The Municipal District of Bighorn (the M.D.) has been advised of the Municipal Government Board (the MGB) decision on the intermunicipal dispute between the M.D. and the Town of Canmore. The M.D. respects the authority of the MGB in this matter, and appreciates the Boards diligence in reviewing all information and testimony in reaching its decision.

The M.D. is satisfied that the MGB has determined there is no economic, environmental or social detriment to Canmore with the approval of the Dead Mans Flats Area Structure Plan (ASP).

The MGB decision will allow the M.D. to move forward with the next steps of the planning process on the eventual development of its Dead Mans Flats lands for light industrial purposes, while concurrently continuing land exchange negotiations with the Provincial government, for the same lands, a process that has been on-going since 2003, when the Wind Valley wildlife underpass was proposed as part of the Kananaskis G-8 Summit. As was noted to the MGB, the M.D.-owned lands at Dead Mans Flats were and are an integral part of the municipalitys sustainability for the future.

The M.D. will reach out to its municipal neighbour, the Town of Canmore, to move forward on strengthening our municipal relationship.  While disappointed that the Town unilaterally initiated the intermunicipal dispute approach to the MGB, the M.D. understands and appreciates the importance of the lands and environment surrounding the Town, and Canmores environmental stewardship. The M.D. also believes in strong environmental stewardship and despite the disagreement with the Town in the future development of lands at Dead Mans Flats, we are proud our on-going initiatives to protect and preserve important lands within the M.D.s boundaries. It should be noted that, out of the M.D.s total area covering 650,000 acres, nearly 210,000 of those acres are in Wildland Parks, Wilderness Areas, or Natural Areas, with another 290,000 acres as undeveloped forestry lands, where wildlife travel through unimpeded, inhabit, graze, etc. in short, five out of every six acres, in the M.D. of Bighorn, is either formally protected through designation, or otherwise held by the Crown as undeveloped lands readily accessible to and used by wildlife.

The M.D. will now move forward with amendments to our Municipal Development Plan and Land Use Bylaw, to redesignate and redistrict these lands from their long-standing uses (which include, but are not limited to, single family dwelling, campgrounds, commercial equestrian centres, country recreational lodges, logging, and cultural/entertainment facilities).  The approved Dead Mans Flats ASP will guide the future development of our municipal lands with appropriate policies for light-industrial uses.


Robert Ellis, Acting Chief Administrative Officer

Municipal District of Bighorn

P.O. Box 310 / 2 Heart Mountain Drive

Exshaw, Alta., T0L 2C0


Phone:  1-403-673-3611 or  1-403-233-7678 Calgary direct


On May 20th, 2016 the MD Bighorn made its submission to the Municipal Government Board regarding the Town of Canmore appeal of the Dead Man’s Flats Area Structure Plan. See a copy of the Written Submission and the Table of Contents from the submission. A copy of the MD’s full submission is available for the public to view at the MD office in Exshaw during regular business hours.