What's New

Forest Index

The Overcutting and Waste in B.C.'s Interior report

June 22, 2007

"Study author Ben Parfitt says a fundamental shift in how government and industry deal with the pine beetle problem is needed.

He says healthy forests that are nature's best defence against catastrophic floods are being prematurely logged, leaving nothing for workers or communities for the next 80 years.

He says that wait might only have been 20 years had the forests been left alone."

Read the news release

Read the report

Alberta to hold public meetings on land use

April 30, 2007

CBC News

The Alberta government will be holding 15 public meetings in May on creating a land-use framework for the province.

Alberta's rapid economic growth often puts developers at odds with conservationists or those pushing for more recreation space.

Read the CBC article

Government's Land Use Framework consultation

Alberta budget promotes growth at the expense of the environment

April 20, 2007

Yesterday's Alberta budget increased spending on the environment by $22-million, while resource development got an additional $120-million, $100-million of that will go to forestry management. That means more clearcuts in Kananaskis. Government priorities are clear: unbridled, irresponsible growth will continue at the expense of the environment.

Announcing the Tag A Tree project

State of Emercency in Alberta

April 12, 2007

Saying the threat of pine beetle coming to Alberta is a crisis, the government declared a state of emergency that will allow them to take $75-million from the "Sustainability Fund". The government is asking Ottawa for another $100-million. They'll use the money for aerial surveys and clearcutting. If they are so concerned, why don't they pay students to plant trees in bug infested areas? Clearcuts will do significant, long-term damage to forests weakend by the bugs. There is a lot of science saying that it is better to leave the trees, particularly the young ones and other species that will survive the attack. Also it is premature to call this a crisis. The bugs won't survive in the Kananaskis forest where trees are small and dry.

Read Ralph Cartar's article on why we should let nature take its course

Dialog from the Alberta Legislature

April 2, 2007

Dave Rodney, MLA Calgary-Lougheed asked Ted Morton, Minister, Sustainable Resource Development, what he was doing to protect the recreational and watershed functions of K-Country. Dr. Morton didn't answer the question.

Read what was said and what I think about it

BCEC public meeting on Logging in Kananaskis

March 29, 2007

The Bragg Creek Environmental Coalition hasn't heard from Alberta Sustainable Resource Development or Spray Lakes Sawmills since they encouraged hundreds of people to express their concern over plans to log Kananaskis, released in June, 2006. It appears that logging will begin this spring/summer, in part, due to a concern over the impact of the pine beetle. The meeting was intended to put pressure on SRD to reconsider land use policy in Kananaskis.

Read a report on the meeting

B.C. Forest Practices Board warns of flooding

March 22, 2007

Trees killed by the pine beetle and logging of trees due to the beetle infestation will increase flooding. The trees no longer absorb moisture or catch and evaporate water. The snow pack will melt sooner and faster when the forest canopy is removed. Peak flow in B.C. rivers increases 61% after pine beetle attack and increases 92% when trees are removed by logging. Flood events that used to occur at 20-year intervals are now likely to take place every three to five years.

The board report says, "The hydrologic effects of a MPB attack are different from forest harvesting. The insect killed trees can remain in place, and can intercept a portion of the snowfall. Secondly, the mortality is never 100% and individual trees continue to intercept and transpire water. A recent Board report describes the vigorous understory beneath many MPB killed stands and this understory will also intercept and transpire water."

Read the Globe and Mail article about this study

Read the B.C. Forest Practices Board report

Pressure to defer decision on Crowsnest Forest Management Plan

March 15, 2007

Ted Morton, Minister of Sustainable Resource Development, is under pressure to defer a decision on the proposed Andy Russell-I'tai sah kop Park, water policy and the associated C5 issues. He may (a) decide to defer the C5 (the 20-more-years-of-logging plan) until after the State of the Oldman Watershed Report is received and (b) ask his department to re-draft the C5 plan, taking the upcoming Oldman watershed report into account.

Read more about this issue (Word Document)

Spray Lakes Sawmills Open House

February, 2007

The company had their revised logging plan on display. They changed their priority from removing the threat of Forest Fire by cutting trees in West Bragg Creek to cutting in Sibbald in order to harvest trees that Sustainable Resource Development considered susceptible to attack from the pine beetle. The revised plan was submitted to SRD on February, 28. Approval is anticipated to come in April or May.

Alberta Liberals ask Ted Morton, the new Alberta Minister of Sustainable Resource Development, to curtail Kananaskis clear-cuts

December 21, 2006

As you may be aware, the Alberta Liberal Caucus has been doing its part to actively pursue answers about the government’s announcement to allow Spray Lakes Sawmill to cut wide swaths of the North Kananaskis, Jumping Pound and Ghost Waiparous in response to the mountain pine beetle. With the appointment of MLA Ted Morton as the new Minister of Sustainable Resource Development, MLA Harry Chase and MLA Bill Bonko are continuing to ask why the government thinks this is the best course of action to take in an area they have said themselves is ecologically vital. Please find attached their letter to Minister Morton for your interest and we will share with you any response we receive.

. . . More

K-Country - Logging proposal delayed

Province expects Spray Lakes report to be completed by the end of November

November 8, 2006

By Darlene Casten
Okotoks Whestern Wheel Staff reporter

A logging plan that stretches from Kananaskis Country south to Nanton has again been delayed.
Cochrane logging company Spray Lakes Sawmills has asked for a second extension on their detailed forest management plan for the southern foothills.
The province agreed to extend the logging company’s deadline to allow them to incorporate new pine beetle information into the plan.

. . . . more

Land Use

Land use is the big buzz among politicians and environmentalists. The cumulative impacts of increased development by industry, recreation, agriculture and urban growth are unsustainable.

Alberta's Protected Areas

What you can or can’t do in Alberta's public playgrounds is, to some degree, a matter of interpretation, but  the general intent is fairly clear and the guidelines are included here.

Our forestry and water issue discussed in the Alberta legislature

(from Hansard Aug. 28, 2006) Dr. David Swann, MLA Calgary – Mountain View, questions Mr. Boutilier, Minister of Environment and Mr. Coutts the Minister of Sustainable Resource Development on land use in Kananaskis.

Liberals call for creation of new protected areas

Article in Fast Forward August 31, 2006 by Amy Steele

K-Country Logging - The Galvanic Point

By Peter Tucker

This article was published in the Calgary Area Outdoor Council newsletter "Outdoor Update," August, 2006

Running Pure:

The importance of forest protected areas to drinking water

A WWF publication explaining how protected forests are crucial to sustainable drinking water supplies for world's biggest cities

more info

Save Kananaskis article

An article written for the Calgary Area Outdoor Council newsletter

The newsletter has been sent to members. It should be available on their web site soon, but if you can't wait to read criticism of our NIMBY whining and our misrepresentations according to two authors who favour logging in Kananaskis, you can read them here.

View the slideshow prepared for a CAOC meeting on the subject
(1.4 MB Flash presentation)

View the same slideshow in Acrobat format

Photos of Clear-cut logging near Cataract Creek
Click on a thumbnail image below to see an enlargement.

landscape landscape no growth hillside erosion
new trees scarred clearcut wasteland clearcut