Stop Castle Logging Rally, Thursday, Sept 23, Waterton

September 20, 2010

Media Advisory

For Release: Monday, September 20, 2010

Beaver Mines, Alberta: The ad hoc group, Stop Castle Logging, will hold a rally on Thursday, September 23, starting about 8:30 a.m. outside the Bayshore Hotel in Waterton Lakes National Park where local MLA Evan Berger will be addressing the conference Remarkable Beyond Borders: Shaping the Future of the Crown of the Continent. The rally is intended to let Mr. Berger and the conference attendees know that plans to allow Cochrane-based Spray Lake Sawmills (SLS) to clear-cut log in the Castle Special Place west of Pincher Creek, Alberta, are unacceptable.

The provincial department of Sustainable Resource Development, of which MLA Evan Berger is Parliamentary Assistant, has given SLS permission to clear-cut log in the area between Beaver Mines Lake, Castle Falls and over Carbondale Hill into Lynx Creek. This is a prime recreational area that includes provincial campgrounds and Scouts Canada’s Camp Impeesa. The area is also considered core grizzly bear habitat for the Alberta grizzly bear recovery plan, and is a key component of the Crown of the Continent Ecosystem. Much of the area is zoned critical wildlife.

Members of the Stop Castle Logging group and others have been writing, calling, and meeting with Mr. Berger for months now, but Mr. Berger seems more intent on promoting the interests of Spray Lake Sawmills than on representing the views of his constituents.

For more information
please go to and/or contact:

Karin Buhrmann, Gladstone Valley, (403) 627-5365

Rick Cooke, Crowsnest Pass, (403) 564-4642, (403) 564-5177

Phil Hazelton, Gladstone Valley, (403) 627-4407

Rebecca Holand, Beaver Mines, (403) 627-4879

Gordon Petersen, Beaver Mines, (403) 627-3732

Peter Sherrington, Beaver Mines, (403) 627-3522

Jacques Thouin, Beaver Mines, (403) 627-4879


Pincher Creek Echo Editorial, Sept 10, 2010: Clear-cutting is never a good idea

September 17, 2010

Clear-cutting is never a good idea

There is no doubt that the Castle area is one of the most beautiful places in the world.

It seems a shame to me that Sustainable Resource Development (SRD) Minister Mel Knight’s decision to allow clear-cut logging in such a beautiful place.

Much of the area slated for logging is on the government’s land-use plan zoned as Critical Wildlife and along with Beauvais Provincial Park, zoned as General Recreation (not “multiple-use” which is multiple industrial uses including logging).

So that makes one wonder how these so-called officials can make these decisions without taking into consideration the fact that the area is loved and cherished by not only those who live in the area, but those who enjoy visiting year after year.

In 1998, according to the Alberta Government’s highlights of their Special Places decision, it had added the 1040 sq km Castle area to “Alberta’s protected areas network” as “a milestone in the preservation of Alberta’s natural heritage for future generations.”

Spray Lake Sawmills, located in Cochrane, west of Calgary estimates they will now be taking 3,750 truckloads of logs from those public lands for their Cochrane mill more than four hours haul away.

The logging license, which will consist of clear-cut blocks, is centered in the midst of the Castle’s five Provincial Recreation Areas (campgrounds) and Scout Canada’s Camp Impeesa.

In this person’s opinion logging will hurt fish and wildlife, grizzly bears and rare tree species, it will also damage what is now a healthy watershed even after the slow-growing forest is replanted.

However, Alberta’s department of Sustainable Resource Development, which is responsible for the land, said the plans for harvesting the timber have been on the books for decades and can be done in a responsible manner. Government officials say it’s an issue of forest health.

They also say that logging will help prevent the spread of mountain pine beetle, they say.

But will it really ?

People need to stop and realize that once this beautiful area is gone…. It is gone.

Stop Castle Logging Rally

September 16, 2010

A Stop-Castle-Logging Rally will be held on Thursday, Sept 23, starting at 8:30 a.m., outside the Remarkable Beyond Borders: Shaping the Future of the Crown of the Continent conference being held at the Bayshore Inn in Waterton Park.

More information will be posted here early next week (Sept 20).

Please plan to come out and support the effort to Stop Castle Logging!

Petition Against Commercial Logging in the Castle Special Place / Special Management Area

September 10, 2010

Click here to download a petition form that can be printed and signed.

Critics say clear-cutting Castle area ‘doesn’t make sense’

September 8, 2010

Check out the Calgary Herald’s front-page story on the proposed logging.

Stop Castle Logging Volunteers Get a Boost from Long-Weekend Campers

September 8, 2010

News Release

For immediate release: Tues., Sept. 7, 2010

Stop Castle Logging Volunteers Get a Boost from Long-Weekend Campers

Beaver Mines, Alberta:  Some area residents, small business owners and outdoor enthusiasts gave up part of their Labor Day long-weekend to work in sunshine and rain to alert the hundreds of campers in the Castle Spe­cial Management Area of the local MLA’s and Sustainable Resource Development (SRD) Minister Mel Knight’s decision to schedule the centre of this popular Special Place for clear-cut logging.  Located west of Pincher Creek on public forest lands between Waterton Lakes National Park and Crowsnest Pass, the Castle is listed by Alberta Tourism, Parks and Recreation as one of Alberta’s 81 Special Places.  Much of the area slated for logging is on the government’s land-use plan zoned as Critical Wildlife and along with Beauvais Provincial Park, zoned as General Recreation (not “multiple-use” which is multiple industrial uses including logging).

“SRD didn’t hold public consultations before they decided to log the Castle and we found almost half camped there (47%) didn’t know at all of the pending logging, let alone where they could send their concerns,” said Phil Hazelton who lives near the Castle. “It was a great morale booster for us hearing the camper’s support for pro­tecting the Castle from the logging.”

The volunteers spent Saturday and Sunday of the long-weekend handing out flyers to campers, getting a sense of where people who recreate in the area come from and collecting signatures on a petition.  West of Beaver Mines near the entrance to the Castle, a sign reads, “Help us! and gives a website address with information:  People were given the addresses for Minister Knight and his Parliamentary Assis­tant and local MLA, Evan Berger, so they could send their concerns directly to them.

On the long-weekend, 155 campsites were visited and despite running out of petitions on Saturday, 256 signed against the logging.  There were first time visitors and those who have been coming to the Castle for more than a decade, some 30 to 40 years.  People come from as far north as Red Deer, as far east as Medicine Hat and from all over southern Alberta, as well as a few from BC and outside Canada.  The largest portion (38%) came from Lethbridge, with the next largest numbers coming from Calgary (15%) and the immediate local area (14%).

In 1998, according to the Alberta Government’s highlights of their Special Places decision, it had added the 1040 sq km Castle area to “Alberta’s protected areas network” as “a milestone in the preservation of Alberta’s natural heritage for future generations.”  Spray Lake Sawmills, located in Cochrane, west of Calgary estimates they will now be taking 3,750 truckloads of logs from those public lands for their Cochrane mill more than four hours haul away.  The logging license, which will consist of clear-cut blocks, is centered in the midst of the Castle’s five Provincial Recreation Areas (campgrounds) and Scout Canada’s Camp Impeesa.”

“By their comments on the weekend, there’s no question that people value the area.  Most were about the logging, with many comments ranging from its tragic to crazy,” observed Jolaine Kelly, who with her husband owns a nearby bed and breakfast.

“We will continue to keep raising awareness to stop the logging and instead leave the area intact.   We want to keep it as a place where the priority is watershed protection, outdoor recreation and tourism as the government committed to in the land-use plan,” said a determined Karin Buhrmann, who also lives nearby.  “What’s next, are they going to insist on logging Beauvais and Waterton too?”

For more information and contact:

Phil Hazelton, 403 627-4407, Gladstone Valley, MD Pincher Creek,

Karin Buhrmann, 403 627-5365, Gladstone Valley, MD Pincher Creek,

Jolaine Kelly, 403 627-5128, Beaver Mines,