Friends of Buffalo Park call for public meeting

Steve Sharratt
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Jonathan Tsamantanis is leading the charge to save the Buffalo Land provincial park and is calling for a community meeting to be held Monday, Nov. 19, at 7 p.m. at Reds Corner.

MONTAGUE — A community group hoping to save Buffalo Land provincial park is preparing to protest the private sale of the 100-acre property by selling public memberships in a bid to take over the operation.

Jonathan Tsamantanis is leading the charge to save the provincial park near here and is calling for a community meeting to be held Monday, Nov. 19, at 7 p.m. at Reds Corner.

“The current government is contemplating conveying the property of the Buffalo park to someone else,’’ he said. “We (view) the park as an integral part of our community that has a strong tourism asset and has been underutilized.”

Tsamantanis, who spearheaded a petition of thousands of names in support of the Milltown Cross property, said the group has attempted to meet with local MLA Allen Roach and Tourism Minister Robert Henderson to little avail.

“We wanted them to look at the proposal from the community but, to our dismay, we were told they were not interested and almost done negotiating a proposal with an unsolicited source.”

The buffalo park has been around since the early 1970s and the two initial animals were a gift from the province of Alberta. The herd is now about 30 animals and costs about $30,000 a year in upkeep.

Tsamantanis said the purpose of the meeting is to demonstrate a strong community interest in the park.

“We are not looking for a back room deal done on our public park and we feel this should be discussed openly and honestly. The community is concerned and it’s not a small minority.”

Friends of Buffalo Land has a working proposal to take over the operation and members say the government should not ignore its submission.

The group is in the process of incorporating and will be selling paid memberships by the end of the week.

The government is currently considering proposals from private interests who may or may not keep the park operating.

Geographic location: Buffalo Land, Buffalo Park, Alberta

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Recent comments

  • Save the buffao and the park
    November 13, 2012 - 14:13

    What is wrong with this government that they cannot consult rural communities when they make a move to dismantle the little they have. The Minister should resign!

  • Here's An Idea
    November 13, 2012 - 11:54

    Bring some of the buffalo in the Charlottetown and right into the House. The government doesn't seem to want to listen to anything unless it craps on the floor. Well here's a way to be heard.

    • Just a suggestion
      November 13, 2012 - 13:16

      Just a suggestion, as the park is free to go to why not put up a donation box , I am sure visitors would donate to help keep the animals on pei

  • Snow White
    November 13, 2012 - 10:43

    “We wanted them to look at the proposal from the community but, to our dismay, we were told they were not interested and almost done negotiating a proposal with an unsolicited source.” Says it all about the current government unfortunately. Everything done behind closed doors and without any public input. "Done deal" sound familiar? I think this group sounds like a wonderful idea and I hope they do get a chance to be heard. If they succeed I will buy a membership.

  • Jill
    November 13, 2012 - 10:41

    What ever happened to democracy? Why do islanders have no say in these decisions?! Sell our provincial parks... build multi million dollar hotels... stop destroying our island!

  • Janet Gaudet
    November 13, 2012 - 10:34

    Good luck with dealing with this government. The main problem is that they don't know the meaing of being open and honest. Those words are not in their vocabulary.

  • Shocked
    November 13, 2012 - 10:30

    The gov.will not listen, Well I am shocked! Listen people! the gov. rules the Isle, and will never listen to Islanders. Perhaps the buffalo would have been protected, had they name themselves Buffalo Inc. P>E>I> and applied for PNP funds. I realize this is not a Hog farm, but perhaps some of those named on the PNP list will buy memberships! Good Luck!