Pending Clearcut Logging in Castle Special Place
Posted February 4, 2011
“We have learned that Sustainable Resource Development (SRD) and Spray Lake Sawmill (SLS; mill located west of Calgary in Cochrane) have slated the Beaver Mines Lake/Castle Falls area inside Castle Special Place for clear-cut logging. The clearcut logging would amount to approximately 2,000 truckloads of logs the first season and 3,075 the second (SLS's figures). SRD could approve the final plan prior to SLS's May 6th open house in Blairmore.
“Please write a letter ASAP to SLS (Sierra Club Canada letter attached) and following April 1st, to the Honourable Mel Knight, Minister of Sustainable Resource Development. Please ask SLS not to include any logging in the Castle Special Place within their Annual Operating Plan for SRD approval. Please ask SRD to remove such logging from the 2009 General Development Plan (the five-year logging plan for 2008-2013).
‘Logging in the Castle Special Place would be in :the premier source of water for southern Alberta; what is designated as a Special Place "within Alberta's protected areas network ... as "a major milestone in the preservation of Alberta’s natural heritage for future generations;” an area where more than one report has concluded cumulative impacts are seriously degrading the ecological integrity of the area; the most biologically diverse area of Alberta, during the time of the International Year of Biodiversity.
‘Until SRD amends the approved 2009 General Development Plan (GDP) for the Crowsnest Forest (the logging plan for 2008-2013) and makes it clear that there will be no approval for logging in the Castle Special Place for 2010-11, the public has no assurance logging will not occur 2010-11; prior to (a) completion of S. Saskatchewan Regional Plan and/or (b) a decision on completing legislation for the Castle Special Place under the protected areas/parks legislation.
‘Those who have already emailed and written have received no confirmation yet from SLS whether or not come April 1st, the Castle will be in their Annual Operating Plan for SRD approval for this coming winter's logging. SLS has been operating in the Beaver Mines Lake/Castle Falls area this winter, planning the logging. There is no confirmation yet whether there will be an amendment to the approved General Development Plan, removing the Castle from logging.
“According to SLS, "Beaver" near the end of the summary table of logging volumes in the SRD approved, 2009 General Development Plan is Beaver Mines Lake/Castle Falls, not Beaver Creek as per the cover letter. The Five-Year Harvest Sequence map with the 2009 GDP does not have the Castle on it for logging in any years through 2013. All three docs -- map, 2009 GDP cover letter and summary table of logging volumes are at http://www.spraylakesawmills.com/Woodlands/ForestManagementPlanning/GeneralDevelopmentPlans/tabid/274/Default.aspx
“The hierarchy of the various types of plans is summarized on the SLS website at http://www.spraylakesawmills.com/Woodlands/ForestManagementPlanning/PlanningHierarchy/tabid/162/Default.aspx
However, it neglects to include the Alberta Government's 1998 decision adding the Castle Special Place "to Alberta's network of protected areas" ... as “a major milestone in the preservation of Alberta’s natural heritage for future generations.”
Dianne Pachal, Alberta WILD Director
Sierra Club Canada
#210, 223 - 12th Ave., S.W.
Calgary, AB T2R 0G9
Phone 403 234-7368; FAX 403 234-9532