Help Stop Logging in Castle Protected Area
Use Your Leverage as a Visitor or Voter to Stop Clear-Cutting in Alberta's Costa Rica! Show locals on-site protesting they're not alone!
We are asking you to write your own personalized letter to the Premier of Alberta, so we have left everything blank in the letter below. The form letters we've sent in the past (in the tens of thousands) have not been working, so we want you to put your letter in your own words!
The main ASK is that Spray Lake Sawmills be told to stop cutting in Castle Protected Area immediately and move it's operations to another area that has already been approved and is NOT an issue with the public.
Request that you would like your letter read in the Alberta Legislature (to do this you MUST INCLUDE your name, address & postal code in the letter).
We've include some additional information below to help make your letter stronger.
If you're from from Alberta be sure to copy your letter before you hit "send" so you can email it to your MLA (find your MLA info here) and follow-up with a short phone call.
If you're from outside Alberta you might want to add that the government's action on this issue could affect your plans to visit the province in the future.
Don't forget to add a subject title (e.g. "Stop the Clearcutting in Castle").
Note that your letter will automatically be copied to the forestry minister, the tourism and parks minister, and the lead politicians on this issue within each opposition party (Liberal, Wild Rose, NDP and Alberta Party).
Follow-up with a phone call to the Premier’s office 780 427-2251 (toll-free in Alberta by dialing 310-0000) and ask her to Immediately stop the Clear-cutting in Casle Special Place.
Caslte Background Information:
- Castle Protected Area is recognized as the most biologically diverse area in Alberta and home to 223 species at risk of extinction in the province;
- Castle Protected Area was once part of Waterton Lakes National Park and is situated in the Crowsnest Forest and headwaters of the Oldman River Basin;
- Following 5 years of public consultations, Castle was designated a Special Area by Cabinet decision in 1998 - "a major milestone in the preservation of Alberta’s natural heritage for future generations” according to the government of the day;
- Cabinet’s decision was reaffirmed in Alberta's Special Places 2000: Alberta’s Natural Heritage Policy (and has not been rescinded);
- Tourism is Alberta's third largest sector and protected areas and parks account for 20% of its tourism economic activity;
- Independent studies by Lethbridge University and Praxis Group (often used by government) concluded the people living and working in the area strongly oppose logging Castle;
- Premier Allison Redford says she will not intervene to protect Castle even though section 26 of the Alberta Forests Act specifically grants her the authority to cancel a logging license when it’s in the public interest; and
- Premier Allison Redford is breaking a 14 year commitment (since 1998) to not allow industrial scale clear-cutting in Castle Special Place.
If you want to head off a rebuttle from Sustainable Resource Development Department ...
- The whole situation is undemocratic: It ignores Government of Alberta's 1998 designation of the Castle as a Special Place protected area for "preserving Alberta's natural heritage" made following local nominations and years of pubic consultation; A majority of area residents oppose the logging and want the Castle's protection assured as a Wildland Park, according to independent public opinion studies; and there was no public consultation on whether the logging license should have been issued.
- Alberta's Forest Act allows the forestry department, in the public interest, to move logging out of the Castle and no compensation would be due to Spray Lake Sawmills provided they receive a 30-day notice.
- International standards (IUCN) for protected areas do not accept logging in any class of protected area. (Except in developing countries where poverty necessitates wood for fuel.)
- Only international standard for logging recognized by the forest industry, communities, aboriginal peoples and conservation organizations (Forest Stewardship Council, FSC) does not accept clear-cut logging in protected areas.
- Clear-cutting will harm local, long-term jobs, from tourism/outdoor recreation businesses to nurseries that specialize in native plants. The sawmill is located outside the region with only two full-time staff in the region.
- As demonstrated in adjacent Waterton Lakes National Park, clear-cutting is NOT needed to manage fire risk.
- The Castle is rated by government as having a low susceptibility for a pine-beetle epidemic.