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

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.


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