Province to hold meeting on Bragg Creek logging
Plans include logging more than 687 hectares of trees
People living in Bragg Creek who are concerned about proposed logging in the area will have a chance to meet with provincial officials later this week.
The province plans to log roughly 700 hectares, or 1,700 acres, of trees in the Bragg Creek area west of Calgary.
Provincial officials say the reason is to prevent a disaster similar to the one in Slave Lake in 2011.
Duncan MacDonnell, with Alberta’s Sustainable Resources, said the logged area will act as a guard if a wildfire threatens the West Bragg Creek area.
"In this case, what we're talking about doing with that fire break we get about eight hours to evacuate the community if a major wildfire threatens it," MacDonnell said. "Without it, you've got basically two hours with a community that's got one road in and one road out."
The province is welcoming input and feedback, and is holding a meeting at 6:30 p.m. Thursday at the Bragg Creek Centre where provincial officials will be present to listen to concerns and answer questions.
Many people are opposing the project, like Peter Tucker who heads a group called Sustain Kananaskis.
He said the plans have been in the works for six years but plans were only make public in November.
"People want to have a say in the final plan, people are not happy with the current plan as it stands, and they are completely confused," Tucker said, adding his group helped build 35 kilometres of trails in the area. "We have certainly had opportunities to be heard but don't believe we have been heard because absolutely nothing has been changed in the plan."
The province said it will take the input and feedback from Thursday’s meeting and make a decision on how to proceed in the following weeks. Meanwhile, Spray Lakes, the company doing the logging, is ready and waiting for the confirmation to proceed from the province.