Dan Stoker’s letter “Number of bird deaths from power line grossly overstated.” Dan makes an excellent point regarding the exaggeration of facts tainting all environmentalists and often creating unwarranted expense based on emotional responses not backed up by overstated hype.

I have spent 36 years walking along Big Lake and the Sturgeon River and like Dan have never seen a bird hit the power line, but I don’t doubt that it happens on occasion.

While I might agree that the power lines should be relocated, I also want it to be done with all the facts and for the right reasons. I would be concerned that relocating the power lines along Ray Gibbon Drive will likely pose a greater danger to birds than the existing location. A power line along Ray Gibbon Drive would restrict the window for birds flying along the river to the space either between the river and the bridge or between the bridge and the power line, posing a greater danger to birds than the present location, which is only constricted by the power lines.

If we are proposing to relocate the lines solely to protect the birds, then we must find a location that will be less restrictive on their flying patterns. If, however, we are proposing to move the power lines to improve the view of Big Lake and Lois Hole Provincial Park then that is another matter and we need to make the decision in view of that objective and not use the excuse that the power lines endanger the birds.

We must remember that this is an expensive exercise and is precedent setting. The cost of the relocation of this and other power lines will be borne by taxpayers and utility customers – that’s you and me! If we are going to expend public monies on this project let’s do it based on all the facts and for the right reasons.

Ken Allred, MLA

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Elke Blodgett