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Southern Alberta’s Water Security at Stake in New Land-Use Plan

Report says clear landscape targets are 'key' to securing water protection in southern Alberta

Calgary — As a series of public meetings kick off today in Calgary and Vulcan addressing land-use in Southern Alberta, many Albertans may be surprised to learn that water security is at stake in the planning process. That's the overarching theme of Source of Opportunity: A Blueprint for Securing Source Water in Southern Alberta, a report released today investigating the potential of South Saskatchewan Regional land use plan to protect water. Read more about Southern Alberta’s Water Security at Stake in New Land-Use Plan

Woodland Caribou herds declining toward extinction in Alberta

Provincial recovery plan for caribou authorizes more logging, and oil and gas development in Alberta’s foothills caribou forests

Rural and provincial conservation groups today distributed copies of a new provincial government recovery plan for Alberta’s endangered woodland caribou. The ‘Action Plan for West-Central Alberta Caribou Recovery’ authorizes ongoing logging and oil and gas development in the caribou home ranges north of Hinton and Grande Cache. The groups also displayed more than two dozen Alberta government and science reports, consultations and recovery plans for caribou released since the late 1970’s, showing industrial impacts on forests and wildlife as the root cause of caribou decline.

The groups highlighted the fact that the government did not act on the previous plans written since the 1970’s, while at the same time Alberta’s caribou population has declined by almost two-thirds, from a high of an estimated population of 7,000 - 9,000 in the 1960’s to an estimated 3,000 today. Last year, a Canada-wide scientific review found that Alberta’s herds of woodland caribou were the most in danger of extinction among all provinces. Logging and oil and gas allocations increased rapidly during the 1980’s and 1990’s and now blanket Alberta forests. Read more about Woodland Caribou herds declining toward extinction in Alberta

Ecological Integrity May be the Loser in New Banff Park Management Plan

The primary mandate for Banff National Park - managing to maintain the park's ecological integrity - looks like receiving short shrift if a proposed new management plan goes ahead unchanged. Instead, a shift towards maximizing the "visitor experience" receives a much higher profile throughout the new draft plan.

Alberta Wilderness Association (AWA) is calling for changes to the draft Banff National Park of Canada Management Plan to bring it back in line with the legally-required priority for National Parks: ecological integrity. The draft plan is currently going through an ill-defined public review period. Read more about Ecological Integrity May be the Loser in New Banff Park Management Plan

Federal Government Failing to Protect Fresh Water for Tens of Thousands of Canadians in Alberta and Northwest Territories

Canada Not Implementing Numerous Legal Obligations That Protect Fresh Water in Oil Sands

Ottawa and Calgary — The federal government is failing to enforce and implement numerous laws that are in place to protect the water — in many cases the drinking water — for tens of thousands of Canadians who live near oil sands operations. According to a new report released today, this failure affects people who live in Fort Chipewyan, Fort Smith, Fort MacKay and also in Yellowknife. Read more about Federal Government Failing to Protect Fresh Water for Tens of Thousands of Canadians in Alberta and Northwest Territories

Water for Life Renewal. Is it Too Little Too Late?

In Alberta, after six years of hoping the Water for Life strategy would make a difference, we are still a long way from achieving "healthy aquatic ecosystems."While Alberta Wilderness Association welcomes today's release of the Water for Life Renewal Action Plan, we are disappointed that despite years of consultation and work there is no urgency to meet healthy aquatic ecosystem goals.

Read more about Water for Life Renewal. Is it Too Little Too Late?

Bill 50 - A Curious Solution to Transmission Problems

There is no doubt that electricity transmission planning and approval in Alberta faces challenges, including difficulty responding to public concern. Bill 50 - the Electric Statutes Amendment Act - is the most recent attempt to address these challenges. However, not everyone agrees that Bill 50 will work.

"Bill 50 is a curious solution because it doesn't fix the overall transmission process or address bigger problems in assessing transmission need," says Laura Bowman, Staff Counsel at the Edmonton-based Environmental Law Centre. Read more about Bill 50 - A Curious Solution to Transmission Problems

ERCB Sour Gas Suspension. Who Speaks for Wildlife in Gas Applications?

The recent Energy Resource Conservation Board (ERCB) decision to suspend approval of future sour gas projects in Alberta raises important questions around who is, or should be, considered as "directly affected" by energy proposals. Read more about ERCB Sour Gas Suspension. Who Speaks for Wildlife in Gas Applications?

Tough Choices Ahead for South Saskatchewan Regional Plan

If the quality of our environment in Southern Alberta is to be maintained in future, then the province's South Saskatchewan Regional Plan will have to make some hard choices in determining limits and thresholds to human activity.

This is the principal finding in a new Alberta Wilderness Association (AWA) report released today. The report, Conservation Recommendations for the South Saskatchewan Regional Plan, makes a series of recommendations to the South Saskatchewan Regional Advisory Council, as the Alberta government's Land‐Use Framework planning process begins to unfold in southern Alberta. Read more about Tough Choices Ahead for South Saskatchewan Regional Plan

Coalition Launches Green Ribbon Campaign

The Coalition for a Nuclear Free Alberta (CNFA), comprised of a number of Alberta grassroots organizations, launched its province-wide Green Ribbon campaign today to try and convince the provincial government that investing in green renewable energy sources is the right choice for meeting our future electricity needs rather than the the costly and risky nuclear option being considered.

"The government has stated it will set policy on nuclear before the end of the fall sitting of the Legislature," says Adele Boucher Rymhs, Read more about Coalition Launches Green Ribbon Campaign

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