May 4, 1911
Be it known to all men, that the Hotel hiterto well and favorably known as the Murphy House, Cochrane, will henceforth be called the Alberta Hotel. Wm. Dean will continue to be the proprietor.
Mr. J. Pfeifer drove his car up to Banff and back on Tuesday, with John Park and J. Baldock as passengers. They report that theirs was the first car into Banff this season, and that the road was in fine shape.
The new machinery, &c. at the French brickyard was tested on Monday, and a trial run of 1,000 bricks was made, the result being entirely satisfactory to Mr. Gabriel Bruel. it is estimated that the season's output of this yard will exceed 2,000,000 bricks.
The Polo Club
The committee appointed to select a suitable ground for the club to play upon this season, met on Saturday last and inspected the old ground south of the track on the road to the race ground. The latter was eventually chosen, being superior in all ways to the old field, which is sufficiently condemned by its proximity to the nuisance ground, the condition of which is a disgrace to any civilized community. Arrangements have been made under which the ground will be marked out, the grass cut and holes filled up in time for the first practice game of the season, to be played on Saturday 6th. Inst.
The Gopher Plague
What with the dry weather of last year, and the early spring of this, the Gopher nuisance is going to make itself felt as never before unless some concerted effort is made for the extinction once and for all of these little pests. So long as this was in the main a ranching country the Gopher was negligible quantity, except for its incursions on the ranche house garden or the green feed patch, but now that the transition from ranching to mixed farming is well advanced the extinction of the Gopher is becoming one of the burning questions of the West, and must be tackled at once, both by land holder and the Government, or worse will befall.
Many men, with a fair sense of their duty to their neighbours as well as of the peril to their own crops, are doing their best in various ways to clear their own land of gophers, and with considerable success but so long as their neighbours selfishly abstain from co-operation, and there are thousands of acres of unoccupied land adjoining, their efforts, however costly, are as futile as the attempt to bale out the ocean with a dipper. What is to be done? We would suggest that, in as much as the Gopher is as great a menace to mixed farming and grain growing as are noxious weeds, inspection should be organised as throroughly by the Government as in the case of weeds. Let the onus be on every occupier or holder of land to prove that he has taken all reasonable steps to exterminate the gophers on such lands, and where the owner is an absentee, whether a great corporation, ranching company or speculator, let the inspector have authority to appoint some person or persons to destroy, by poison or otherwise, the gophers on each unoccupied lands within a reasonable limit of expenditure according to area, the cost to be registered against the land in the same way as in the case of unpaid taxers or expense of weed destruction.
The influx of settlers is making the propogation of the Gopher more easy, not only to gratuitous provision of food but also by the destructin or driving away of such natural enemies as hawks and coyotes.
If this Western country is to escape a curse similar to that brought upon Australia by the incautious importation of rabbits from England, a curse which has lasted through two generations and is not yet wiped out, every man, woman and child must join in a crusage against the gopher, and the Government must provide machingery to ensure that the trouble and expense fall in fair proportion on every holder of land, rich or poor.