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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald (Newspaper) - January 13, 1971, Lethbridge, Alberta 16 - THE IETHBR1DGE HERALD - Wednes&iyjJeinuaryJ3^9^ Firms strip park CALGARY (CP) - Lumber companies are stripping Wood Buffalo National Park in northern Alberta of much of its timber and the long-term leases under which they operate do not require them to plant replacement trees or stimulate regeneration, a provincial official said Tuesday. George Rogers, a national parks regional forester, con firmed the statement and said lumber companies, after the Second World War and in the early 1960s, signed long-term timber leases with the government that do not require them to replace what they cut. "We won't be making any more agreements like that." However, the lease of the one firm now working in the park does not expire until 2007 and by then "I'd be surprised if they haven't taken all the lumber out," Mr. Rogers said. Frank Ladouceur, Metis Association president at Fort Chi-pewyan, the closest settlement to the park in northeastern Alberta, said "there are areas of the park that have been stripped almost bald." He said the firm has been taking about 15 million board feet of lumber out of the park during each of the last two years and plans to harvest as much as 20 million this year. "It's pretty bad, they just cut down the trees and that's it." The provincial forestry offi cial, who declined to be named, said the accepted practice in cases where reforestation is not feasible is to order the company to turn over the soil after the area has been cut to stimulate natural regrowth. ORDER IGNORED Mr. Ladouceur said even this is not being done in tie national park. He said there is one strip about five miles wide and at least 18 miles long "where almost all the trees are gone"! and that about a third of all the timber in the park has been cut. The provincial official said reforestation is vital not only for esthetic values but for game animals which require cover. Mr. Rogers said the original agreements reflected the "practice of the times" and "where we can, we don't allow cutting anymore in national parks." "It is against parks policy." He rejected Mr. Ladouceur's claim some areas had been stripped bald. "I wouldn't say there are too many areas like this because they are required to leave trees under 10 inches in diameter alone." Mr. Rogers said some areas will regenerate and some won't "but there won't be a great deal of natural replacement." He said the forestry service has been thinking for some time of reseeding areas of the park but "it hasn't gone beyond the thinking stage." North Dakota boycotts auto deal BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) -The state department of accounts and purchases is waging an undeclared war against the major United States automobile manufacturers. Frank J. Mattem, a depart' ment official, said here the department has rejected nearly all of the bids submitted by automobile dealers last month for sale of passenger vehicles to the state. He said last spring General Motors, Ford and Chrysler decided to stop giving discounts to dealers on vehicles sold to local and state government agencies. Such discounts, ho said, averaged about $500 per \ehicie. In addition, the base price of automobiles has increased bv an average of $200 and the major manufacturers have reduced their warranty provi dons, he said. In Canada, the premiers of Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta decided last month to boycott the 'Big Three1 in protest against discontinuance of the fleet discount on govern ment purchases. ENGINE PROBLEM CANBERRA (Reuter) - Australia has withheld an order for 12 Boeing Chinook medium-lift helicopters until an engine problem is overcome. 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