The Pincher Creek Fish and Game Association and Alberta Wilderness Association urged in 1968 – the same year SACPA was formed – that the Castle area of Southern Alberta be protected. Today, the 1036 square kilometer Castle Special Place appears to be even more in need of protection, yet the provincial government apparently sees it as little more than a lumber source.

Planned clear-cut logging threatens to further degrade the area, potentially impacting rare plants, wildlife and one of Southern Alberta’s primary water sources, as well as making it much less attractive for recreational purposes. Arguably, alternatives to logging have the potential to offer more sustainable economic benefits for the region.

The speaker continues to work with a broad-based group of Southern Albertans who see an urgent need to legislate protection for the Castle Special Place, a designation given by the province a dozen years ago, but now disputed by both the Minister of Sustainable Resource Development and the area’s MLA.

Speaker: Richard Burke

Richard Burke is a retired journalist/journalism instructor who most recently wrote a weekly column called Infinite Outdoors for the Lethbridge Herald. He has been involved with the Oldman River Chapter of Trout Unlimited Canada for 20 years, the past 10 as co-chair, helping them in establishing two conservation leases on Crown land along the Crowsnest River.

Richard is also an Oldman Watershed Council board member and previously served as a Lethbridge Public School Board member and chairman.

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