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December 24th, 2014 ~ Vol. 84 No. 50
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Logging proceeds at Star Creek
Crowsnest Pass Herald Front Page
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Press Release
Despite repeated expressions of community angst and serious environmental concerns, this newspaper has just learned that ESRD (Forestry Division), the University of Alberta and Canfor are actively proceeding with the controversial plan to log the Star Creek basin. Heavy equipment was working in the Star Creek watershed on Monday (Dec. 22nd) as the newspaper was going to press.
Earlier this month, a haul-road approximately 10 km in length was constructed into the Star Creek valley from the Travel Alberta, Travel Information Centre. The haul-road crosses Girardi Creek before entering the Star Creek valley, site of the logging operation. Both streams are home to threatened pure-strain westslope cutthroat trout. The Alberta Wilderness Association, the
Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society and independent fisheries biologists, prior to the Dec. 22nd activity in the Star Creek watershed, reported the haul-road, seen to be actively channeling muddy water into Girardi Creek, failed to meet proper setbacks and other appropriate mitigation measures. The road, it was noted, further endangered the already threatened trout and violated the terms of the species' recovery plan. (Cutthroat trout were once widespread through the Bow and Oldman watersheds.
continued below...


Today, the species lives on just five percent of its former range.)
Critics also note that the plan to log Star Creek is proceeding without proper risk assessments, or a cumulative effects study.
ESRD's Forestry Division, the University of Alberta and Canfor were each apprised of the serious haul-road concerns and asked to stop all logging and road-building activity.
The response to these requests has been to ignore them, and the Government of Alberta appears to have targeted Christmas Week to carry out its plans to log the Star Creek basin. The Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada has been notified.
Ironically, the cover of Alberta's Westslope Cutthroat Trout Recovery Plan features Star Creek.
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December 24th ~ Vol. 84 No. 50
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