Logging in the Upper Highwood

Residents of High River, Longview and Black Diamond areas have recently found out that there will be extensive logging around Highwood Junction, the southern gateway to Kananaskis Country, next winter. While few Kananaskis trails will be affected — Lower Etherington Creek trail will become a haul road once again, as will the start to Baril Creek — the proposed blocks along the Highwood River slated for clear-cut will be clearly visible from Hwy. 40 and from Junction Hill to the north.

View from Junction Hill

View from Junction Hill across Highwood Junction to the areas to be logged.

The “villain” appears to be a BC-based company, Balcaen Consolidated Contracting Ltd. with the head office in Vernon. Their contractor locally is CCI Inc. who have an office in Cochrane. Work to build access roads in the area will begin in August.

A group of concerned recreational users has started a Facebook page “Take a Stand for the Upper Highwood” where you can find more information. There is also an article in the Western Wheel.

logging map
14 comments… add one
  • dave Apr 26, 2018, 5:15 am

    I agree with Lou , a lot of forests are grown as crops they just take a long time to grow so we tend to think they have always been there, managed well its a good thing to rotate the tree stands as they all age at the same time. time will tell how it all works out, but forestry is essential the wood for our homes etc all has to come from somewhere.

  • Lou Romailler Mar 24, 2018, 10:17 am

    I’ve Known the company and it’s owner for a number of years. They also own and operate one of the largest cattle ranches in Canada. (Coldstream Ranch) Prior to purchased was for the most part in my opinion ill managed and much deteriorated.
    Today it could be set as an example of a properly ran enterprise. Well kept and a pleasure to see the upgrades applied. Being a rancher totally understands the value of respecting the land base.
    I don’t believe there is any great concern to worry about. It will be done properly.

  • dave Feb 25, 2018, 8:59 am

    My understanding is they are being cleared by a BC company but heading to china , as for the pipeline it will be built and BC can take its bat and ball and go home sulking if they wish it has more to do with royalties than environmental issues , it will be done in the national interest , its amazing how politicians like to jump on the vote band wagon rather than doing anything useful .

  • Robert katrenicz Feb 16, 2018, 9:17 am

    I cannot believe that our government would allow a Bc company to clear cut in the kananaskiss area especially when they are putting up such a stink over the pipeline needed for the economic development of Canada as a while

  • dave Nov 19, 2017, 8:52 am

    I was down there yesterday to take photos and will be back next year to do more , if you look on google maps you can see where the area was replanted many years ago and is now very nice forest, people do tend to forget that a lot of forest is grown as a crop same as wheat and corn etc it just takes much longer to grow, in canada we plant roughly 1000 trees per minute , so all is not lost , we all need wood and it has to come from sustainable forests so crop rotation is vital for sure.https://www.flickr.com/photos/davebloggs007/37634272985/in/dateposted-public/

  • Tony Daffern Nov 15, 2017, 11:14 am

    Thanks Katrina. I am more concerned about the visual impact around Highroad house than the actual logging. I understand the logging company has changed some blocks to reduce this problem.

  • Katrina Winter Nov 15, 2017, 5:29 am

    This is a Tiny contract… those blocks are super small, and they’ll probably end up planting 5:1 ratio for what they cut down. between fires and mountain pine beetle that forest is all going to be gone soon anyways, might as we’ll make use of it. I’d be down to plant some Alberta Canfor cream.

  • Hans Berkhout Jun 13, 2017, 7:05 am

    What is the track record of Balacaen Consolidated and C.C.I?

  • Foxy Brown May 18, 2017, 5:07 pm

    Better to log it and use the wood, than lose it to fire.

  • Carol Gauzer Apr 13, 2017, 10:00 am

    Tony, Thank you for adding your voice of concern. Would you be willing to share your support on the Take a Stand facebook page? We are trying to gather a coalition of stakeholders and would be pleased if you can add your name and/or blog.

  • Alf Skrastins Apr 11, 2017, 11:47 pm

    The Spray Lakes Sawmills Forest Management Agreement has existed since Sept 5, 2001.

  • Tony Daffern Apr 11, 2017, 1:42 pm

    The word villain is used somewhat tongue-in-cheek which is why I put it in parentheses. While Spray Lakes Sawmills is locally owned and operated I question a major international company such as Canfor being given timber rights in the Kananaskis. The areas to be clearcut were logged many years ago and the original agreement was probably renewable. As you say, it it is our Provincial government who need to hear our concerns.

  • Carol Gauzer Apr 11, 2017, 7:04 am

    The use of the word villian against Balcaen is ill advised. The Government of Alberta signed a Forest Management Agreement with Spray Lakes Saw Mill I believe in 2007. It is our elected officials that need to hear our opposition.

  • Lynn Bowers Apr 7, 2017, 11:44 am

    ORCA (Outdoor Recreation Council of Alberta) whose spokesperson is currently Albi Sole has also been alerted about this after I received a plea from a trapper in the area. ORCA is concerned with the development of a template for land use on the Eastern Slopes area in Alberta.

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