Stop the Logging of the Castle Wilderness Area!
You can make a difference. You have leverage as a voter while all the political decision makers are in election mode and working in the Legislature. It's URGENT to use your leverage today to help local residents and businesses who bravely maintained a picket-line and camp in the Castle Special Management Area for three weeks to holdback clear-cut logging from starting in this Government of Alberta designated, Special Place protected area.
Clear-cutting is scheduled over three-winters by Spray Lake Sawmills; a sawmill located outside the region. If not stopped by the political decision makers or courts, it will remove half the mature forest in the 81 square kilometer logging license (company estimates 4,737 truckloads of logs), including logging over designated trails, to the edge of campgrounds, in that zoned Critical Wildlife habitat, and in lands that were once in Waterton Lakes National Park.
Act Today to be Heard in the Legislature!
1) HAVE YOUR LETTER READ IN THE LEGISLATURE.
Use points below as a guideline to write a short, personal letter in YOUR OWN WORDS. Start with your connection to the Castle.
BE SURE TO SAY you want it read in the Legislature and end by asking for a reply. Before clicking send, KEEP A COPY. Then email to firstname.lastname@example.org .
Email the COPIES TO the lead MLAs of all four opposition parties, any one of whome will have it entered in the Legislature: Harry Chase (Liberal MLA) email@example.com ; Guy Boutilier (Wild Rose MLA) firstname.lastname@example.org ; Rachel Notley (NDP MLA) email@example.com and Dave Taylor (Alberta Party MLA) firstname.lastname@example.org .
2) ATTEND RALLIES AT LEGISLATURE (Edmonton) or PREMIERS S. AB OFFICE (McDougall Centre, Calgary)
Noon hour, Tues., Feb. 14th at the Legislature.
3) PHONE YOUR MLA and email him/her a copy of your letter to the Premier.
Find your at http://streetkey.elections.ab.ca BE SURE to state you are a voter in his/her constituency. (Call toll-free by dialing 310-0000 first.)
4) BE INTRODUCED IN LEGISLATURE PUBLIC GALLERY as opposed to clear-cutting the Castle.
Get a seat for Wed. Feb. 8th or any day following Mon. through Thur. including day of the rally 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 email@example.com ) ; Wild Rose 780 427-1865 (or firstname.lastname@example.org ); NDP 780 415-1800 (or email@example.com ), or Alberta Party 780 427-2298 (firstname.lastname@example.org ).
5) If not already done, PHONE PREMIER REDFORD'S office, 780 427-2251 (toll-free by dialing 310-000 first).
6) "SHARE" this page TO YOUR CONTACT LIST.
7) DONATE TO LEGAL ACTION TRUST-FUND, at any CIBC bank (starting week of Feb 13) to challenge, in the courts, the logging license and appeal closure of this public forest to public access.
Ask Your MLA & Premier Redford to:
Ask Sustainable Resource Development Dept. to immediately notify Spray Lake Sawmills to move clear-cutting out of the Castle protected area into an alternate area not at issue with the public. (Such areas, all closer to the sawmill and already approved for logging, have been pointed out to the government and company).
- AB's Forest Act allows the Sustainable Resource Development Dept. to do this and no compensation is due to the company provided they give it a 30-day notice.
- Cabinet (Premier & all Ministers), after local nominations and extensive public consultation, designated the Castle Special Management Area as a Special Place protected area.
- International standards (IUCN) for protected areas do not accept logging in any class of protected area. (Exceptions in developing countries where poverty stricken people need wood for fuel.)
- The only international standard for logging recognized by the forest industry, communities, aboriginal peoples and conservation organizations (Forest Stewardship Council, FSC) does not accept industrial logging in protected areas.
BACKGROUND (or if you want to make your letter longer):
1) The whole situation is undemocratic:
- Ignores Cabinet's (Premier & all the Ministers) 1998 designation of the Castle as a Special Place protected area for "preserving Alberta's natural heritage;" made following local nominations and years of consultation.
- Was no public consultation on whether the logging license should have been issued inside the protected area.
- Majority of area residents oppose the logging and want the Castle's protection assured as a Wildland Park, according to independent public opinion studies.
2) It will harm local, long-term jobs, from tourism/outdoor recreation businesses to nurseries that specialize in native plants. The sawmill is located outside the region with only two resident staff.
3) As demonstrated in adjacent Waterton Lakes National Park, clear-cut logging is NOT needed to manage fire risk.
4) The Castle is rated by Sustainable Resource Development as having a low susceptibility for a pine-beetle epidemic.
5) No industrial-scale logging has occurred in the Castle since the Government of Alberta designated it as a Special Place protected area in 1998.
For More Information on the issue:
• Flyer, poster & more here. Links to download in left menu at http://www.albertafoothillsnetwork.org/
• Two independent opinion studies http://www.lethbridgecollege.ca/sites/default/files/imce/about-us/applie... and http://www.castlespecialplace.ca/Castle%20Survey%20April%2015.pdf .
For More Information on the Castle & Crown of the Continent:
• Pamphlet, maps & more. www.castlespecialplace.ca
• Guidebook: Exploring the Castle by Robert Kershaw http://www.chapters.indigo.ca/books/Exploring-Castle-Discovering-Backbon...
• National Geographic Crown of the Continent geotourism area www.crownofthecontinent.net
• Alberta government's Special Places webpage. Castle was 40th protected area designated http://www.tpr.alberta.ca/parks/managing/establishing.asp#special
• 1998 Castle Protected Area decision http://alberta.ca/home/NewsFrame.cfm?ReleaseID=/acn/199803/5992.html