2013-06-11 AWA Wilderness & Wildlife Defenders: Help shine a light on more clearcutting in Alberta’s forests
Dear Wilderness Defender: AWA is asking you to help shine a light on a “science experiment” proposed for the headwaters of Alberta’s Castle that AWA believes to be misguided. The purpose behind the project is to conduct “research on the impacts of forest management strategies on watershed values in the eastern slopes headwaters region.” Simply put, the plan is to clearcut the slopes, while measuring water volumes in the creek to see whether this causes runoff levels to increase, in essence “creating” water.
Alberta’s Eastern Slopes forests between the mountains and the grasslands have ecological importance far greater than their physical area. Healthy forests serve an invaluable role in collecting, storing and filtering water, and slowly releasing it into creeks and rivers. Once, management of these forested lands placed a firm priority on the production of a sustained and healthy water supply. More recently, this management priority has been undermined, and the primary use of forests has become the production of a sustained supply of timber. Native fish populations including endangered bull trout and West Slope cutthroat trout need healthy forests. They need the cold, clear, shady headwater creeks that sensitive forest management provides. We need to return to a model of ecosystem-based forest management that nurtures Alberta’s headwaters. Only then will we have a truly functioning ecosystem that will supply clean water for all Albertans to enjoy.
Wild Lands Advocate article, December 2012, by Cyndi Smith, Peter Sherrington and Reg Ernst. Three different perspectives on the Castle combine in a collage that echoes the diversity found in the region's Ecosystem. Cyndi Smith writes of her experiences as a Vegetation Specialist with Waterton Lakes National Park. Peter Sherrington talks about tracking migratory birds and other species as they fly over the Crowsnest Pass. And rare plants expert Reg Ernst gives us his perspective on why his Castle home is so special.
Wild Lands Advocate update, December 2012, by Sean Nichols. So at the end of the day, what will (or will not) be logged in the Castle this winter, and the next? And what will this decision mean for the rest of the C5 Forest Management Unit?
Logging opponents involved in last winter’s Castle protest took the Alberta Government to court today over the continuing clearcut logging in the Castle. The judge in the case chose to use his discretion and not allow the case to proceed due to the expiration of the 90-day window on the Notice of Development that was at issue. However he did leave the door open for the matter to be brought up again should another such notice be posted.
Through a series of communications with AESRD, and with the assistance of materials obtained in a FOIP package in June of 2012, AWA has ascertained some specifics regarding which forests will or will not fall under the logging delay announced on October 10. In this email, AWA has shared this information with other concerned organizations.
AWA sent this letter to AESRD forestry officers in an attempt to clarify which blocks would or would not be logged following the October 10, 2012 decision to halt some logging in the Castle pending the completion of the South Saskatchewan Land Use Plan process.
In an article from Saturday, the Calgary Herald explores the recent AESRD decision to halt future logging in the Castle pending the outcome of the South Saskatchewan Regional Land Use Plan. With this article is included a 5 minute video taken in the Castle recently highlighting some of the natural beauty and majesty of this area, as well as many of the threats under which it finds itself. If you've never been lucky enough to visit the Castle yourself, we recommend you take a few minutes out of your day to watch it and connect with this Special Place that Alberta is at such risk of losing.
2012-08-21 ENGO News Release: Just $20 per Truckload of Non-merchantable Timber for Castle Clearcut Trees
Twenty dollars. That’s how much grizzly bear habitat and trout spawning streams are worth to the Alberta Government. Twenty dollars is the amount of money that the Alberta government receives in royalties for each truckload of non-merchantable timber removed from the Castle.
Newly-released documents reveal that the Alberta government’s decision to go ahead with deeply unpopular clearcut logging in the Castle Special Place, west of Pincher Creek, Alberta – despite widespread public opposition – was made by Forestry staff in a seeming vacuum. Fish and Wildlife staff were given minimal opportunity for input, and documents show that input was ignored.
In February 2012, AWA made an application under Alberta's Freedom of Information legislation to see background correspondence behind the decision by Alberta Sustainable Resource Development to encourage clearcut logging in the Castle. A limited amount of correspondence was eventually released in July 2012.
Wild Lands Advocate article, April 2012, by Nigel Douglas, interviewing Rick Collier, one of four Castle logging protesters arrested in February 2012.
AWA is seeking clarification on comments attributed to Premier Redford in several recent Calgary Herald articles, regarding the 'protected' status of two thirds of the Castle C5 Forest Management Unit.
More than 170 people attended rallies today in Calgary and Edmonton to send a strong message to the Government of Alberta: Albertans love their forests and don’t want the heart of protected areas like the Castle Special Place or poplar trail systems in Bragg Creek to be logged.
AWA Wilderness & Wildlife Defenders alert. Please join us on Valentine's Day to show your love for Alberta's forests! Save our Forests rally, Tuesday February 14 at 12:00. Rallies are being held in Calgary and in Edmonton.
Last week, AWA notified supporters of an upcoming Save our Forests Rally, taking place in both Calgary and Edmonton. Please note that the rallies have now been rescheduled: they will be taking place on Tuesday February 14. This will be your chance to add your voice to the growing movement calling for a new vision for forest management in Alberta, whether it is the Castle, Bragg Creek or the Livingstone.
Public opposition to ill-planned clearcut logging programs in southern Alberta’s sensitive forests is steadily growing. Now is the time to increase the pressure on the Alberta government to listen to Albertans and to start bringing in sweeping changes to the way our forest are managed. Please consider these three options for adding your voice to the growing groundswell.
The battle to save the Castle from imminent clearcut logging continues. This morning, the RCMP moved in to clear the site near Beaver Mines where protesters have been camped out in opposition to the proposed Castle clearcut logging. The RCMP were there to enforce a Court Order to leave the protest site. Four of the 30 protesters declined to leave and were arrested. Meanwhile, the Court Order is being appealed in a provincial court. The case will be heard in the Calgary court Centre at 10:00 a.m. on Friday February 3.
An astonishingly draconian Court Order is served on Albertans protesting the proposed logging in the Castle. The order bans named protesters from all public land in Alberta - approximately 400,000 square kilometres!
Joint news release from WildCanada Conservation Alliance, Castle Crown Wilderness Coalition and AWA. Conservationists today called upon Alberta premier Alison Redford to halt plans for winter logging would disturb, displace or even kill bears denning in the Castle Special Management Area...