Residents of southern Alberta came to Calgary on Wednesday to protest logging in a nearby protected area.

The Castle Special Management Area is a protected part of the province located just north of Waterton Lakes National Park.

The provincial government is allowing Spray Lakes Sawmill to start work there later this month.

People gathered outside of the McDougall Centre to protest the construction, due to the effect it would have on wildlife.

The group has rallied several times over the past year, but some say that this month is key because the sawmill work is scheduled to start soon.

"We really hope something is going to happen sooner rather than later because Spray Lakes could start building roads the end of this month," says Gordon Petersen of the Castle-Crown Wilderness Coalition.

"Once the roads start it gets harder and harder to turn this thing around."

Activists say that the Castle Wilderness area is prime grizzly bear habitat, and the population needs to be protected.

Sustainable Resource Development Minister Mel Knight says that only one third of the wilderness area will be logged.

Organizers of the rally say upwards of 70, 000 emails have been sent to the provincial government over the issue.

More information on the Castle Special Management area can be found on their website.