Alberta Wilderness Association

Cancelling Leases, Pausing Lease Sales in Category 2 Lands – A Good First Step

Yesterday, Energy Minister Sonya Savage delivered a small, but important, reward to the thousands of Albertans and Canadians who have objected to the provincial government’s unilateral decision to revoke the 1976 Coal Policy. She announced that 11 leases sold in December would be cancelled. She also announced a “pause” in offering more lease parcels for sale in the Coal Policy’s Category 2 lands. Read more about Cancelling Leases, Pausing Lease Sales in Category 2 Lands – A Good First Step

Grassy Mountain Coal Project

The oral portion of the public hearing for Benga Mining Ltd.'s proposed Grassy Mountain Coal Project in the Crowsnest Pass concluded on December 2. The next step in the federal impact assessment process is for the Joint Review Panel to draft the Impact Assessment Report, Consultation Report, and recommend potential conditions for submission to the Minister of Environment and Climate Change.

Grassy Mountain is the first of at least six mountain-top removal coal mines proposed by large Australian mining companies in various stages of regulatory approval in the region. There are more than 50,000 ha of the Old Man River headwaters under lease for future mountain-top removal mining.

Public hearing

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Continuing the Sacrifice of the Eastern Slopes to Old King Coal

Yesterday, the Alberta government took another step towards turning Alberta’s Eastern Slopes into little more than a string of coal mines. Nearly 2,000 hectares of coal leases were offered for sale in the Rockies of southern Alberta. This offering, together with existing coal leases and applications for coal leases, confirms the government’s ambition to sacrifice the southern Alberta mountain landscape for coal. Read more about Continuing the Sacrifice of the Eastern Slopes to Old King Coal

Conservation of Wood Buffalo National Park of ‘significant concern’, local Indigenous communities and environmental organizations say more action is needed

EDMONTON, AB – The ongoing precarious state of Wood Buffalo National Park was internationally recognized today by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), which stated in a report assessing all of its World Heritage Sites, that its conservation outlook is of “significant concern”. This assessment came only one day after the Government of Canada was due to submit a State of Conservation update report to the UN on the federal government’s implementation of the Wood Buffalo National Park Action Plan to recover the park. The Action Plan was announced nearly two years ago, but Indigenous communities and environmental organizations have consistently expressed concerns about the need for more resources and timely actions to reflect the scope and severity of threats.  Read more about Conservation of Wood Buffalo National Park of ‘significant concern’, local Indigenous communities and environmental organizations say more action is needed

Canada and Alberta reach agreement on woodland caribou conservation and recovery

On October 23, the governments of Canada and Alberta announced that they had reached an agreement for the conservation and recovery of Woodland Caribou in Alberta. The agreement follows years of pressure from First Nations and environmental groups including a 2019 lawsuit calling on the courts to compel the Minister of Environment and Climate Change to recommend a safety net order to protect boreal caribou habitat. While recognizing the agreement as a necessary first step, environmental organizations remain concerned, particularly that the timelines contained within the agreement are not fast enough to protect threatened herds.

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Alberta Forests Deserve More than the Forests Amendment Act

Last week, without any public consultation, the Alberta government proposed changes to the Forests Act. The amendments include a preamble that mentions forest ecological values and climate change, followed by revisions to facilitate forest commercial interests. Alberta Wilderness Association (AWA) believes the proposed Forests Act changes miss the opportunity for needed reforms to support forest ecosystems and transparent, inclusive forest management. Read more about Alberta Forests Deserve More than the Forests Amendment Act

Action Alert: Defend Alberta's Eastern Slopes from Coal Mining

Tuesday, October 27, marks the first day of the joint federal and provincial hearing for Benga’s Grassy Mountain Mine. The decision from this review will set a precedent for the future of coal mining in Alberta’s Eastern Slopes. AWA, along with many other concerned individuals and organizations, believes that the Grassy Mountain Mine proposal should be denied. It threatens the ecological integrity of Alberta’s Eastern Slopes and has negative repercussions for the quality of life and social well-being most Albertans are fortunate to enjoy.  Read more about Action Alert: Defend Alberta's Eastern Slopes from Coal Mining

Herd of caribou in Jasper National Park declared extirpated

A herd of caribou in Jasper National Park – the Maligne herd – is now considered locally extinct. Two other caribou herds in the region may be on the same path to extirpation because they don’t have enough breeding females to grow the herds.

AEN member groups are calling for immediate action to halt the decline of caribou populations in the remaining herds. Read more about Herd of caribou in Jasper National Park declared extirpated

Where is Parks Canada’s Plan for Jasper’s Disappearing Caribou?

One month after Jasper National Park quietly posted news that its Maligne caribou are officially extirpated and that two other caribou populations are drastically low in numbers, Parks Canada has still not revealed to Canadians how it plans to prevent the demise of its Tonquin and Brazeau caribou populations and re-occupy the Maligne range with caribou. Today Alberta Wilderness Association (AWA) is: Read more about Where is Parks Canada’s Plan for Jasper’s Disappearing Caribou?

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