Stop Logging in Castle Special Place
For the latest news see our Castle update webpage
It's URGENT you act because Spray Lake Sawmill's bulldozers are now building logging roads in former national park lands to clear-cut what today is the heart of the Castle Special Management Area -- a Government of Alberta designated Special Place protected area in the Rocky Mountains of southwest Alberta. As Alberta's Legislature and new Premier go back to work, you can use your leverage as a potential visitor to Alberta or voter in Alberta to save this vital part of the international Crown of the Continent ecosystem and National Geographic geotourism area.
Help local residents and businesses who, despite the bitter cold, occupied the Castle for three weeks and maintained a picket-line that held back clear-cut logging from starting.
Dubbed Alberta's Costa Rica, this popular recreation area has the province's largest diversity for native plants and animals. It 's critical habitat for 223 species listed as rare or at risk of extinction in Alberta, including grizzly bears. For towns, ranches, farms and wildlife, it's the "watertower," supplying 30% of the annual flow in a region already too short on water.
Author of Official Book for National Park Centennial amongst Those Issued Court Order over Blocking Logging in Former National Park Land
Award winning author, Sid Marty; second generation outfitter, Mike Judd and three other local residents, out of about 150 outdoor enthusiasts, residents and conservationists that maintined the picket-line were served a Court Order for occupying this public forest in the popular heart of the Castle. Four people were arrested and clear-cutting has started. An appeal of the government's notice closing the area to public access in order to allow the logging will be heard Febraury 24th in Court of Queens Bench, Calgary, Alberta.
If not stopped by the politicians or legal action in the courts, clear-cutting will remove half the mature forest in the 81 square kilometer logging license (4,737 truckloads of logs) over three winters. That includes logging over designated trails, to the edge of campgrounds, in that zoned Critical Wildlife habitat, and in lands once in Waterton Lakes National Park.
Contrary to statements in the media, the government is NOT contractually obligated to have this logging. Alberta's Forest Act allows the forestry department, in the public interest, to move the logging out of the Castle and no compensation would be due to Spray Lake Sawmills provided they receive a 30-day notice. As early as last April, conservation representives were pointing out alternate logging areas, already approved and not at issue with the public.
Show locals on-site protesting they're not alone!
- Send a letter to the Premier of Alberta and then keep reading below for more actions you can take.
- If you haven't already - PHONE PREMIER REDFORD'S office, 780 427-2251 (toll-free in Alberta by dialing 310-0000) and ask that logging be immediately stopped in Castle Protected Area.
- If you're an ALBERTAN, PHONE YOUR MLA and email him/her a copy of your letter to the Premier. You can find your MLA here. BE SURE to state you are a voter in his/her constituency. (Call toll-free by dialing 310-0000 first.)
- If you're an ALBERTAN, be introduced in the Legislature Public Gallery as opposed to clear-cutting the heart of the Castle. Get a seat for any Mon. through Thur. including Valentine's Day by calling your MLA and asking for a seat. Arrive at the Legislature by 1:00 pm sharp. Public Gallery introductions are done at 1:30 pm. If your MLA won't book you a seat and introduce you as opposed to clear-cutting the Castle, one of the opposition parties' Legislature offices will (all toll-free by dialing 310-0000 first): Liberal 780 415-0976 (or firstname.lastname@example.org) ; Wild Rose 780 427-1865 (or email@example.com); NDP 780 415-1800 (or firstname.lastname@example.org), or Alberta Party 780 427-2298 (or email@example.com).
- LEGAL ACTION TRUST-FUND - Donate at any CIBC bank in Canada (starting week of Feb. 13th) to challenge, in the courts, the logging license and appeal closure of this public forest to public access. If outside Canada, click donation link at end & mark "Castle legal action fund."
- ATTEND COURT HEARING - Calgary Court Centre, Court of Queen's Bench, February 24th. Public attending to listen shows importance of the issue. (Look for "Her Majesty the Queen vs Petersen, et al" in the listings.)
- FORWARD this page TO YOUR CONTACT LIST.
- Stay in touch: "Like" Castle's Facebook page, Stop Castle Logging blog or www.savethecastle.net
For More Information on the issue:
• Flyer, poster & more here.
• Two independent public opinion studies here and here.
• Facebook, Stop Castle Logging blog.
• Andrew Nikiforuk's blog "Alberta launches legal action against logging protesters"
For More Information on the Castle & Crown of the Continent:
• Pamphlet, maps & more
• Guidebook: Exploring the Castle by Robert Kershaw
• National Geographic Crown of the Continent geotourism area.
• Alberta government's Special Places webpage
• 1998 Castle Protected Area decision.