Defending Wild Alberta through Awareness and Action
Our website provides awareness of Alberta's natural spaces and the need for action to protect our wildlife, wild lands, and wild waters for future generations.
2013-05-24 AWA Wilderness & Wildlife Defenders: Thanks and Next Steps Needed for Little Smoky Caribou
You have made a difference! In early May, the Alberta government deferred new mineral rights sales in the Little Smoky and A La Peche caribou ranges north of Jasper Park! Please take a minute to thank Ministers McQueen and Hughes and press them for the next on-the-ground habitat steps needed for these caribou to survive.
Alberta’s Eastern Slopes forests between the mountains and the grasslands have ecological importance far greater than their physical area. Healthy forests serve an invaluable role in collecting, storing and filtering water, and slowly releasing it into creeks and rivers. Once, management of these forested lands placed a firm priority on the production of a sustained and healthy water supply. More recently, this management priority has been undermined, and the primary use of forests has become the production of a sustained supply of timber. Native fish populations including endangered bull trout and West Slope cutthroat trout need healthy forests. They need the cold, clear, shady headwater creeks that sensitive forest management provides. We need to return to a model of ecosystem-based forest management that nurtures Alberta’s headwaters. Only then will we have a truly functioning ecosystem that will supply clean water for all Albertans to enjoy.
2013-05-15 AWA News Release: Time for Alberta Forest Industry to Stop Logging Critical Caribou Habitat
As the Canadian Boreal Forest Agreement (CBFA) marks its three year anniversary at the end of this week, companies are still logging in threatened Alberta caribou habitat. CBFA promised to accelerate protection of caribou and other boreal species at risk, but even though it was signed by most of Alberta’s forest industry, it has not delivered in Alberta. Alberta Wilderness Association (AWA) and Keepers of the Athabasca call on the forestry industry to stop logging in Alberta critical caribou habitat until sustainable populations are attained.
To be consistent with the Alberta government's recent decision to defer new mineral rights leases, AWA requests ESRD Minister McQueen also defer approval of new forestry plans in the Little Smoky and A La Peche caribou ranges until comprehensive caribou range plans are adopted by the Alberta government in 2014.
AWA Vice President Cliff Wallis highlights the key priorities for habitat conservation in Canada. He presented these points on May 7, 2013 to the House of Commons Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development.
For the first time, Alberta is deferring the sale of new mineral rights across the entire range of two of its fifteen caribou herds until Cabinet first adopts range plans describing how critical habitat will be protected to recover those two populations. In a letter yesterday to Alberta Wilderness Association (AWA), Alberta Energy Minister Ken Hughes stated that effective immediately, new mineral rights sales will be halted across the Little Smoky and A La Peche herd ranges northeast of Jasper National Park until range plans are approved in 2014. AWA welcomes this decision by the Redford government as a good first step in the survival chances of these two caribou herds.
This week is National Volunteer Week and for the 71st year Canadians are taking a few moments to celebrate volunteers across the nation. This note of appreciation offers you a very sincere thank you from all of us at AWA. You are one of 241 volunteers on AWA's active roster, making a difference every day Defending Wild Alberta through Awareness and Action.
With the South Saskatchewan Regional Plan (SSRP) draft being due out sometime later this year, we ask you to take a few minutes out of your day to let the government know how much you value Alberta's wildlands, wild life and wild waters. Please help provide an alternative to those voices clamouring for motorized recreation in our forests and headwaters.
Today the Alberta government will once again violate its own caribou policy and the federal caribou recovery strategy by auctioning yet more new oil and gas leases in the ranges of threatened Alberta caribou, including in the Little Smoky range that is more than 95% disturbed. Alberta Wilderness Association (AWA) calls on the government to cease this irresponsible energy development approach and act on its promises to maintain and restore caribou habitat.
AWA's letter to Parks Canada supporting their proposal to restrict winter recreational access, from November through the end of February, within the habitat of three sensitive Jasper National Park caribou populations. AWA also urges reduced winter access into the Maligne caribou range and preventing ski hill expansion into caribou range.
2013-04-12 AWA News Release: Calgarians Set to Discover their Wild Side at the Calgary Tower this Earth Day
The Best Earth Day Event in the West will start at the sound of the horn at 0800 on April 20th, 2013. 2,000 Albertans and folks from across North America will be celebrating Alberta’s wild side at the 22nd Annual Climb and Run for Wilderness.
2013-04-04 Better Cumulative Effects Assessment Needed for BC Hydro's Proposed Site C Peace River Dam
AWA comments on the adequacy of BC Hydro's environmental impact statement for its proposed Site C Dam on the Peace River in northeastern BC. AWA calls for more rigorous cumulative effects assessment of regional habitat for wide-ranging carnivores and caribou, and of aquatic ecosystem effects downstream to the Peace-Athabasca Delta.
An open letter to Alberta ESRD Minister Diana McQueen asking for more disclosure on the just-announced 3-day release of acutely lethal water from a Suncor wastewater pond into the Athabasca River that occurred March 2011, as well as the March 26, 2013 10-hour overflow of water from the same pond into the Athabasca River. The letter is signed by 44 organizations including Alberta Wilderness Association.
Extract from the federal Canada Gazette, designated Alberta's population of Westslope cutthroat trout an endangered species under the federal Species at Risk Act.
Decisions on Alberta’s wolf population are now being made by local authorities, and by hunting groups with funding from foreign special interest groups. And the Alberta government seems unwilling, or unable, to do anything to intervene.
Decisions on Alberta’s wolf population are being made by local authorities with public funds and hunting groups with funding from foreign special interest groups, and the Alberta government seems unwilling, or unable, to do anything to intervene. Details revealed in a recent Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy (FOIP) application made by Alberta Wilderness Association (AWA) point to outdated and inappropriate wildlife policy and legislation in Alberta.
Letter from AWA to Environment Canada, opposing a proposed new hunt for sandhill cranes in Alberta.
The Alberta government is selling new petroleum and natural gas lease sales in five threatened caribou range areas in March 2013, including in an auction that closes today, despite already unacceptably high industrial disturbance of caribou habitat in those areas. Alberta Wilderness Association (AWA) calls on the Alberta government to cease new surface leasing and new disturbance permits in Alberta caribou ranges and to make good on its promises to maintain and restore caribou habitat.
Alberta Environment and Sustainable Resource Development (AESRD) released part of the 2012 Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) test results on Feb 8, 2013.
2013-03-19 ENGO News Release: Conservation groups challenge secrecy around endangered Greater Sage-grouse
The Minister of Environment has a mandatory duty under the Species at Risk Act to protect Canada’s endangered Greater sage-grouse and cannot use a claim of Cabinet confidence to eliminate court supervision of ministers’ actions under federal law, Ecojustice will tell the Federal Court of Appeal this afternoon.