October 27, 2003

Environmental groups urge protection for Alberta's Chinchaga Wilderness forest

OTTAWA, ONT-The international environmental organizations Greenpeace and ForestEthics have aligned themselves with local conservation groups to call for the protection of the Chinchaga Wilderness in northwestern Alberta's boreal forest. The groups are urging a moratorium on further development of this endangered forest region until permanent legal protection for the area is established and transition funding is provided for affected communities. A report prepared by the groups, titled "Chinchaga Wilderness," documents the ecological values of the Chinchaga region and offers evidence to confirm it as an endangered forest area requiring immediate protection. With less than 2% of the Boreal Eastern Foothills eco-region currently protected, the groups view Chinchaga as a conservation priority. While logging companies Daishowa-Marubeni, Manning Diversified, Tolko and Canadian Forest Products have small tenures in the Chinchaga Wilderness, much has yet to be licensed. The environmental groups note that the lack of such legal constraints presents an excellent opportunity for industry and the Klein government to join citizens and the conservation community to protect this area of endangered boreal forest. The report may be viewed on-line at www.greenpeace.ca/e/campaign/boreal/documents/chinchaga.pdf.
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