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If the trees could talk

For immediate release – October 22, 2007

Bragg Creek - The Save Kananaskis group is really pleased to launch our “If the trees could talk” video. This child's eye view of the forest provides an opportunity to look at why we want to stop logging and create a park in Kananaskis.

See the 30-second video at www.savekananaskis.ca/video (or www.tagatree.ca/vid). It works on the slowest dial-up Internet connection and some cell phones, or, you can select a better quality version if you have broadband. Please share this link with your friends, family and associates.

Usually we use technical arguments to frame this logging issue. The mountain pine beetle, forest fires, forest ecosystem and watershed management are important issues, but the government sometimes uses them as a diversion. Hundreds of people wrote letters citing the impact logging will have on the water supply, recreation, tourism and related businesses as issues of concern. Many wrote of their passion for the place. These letters had no effect on the Alberta Government. With this video, we'd like to refocus on issues of the heart.

The Save Kananaskis campaign began because we care about Kananaskis and nature. It is painful to see the scarred landscape logging leaves behind, and to reflect on the senseless degradation of water quality, recreation and natural habitat that logging so close to Calgary produces. A walk in the forest invigorates and provides respite from the intense stresses of the city. There is beauty in the foothills forest. We play, get fit, learn, grow and find joy in the wilderness. It sustains us.

This wilderness is our natural heritage. The people of Alberta own the trees. Studies show we want to protect them and leave a legacy for the future. We know instinctively that nature will manage and sustain itself. We've learned that human intervention has caused massive damage and disruption. It takes generations for nature to repair the damage done by clear-cuts. Biodiversity is lost and some of the damage can be irreversible. The “sustainable” in the Alberta Ministry of Sustainable Resource Development is clearly a misnomer. In July of 2007, Ted Morton, the Minister, approved a plan to conduct extensive commercial logging in the Sheep, Elbow and Sibbald districts of Kananaskis. Logging is currently underway in the area where we propose to create a park. In September, 2007, that same minister approved an annual Provincial Hunting Day. Many hunters care about conservation. The group behind the special day initiative said, “the biggest threat against wildlife is the loss of habitat – the encroachment of development, whether it be the expansion of cities, or oil and gas or forestry, there will be no place for them to live”. Dr. Morton's policy to destroy habitat, then encourage hunting seems contradictory.

We ran the Tag A Tree campaign (www.tagatree.ca) from May to September, 2007. We gave away 7,000 tags. They're hanging on trees in Kananaskis, on front lawns, in cars, schools and offices – in Bragg Creek, Calgary and around the world. We estimate that 40 to 50 thousand people now know about our campaign. But we have not yet achieved our goal to stop logging and create a park, so we'll continue to ask the government to listen to the people.

This video and our “Save Kananaskis Rally” are just a beginning. The rally will be outside the CAOC building (on Memorial Dr. and the 10th Street bridge) on November 2, 4:30 PM. It is co-sponsored by us and Dr. David Swann, Alberta Liberal environment critic. Our 1200-name petition to stop logging in NE Kananaskis Country and create a park will be presented in the legislature by David Eggen, NDP environment critic. Stay tuned for our “Child in Nature” art show. We will make this an issue in the next provincial election.



Doug Sephton

Save Kananaskis group
Web: www.savekananaskis.ca
E-mail: info@savekananaskis.ca
Phone: 403-949-4274

Media Update, Nov. 9, 2007

Subject: Clear-cut logging underway in Kananaskis

Logging is currently underway near Barrier Lake in Kananaskis, in the area where we propose to create a park.

Our 1,232-name Tag-A-Tree petition to create a park in Kananaskis was presented in the Legislature on November 8, 2007.

Our application to incorporate the non-profit "Save Kananaskis Society" was rejected by the government as, in their opinion, the name is too general. We will continue our campaign as a group of people.

Recent media coverage

The Canmore Leader newspaper published an article referring to the petition.

See an Acrobat version

Cochrane Eagle on the rally

See an Acrobat version

Okotoks Western Wheel covers the campaign

See an Acrobat version

Web site updates Save Kananaskis photos of the November 2, Save Kananaskis rally. http://www.savekananaskis.ca/inf/rally.htm

We have set up a page to support our "If the trees could talk video." People can send their suggestion for what the trees would say. http://www.savekananaskis.ca/treetalk.htm