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The Arrival of Dogs in North America, topic of this week’s Speaker Series

RTMP CrockfordHS

The March 29 session of the 2018 Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology’s Speaker Series is a presentation by Dr. Susan Crockford, University of Victoria, BC, entitled, “Dogs Across The Pacific: How Man's Best Friend Came to the New World Before the Arrival of Europeans.”

Dogs came to the Americas from Eurasia with their human companions. Virtually everywhere archaeologists find evidence of people in the Americas at sites 10,000 years old or less, they find skeletal remains of dogs. Where in Eurasia did these dogs come from? How did the biological transformation from wolf to dog happen? Can we tell from their remains where wolves first became dogs, and what route dogs and their human companions took to the Americas?

Dr. Susan Crockford has spent almost 30 years studying the history and evolution of dogs. Her research focuses on the role of thyroid hormone in vertebrate speciation, archaeological studies on dog origins, prehistoric dogs in the Americas, and genetic studies.

In her presentation, Dr. Crockford will discuss her research on the history and evolution of dogs in the Americas, providing some new answers to these age-old questions. Copies of Dr. Crockford’s book, Rhythms of Life: Thyroid Hormone and the Origin of Species, will be available for sale by author (cash only).

The Royal Tyrrell Museum’s Speaker Series talks are free and open to the public. The series is held every Thursday until April 26 at 11:00 a.m. in the Museum auditorium. Speaker Series talks are also available on the Museum’s YouTube channel: youtube.com/c/RoyalTyrrellMuseumofPalaeontology.


Chamber steps up innovative approaches

Joanne Hodgson, Joanne Contenti, Brock Harrington, Barry Fullerton are sworn in as Directors for the DDCC by Drumheller Mayor Heather Colberg on Thursday, March 22, at the Badlands Community Facility. mailphoto by Terri Huxley

There are five new Directors on the Drumheller and District Chamber of Commerce (DDCC) Board after Thursday’s, March 22, Annual General Meeting at the Badlands Community Facility (BCF).
Barry Fullerton, Joanne Contenti of Scotia Bank, Roger Stevenson of Cooperators and Joanne Hodgson of Fountain Tire were selected for 3 year terms and Brock Harrington was selected for a two year term.
The DDCC has a few goals they wish to accomplish this year like having meaningful memberships and to hold a strong, diverse Board of Directors to represent all areas of small business.
Tourism Services Manager Debbie Schinnour reported that 2017 was a good year for the World’s Largest Dinosaur (WLD) as visitation was up 13.7 per cent when compared to the 5-year average.
Board and staff are still establishing short and long term maintenance plans for the WLD but new fire doors, smoke detectors, security cameras, and reconfigured grates were installed last year.
The WLD Legacy Fund distributed funds to the 1st Drumheller Scouts for $400, Drumheller Off Road Vehicle Association for $2,106 and the East Coulee School Museum in the amount of $11,750. The Canadian Badlands Aquatic Club, Drumheller Minor Ball Association, Drumheller Pioneer Trail Society, and the Wayne Community Association all received $3,000 towards their organizations. In total, the program gave $26,256 to local non-profit organizations last year.
An innovative Visitor Information Centre (VIC) program was conducted in July and August at the Royal Tyrrell Museum outdoor plaza. This program allowed staff to counsel 2,080 tourists on the other attractions the Valley has to offer, potentially lengthening their stay.
President Brock Harrington highlighted in his report that DDCC will be expanding their Lunch and Learn series to allow business owners a better chance of attending. The Spring Expo which will be held next month at Greentree Mall is still on the agenda as well as the busy Canada Day Parade and annual golf tournament.
Membership remained consist in 2017 with 238 members. 25 new members joined the Chamber equating to a three per cent growth in membership.
The Drumheller DinoArts Association explained that this was their sixth year entrenched in the Drumheller community. A new dinosaur named Curt was installed at the Napier Theatre on Thursday, November 23, 2017.
“It seems that the residents of Drumheller are also seeing that our additions are not just tourist attractions but are enhancing the community for locals as well,” said DinoArts Chairperson Courtney Bell.
In 2018, the group will be enhancing the South Hill’s main entrance into Drumheller by painting the South Hill water tower and adding a new mural to the exterior of the Napier Theatre building.
Throughout 2017, the Business Advocacy Committee pushed to expand a ‘shop local’ mentality by advocating change to the Town of Drumheller’s purchasing policy. Council eventually moved to change the policy in regards to preferential purchasing from local businesses before looking to outer sources.
Council has recently passed the updated mobile vendor bylaw with help from this committee.
“We have listened to many local vendors and we have taken those concerns to town council,” said Chairperson Cindy Clark. “Council has listened to the existing mobile vendors and they have taken our recommendations forward.”

 

Photo Caption: Joanne Hodgson, Joanne Contenti, Brock Harrington, Barry Fullerton are sworn in as Directors for the DDCC by Drumheller Mayor Heather Colberg on Thursday, March 22, at the Badlands Community Facility. mailphoto by Terri Huxley

Kneehill County receives grant for Horseshoe Canyon master plan

Kneehill County has been approved for a grant to develop an Area  Master Plan for Horseshoe Canyon, the Gateway to the Badlands. filephoto

Kneehill County has received a grant to complete an Area Master Plan for Horseshoe Canyon.
The Mail reported in October of 2016, that Kneehill County had purchased a large portion of Horseshoe Canyon. The county immediately began making improvements to the site to make it more accessible for the thousands of visitors it sees every year, but also to conserve it for generations to come.
Manager of Parks and Agricultural Services for Kneehill County, Bowen Clausen, says the County has been approved for a grant to complete a master plan for Horseshoe Canyon.
“We have identified this as the Gateway to the Badlands, the first taste of the Badlands for people coming from Calgary. With the survey we conducted over the summer, 80 per cent of the people are coming from Calgary directly. If we can give a positive experience as they enter into Drumheller, it helps everybody in the end,” said Clausen.
He adds that Drumheller’s Economic Development Officer Julia Fielding submitted a letter of support for the project.
“This will give Council direction and an idea of what we should be doing there and an idea of how we should be moving forward,” said Clausen. “It is getting upwards of 400,000 people a year, and we are putting a lot of money into it for operational costs, so how can we utilize this amazing site to benefit the region and the county. So we are hoping this master plan is going to help with that.”
Since the county took possession of the site, they have made improvements including developing a viewing area, improved pathways, and stairs for easier and safer access, as well as benches and trees at the site.
The funds come from the Tourism Growth Innovation Fund (TGIF). This is a project-based grant program that aims to support economic growth and improve quality of life in communities in Alberta, according to the Alberta Culture and Tourism website. Funding priority is for regions outside the urban areas of Edmonton and Calgary and the Rocky Mountain Parks. Kneehill is responsible for 25 per cent of the total cost.
Clausen says they will be sending out a request for proposals to have the master plan completed.
“I would like to have some public consultation on how we can protect and preserve the site while still driving some tourism and economy in the region because we could all use some additional revenue sources,” he said.
He said moving forward on this project is based on research the county undertook.
“This was one of the focus areas and recommendation areas out of our Tourism and Recreation Master Pan for the entire County that was completed last year. This is the first step of us trying to work through that,” he said.
“This master plan, specific to Horseshoe Canyon, will have exactly the same thing, and council will decide which things it will want to do, or not do, or if they want to adopt it at the end of the day,” said Clausen.


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