Forests and Biodiversity
Stop the destruction of the Castle Wilderness!
The following is an excerpt from an article from the Tyee. It is posted here to summarize the situation that protesters are facing right NOW in the Castle Wilderness area. They are facing arrest and eviction on Wednesday. The Premiers office does not have an answering machine service set up, and their office closes at 5pm MST. They re-open at 8am, and the Premier has asked for a head count on how many people call up in support of this issue! Please take a moment to call: 780-427-2251
"Government enforcement actions against citizens opposed to logging in a world famous Alberta watershed will likely cost taxpayers more money than total timber revenue.
"This is clearly an example of government waste," says Gord Petersen, a local resident and member of the ad hoc Stop the Castle Logging Group.
The Alberta government has responded with a massive enforcement effort against mostly senior citizens trying to respect water and wildlife," adds Petersen.
Since Jan. 12 scores of protestors, including grandmothers and two 77-year-old ranchers (all supported by thousands of Albertans), have sought to prevent the removal of 3,750 truckloads worth of timber by Spray Lake Sawmills from the core of the Castle wilderness area. The region is located south of Crowsnest Pass along the BC border.
Local foresters estimate the logging permit will generate no more than $100,000 worth of income for the government from stumpage fees and that only 60 per cent of the timber slated for cutting can be turned into dimensional lumber.
"That revenue won't even cover the damage to the public roads," suspects 56-year-old Petersen. "It's welfare logging that benefits a private company at the expense of the public interest."
After peaceful protestors stood in front of logging machinery last week on a public road, government officials issued a flurry of legal paper including a development notice, a trespass notice, an enforcement order and now a court order.
The enforcement order, which the group is appealing as an infringement of Canada's Charter of Rights and Freedoms, even banned protestors from occupying or using "any other public lands in the Province of Alberta unless otherwise authorized to so."
(Andrew Nikiforuk, http://thetyee.ca/Blogs/TheHook/Environment/2012/01/31/Alberta_Launches_Legal_Attack/)
Help support the protesters who are protecting this important area of the Prairie ecosystem!
Call Premier Redford immediately and tell her to stop the logging of the Castle Wilderness Area! Call as early as you can, as the enforcement order is for Wednesday!
Premier Alison Redford
307 Legislature Building
10800 – 97 Avenue
Honourable Frank Oberle
Minister of Sustainable Resource Development
420 Legislature Building
10800 – 97 Avenue Edmonton, AB
Honourable Evan Berger
Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development
MLA Livingstone Macleod
228 Legislative Building
10800 - 97 Avenue, Edmonton, AB
Honourable Diana McQueen
Minister of Environment & Water
425 Legislature building
10800 - 97 Avenue
Backgrounder:- The Castle is part of the headwaters for the Oldman River, which feeds over two million people across the prairies - The Castle contains core habitat for Alberta's threatened grizzly bears - Protecting the Castle will help protect the entire Crown of the Continent Ecosystem, and fight the effects of climate change - The Castle Special Place is a unique region of irreplaceable spiritual, recreational and ecological values - This area is becoming increasingly degraded. Logging the Castle will affect local tourism operators, as the land is cleared of the beauty that attracts tourists
History being made in Alberta: Picket-line prevents clear-cutting in Castle protected area for 16th day
Picket-line counter posts site where locals & outfitter continue to hold back clear-cutting in Castle protected area... Read more »
History being made in Alberta as for 14th day, picket-line & outfitting camp keep clear-cutting out of protected area
... Read more »
Where will you be and what will you be doing when the first giant oil tanker (there will be two every three days), carrying over 200,000 gallons of tar sands goop diluted with solvent, spills its load into the pristine waters of the northern B.C. coast?
We often remember catastrophic events by recalling exactly what we were doing and where we were when we first heard the news, I guess because they were so unthinkable they brought us to a halt, emotionally and psychologically— time stopped. I was driving down a street in Waterloo, Ont., when I heard the news of the Montreal Massacre, and I can still vividly recall my stomach turning as disbelief turned to revulsion. I will never forget that moment. And you will never forget the oil spill moment, if we let it happen.... Read more »
B.C. scientists are among more than 133 experts from across North America joining the call for permanent protection of old-growth rainforests in Clayoquot Sound.
All have signed a declaration supporting the measure, which stands against a recent application to the provincial government by the logging company Iisaak to cut old-growth areas on the sound's Flores Island. The company is a First Nations-led concern that espouses forestry practised in concert with ecological and cultural values.
According to Sierra Club B.C., only 21 of 282 rainforest watersheds on Vancouver Island remain unlogged. Seven of the 21 do not have permanent protection, including five in the Clayoquot area.... Read more »