2012 News Archive
Wild Lands Advocate article, December 2012, by Christyann Olson. Roger Creasey was a good friend to AWA, and to Wild Alberta. We pay honour to Roger, his memory and his many accomplishments in this eulogy.
Wild Lands Advocate article, December 2012, by Katie Rasmussen. The ABMI is an organization tasked with rapidly improving our knowledge of biological diversity in Alberta. This knowledge is an invaluable tool to use in the crafting of land-use planning and land management strategies. Rasmussen reports on some of the research being undertaken by the ABMI in the Willmore Wilderness Provincial Park.
Wild Lands Advocate update, December 2012, by Carolyn Campbell. Report on the presentation made by the Oil Sands Environmental Coalition - a group that includes AWA - to a joint federal-provincial environmental assessment panel. That presentation was made in opposition to Shell's expansion proposal for its Jackpine bitumen mine.
Wild Lands Advocate article, December 2012, by Sean Nichols. The last entry in the 2012 Priorities series focuses on Public Lands and Biodiversity, two "umbrella" issues that encompass a large portion of what AWA takes on in its day-to-day work. This makes for a good time to review all the issues highlighted over the year, as well as looking ahead to what 2013 will bring.
Wild Lands Advocate update, December 2012, by Katie Rasmussen. AWA has publicly supported private members Bill 202, which calls for increased public consultation and ecological assessments on sales of public grasslands. Rasmussen updates us on some context surrounding that bill.
Wild Lands Advocate article, December 2012, by Carolyn Campbell. 20 years of Alberta's “slow progress towards a meaningful biodiversity strategy” are explored by Campbell in an article that touches on the commitment Canada made to the 1992 UN Convention on Biodiversity, up through the establishment of the Alberta Biodiversity Monitoring Institute. Finally there is a look at where Alberta can go from here.
In Alberta’s secluded Hidden Creek, a rapid-fire “blink and you’ll miss it” logging operation is coming to a swift close. Hidden Creek is the most important spawning grounds for threatened bull trout in the entire Oldman River system in southern Alberta, and is also home to threatened westslope cutthroat trout. For a paltry $17,000 of timber royalties, this important refuge is now jeopardized by a new road and clear cuts that will alter its water quality and quantity.
A Last Look at AWA's 2012 Priorities | What Exactly is Biodiversity? | A Castle-Crown Collage | Alberta Biodiversity Monitoring Institute and the Willmore Wilderness | Alberta's Biodiversity Strategy Needs to be Pushed Forward | A Case Study of a Prescribed Burn near Saskatchewan River Crossing, Alberta
A new road built in the last several weeks by Tourmaline Oil Corp. within critical habitat of the threatened Little Smoky caribou herd in west central Alberta shows the Alberta government is not following its own 2011 caribou policy. Alberta Wilderness Association (AWA) calls on the Alberta government to protect threatened caribou in this and other ranges in Alberta.
The Alberta Utilities Commission (AUC) approved the Western Alberta Transmission Line (WATL), selecting major route options that will minimize impacts on environmentally significant areas. More than 60 per cent of the approved route parallels existing lines. The proposed 500-kilovolt, 350 km transmission line will run from Genesee, west of Edmonton to the Langdon area east of Calgary. Proposed routings rejected by the AUC included those that would have crossed the Pine Lake Moraine, an environmentally significant area in endangered Aspen Parkland habitats east of Red Deer, as well as an extensive wetland complex in the Langdon area.
2012-11-30 ENGO News Release: Prairie Grasslands and Species at Risk Protected: Government Sets High Bar for Suffield National Wildlife Area
The seven-group Suffield Coalition today applauded the government’s decision to deny approval of Cenovus' (previously EnCana) proposal to drill 1,275 natural gas wells and construct associated infrastructure in the Suffield National Wildlife Area (NWA).
As we reflect on 2012 and AWA's 2012 conservation priorities and progress, we will be providing updates on issues of concern. For four years, we've been keeping you up-to-date on Suffield National Wildlife Area and this very question: What will it be, wild prairie grasslands or 1,275 new Cenovus gas wells and 220 kilometres of new pipelines? Well, we still don't know and we hope that with help from you, letters to federal Minister of the Environment Peter Kent will help remind him just how important this area is to native biodiversity and the protection of this significant region in Alberta.
Beginning November 6th, and until December 21, the Government of Alberta undergoes public consultation for Phase 2 of the South Saskatchewan Regional Planning process. Ensure your voices and values are heard! We know Minister McQueen wants to hear from as many Albertans as possible throughout this planning process. This is an incredibly important opportunity to ensure that future land-use planning in the most populated and developed region of Alberta incorporates what Albertans have shown time and again that they value - a genuine shift away from business as usual towards land management that emphasises protection of our water resources and conservation of our ecological diversity.
Logging opponents involved in last winter’s Castle protest took the Alberta Government to court today over the continuing clearcut logging in the Castle. The judge in the case chose to use his discretion and not allow the case to proceed due to the expiration of the 90-day window on the Notice of Development that was at issue. However he did leave the door open for the matter to be brought up again should another such notice be posted.
The Oil Sands Environmental Coalition, including Alberta Wilderness Association, appeared yesterday and today before a joint federal-provincial regulatory panel considering another large tar sands mine along the lower Athabasca River. OSEC outlined why Shell's Jackpine Mine expansion proposal is not in the public interest and should not be approved. Alberta Wilderness Association focused on the Project's significant impacts of expected irreversible loss to peat wetlands and old-growth forest, as well as harm to the Athabasca River at lowest winter flows from further water withdrawals.
Oil Sands Environmental Coalition will present evidence Tuesday November 6 showing Shell Canada’s proposal to expand the Jackpine oilsands mine is not in the public interest; internationally recognized water scientist David Schindler to address the panel on Friday
The recent announcement that the Government of Alberta will introduce Bill 8 (Electric Utilities Amendment Act, 2012) to effectively overturn amendments made through Bill 50 (Electric Statutes Amendment Act, 2009) is underwhelming to say the least. Alberta Wilderness Association (AWA) applauds the bill that would require all future transmission infrastructure projects go through a full needs-assessment process by the Alberta Utilities Commission (AUC), but we are acutely disappointed that Bill 8 does not address the significant projects approved under Bill 50.
Through a series of communications with AESRD, and with the assistance of materials obtained in a FOIP package in June of 2012, AWA has ascertained some specifics regarding which forests will or will not fall under the logging delay announced on October 10. In this email, AWA has shared this information with other concerned organizations.
AWA's 2012 Priorities: Water, the Lifeblood of Alberta | McClelland Wetlands | Beavers, Biodiversity and Wetlands of Hope | Canada's Cold Amazon | The Milk River Watershed Council Canada – Our Water, Our Legacy | Clarity Out of Mud | Water in the Castle | Logging Trumps All Other Concerns in the Castle
2012-10-31 Endangered Greater Sage-grouse Hang On by a Thread in Alberta, Huge Declines in Saskatchewan
Wild Lands Advocate update, August 2012, by Madeline Wilson. Counts of sage-grouse performed this spring show that last year's numbers were no fluke: again only 13 males were counted on Alberta leks. Perhaps even more worrying is the 57 percent drop in Saskatchewan numbers since 2011.