Clear cutting plan not so clear cut
Published Monday, January 2, 2012 5:36PM MST
A series of trails near Bragg Creek are quite literally on the chopping block and a local environmental group wants the province to consult the community before even one tree is felled.
Spray Lake Sawmills has been contracted to being the work this summer as part of Alberta's forest management plan to reduce forest fire threat to Bragg Creek.
Peter Tucker and a dozen other volunteers with Sustain K-Country are spreading the word about the project which they say will affect 19 out of the 20 official trails in Bragg Creek's network.
After the massive wildfires in Slave Lake, some residents see a real threat to their community that lies southwest of Calgary.
The trailhead at west Bragg Creek is teeming with activity on a sunny Sunday.
Within thirty minutes of city limits there is snow shoeing, skiing, hiking, and horseback riding in a dozen different directions.
Most of the users of the trails on Monday had no idea there was any plan to clear cut around the trails.
One user named Kevin doesn't like the idea. "That wouldn't be nice for us, because that's where we run, that's where we ski, and that's where we snowshoe."
Tracy says that it wouldn't be as pretty without the trees. "There wouldn't be as much nature. You come out for the trees."
Tucker and the Sustain K-Country group just built several additional trails in the area this past summer with the assistance of Alberta Parks officials.
He says that Bragg Creek deserves some sort of protection against forest fires and some forest management is necessary to do that, but 25 km of trails would be affected by the logging.
"We're simply asking for the public to have a voice in the way the resource is used on public land."
CTV attempted to reach a spokesperson for Sustainable Resource Development, but was unsuccessful.
For more information on the proposal and the Sustain K Country group, you can visit their website at http://www.sustaink.ca/.