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The Municipal District of Taber (MD) is proposing to develop a public boat launch site approximately one mile north of Taber on the Oldman River .The M.D. have recently received a Water Act approval from Alberta Environment and Parks for this project. With a grant from the Alberta Conservation Association in 2014, precast concrete boat launch ramps were purchased. These pads are currently staged on site. Previously, no concrete launch pads were installed at the launch. Flood mitigation work on the bridge directly upstream of the proposed launch site delayed construction for the past two seasons but construction is now scheduled for the late summer / fall of 2017. This construction period was chosen as river flows will be lower this time of year, hence minimizing disturbance and impacts to the river.
The M.D. of Taber is undertaking this project for a number of reasons. People have been utilizing this location as an informal launch site for many years. The river flooding in the spring of 2013 caused significant erosion to the bank of the river rendering the launch dangerous if not inoperable for launching.
The boat launch will service the public for fishing and recreational boating, industry, and the MD of Taber Fire and Rescue first responders. The RCMP have also made a request to the MD of Taber to construct a boat launch in close proximity to Taber for emergency purposes. The boat launch will provide a safe and quick means to launch watercraft for area residents. As well, having a dedicated boat launch at this location will discourage random launching at multiple locations within the M.D. of Taber, a potential source of damage to the riparian zone of the river valley. This preferred launch site was chosen for several reasons. The site is located on an MD of Taber undeveloped road allowance (SW 18-10-16-W4) and is supported by an Alberta Transportation owned access trail and parking area.
The M.D. is pleased to highlight this project as their commitment to the signing the Oldman Watershed Council Water Charter.