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Chris Bunting, Y2Y Supporter since 2007

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Further Action Needed to Protect Alberta's Headwaters

On March 11, Banff-Cochrane MLA Cam Westhead rose in the Legislature to deliver a Members Statement on the protection of Alberta’s Headwaters.

MEDIA STATEMENT
March 14, 2016

On March 11, Banff-Cochrane MLA Cam Westhead rose in the Legislature to deliver a Members Statement on the protection of Alberta’s Headwaters. In response, Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative’s Alberta Program Director Stephen Legault issued the following statement:

“Cam Westhead’s Members Statement on Alberta’s headwaters is another indication that the provincial NDP government is taking seriously its responsibility to ensure that these landscapes and watersheds are protected for all Albertans. After decades of neglect, it’s reassuring to see a government place the priority on watershed health and the protection of the landscapes that support our water, wildlife and the economic diversity they provide.”

“The government needs to take decisive action if we’re going to reverse the damage that has been done to Alberta’s headwaters. While formal designation of the Castle Wildland and Provincial Parks is a good first step, we need to ensure those watersheds are actually protected by removing off highway vehicles (OHVs) from those parks and placing the emphasis on protecting nature. OHV use, in the Castle and elsewhere along Alberta’s Eastern Slopes, is not compatible with the watershed protection Mr. Westhead talks about in his important Statement.”

“Protecting Alberta’s headwaters means changing how we do forestry. Clearcutting in the Ghost River Watershed, which provides some of Calgary’s drinking water, and in the headwaters of the Oldman River and in Kananaksis Country, which is an important economic engine and nature reserve, continues to erode the health of our headwaters. It’s time to change how forestry is done and that means ending the practice of clearcutting where our headwaters ecological health is at stake.”

“It’s heartening to hear an MLA speak on behalf of the government espousing the importance of protecting our headwaters. It’s time for Alberta to put those words into action.”

Mr. Westhead’s Member’s Statement can be viewed here.

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Media Contact:

Stephen Legault
Y2Y Program Director, Crown, Alberta and NWT
(403) 688-2964, stephen@y2y.net