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.
2013-12-10 AWA Wilderness & Wildlife Defenders: Help Needed: Resort Lodge Planned in Caribou Habitat
Maligne Tours Ltd. has submitted a “Conceptual Proposal” to Parks Canada that includes the construction of a 66-room resort lodge on the shores of Maligne Lake in Jasper National Park. This despite the fact that the proposed site is in the middle of habitat for the threatened woodland caribou, and even though the Management Plan for the park directs against allowing overnight accommodation in this part of the park. The period for public comment on this proposal runs through December 15: AWA believes we all need to let Parks Canada know that this project does not belong in the Maligne Valley, and that we are requesting that they reject the proposal.
Significant new disturbance within caribou ranges in west central Alberta is destroying federally protected critical habitat and undermines chances for naturally sustaining caribou populations committed to by Alberta and federal governments. Alberta Wilderness Association (AWA) echoes residents’ concerns about these disturbances even as it looks for solutions within Alberta’s Little Smoky - A La Peche caribou range planning process.
Alberta's Lower Athabasca Regional Plan: A Good Answer to Managing the Oil Sands? | South Saskatchewan Regional Plan - A Disappointing Draft | Global Warming and Extreme Weather Events: The Scientific Evidence and Uncertainty | Conservation Science Corner: Of Birds and Blades
2013-12-04 Canada Gazette pt2 vol147 no25 Including Emergency Order for the Protection of the Greater Sage-Grouse
Part II, Vol. 147, No. 25 of the Canada Gazette. Includes the Emergency Order for the Protection of the Greater Sage-Grouse, P.C. 2013-1245 under the Species At Risk Act. Published as a Supplement following the french index, found on pp. 72-200 of the PDF file.
2013-11-27 Back to the Future for the Bears: Another Five Years for Alberta's Grizzly Bear Recovery Plan
Wild Lands Advocate article, October 2013, by Sean Nichols. The Alberta Grizzly Bear Recovery Plan 2008-2013 is up for review and is likely to be renewed for another five years with only minor changes made by the AESRD. Since the implementation of the plan, there has been effective work on conflict avoidance and attractant management, but little has been done to protect Grizzly Bear habitat.
Canada's Pest Management Regulatory Agency has just acknowledged that the majority of examined pollinator mortalities were the result of exposure to neonicotinoid insecticides, and more importantly, have admitted that "current agricultural practices related to the use of neonicotinoid-treated corn and soybean seed are not sustainable" and has issued a Call for Comments.
Wild Lands Advocate article, April/May 2013, by Carolyn Campbell. A burst waste-water line at a Suncor Energy tar sands strip mining operation caused 350,000 litres of contaminated water to overflow in to the Athabasca River. This is the second toxic water spill to occur from Pond C in the past two years.
Map showing the proposed Castle Wildland Provincial Park in the draft SSRP compared to forest cover in the same region.
Map showing the proposed parks and other conservation areas in the draft SSRP compared to designated critical habitat for threatened Westslope Cutthroat Trout.
Wild Lands Advocate article, April/May 2013, by Sean Nichols. The unofficial "Class A" designation of Hidden Creek along with deviations of Operating Ground Rules by Spray Lake Sawmills, prompted AWA's request for the release of information from the Government of Alberta regarding the logging operations in Hidden Creek.
Wild Lands Advocate article, April/May 2013, by Nigel Douglas. Alberta's Westslop Cutthroat Trouth has been designated as a threatened species, seven years after COSEWIC submitted the recommendation to the federal government. The species was once widespread throughout southern Alberta but is now found only the the Bow and Oldman drainages.
Wild Lands Advocate article, April/May 2013, by Sean Nichols. Landowners in Southern Alberta are expressing concerns over the increase of bear sightings and bear-human conflict resolutions. The Alberta Government should continue to manage Grizzly Bears through scientifically-based action plans such as the 2008 Alberta Grizzly Bear Recovery Strategy and the current AESRD Bear Rub Study.
Cold Lake, Hot Bitumen: CNRL’s Bitumen Blowout | Blacklisted: Pembina Institute v Alberta (Environment and Sustainable Resource Development), 2013 ABQB 567 | Isn’t this Where We Came In? Slapping a Band-Aid® over the Bighorn’s Canary Creek | Canada’s Charities Witch-hunt: Ottawa and the Ghost of Senator Joseph McCarthy | Three Artists Who Give Voice to the Silent | Back to the Future for the Bears: Another Five Years for Alberta’s Grizzly Recovery Plan
2013-10-10 AWA News Release: South Saskatchewan Regional Draft Plan: Important Progress but Long Overdue Protection Falls Short
The South Saskatchewan Regional Draft Plan released today by the Alberta government is a step towards managing multiple pressures on water and lands in southern Alberta. The draft plan shows progress on headwaters conservation but falls short on legislated grassland protection.
Bird window collisions are considered one of the greatest threats to bird populations in Alberta and residential homes are thought to be the biggest culprit. The University of Alberta has started a Birds and Windows project and they are asking for your help! AWA will be hosting an upcoming talk related to this issue in 2014 and thought this would be a great opportunity for anyone interested to get a head start on understanding threats to our native birds.
In a notable ruling on October 1, a judge overturned an Alberta government decision to reject a Statement of Concern filed by a coalition of environmental groups for an ‘in situ’ oil sands project. The judge was sharply critical of Alberta’s department of Environment and Sustainable Resource Development (ESRD) for using “improper and irrelevant considerations” that showed an unjust bias against environmental groups who had been critical of oil sands development. The judge also noted his concern that legitimate environmental organizations do not seem to be allowed a voice as filers of Statement of Concerns in Alberta and observed that there is room to be more flexible in defining ‘directly affected’ parties.
The Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC) has proposed the addition of the Grizzly Bear to the Canadian Species at Risk Act (SARA) listing as a Species of Special Concern. The Government of Canada is soliciting feedback on the proposed addition and will be accepting submissions until Friday October 4, 2013. AWA supports this listing and hopes that you will write the government with an expression of support.
Calgary, AB – The federal government is considering an extra layer of legal protection for the country’s grizzly bears, a move supported by three Alberta-based conservation groups, including AWA. In 2012, Canada’s Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife (COSEWIC) recommended, for the second time in a decade, that Canada’s grizzly population be designated as “Species of Special Concern” under the Species at Risk Act (SARA). Canadians have the opportunity to comment on this proposal until October 4th, 2013.
Yesterday, CNRL received permission to dewater most of a small lake that has been contaminated for several months by flowing bitumen, to try to contain one of the bitumen fissures created by CNRL's high pressure oil sands steaming at its Primrose operations.This latest step further reveals the risks to Alberta’s wetlands-rich northern boreal forest from mis-managing the very high pressures and heat of ‘in situ’ tar sands operations.
2013-09-17 ENGO News Release: Conservation Groups Cautiously Optimistic about Greater Sage-grouse Announcement
Conservation groups welcome the federal government’s announcement that it intends to introduce an emergency protection order for Canada’s endangered Greater sage-grouse, but they also caution that the devil will be in the details.