Responses to Minister Knight’s Letters

Many people have been writing the Honourable Mel Knight, Minister of Sustainable Resource Development, to complain about Spray Lake Sawmills’ proposed logging. The replies we’ve been receiving from Minister Knight have been remarkably similar, and contain some very contentious statements.

Here are Minister Knight’s replies to James Tweedie and Gordon Petersen, and their responses back to the Minister. You may find some useful information here to help you cut through the spin.

If you don’t like the answers you’re receiving from Minister Knight, be sure to write him back!

Here is the letter James Tweedie received from Minister Knight, and here is James’ response.

Here is the letter Gordon Petersen received from Minister Knight, and here is Gordon’s response.


3 Responses to Responses to Minister Knight’s Letters

  1. james tweedie says:

    there’s a typo in the C5 FMP section “lead” should read “led”

  2. Dave Mayhood says:

    Mike Sawyer and I published a cumulative effects analysis of land-use on the Carbondale basin in 1998 (Sawyer & Mayhood 1998, Mayhood 2010). Gary Parkstrom (2002) later published a somewhat similar analysis for the South Castle basin. These basins are at high risk of serious damage from the combined effects of past clear-cutting and road development. The risks have not diminished in the intervening years; rather they have increased as a result of extensive wildfires, continued logging, and heavy road use. There is abundant evidence of existing damage to channels as documented in the above publications.

    The Carbondale basin is one of 2 still remaining with substantial populations of relatively pure, unhybridized westslope cutthroat trout, recognized by Alberta as a threatened species here. All other remaining pure populations are tiny, extremely fragmented and at very high risk of extinction (Cleator et al 2009, Mayhood 2009a, b). The effect of the extreme watershed damage and extensive damage to stream channels is almost certainly to greatly reduce the carrying capacity for cutthroats. The Carbondale and South Castle watersheds urgently need to be restored to a more natural, unlogged, unroaded condition. Adding additional clearcut area (and undoubtedly more roads and trails) is precisely the wrong thing to do for ASRD to meet its goal of recovering westslope cutthroat trout populations.

    Literature Cited

    Cleator, H., J. E. Earle, L. Fitch, S. Humphries, M. Koops, K. E. Martin, D. Mayhood, S. Petry, C. J. Pacas, J. D. Stelfox, and D. Wig. 2009. Information relevant to a recovery potential assessment of pure native westslope cutthroat trout, Alberta population. Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Canadian Science Advisory Secretariat Research Document 2009/036, revised February 2010, iv+26 p.

    Mayhood, D. W. 2009. Contributions to a recovery plan for westslope cutthroat trout (Oncorhynchus clarkii lewisi) in Alberta: distribution, population size and trends. Report prepared by FWR Freshwater Research Limited, Calgary, AB, for Alberta Fish and Wildlife Division, Cochrane, AB. In preparation.

    Mayhood, D. W. 2009. Contributions to a recovery plan for westslope cutthroat trout (Oncorhynchus clarkii lewisi) in Alberta: threats and limiting factors. Report prepared for Alberta Fish and Wildlife, Cochrane, AB. FWR Freshwater Research Limited Technical Report No. 2009/05-2, Calgary, AB. ix+68 p.

    Mayhood, D. W. 2010. Testing the H60 calculations in the 1998 Carbondale Basin Interior Watershed Assessment Procedure. Freshwater Research Limited Technical Note 2010/01-1, vi+12 p.

    Parkstrom, G. 2002. Effects of forest roads and road density in the South Castle River basin, Alberta. pp. 14-30. in D. H. Sheppard, G. Parkstrom, and J. C. Taylor, editors. Bringing it back: a restoration framework for the Castle Wilderness. Castle-Crown Wilderness Coaliton, P.O. Box 2621, Pincher Creek, AB. T0K 1W0. 176 p.

  3. Gordon Bourgoin says:

    I have read this article and several others that are attached to “stopcastlelogging” website and am appalled (but not surprised) by the proposed actions of our provincial government. I gladly put my name behind this cause and will do what I can to stop the logging of the Castle River, Carbondale River and Lynx Creek watershed. Thank you for writing such well researched articles.

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