03/12/2012 12:32 EDT | Updated 05/12/2012 05:12 EDT

Water experts call for end to logging in Castle region of southwestern Alberta

PINCHER CREEK, Alta. - Two internationally recognized water experts are calling on Premier Alison Redford to stop clear-cut logging in southwestern Alberta.

David Schindler and Robert Sandford say cutting down trees in the headwater region of the Castle River could hurt southern Alberta's water supply.

They say the forest acts like a sponge in the winter and releases water in the summer when it is most needed.

The experts say clear-cutting will reduce the area's ability to provide water to dry prairieland.

Redford has said a forest management agreement protects two-thirds of the land in question and less than one per cent of the trees are to be logged.

Schindler is a professor of ecology at the University of Alberta and Sandford has a role in Canada's support of the United Nations "Water for Life" initiative.