A volunteer group 'Take a Stand for Kananaskis and the Upper Highwood' is upset with the upcoming logging efforts in Kananaskis Country.

Becky Best-Bertwistle with the group said Spray Lake Sawmills is going to be allowed access to Highway 40 this winter.

"So, it's really interesting that this approval to open the road and have heavy industrial traffic happening during what is has been stated by Alberta Environment Parks as a sensitive time. So, why is there a closure in place if we're not going to enforce it?"

The issue with that is Highway 40 is always shut down to all traffic from December 1 to June 14.  The distance from the winter gate at the junction of Highway 40 and Highway 940 is 12.1 kilometres.

The sign at the gate at Highwood Junction, the intersection of Highway 40 and Highway 940, states the Highway is closed to protect wildlife during a critical time.

Winter gate sign at Highwood JunctionWinter gate sign at Highwood Junction

Spray Lake Sawmills has plans to harvest 1,100 hectares of forest which will affect many well-established hiking trails. The new logging road also built a bridge crossing the Highwood River, which is critical to the watershed of Eden Valley and High River.

Best-Bertwistle can't understand how they were allowed to build the bridge without proper permits in the first place.

"They didn't apply to get appropriate permits; they built the bridge without permits during a critical time for bull trout spawning. They drove through the river. Who is the adult in the room here?"

Permit posted on tree by the logging bridge over the Highwood River.Permit posted on tree October 6th by the logging bridge over the Highwood River.

Take a Stand for Kananaskis and the Upper Highwood is a volunteer-run group focused on the conservation of Kananaskis since 2017.

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