Tuesday, May 11, 2010  
   Volume 80 - Issue 19 Website:www.passherald.ca   email: passherald@shaw.ca   $1.00   
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Quote of the Week
“I came back here to be free. I didn’t want to be treated like I was in Calgary and Lethbridge.”
- Craig Duncan  
- on the community   
standards bylaw   
Spray Lake shows plans;
opposition voiced against Castle logging
A picket line formed outside the Spray Lake Sawmills office in Blairmore on Thursday, May 6, to peacefully protest planned timber harvesting in the Castle area, south of Crowsnest Pass. The protest was held during the company's open house, where people could view maps and ask questions about future harvest plans.
Spray Lake harvests timber in regions designated by Sustainable Resource Development. Spray Lake is responsible for developing operational plans and specifying the exact area to be cut, and these plans must be approved by SRD before operations begin.
In the Crowsnest Pass, Spray Lake has signed a road use agreement with the municipality for their log haul operations, giving the company access through Tecumseh Road, Atlas Road, and McGillivray Creek Road. This summer, they intend to complete their harvest plans in the McGillivray Creek area. Spray Lake concluded operations on several cut blocks up Atlas Road in 2009.
Martin Wilson of Spray Lake Sawmills said that after the McGillivray harvest, they plan to operate a little further north, going to Dutch Creek, the lower Livingstone area, the upper Livingstone, and then into Savannah Creek. He noted that these plans are not set in stone.
Outside the Blairmore office, the protesters drew attention to their concerns. The group of individuals, many of them property owners in the M.D. of Pincher Creek, are opposed to logging plans in the Castle and Carbondale areas.
Wendy Ryan, one of the protesters, said that approximately 5000 truckloads of logs are planned to be removed from within the Castle Special Place area in the winter of 2011-2012.
The Castle Special Place area is not formally protected, but has been a focal point for conservation efforts over several decades.
The provincial government is considering a report from a working committee, which recommends that the area, which stretches from just south of the Crowsnest Pass down to the northern border of Waterton National Park, be designated a wildlands park. This is seen as a middle point between full protection and full recreational and industrial access.
Ryan said that she feels the preservation efforts are being disregarded by SRD. "They know we're working on saving the Castle," she said. "They're not letting the public know what's going on."
She said that she and the other protesters don't feel there has been enough public consultation about logging plans in the Castle area. She said that there is no pine beetle outbreak in that area yet which would necessitate logging, and that she feels the pine beetle issue is being used as a scare tactic.
Ryan added that they fear logging in the area could harm the watershed, as the Castle Special Place region is the headwaters for much of southern Alberta's water supply.
While the protesters voiced opposition to clearcutting in the Castle, Spray Lake representatives contended that clearcutting was the wrong term for their plans. They said that they attempt to plan their cut blocks to work with the natural contours of the land rather than cutting square blocks, mimicking how fires have removed trees in decades and centuries past, while leaving buffers and sensitive features alone.
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   Volume 80 - Issue 19 Website:www.passherald.ca   email: passherald@shaw.ca   $1.00   
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