Action Alert: Save Castle Special Place

Castle Falls / Beaver Mines Lake slated for logging

Your prompt action is needed before March 14th to save the popular Castle Special Place / Special Management Area located within Alberta’s portion of the Crown of the Continent from block-cut  (commonly called clear-cut) logging by a sawmill located outside the region.  See Action Checklist below. Spray Lake Sawmills located west of Calgary is set to start logging operations June 10th and plans to take what they estimate as 3,750 truckloads of logs from the protected area over two logging seasons.  It’s short-term jobs at the expense of local, long-term ones associated with tourism and outdoor recreation.  Such large-scale logging has not occurred in the Castle Special Place since 1998, when the Government of Alberta announced it had added it as the new Castle Special Management Area to “Alberta’s protected areas network.”  The Government described it then as “a milestone in the preservation of Alberta’s natural heritage for future generations.”
The Sustainable Resource Development Department approved the logging last year for the logging license they had issued to the sawmill in 2005 and for the sawmill’s requested expansion of the license; both without public consultation and ignoring the 1998 protected area decision.  Spray Lake Sawmills and Alberta Sustainable Resource Development are intent on logging the Castle Special Management Area despite:
  • No pine beetle outbreak and it being at low risk of a future outbreak from this native Rocky Mountain beetle.
  • Regional land-use planning stipulating watershed protection, tourism and recreation as the highest priorities for the area; not block-cut/clear-cut logging.
  • Since 1934, the historically most extensively logged drainages in the Castle (those of the Carbondale) being where all the major fires (> 2 sq. km) have occurred.
  • Few intact forests in Alberta’s southern headwaters and less than 9% of the Castle remaining with trees over 150 years of age, when the natural landscape there should be a third old-growth forests.
  • The Castle providing an unsurpassed 1/3 of the annual water flow for most of southern Alberta; specifically the water stressed, Oldman River Basin and its 70 municipalities, including Lethbridge.
ACTION CHECKLIST
  • Write a short letter to Premier Stelmach. Use the white box at http://org2.democracyinaction.org/o/5654/p/dia/action/public/?action_KEY=5663#letter Write your letter in that box, using your own words and making use of tips below (also at the above link).  You can change the wording in the Subject box if you wish.  Click to send when done.  Copies will also automatically go to local MLA, Evan Berger and the opposition MLAs: Bridget Pastoor, Liberal; Paul Hinman, Wild Rose; Rachel Notley, NDP; and Dave Taylor, Alberta Party.
  • After you send your letter, please take a moment and call MLA Evan Berger (403-553-2400). Berger is the local MLA. Let him know of your opposition.
  • Print & post the poster with maps & photos. Download the poster in PDF (1.74 MB) at http://www.sierraclub.ca/sites/sierraclub.ca/files/castle-pdf.pdf or JPG (199 KB) http://www.sierraclub.ca/sites/sierraclub.ca/files/castle-pdf.jpgOpen and print with your computer’s picture printing function at letter size and post, or for more impact, save to memory stick & print at ledger size (11″ x 17″) at a local print shop & then post in public places.
  • Ask friends & family to join the action and email them this action alert.
  • Stay in the news & action loop by “liking” Stop Castle Logging on Facebook.  If not on Facebook, you can still view our page at http://tinyurl.com/4v7pp7y
TIPS FOR WRITING LETTERS
  • State what the Castle Special Place / Special Management Area means to you.
    Ask Premier Stelmach to stop the pending logging of the Castle.
  • Use your own reasons and/or draw from the action alert above.
  • Ask your concerns to be represented in the Alberta Legislature.
    Request a reply.
FOR MORE INFORMATION
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