News Release – Logging in Crown of Continent sparks Tourism & Outdoor Recreation Industry Advisory

 

Pending logging in Castle Special Place sparks Tourism and Outdoor Recreation Industry Advisory

Twenty-three tourism and recreation businesses in southwest Alberta are publicly issuing an advisory to the tourism and recreation industry, warning businesses to “be aware before investing or expanding” in Alberta, Canada, if their business is making use of natural landscapes and associated wildlife on Alberta’s extensive public  lands.  The advisory warns that unless the natural state and wildlife habitat are legally protected under Alberta’s protected area legislation, it could disappear “with the stroke of a pen,” even when protection is presumed by virtue of land-use zoning or protected area announcements.  Such is happening now with the popular Castle Special Management Area located between the Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park and Crowsnest Pass, within the trans-boundary Crown of the Continent geo-tourism area.  A sawmill located outside the region, Spray Lake Sawmills in Cochrane, west of Calgary, and the Alberta Sustainable Resource Development Department (SRD) are set to log the core of the “protected area” commencing early June.

“Allowing the logging of the Castle wilderness is giving preference to one industry, logging, at the expense of the tourism and outdoor recreation industry.  Both contribute to the Alberta economy,” says Elaine Voth of Alpenwood Guest House near Beaver Mines and a signatory on the advisory. “The logging will have a devastating impact on the local tourism sector for years to come.”

The advisory was sparked by block-cut (commonly called clear-cut) logging set to start within the very same Castle Special Management Area that the Alberta Government had said is a protected area and announced as “a milestone in the preservation of Alberta’s natural heritage for future generations” in 1998.  The province still lists it as one of Alberta’s 81 Special Places.

 

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