Rocky Mountain and Foothills Forests Archive
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.
A letter AWA sent to the Southern Landscape Planning Lead in the Land-Use Framework's Southern Saskatchewan Region. AWA expressed its support for the process as it had been set up and emphasized that Albertans support the priorities recognized by the SSRAC of "maintaining watershed integrity... by considering impacts of land disturbance in management decisions."
Wild Lands Advocate article, December 2012, by Dr. Kevin Timoney. Timoney presents a case study of a prescribed burn near Saskatchewan River Crossing, and looks at the rare plant communities in the area, comparing the health and threats to those communities both before (in 2007) and after (in 2009 and 2011) the burn. He finishes by making recommendations to the government regarding the future of the prescribed burn program.
AWA letter to AESRD Minister McQueen regarding our concerns about recent logging operations in Hidden Creek in the Livingstone-Porcupine. Hidden Creek is part of the headwaters of the Upper Oldman River and a critical spawning ground for Westslope Cutthroat Trout as well as threatened Bull Trout, two species that were negatively impacted by the logging.
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?
AESRD Minister McQueen letter to AWA in response to our letter of 2012-11-06 outlining our concerns regarding imminent logging plans for Hidden Creek.
In Alberta’s secluded Hidden Creek, a rapid-fire “blink and you’ll miss it” logging operation is coming to a swift close. Hidden Creek is the most important spawning grounds for threatened bull trout in the entire Oldman River system in southern Alberta, and is also home to threatened westslope cutthroat trout. For a paltry $17,000 of timber royalties, this important refuge is now jeopardized by a new road and clear cuts that will alter its water quality and quantity.
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.
AWA letter to Premier Redford and AESRD Minister McQueen outlining our concerns regarding imminent logging plans for Hidden Creek in the Livingstone-Porcupine, part of the headwaters of the Upper Oldman River and a critical spawning ground for Westslope Cutthroat Trout as well as threatened Bull Trout.
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.
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.
The Government of Alberta has quietly signed a new 20 year Forest Management Agreement (FMA) with Sundre Forest Products, apparently bypassing the imminent North Saskatchewan planning process. The deal will make watershed and wildlife conservation more difficult in the FMA’s 5600 km2 area of North Saskatchewan and Red Deer River forested headwaters that affects the water security of over a million Albertans downstream.
Wild Lands Advocate article, April 2012, by Nigel Douglas, interviewing Rick Collier, one of four Castle logging protesters arrested in February 2012.
2012-03-14 AWA News Release: No Public Involvement in Forestry Deal: Health of North Saskatchewan and Red Deer River Headwaters at Stake
A large forest management contract on public lands in the headwaters of two major Alberta rivers is close to being renewed without any public consultation. Albertans may miss this one-in-twenty-year opportunity to provide input into the management of North Saskatchewan and Red Deer Rivers headwaters, affecting over a million downstream users.
This document is the official input from Alberta Wilderness Association (AWA) into the Forest Management Agreement (FMA) renewal process of Sundre Forest Products Inc. (SFP), within the provincial Forest Management Unit R10. Although there is no requirement to conduct a formal public consultation process surrounding FMA renewals, we believe Albertans have the right to provide input into the management of public lands held in trust and managed by our elected representatives.
2012-02-15 Sustainable Forests, Sustainable Communities. The Future of Alberta’s Southwestern Forests
Wild Lands Advocate article, December 2011, by Nigel Douglas, describing a report from a group of environmental groups, landowner organizations, watershed groups and businesses, working to present an alternative model of forest management in Alberta.
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.