For Immediate Release
Oct 22, 2010

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Ecojustice calls on Minister Knight to stop land sale


EDMONTON — The Alberta government’s proposed sale of 25 public land plots to SLM Spud Farms is ill-informed and could devastate local species-at-risk, Ecojustice said today.

“At minimum, Alberta must conduct an in-depth survey of the land to determine what exactly it is signing away before the sale is approved,” said Melissa Gorrie, Ecojustice staff lawyer. “As it stands now, the province does not have the necessary information to make an informed, responsible decision.”

In a letter sent today to Mel Knight, Alberta’s minister of sustainable resource development, Ecojustice points to research that indicates the contested land is home to several species-at-risk protected under provincial and federal laws, including the Burrowing Owl, Ferruginous Hawk, Sprauge’s Pipit and Loggerhead Shrike.

Available research however, is incomplete. Further study is necessary to determine exactly what species-at-risk and critical habitats are located on the land at issue, which is part of the Bow Island Provincial Grazing Reserve.

“To sell off this land before knowing which species it might condemn to further devastation would be irresponsible and callous,” Gorrie said. “Minister Knight has a responsibility to ensure that any land sale is carried out in an informed, credible manner.”

For further information on the species threatened by this proposed land sale, please refer to the attached letter. Cabinet is expected to vote on the issue tomorrow.

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