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A Win for the Castle Special Place

By Kate Semrau, CPAWS Southern Alberta

Sometimes when working on a campaign, you just need a win. Something to indicate that all of the hard work you and your supporters are doing is important and is being heard. On October 10th, we at the CPAWS Southern Alberta office received a fantastic piece of news: logging in the Castle Special Place has been halted and will be reassessed based on input  from the regional planning process. This is a positive turn of events, and hopefully an indication of more developments to come towards our goal of permanent protection for the Castle.

The Castle Special Place is a 1000 square kilometer region located north of Waterton Lakes National Park and is part of the Yellowstone to Yukon corridor. The area is critical habitat for elk, grizzly bears and the endangered bull trout, and is the headwaters for 30% of the Oldman River drainage. 

Those who have visited the Castle Wilderness know that it is truly special, but also that it is being stressed by multiple forces. Michaela Brumbough, a student who visited the Castle wilderness with her class this past summer, described it this way:  “In places such as the Castle, disturbed by logging and illegal off-road access, there is still much to be seen, to be reveled in.”  Random camping, motorized recreation, oil and gas development, and other threats all have cumulative effects on the Castle, with negative impacts on wildlife, water supply, and recreation.

We at CPAWS Southern Alberta are happy that the Alberta government has listened and done the right thing by halting logging in the Castle. Next step: protecting the Castle as a Wildland and Provincial Park – now wouldn’t that be something to celebrate?

Watch this video about the Castle Special Place on the Calgary Herald Website and click here to find out more about the Castle.

Your voice is going to be even more important over the course of the next year, as the government goes through its public consultation process for the South Saskatchewan Region, that will ultimately determine the fate of the Castle. Stay tuned because we need your help to ensure a permanent win for the region!