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.
2014-07-25 AWA News Release: Parks Canada Rejection of Maligne Lodge in Jasper is Good News for Wildlife, Ecological Integrity; Development Concerns Remain
In a decision announced on July 25, 2014, Parks Canada has rejected a 66-room luxury hotel proposed for the shores of Maligne Lake in Jasper National Park. The hotel proposed by Maligne Tours Ltd. would have been situated in the middle of important habitat for several threatened wild species, including grizzly bears, harlequin ducks, and the mountain caribou recently designated as endangered under Canada’s Species at Risk Act. Alberta Wilderness Association (AWA) applauds this decision, which recognizes the importance of the ecological integrity of our mountain parks. At the same time, we note that 13 other elements of the Maligne Tours proposal that were accepted by Parks Canada raise ongoing concerns about commercial developments in the park and may continue to threaten those wild species.
2014-07-23 AWA News Release: South Saskatchewan Regional Plan: A Missed Opportunity for Protection of Important Natural Landscapes
The South Saskatchewan Regional Plan released today by the Alberta government is a small improvement from “business as usual” but remains a missed opportunity for meaningful protection of the region’s natural landscapes.
The Alberta government is proposing fixed roof camping cabins in Alberta’s only backcountry canoe circuit in Lakeland Provincial Park. In AWA’s view, the cabins will increase mechanized access pressures and be a step towards urbanizing this important, relatively non-mechanized regional wilderness area. They are completely unnecessary given numerous nearby alternatives for fixed roof RV camping and rental cabins in rustic lakeside settings. Please take a moment to write or comment online to Alberta Parks by July 7 during the public consultation period.
2014-06-25 AWA News Release: Today’s Alberta Sales of Endangered Caribou Habitat Ignore Public Opposition and Science
Despite opposition from Alberta’s three main opposition parties, two major daily newspapers, and major hunting and wilderness organizations, more endangered caribou habitat will be auctioned today by the Alberta government for new oil and gas leases. The leases in 264 hectares of endangered mountain caribou range in west central Alberta and 264 hectares of threatened boreal caribou range in northeast Alberta allow new surface disturbance, making survival chances even worse for the caribou. The Alberta Wilderness Association (AWA) asks for a halt to new energy leasing in endangered caribou ranges until effective rules to protect the herds are in place.
This week, Alberta’s Energy Minister visits crude oil customers in Delaware, Philadelphia and New York City while endangered caribou habitat is slated to be auctioned June 11 for new oil and gas leases. The leases allow new surface disturbance, making survival chances even worse for the caribou. The Alberta Wilderness Association (AWA) wants American consumers of Alberta crude to know that halting new energy leasing in endangered caribou ranges is critical.
2014-06-04 AWA News Release: Impending Alberta Energy Leasing in Endangered Mountain Caribou Habitat Counter to New Federal Recovery Strategy
The federal southern mountain caribou recovery strategy finalized yesterday sets a goal to increase all populations, maintain current distribution and restore habitat in core and buffer areas in and around ranges. The strategy confirms that Alberta’s upcoming new energy lease sales of 900 hectares in June and July (and sales of 1000 hectares in May) allowing more surface disturbance in crucial caribou winter range will further undermine survival of its endangered caribou. Alberta Wilderness Association (AWA) calls on the Alberta government to stop energy leasing, including the 500 hectares planned for sale June 11, until range action plans are developed to ensure the recovery of these mountain caribou.
2014-06-03 AWA News Release: AWA Applauds Charges Laid Against Plains Midstream for Red Deer River Crude Oil Pipeline Spill
The Canadian and Alberta governments recently laid charges against Plains Midstream for its June 7, 2012 pipeline spill of 460,000 litres of high-sulfur-content crude oil into the headwaters of the Red Deer River. Alberta Wilderness Association (AWA) supports the laying of these charges under both federal and provincial laws as a step towards better management of the risks of Alberta’s aging pipeline network.