About Trails

GBCTA position information: View link

About Fire Protection

Problems with the “firesmart” logging plan approved for Bragg Creek by the Alberta Government on 30 Oct. 2012, and their potential solution.
The recent approval of plans to log the old growth forests west of Bragg Creek, loved and used by countless Bragg Creek and Calgary residents, is both surprising and disappointing. We had hoped that land use decisions for this contentious area would be delayed until recommendations of the Land Use Framework, now under consideration, are implemented. We had hoped that the land managers would have heard the clear signal (no to business-as-usual logging but yes to firesmart fuel management) sent at 3 government-sponsored information sessions held in Bragg Creek in 2012.

Instead, we are told we cannot wait for the Land Use Framework. Because of the fire risk to the Bragg Creek community posed by the forest to the west, these forests must experience fuel management (i.e., clearcut logging) this winter.

But the way in which this logging would reduce fire risk was never explained. It is a misleading, illogical, and disingenuous firesmart plan (read the reasons why). This is not firesmart logging, it is an attempt to fulfill a contractual obligation made under the local forest management agreement, presented as a firesmart plan.

Let's consider the proposed logging from a firesmart perspective, to see why we'll be at this decision point again soon, but without our old growth forests, which are already un-naturally uncommon. Read more...

Details of the planned “firesmart” logging are here: http://www.srd.alberta.ca/Wildfire/FireSmartCommunities/BraggCreekFireSmartSession/Default.aspx

The minister’s justification for the logging are here: http://aesrd.wordpress.com/2012/11/01/making-bragg-creek-firesmart/#comments

Draft Firesmart Strategy for Greater Bragg Creek area View link
Accessed Jan 23 2012.
"Strategy which includes both strategic and operational options to reduce wildfire threat for inclusion in municipal development, natural resource, and forest protection plans. Once the Mitigation Strategy is reviewed by stakeholders and residents, with the final revisions being made from their input , the document will be submitted for consideration, review and approval by Rocky View County Council and Alberta Sustainable Resources Development, Southern Rockies Area, with subsequent implementation."

"Jasper's FireSmart–ForestWise Project has become recognized as a leader in forest management and a model for other forest-edge communities in Alberta and across Canada. Under the umbrella of the FireSmart program, Parks Canada, local businesses and residents have worked together to carefully thin the forest surrounding the town and outlying businesses, both to reduce wildfire risks and to restore wildlife habitat." Accessed Jan 28th 2012. View link

"Reducing the risk of losses from wildfires that threaten homes and communities is a growing priority in Canada. To reduce risk, "FireSmart®" standards have been adopted nationwide for managing forest fuel. However, these standards largely disregard interests of wildlife and conservation of wildlife habitat – thus raising concerns among residents and other stakeholders. To be acceptable, fuel treatments in wildland/urban interface areas of Jasper National Park, Alberta, required that potential environmental impacts and the requirements of wildlife also be carefully considered. A research project conducted in conjunction with the Foothills Model Forest used literature and experimental manipulations to develop ecologically based approaches for treating fuel in ways that optimize conditions for wildlife, within constraints of current standards. The research was conducted during a 30-month prototype project on more than 250 ha of forest surrounding the community of Jasper, Alberta. The study concluded fuel treatments for the purpose of reducing wildfire risk can be compatible with wildlife habitat conservation and ecosystem restoration goals. This paper describes the interface challenges faced by park managers, explains the adaptive management approach used to develop practicable solutions, and describes resulting species-specific mitigations, guidelines, and best practices that satisfy community wildfire protection standards and ecosystem management objectives, concurrently."
"This study also developed a series of general guidelines for modified fuel practices more sensitive to ecological considerations in the wildland/urban interface."
2007 "FireSmart®-ForestWise: Managing Wildlife and Wildfire Risk in the Wildland/Urban Interface-a Canadian Case Study" by Alan Westhaver; Richard D Revel and Brad C.Hawkes,
US Forest Service website View link


About Watershed

Elbow River Watershed Partnership - " Our Mission: We support and encourage all stakeholders in the Elbow River watershed to protect and enhance water quality and quantity." View Link and contacts View Contacts

"ALCES Landscape & Land-Use Ltd. is a unique collaboration of planners, environmental scientists, industry specialists, ecologists, computer simulation programmers, and management consultants who share a deep commitment to assisting clients with developing strategic plans for triple bottom line - people, planet and profit."
View Link - Ghost River Watershed

USDA Forest Service news stories on the forest's relationship to watershed
View Link

About Environment

"ALCES Landscape & Land-Use Ltd. is a unique collaboration of planners, environmental scientists, industry specialists, ecologists, computer simulation programmers, and management consultants who share a deep commitment to assisting clients with developing strategic plans for triple bottom line - people, planet and profit."
View Link - peer reviewed research articles
View Link - reports

Alberta Wilderness Association - View Link
News release referencing new recommendations for sustainable forest management View Link

Bragg Creek Environmental Coalition - View Link

Alberta Foothills Network - news on other areas where logging plans have been problematic View Link

About Spray Lake Sawmills Practices

SLS has a Public Involvement Process ( View Link) to provide guidance in its Detailed Forest Management Plan (DFMP).

SLS Pubic Advisory Committee minutes are available on their website View Link
“SLS communication plan needs to be refreshed.” — April 2012 Public Advisory Committee Minute

SLS is a member of the Alberta Forest Products Association (AFPA). From the AFPA website member companies participate in programs such as FORESTCARE (PDF download )

This includes: The AFPA provides member companies with service in the areas of Environment, Forestry, Health and Safety, Lumber Grading and Transportation as well as programs like FORESTCARE - the industry's program of continuous improvement. This program is based on the following principles:

  1. Member companies will ensure that harvest levels do not exceed the capacity of the forest, that all harvested areas are reforested, and that harvest and reforestation methods foster a healthy new forest, supporting a diversity of species.
  2. Member companies will manage their activities on forest lands for multiple uses and values, including timber growth and harvest, watershed protection, wildlife and aquatic habitat and recreational and aesthetic benefits.
  3. Member companies will manage their forest and manufacturing operations in a manner that protects the environment, placing special emphasis on the quality of air, water, soil and habitat.
  4. Member companies will operate in a manner that protects the health and safety of employees, contractors and the general public.
  5. Member companies will be open and responsive to community views and questions regarding the industry.
  6. Member companies will conduct operations to ensure that the renewable forest resource provides economic activity and employment now and in the future, while conserving other forest values.

SLS is seeking but NOT YET ACHIEVED Forestry Stewardship Council approval.
SLS denied Forest Stewardship certificationCochrane Eagle, June 6, 2012

About Public Consultation

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) PDF download] states:

Notification - The communication of information to the public. Notification does not, itself, constitute consultation, but can be a first step.

Consultation - Actively seeking the opinions of interested and affected groups. It may be a one-stage process or, as is increasingly the case, a continuing dialogue.

Participation - The active involvement of interest groups in the formulation of objectives, policies and approaches.

About Kananaskis Country

Kananaskis Country — Ours to Explore! View link

How did Kananaskis Country come about? View link

Lizzie Rummel, Baroness of the Canadian Rockies by Ruth Oltmann View Link


Spray Lake Sawmills

Calgary Mountain Bike Alliance

Sustainable Resource Development

Friends of Kananiskis

Greater Bragg Creek Trails Association

Bragg Creek Environmental Coalition

Rockyview County FireSmart Strategy