News and views on conservation in Canada, and updates from CPAWS chapters across the country.
Much has been said recently about clearcutting on public lands in southwestern Nova Scotia, including the former Bowater lands acquired by the province in late 2012. Comments both for and against have shown a large, and potentially growing, gap between the various viewpoints of stakeholders and members of the public.
The law needs to change to provide charities with the unambiguous right to participate in public policy work and to help shape government decisions. The law needs to be modernized from a 19th century perspective on charities to a 21st century model that encourages expertise, public participation and law-making to work together in the public interest. This change is also in the interest of governments who might be subject to criticism for appearing to be unfairly targeting charities that do not share their perspectives.
“The earth is not dying, it is being killed, and those who are killing it have names and addresses.” - Utah Phillips All too often we don’t dig deep enough to understand the root cause of a problem, nor hold those responsible to account. Last week the Province of BC announced that it will kill up to 184 wolves in an attempt to protect endangered mountain caribou herds in the South Peace and in the South Selkirk mountains. Unfortunately, media coverage seems to be focussed on the rift that has emerged between conservation groups that support the hunt, and those that oppose it. What this fails to capture is that all of these groups are united in their call for government to address the real root of the problem, which is habitat loss, and to enact further measures to protect caribou from human disturbance.
2014 kept us busy protecting more of Canada’s amazing wilderness. But I’ll be honest, until a couple of months ago, we were feeling somewhat discouraged.
Yesterday, the Yukon Supreme Court issued a decision about a lawsuit concerning the Peel Watershed that was launched by two local first nations, CPAWS and the Yukon Conservation Society. Justice Ron Veale has ruled that the Yukon government must honour a seven-year process that led to the Final Land Use Plan for the Peel Watershed in 2011, which stated that approximately 80% of the 67,400 km2 area will be protected in perpetuity from industrial development.