Castle Special Place Logging Protestors and Crown Reach Agreement on February 24 Court Proceedings
February 23, 2012. For Immediate Release
Provincial officials have decided not to charge anti-logging protestors who were arrested on February 1 in the Castle Special Place. In addition, protestors who were named in the related Court Order will not be appealing that Order in court.
Lawyers for the protestors, and the Crown’s lawyer, reached an out-of-court understanding where no further action will be taken against those arrested, and where the Court Order will be allowed to expire.
“We’re pleased to have come to an agreement that will resolve the outstanding issues surrounding the logging arrests and the Court Order”, said Gordon Petersen, one of those named in the Court Order. “Now we can get on with the business of challenging the substantive legal issues surrounding the granting of the logging licence, and challenging the logging itself.”
For more than three weeks, and braving a cold snap where temperatures plunged to –35°, dozens of local residents, business leaders, and activists protested logging in the Castle Special Place. The area, designated a protected area by Cabinet in 1998, is critical for the protection of Southern Alberta’s watershed, as well as part of an international conservation area for the endangered grizzly bear.
Logging began shortly after four people were arrested on February 1.
“It’s shocking and shameful that citizens were forced to face incarceration to try to stop logging in the Castle”, says Petersen. “We had hoped that the overwhelming public opposition to the clear cut logging would have been enough, but the government appears to be deaf to the public’s concerns.”
Local activists are planning to continue with court action of their own. In addition, they continue to call on citizens across Alberta to make their voices heard by calling the Premier and their MLA’s at 310-0000.