Organizations Leading the Market Action
Castle Special Management Area
popular Castle Special Management Area is public land located in the Rocky Mountains and foothills between the Waterton-Glacier International Peace
Park and Crowsnest Pass in southwest Alberta and within the trans-boundary Crown
of the Continent ecosystem. 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 this “protected area” commencing early June 2011, unless
stopped by the public opposition.
CLICK HERE FOR LOCAL BUSINESSES' TOURISM & RECREATION INDUSTRY ADVISORYCLICK HERE TO SIGN ON YOUR BUSINESS TO THE ADVISORYClick Here to See Enlarged Map of Spray Lakes Cut Blocks in the Castle
Click Here to See Enlarged Picture of
Spray Lakes Cut Blocks
Castle falls with the Crowsnest
Forest (C5 FMA), which is
that portion of the Rocky Mountain Forest Reserve located between the south
boundary of Kananaskis Country west of Calgary,
and the Waterton-Glacier
Park. Together with the peace park, it is the
headwaters of the Oldman
River Basin of southern Alberta, which consists
of 70 municipalities including the City of Lethbridge.
The Castle provides an unprecedented third of the annual water-flow in
Bow Forest (FMUs B9, B 10 and B11) located
to the north of the Crowsnest
Forest and Spray Lake
Sawmills are currently undergoing a pre-assessment to determine if it will
enter into an FSC certification process.
However, the sawmill and SRD have not entered into any FSC
pre-assessment process or FSC certification process for any part or whole of
the Crowsnest Forest (C5). Indeed, the Castle “protected area” would be a High Conservation
and set aside from logging under FSC criteria, if the Crowsnest Forest
was FSC certified.
Some forestry companies are signatories to the Canadian Boreal Forest Agreement, and are working together with environmental groups to improve logging practices and protect areas like the Castle from logging. Canfor, Weyerhaeuser, Tolko, West Fraser, Daishowa, Millar Western and Al-Pac are all part of the Agreement. Spray Lakes, Sundance, Alberta Newsprint Company, Foothills Forest Products, Manning Diversified and many others are not.
Pending Block-Cut / Clear-Cut Logging
block-cut logging (commonly called clear-cut by the public) is scheduled 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 coming out of its Special Places 2000 program and that lengthy
consultation on new protected areas (1995-2001).
public first learned of the 2005 logging license April 2010, when Spray Lake
Sawmills and SRD decided to log in 2011; pre-empting new regional-planning and
ignoring the 1998 decision. No public
consultation was held before SRD decided to issue the license, nor before it approved
logging to commence June 2011. The
logging, planned to occur over two logging-seasons, amounts to five percent of
the mill’s timber supply during its current five-year operating plan.