Calgary

Kananaskis clear cutting should concern urban and rural Albertans, advocate says

Advocacy group Stand For The Upper Elbow decided to mark the recent 40th anniversary of K-Country with a guided hike through the area set to be cut down on Sunday.

Legal proceedings were launched in February against the province and Spray Lake Sawmills to stop the clearcut

Dave Klepacki is a member of the group Stand For the Upper Elbow and helped lead a tour of Mustang Hills. Behind him are some of the trees slated to be clear cut. (Anis Heydari/CBC)

Concern continues in Kananaskis Country over a planned clearcut logging operation in the Mustang Hills area.

Advocacy group Stand For The Upper Elbow decided to mark the recent 40th anniversary of K-Country with a guided hike through the area set to be cut down on Sunday.

Dave Klepacki is a member of the group and helped lead the tour.

He wants both urban and rural Albertans pay attention to the potential clear cut zone.

"I just think that this is important to the people of Calgary. Not only just for the integrity of the drinking water but just for recreational purposes," he said. "There are a series of hiking trails that cut through the woods behind me and they would be gone."

Legal proceedings were launched in February against the province and Spray Lake Sawmills to try and stop the Mustang Hills clearcut.

The clearcut was approved Aug. 3, 2017.

Becky Best-Bertwistle with the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society of Southern Alberta says the group isn't against all logging in the area but wants it done in a more responsible manner. (Anis Heydari/CBC)

Becky Best-Bertwistle with the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society of Southern Alberta, says their goal is to "build more community and build more awareness of this issue."

"We're not saying that there shouldn't be any logging in Kananaskis … it should be done in a way that's responsible and acknowledges other industries such as tourism and sustainable recreation," she said.

"The government is already looking at turning all of the provincial recreation areas along Highway 66 and the Elbow River into a provincial park and so we think it's a little nonsensical to allow two clearcuts in the middle of this future provincial park."

With files from Anis Heydari