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Alberta Must Protect Half of Oil Sands Region

Conservation group warns species faces extinction unless government acts

Edmonton, Alberta — Alberta must act fast to protect 50% of the oil sands area from industrial use so that wilderness, biodiversity and traditional use can continue into the future.

That is the key advice contained in an open letter to Ed Stelmach from the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society (CPAWS). CPAWS wrote the letter to the premier on the occasion of World Wetlands Day, February 2, and the International Year of Biodiversity.

The province and energy industry have been criticized by leading thinkers and governments for their rush to extract fuel from the oil sands without regard for the environmental costs. Alberta has a chance to prove the critics wrong, says Helene Walsh, Boreal Conservation Director for CPAWS, Northern Alberta Read more about Alberta Must Protect Half of Oil Sands Region

EnCana Avoids Trial on Charges of Canada Wildlife Act Violation in Suffield National Wildlife Area

Calgary – The Suffield Coalition is disappointed to have learned last week that the Crown has stayed the case against EnCana on charges of violating Canada’s Wildlife Act. EnCana was scheduled to be tried on March 19, 2010, almost five years after EnCana installed a section of pipeline in the CFB Suffield National Wildlife Area without a permit (in March 2005). Numerous adjournments and a preliminary hearing were held in Medicine Hat, but now there will be no trial. Read more about EnCana Avoids Trial on Charges of Canada Wildlife Act Violation in Suffield National Wildlife Area

Management Changes a Concern in Waterton Lakes National Park

The ecological integrity of Waterton Lakes National Park looks set to suffer if a draft Management Plan for the Park is passed without changes. Alberta Wilderness Association (AWA) is calling for changes to the draft Waterton National Park of Canada Management Plan to bring it back in line with the legally-required priority for National Parks: ecological integrity. Read more about Management Changes a Concern in Waterton Lakes National Park

Nuclear Will be Allowed — to make Alberta Look Clean

"A truly green energy future . does not include nuclear power."

Peace River — Mel Knight's announcement that nuclear power will be considered as an energy option in Alberta does not sit well with the Coalition for a Nuclear Free Alberta, the province-wide alliance of grassroots organizations opposed to nuclear development. Read more about Nuclear Will be Allowed — to make Alberta Look Clean

Weak Canadian position at Copenhagen just one symptom of flawed business model in energy sector

Edmonton— Canada’s inability to play a leadership role at international climate change negotiations is just one of many negative consequences of an energy sector that is dominated by large for-profit corporations, and we need to begin exploring alternate business models for the industry.  This is a key message of a new discussion paper released today by Alberta’s Parkland Institute in conjunction with the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives. Read more about Weak Canadian position at Copenhagen just one symptom of flawed business model in energy sector

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?

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