The Coyote Barriers of Calgary

Not all ‘burbs are created equal. “Some ‘burbs are built in valleys, and some ‘burbs are on the plains, and other ‘burbs — like our current ‘burbs — sit on high terrain.” Each area of Calgary has its own weather system; back when we were in the inner city, it was relatively predictable — we got slightly less weather (fewer weathers?) than the rest of Calgary. Still, it came with an exponential increase in flooding.

Here’s what you get in Scenic Acres: Wind and Ice Shields. Sure, you get a great view of the Rocky Mountains to the west, but what you really get is endless wind and an arctic tundra on streets run by gangs of ermine and hares.

Scenic Acres (more like Scenic Ice Shield, amirite?) is close to the last foothill, which runs north-to-south before you plunge into Calgary proper like the top of a ramp. To the north of us — running west to east — there is a ridge that extends from Bearspaw to 14th Street; to the south, another ridge runs from Valley Ridge to Broadcast Hill, funnelling the winds eastward.

The Arctic Landscape

The wind in the winter blows all the snow away, leaving a polished sheet of ice. There is growing evidence that entire colonies of ermines live under the ice shield formerly known as Scenic Drive, and in the small park across the way live about 412 Arctic Hares — entire Amazon Prime trucks have disappeared without a trace on our street. It struck me as odd there were no natural predators up here, so I looked into it.

Stock Photo of Ermine Attacking Amazon Prime Truck (not pictured)

At great expense, Calgary put up large concrete walls along major roadways that the city calls ‘Sound Barriers’, presumably to protect Calgary’s suburban residents from road noise, but that’s not true. In the west of the city, they’re actually ‘Coyote Barriers’, carefully designed to prevent entire packs of coyotes from being blown by the high winds into the city centre; a program sponsored by the Calgary Downtown Association*. How often have Calgary citizens driven up Stoney Trail only to see three or four coyotes pinned to one of these ‘Coyote Barriers?’

“Where are the ermines and hares then?” you ask. “Wouldn’t they be caught in these ‘Coyote Barriers?’”

City Planning Like Nowhere Else

Photo Credit: NILEX INC.

That’s not how this technology works; there are small holes at the bottom of the barriers designed to filter the smaller animals so as to fill up the neighbourhoods with giant rabbits and ermine. Hares poop a lot — an extraordinary amount — which is fertilizer, thereby saving the taxpayers money. Ermine act as natural ‘traffic calming’ devices by maintaining the ice shield and removing 27% of all Amazon Prime deliveries. These incredible programs were designed years ago by our forward-thinking Mayor, Naheed Nenshi, probably.

There are even some bridges in Calgary that celebrate many other types of animals these barriers filter — it’s not just coyotes. For example, to the east, on Glenmore Trail, there is a ‘Trout Filter’ preventing our trout from being blown into Saskatchewan.

Say what you will about Calgary; it is well designed to protect our natural resources.



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Michael Dean Dargie

Michael Dean Dargie

I do cool and weird shit with cool and weird people. Dad, biker, writer, speaker, artist, adventurer, doer of things, teacher of stuff.