The picturesque landscape near the Highwood Junction, west of the town of Longview, has been altered as the first phase of a British Columbia based contractor’s logging plan reaches its end.

The cut block is situated on the south side of the road near the Kananaskis Country entrance at the junction of Highway 40 and 940 South.

The logs are being removed by the contractor and transported to Canfor Mills in British Columbia.

Nearly 50 businesses in the area as well as conservation groups and neighbouring municipalities have criticized the project and fear future logging in the region will impact the scenery as well as the wellbeing of wildlife.

“Every time I come up here and look at it from the highway, it somewhat saddening,” said Neil Williams, a member of Take a Stand for the Upper Highwood, a group that opposes logging in the area. “We understand that these logs will probably go to a good purpose but I think their better purpose it to be left standing.”

“But I’m just a small player in a big field.”

The logging plan targets tree stands above the Highwood River and conservationists believe the removal of the trees could allow more mud to be carried into the trout stream.

The provincial government has not disclosed how much revenue it expects to generate from the contractor’s removal of trees from the area.

The logging operation is wrapping up for the season. Logging is scheduled to resume in the area when cold weather returns in the fall.

Late Tuesday afternoon, a representative of the logging company announced plan to field questions in the coming days regarding the ongoing logging operations in Kananaskis.

With files from CTV’s Bill Macfarlane