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Christmas 2008

It's not a very Merry one for the folks in the Crowsnest Pass. They are asking their friends and neighbours to send these cards to Spray Lakes, SRD and the Crowsnest Council.

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First Card

Second Card

Read an article about this logging operation from the Crowsnest Pass Promoter titled "Logging Issue Adressed by Council
November 02, 2007


Logging the Crowsnest Pass

Allison/Chinook forestThis iconic Alberta forest lies at the headwaters of the Crowsnest River valley. Here, in the lowest Rocky Mountain pass between New Mexico and Jasper National Park, is Alberta's oldest forest. The aging giant Douglas-firs (the province's largest and oldest) have trunks in excess of two metres in diameter. Some of its limber and whitebark pines exceed one thousand years of age.

One of the areas slated for logging is also one of the southern region's most alluring cross-country ski venues known as Allison/Chinook. Two decades ago the province removed modest maintenance funding from this internationally recognized area The current vision: clear cutting this irreplaceable recreational feature.

There are many more issues at stake on this same landscape. They include:
1. The status of grizzlies, wolves, cougars, elk and moose living within this same area.
2. Aesthetic considerations revolving around the value of this multi-billion dollar landscape to the economy and to self-sustaining ecotourism.
3. The impact on the watershed - the headwaters of the Crowsnest River.
4. The impact on existing businesses relying on ecological and landscape integrity.
5. Health and safety. Logging trucks have already been involved in multiple highway accidents as they have attempted to haul logs from the Crowsnest Pass to the SLS sawmill in Cochrane: a staggering round-trip haul distance of 700km/truck-trip.
6. Forest economy. The logging of Alberta's southwestern forests has never been proved to be economically viable. If it benefits one company, it certainly doesn't benefit society; it's forest welfare on a grand scale when all of the real costs are considered. In fact, it's easily argued that society has already invested countless millions in order to achieve the twin liabilities (insect infestations and fire threat) that Alberta S R D is now trying to negate via massive liquidation of our forests.

The greater Crowsnest Pass contains many unknowns, and its real wealth of forest diversity has not been determined, nor is it provincially acknowledged. What is known? Allison/Chinook is home to many tree species. It is also the core of Alberta's largest known population of mountain lady's slipper (Cypripedium montanum), the province's largest and rarest orchid. Other rare and endangered plants are almost certain to be found on this same landscape if we would take the time to look. Many hundreds of western redcedars - the easternmost in Canada - live within this targeted landscape as do a smaller number western white pines and ponderosa pines, species unknown elsewhere in the province. The same landscape also harbours western and subalpine larches, paper and river birches, narrowleaf and black cottonwoods, white and Englemann spruces and the largest concentration of Rocky Mountain junipers (some tree-sized) in Alberta.

Regardless of the fact that the full spectrum of floral and faunal diversity remains unknown, logging operations will begin with freeze-up. The job has been turned over to (no need to hold your breath) Spray Lake Sawmills (SLS).
Alberta SRD and SLS will claim that logging in the Crowsnest Pass is the fulfillment of a prescription for forest health and fire safety. Who wouldn't want a healthy forest? Tragically, the patient isn't getting a prescription or even palliative care, just a death sentence and all this before the doctor has even made a house call.