lft logo rt

Back to the Letters index
See photos of the logging in Sibbald

For those Albertans who donated money in memory of a loved one or as a gift, the prospect of damage and destruction to the (Trans Canada - ed.) Trail is not easily understood.

December 19, 2007

old baldy pass trailIf a tree falls in the forest does it make a sound?
Yes, definitely, especially if that forest is surrounding and encompasses a section of the Trans Canada Trail. And the sound it, and others around it make, is not a pretty one.
Upon completion, the Trans Canada Trail will be 18,000 kilometres long, stretching from the Beaufort Sea to the U.S. border and from Vancouver Island to the east coast of Newfoundland winding its way through every province and territory.
Across Canada, many thousands of people have their names associated with this project. It was envisioned that the Trail would mean different things to different people — helping to preserve and protect the environment, promoting physical fitness, and educating people by bringing them closer to nature for generations to come.
Indeed, in October of this year the Alberta government announced a $1.2-million investment to “support efforts towards completing the province’s 2,200-kilometre portion of the Trans Canada Trail.”
“The Trans Canada Trail is a key component of our provincial trail network,” said Hector Goudreau, minister of tourism, parks, recreation and culture. “It draws important tourism dollars to communities across Alberta, and gives Albertans a great way to stay active while enjoying our province’s natural beauty.”
Part of the Trail, in Kananaskis Country East, is also known as the Lusk Pass Trail.
It is now part of Spray Lake Sawmills’ cutblock and the forest is coming down.
For those Albertans who donated money in memory of a loved one or as a gift, the prospect of damage and destruction to the Trail is not easily understood. There are no cutblock moonscapes on the Trans Canada Trail brochure or website. A clearcut does not come to mind as an attractive place to hike or ride or ski, to remember a loved one, or to “enjoy our province’s natural beauty.”
My connection with this Trail and the vision it holds for Canada is recorded on a Trans Canada pavilion plaque next to the Bow River in Calgary.
My brother, remembered as his own “trailblazer”, would be appalled but perhaps not surprised at this province’s lack of foresight and sensitivity.
Unless Spray Lake modifies its plans, Lusk Pass, Cox Hill and Tom Snow Trails all, of which are part of the Trans Canada Trail, will be impacted.
The actions (or inaction) by all those responsible — Spray Lake Sawmills and Alberta “Sustainable Resources” are unconscionable.
Spray Lake would be well advised to keep the trees where they are and leave a lasting legacy by leaving well enough alone.
When trees come down they do make a sound after all.
Sandra Leckie,
Bragg Creek