The Government of Alberta has quietly signed a new 20 year Forest Management Agreement (FMA) with Sundre Forest Products, apparently bypassing the imminent North Saskatchewan planning process. The deal will make watershed and wildlife conservation more difficult in the FMA’s 5600 km2 area of North Saskatchewan and Red Deer River forested headwaters that affects the water security of over a million Albertans downstream.
The recent decision by Alberta Environment and Sustainable Resource Development (ESRD) to close trails in the Bighorn Backcountry area to all motorized traffic due to “extreme erosion” confirms what AWA has been saying for over a decade: this important wilderness area cannot handle motorized recreation, and OHV trails are not an appropriate development for these pristine valleys.
2012-07-03 AWA News Release: Canadians Willing To Make Sacrifices to Recover Caribou in our National Parks: New Parks Canada Report
Canadians support renewed efforts to recover Threatened caribou in our Mountain National Parks – and we are willing to make sacrifices to allow that recovery to take place. This is one of the significant findings from a newly released Parks Canada report, Conservation Strategy for Southern Mountain Caribou: What we Heard.
Almost half of all (44%) of all bird species found in Canada have experienced population declines since 1970 according to a recently released report on the state of Canada’s birds. Of particular concern, populations of grasslands birds have declined by 45% on average since 1970.
AWA's 2012 Priorities: Focus on Forests | Fly South Young Grouse | The Beginning and the End – A Summer Holiday Experience | Moving Past Infancy: Cumulative Effects Management in Alberta's Boreal Forest | An Elegy for the Crowsnest Bull Trout
2012-06-22 AWA News Release: Endangered Sage-grouse Hang on by a Thread in Alberta, Huge Declines in Saskatchewan
Every spring anxious eyes turn towards the sage-grouse mating grounds (known as “leks”) of southern Alberta to see whether or not Canada’s sage-grouse made it through the winter. This year’s spring population counts observed only 13 males at Alberta leks, showing no improvement since last year. In Saskatchewan, the only other Canadian province in which sage-grouse persist, huge population declines were observed. Only 18 males were counted at Saskatchewan leks, a dramatic decrease from the 42 males last recorded.
The Alberta government’s new report on 2011 grizzly bear recovery reveals a disturbing trend that is harmful to the province’s Threatened grizzlies. Large numbers of bears are being trapped and moved by provincial wildlife staff.
AWA released an open letter today to Prime Minister Harper expressing our deep concern with the process and proposed changes in environmental laws of the omnibus budget, Bill C-38.
2012-06-08 AWA News Release: Pipeline Spill into Red Deer River Points to Huge Concerns With Pipeline Regulation
A pipeline leak north of Sundre, Alta. spilled between 1000 and 3000 barrels (160,000-475,000 litres) of light sour crude oil into the Red Deer River yesterday, a major drinking water source for southern Alberta, via Jackson Creek, which contains threatened bull trout. This news comes only weeks after a pipeline leak in northern Alberta spilled approximately 5,000 barrels (800,000 litres) of oil into surrounding peat wetlands.
Reports in yesterday’s news media reveal details on a program to import sage-grouse from Montana to Alberta. While this reintroduction shows overdue recognition by the Alberta government of the dire situation of one of Canada’s most endangered species, and is likely necessary, Alberta Wilderness Association is concerned. Alberta Sustainable Resource Development’s Fish and Wildlife branch still have not fixed the underlying problem of habitat degradation and lack of protection for all the critical habitat that these endangered birds require.
The Broader View: AWA's 2012 Priorities | Caribou Habitat Protection: It's Urgent to Reduce Industry's Bootprint | A Glass Half-Full: Avoiding Protection Paralysis | ATV Roundup: Managing Motorized Recreation in Alberta | Constrained Conservation: Examining Legal, Policy, and Organizational Obstacles to Sage-grouse Conservation and Recovery in Alberta | Standing Up for the Castle | A Valentine's Day Call for Action
Four little bear cubs scaled the Calgary Tower Saturday to celebrate Earth Day and raise money for Alberta’s wild lands, wild water and wildlife.
As development continues to destroy wetlands crucial to Alberta’s water security and climate regulation, a new research paper by a University of Alberta ecologist, Dr. Lee Foote, concludes that the government should negotiate mineable oil sands development limits. The paper cites doubtful reclamation success for the extensive peat wetlands central to that landscape. The Alberta Wilderness Association and Water Matters call on Alberta’s political party leaders to commit to meaningful wetland conservation measures including protection of boreal wetlands.
It was standing room only last night as AWA hosted a Candidates Forum to discuss “Water for Tomorrow” in Alberta. More than 125 people crowded in to listen to five candidates in the upcoming provincial election debate their perspectives on major water issues affecting all Albertans. The lively discussion was chaired by CBC Radio’s Donna McElligott.
In recent years, many Albertans have been engaged in a number of important water issues and ensuring the security of our source water has become vitally important to each one of us. We believe there is both a need and high interest to discuss Alberta water resources policy and decision making. Panelists will discuss progress and concerns related to Alberta's water.
It’s been two years since grizzly bears were listed as Threatened under the Alberta Wildlife Act, and four years since publication of the Province’s Grizzly Bear Recovery Plan, yet if anything, the Alberta to which grizzly bears are waking up in 2012 is worse than the one to which they woke up in 2008.
2012-03-14 AWA News Release: No Public Involvement in Forestry Deal: Health of North Saskatchewan and Red Deer River Headwaters at Stake
A large forest management contract on public lands in the headwaters of two major Alberta rivers is close to being renewed without any public consultation. Albertans may miss this one-in-twenty-year opportunity to provide input into the management of North Saskatchewan and Red Deer Rivers headwaters, affecting over a million downstream users.
Last year, the Alberta government killed 145 garbage-habituated black bears at oilsands camps in Alberta. Poorly-managed oilsands camps have been long known to attract bears to garbage. But rather than enforcing regulations, or prosecuting the guilty companies, Alberta government staff simply move in and kill bears. Lots of bears.
The deadline for Canadians to comment on the federal government’s massive wolf-kill caribou recovery strategy is February 22, 2012. Alberta Wilderness Association (AWA) is inviting Canadians to ask Environment Minister Peter Kent to protect the habitat caribou require for long-term survival and recovery, rather than encouraging decades-long poisoning and shooting of many thousands of wolves.
2012-02-14 ENGO News Release: Conservation groups take Environment Minister to court over endangered Sage-grouse
Conservation groups are taking Environment Minister Peter Kent to federal court over his continued failure to protect Canada’s endangered Greater Sage-grouse and fulfill his duties under the Species at Risk Act (SARA).
More than 170 people attended rallies today in Calgary and Edmonton to send a strong message to the Government of Alberta: Albertans love their forests and don’t want the heart of protected areas like the Castle Special Place or poplar trail systems in Bragg Creek to be logged.
Bringing the Wild Back to the City | Community-Based Stewardship in Waterton Biosphere Reserve | BearSmart in the Crowsnest Pass | To Report, or Not to Report? That Is the Question | Clear Water Landcare Builds Community Ownership for Healthier Headwaters | AWA Presents Day-Long Advocacy Workshop for International Leadership Program
Over the objections of almost 200,000 citizens, the federal government has approved the proposed “Brewster Glacier Discovery Walk” in Jasper National Park.
2012-02-03 AWA News Release: Beyond Monitoring - Responsible Management Needed for Oilsands Wildlife and Wetlands Impacts
Today, forty five years after the first tar sands mines started, the federal government has finally taken steps to introduce credible monitoring for contaminants and habitat degradation from oilsands development. Alberta Wilderness Association believes that long-overdue monitoring of Alberta’s oilsands impacts is a step in the right direction, but monitoring itself will not fix any of the issues which have so bedeviled the industry for the past few years.
There is no better time to think of the priceless benefits that Alberta's wetlands provide to us than today, World Wetlands Day. Why not talk to candidates about improving wetland protection in the upcoming election?