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Save The Oldman River

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this message was passed onto me today by a fellow friend and flyfisherman.... i figure we need too get some ways too contact our local mp's and anyone else too help prevent this from happening... any other info harps? or anyone else?


A Cry for Help


Do you like fishing the Oldman River?? Its tributaries the Racehorse and

Dutch Creek or the Livingstone???The Crowsnest??

Then I hope you did so this season because by the upcoming season of 2009

there won't be much left of those streams, and no this is NOT a joke...it is

a cry for help!!

Help from anyone that knows anyone that could possibly do something about

the impending destruction these streams are facing...let me assure you this

is as REAL AS IT GETS....and to say that there is not much time is an



The Crowsnest pass is faced with a real dilemma and we have been fighting as

hard as we could to not much avail...the whole valley to the north is about

to be logged...and I am not using the nice word they use to placate us down

here called "harvesting" as it does not apply here...we are talking about

nothing but CLEARCUTTING...there will be no buffers around the streams no,

they will cut right to the riverbank ,there will be no trails left to hike

or snowmobile or ride, there will be no "thinning", there will be a clear

swath of nothing short of a moonscape throughout the whole area. this

November...yes that fast... Clearcutting will begin starting North from the

forestry boundary to mile 15 in the Crowsnest valley...throughout the

headwaters of Dutch creek and Racehorse creek...the 5 year plan approved

will be clearcuting the whole area as they are already logging on the 940

highway south of Kananaskis. This will mean that both valleys feeding the

Oldman river and the Crowsnest River and all the tributaries within will

cease to exist....you like to hunt in that area? Well you won't need to

stalk your game anymore as you will have a clear field of view for miles


Will the streams silt up..?? yes of course they will...will the water

quality get worse...of course...will there be flooding and then a shortage

of water...without the retaining effect of the forest and root systems yes

of course there will....why on earth cut right to the riverbank you

ask....the reason given was they say that the trees would just fall into the

creek because the root system would not support them since they are used to

being sheltered by the other trees that they would be cutting and the wind

would blow them into the creek anyway....

You ask why all of this??? Well we have as well....the lumber prices are

down...the market all but at a standstill...

The explanation we got was...well if we don't "harvest" it might burn and

then what...well we down here rather deal with the remote possibility of a

fire than with a moonscape...not so big buisness

The other explanation was "we are stopping the pine beetle" by clearcutting

large swaths of forest as "buffers".

Well first of all it is the job of our province to control that pesky

little bugger by identifying the infected trees and taking them out, your

tax dollars at and they are doing a good job at it.

SRD, Sustainable Resources and Development, is shifting that responsibility

to the logging company to save money simple as that...one problem remains

though....the Pine beetle has WINGS and when it migrates it does so by

FLYING from where it hatched to the next tree. Is that beetle going to stop

midair while flying over a clearcut..ahem sorry..."BUFFER" and fall out of

the sky because of a broken heart??? NO, not really, it is going to keep

flying until it finds a tree it likes....so what was that reason for

devastating those valleys again??? No one could answer that,..simply big

business i guess...well fishing, guiding and tourism are business as

well....and there are rules in place like leaving buffers , or simply not

Clearcutting as it is not being done anywhere else anymore however since

this was done under the radar none of these rules seem to apply in this case

and times is short.


What can we do??

You can call someone,..let someone else know about this,...the last hope

those valleys have is a public outcry.

And that is the last thing the logging company wants ,public scrutiny...

Does anyone on this board know someone in the Calgary media?? News TV Print

that might do a story about this???

Can we get the guides and fly shops to unite and help by putting the word


Does anyone on this board know scientists who have done studies about the

region or have colleges that have???

Does anyone on this board have access to Mp's??

Does anyone on this board have access to the native bands around...there are

a lot of "holy sites" in the clearcuts....


Lets hope we can do something, otherwise those streams we all love will

change drastically and very very soon

You can reach me at eckardt@telusplanet.net, 403 563 3900 should you have

any ideas or want more info like logging maps etc....you are allowed to have

them and can request them to be send to you by SRD as they are..ahem should

be... public knowledge.

The person responsible for allowing this to go ahead in the local office is

John Sullivan from the SRD. There is also a main manager for SRD in Calgary

who has given the go ahead...however we cannot track him down...maybe the

media can and once he is finally in the spotlight and under the publics

scrutiny he will realize that devastating those valleys as he has approved

it is not the way to go.


Hoping we can get something done



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I have done some digging online and here is the SRD resource on the issue:



It does not appear to be approved yet but when you look at the proposed harvest maps you can see a lot of the drainages get hammered pretty hard in the first 10 years of the plan. This Liv, Race Horse and Castle especially!!


There is also a letter that I found online and on the Sierra club website:



Spray Lakes appear to be doing the majority of harvesting near the Livingston...http://www.spraylakesawmills.com/


I can not find anywhere online that states the plan has been approved at this time but here is some of the info from the SRD site:


"The C5 FMP is not a statutory plan. It contains direction that will be followed by ASRD and will guide the activities of timber disposition holders and other users of the C5 forest. The FMP will be consulted in future decision-making processes once it is approved by the Executive Director of Forest Management Branch (Public Lands and Forests Division, ASRD)."


The complete C5 FMP is available for review at:


Blairmore Ranger Station

11901 19th Avenue

Blasirmore, Alberta

Phone (403) 562 3210


Southern Rockies office

8860 Bearspaw Dam Road NW

Calgary, Alberta

Phone (403) 297 8800




Rick Blackwood, Area Manager

Alberta Sustainable Resource Development

Southern Rockies Area

Calgary Office (403) 297-8800


Roy Campbell, Forestry Division Manager

Alberta Sustainable Resource Development

Southern Rockies Area

Calgary Office (403) 297-8800

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right now it sounds like a serious concern, but i gotta spend some time educating myself. my knee jerk opinion is it sounds barbarian and if they do plan to log w/o properly protecting riparian infrastructure, we gotta speak up.

writing letters, e-mails & petitions is a start [and we need to], but my past exp. is that until issues like this get press coverage [w/ appropriate spin] that engages the public at large and gets wider call to action, not much gets changed.

the action alert letter is dated feb 07? this issue is old news then [?] and i don't recall it getting any airplay before. you'd think some of the local businesses related to ff in the region would be screaming bloody murder.

until max posted [tnx] i was not aware at all, but maybe i'm just deaf/blind, or stupid.


i had some friends of friends that have/had media contacts. when the elk vally a.m.p. was introduced in bc a few back we managed to get a few blurbs on the air/in print. that didn't change the outcome there, but it was too late and a province away as well.


if there is a point person for this issue who has a compelling, clear & concise story [and most importantly facts], i could perhaps put them in touch with some of those media peeps. but they sell news, and there's gotta be an angle, and a voice, etc etc for them to spend the time on a story.

reality is joe public has to see this as a real problem apart from a 'fringe group' and/or 'bleeding heart tree huggers' trying to 'stop development' that may put cash in the jeans of said joe public.

it's the spin, baby, all about the spin.


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You guys think a door to door petition would work? Im sure most of the members on this board would help... but if lots of people just went around there hoods asking neighbours and such to sign, it could be alot of names on paper. Other than that im blank... Would like to help in any way shape or form.


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This is defintely something that is of concern, but unfortunately is already on-going. I'm sure you have all seen the harvesting along the FTR. I am not in the forestry business and don't agree with logging in sensitive wilderness areas. But to state that the sky is falling is a chicken little approach. If you are opposed to the plan let the provincial government know, write or e-mail your MLA and the minister of the environment Ted Morton. In defence though they will not be clear cutting the entire region and there are buffers around lakes (100 M) and streams/rivers (30 M). Also the timeline for the plan is from 2006 to 2105, a long time and maybe in that time building materials made of recycled goods will be the majority. I have e-mailed the appropriate individuals on this as the CNP Cross-country ski club is also very concerned. Just make sure you have the facts straight, as an informed point of opposition generally gets a more favorable response than an inflamatory accusing one.

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I think before everybody has a fit, they find out if the message is legit...

I don't think they will remove buffers and SRD will have a hard time trying, even if they want to.


There may be big cut block proposed (very early stage), but maybe somebody should call the forestry office to ask what the deal is.


I don't think SRD can get away with cutting the buffers (won't happen).


It doesn't hurt to send an email to Ted Morton to find out.

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Trailhead posted while I wasn't paying attention...


Revise my message to read:

What he said.



As it is, buffers shouldn't be set at only a minimum width... they should be planned to prevent runoff from reaching the watercourse>> bigger buffers for steeper slopes.

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Just make sure you have the facts straight, as an informed point of opposition generally gets a more favorable response than an inflamatory accusing one.

yep...that's an understatement.

if it was to be that devastating [like what they've done on parts of the island] i suspected someone somewhere woulda spoken out already...as it's been on the books for a while.

what he said what he said.

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I'd like to make another quick point...

If guides were licenced in Alberta and reported guiding income to the government, maybe they would have a stronger voice to speek out about things like this.


Again, if you are concerned, write to SRD or the Alberta auditor general (to request an inquiry into logging or something).


Last time I was up there, there were resonable buffers on most of the watercourses.

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Thanks for the realistic response. I also know that they are not allowed to harvest trees from steep slopes. The percentage of trees harvested will be below 50% in all areas. Unfortunately Racehorse will be hit the hardest at 47%. Again this is the allowable limit. The lumber companies are doing their best PR and have stated that in most cases they won't go to the maximum allowed, and if the cutblocks are adjacent to rivers and the slopes are steeper they will increase the size of the buffer. As I said before I don't like to see logging, but we all live in houses made principally of wood. My hope is that the logging is kept to a minimum and that the lumber industry is made accountable for what they do, and that they actually will fulfill their promises. So when we are out fishing keep your eyes open and watch for silting of the rivers and creeks and if you can determine that it is coming from a logging operation and you have a camera, take some pictures. As they say it's worth a thousand words.

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  • 2 months later...

You mention that people should get in contact with MLA,s, Environment Minister and the premier etc. I have emailed and sent letters to these idiots several times about the logging out west of Rocky and about the idiots and there quads. I have got nothing back but a bunch of double talk, they are still logging out west of rocky along the forestry road and the nature loving idiots with there quads are still wrecking as much as they can. Not to mention the wonderful oil companies that have what seem to be free reign to do what ever they want in this province as long as there is money to be made by a greedy few. I have come to the conclusion that if anything is gonna be done it has to be done by average people like you and me, as long as the government is making money they will do nothing to protect the environment.

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