Save "critical" habitat from clear-cut logging
Letters sent from this page go to Alberta Premier, Ed Stelmach; the Minister responsible for grizzly bear recovery; and the local MLA.
Your letter sent today through the letter box at the end will help save grizzly bear habitat from clear-cut logging set to start as early as this July, including inside what the province had zoned as Critical Wildlife habitat and defined as “crucial to the maintenance of specific fish and wildlife populations.” Join the majority of area residents in their insistence that the logging and all its network of trails and roads stay out of the Castle Special Place protected area of southwest Alberta.
Clear-cut logging by Spray Lake Sawmills located west of Calgary, has been approved in the heart of the province’s Core Grizzly Bear Conservation Area with the highest density of grizzly bears and an unsustainable level of grizzly bear deaths and removals – the Castle Special Management Area, which is one of Alberta’s 81 Special Place protected areas. The Castle is located within the Castle/Waterton Core Grizzly Bear Conservation Area (or Bear Management Unit 6), between Waterton Lakes National Park and the Municipality of Crowsnest Pass.
Global Forest Watch Canada concluded that the biologically rich, Castle Special Management Area no longer provides secure grizzly bear habitat due to the cumulative density of trails and roads used by motorized vehicles. It found the total was double the threshold for core habitat and in some valleys, triple the threshold above which the habitat is no longer secure for grizzly bear survival.
On top of that bad situation, the clear-cut logging with all its associated trails and roads, was approved by the same Minister, (Mel Knight) and local MLA (Evan Berger) responsible for grizzly bear recovery. The province’s updated, 2010 grizzly bear status report noted that the net effect of logging in Alberta is negative for grizzlies. “The increased motorized access … diminishes any potential positive effects of forest regeneration on grizzly bear populations.”
Independent surveys found the majority of residents adjacent the Castle are opposed to the logging and also believe wildlife habitat protection is more important than recreation when there are conflicts between the two.
For more information:
• Global Forest Watch Canada, Alberta Government’s Castle ‘special place’ in south-western Alberta no longer secure for grizzly bears news release and report.
• Market Action & more www.savethecastle.net
• Castle Special Place – Save NOW from Logging flyer and poster
• Castle Special Place pamphlet
• Surveys: Lethbridge & Coaldale and residents adjacent the Castle
In the News Papers:
• Castle Grizzlies Threatened Lethbridge Herald (Front Page), March 10, 2011.
• Lumber boycott urged to protest clearcutting Lethbridge Herald, April 27, 2011.
• Tourism Warning Lethbridge Herald (Front Page), March 3, 2011.
TIPS FOR WRITING YOUR LETTER
1. State the importance of grizzly bear recovery in Alberta to you and the importance of keeping clear-cut logging out of the Castle Core Grizzly Bear Conservation Area.
2. Let the Premier, Minister and local MLA know that you:
- Don’t want the Castle logged and agree with area residents that its Special Place protected area deisgnation should be backed up in law by legislating it as a Wildland Park.
- Want the accumulated amount of trails and roads completely rehabilitated back to a level that falls below the government's threshold for secure grizzly bear habitat (i.e. below 0.6 kilometers of trails/roads per square kilometer of land).
3. Use your own reasons and/or draw for the action alert above, which include:
- Logging worsens the already bad situation of too many trails and roads used by motorized vehicles for there to be secure habitat for grizzly bear recovery.
- Clear-cut logging is the opposite of the Critical Wildlife zone there and the Castle's protected area designation.
4. Ask for a reply.
5. If living in Alberta, keep a copy of your letter from the text box & email it to your MLA (to find your MLA).
Please remember, personally written letters are the most effective. Please personalize the suggested subject and then use the points in the action alert above to write your own letter in the blank space below. Letters do not need to be long; one or two short paragraphs are good.