A group of protesters says it will continue to picket outside a southwestern Alberta logging operation despite below-freezing temperatures.

A few dozen environmentalists and local residents set up a tent on Jan. 11 in the Castle Wilderness Area west of Pincher Creek to protest logging plans for the area.

They have been blocking the access road to the area because Spray Lake Sawmills wants to harvest 120 hectares of trees in the area this winter.

"If we keep people there and the machinery idle until spring, that might be a good time — come spring, they won't be able to do any logging," Gordon Peterson of the Castle-Crown Wilderness Coalition told CBC News.

"I hope it doesn't take that long, but we have a lot of committed people, people coming from all over."

Peterson said the group is encouraging people to call their MLA and the premier's office "and let them know we do not want this to proceed."

The group claims that the area is an important wildlife passage and that too many roads, as well as oil and gas projects, have already placed stress on the area.