Under the direction of Alberta’s Department of Sustainable Resource Development (SRD), Spray Lake Sawmills is preparing to clear-cut log the Beaver Mines Lake/Castle Falls area starting in the fall of 2011.
It boggles the mind.
Why would SRD even consider allowing this logging when 1. This is a prime recreational area, 2. The Castle Special Place is part of Alberta’s Protected Areas Network, 3. There has been no update of the Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) since 1985, 4. The C5 Management Plan has not been approved, 5. The Land Use Framework planning process (South Saskatchewan Regional Plan) is underway, 6. The Oldman Watershed Council has not completed its Integrated Watershed Management Plan, 7. [Part of] The area is under a Crown Reservation by the Parks and Protected Areas Division, and 8. There’s a broadly-supported, citizen’s initiative that’s working to have the area protected as a [Wildland] park?
It would be easy to conclude that SRD is helping Spray Lakes Sawmills “get the cut out” as quickly as possible to pre-empt the planning processes that are currently underway. Once the area has been trashed, much of the planning becomes moot.
Click here to see a larger version of the graphic.
Please contact Minister Knight, MLA Evan Berger, and Spray Lake Sawmills and tell them to halt the logging plans:
Honourable Mel Knight
Minister of Sustainable Resource Development
Alberta Legislature Building
10800 – 97 Avenue
Phone: 780 415-4815
Mr. Evan Berger
MLA for Livingstone-Macleod
P.O. Box 69
Fort Macleod, AB
Phone: 403 553-2400
Mr. Gord Lehn
305 Griffin Road W.
Phone: (403) 851-3314
It sucks. One of Spray Lakes’ comments in the Forest Management Planning consultation back in 2004 was to the effect that they needed the 120% increase in the annual allowable cut in order to give the company the volume it needed at their Cochrane sawmill to keep their two shift operation running efficiently/profitably.
This cut, about as far away from their sawmill as they could go (maybe close to 4 hrs hauling), appears to be more about foreclosing any future Park designation for the Castle area (with their eye on other stands in the next couple of decades) than anything to do with the economics of commercial logging in this area. I am not up to date on their current stumpage fees for timber from this area but we can assume it is pitifully trivial. Jobs in Cochrane no doubt have more political clout than anything going on down here.
Have you people thought of how much MORE windy it’ll be with all those trees gone!???