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The public loves the Peel.  Will the Yukon government agree?


Protect Peel sticker, photo by Jack Kobayashi

The Yukon's Peel watershed is nearly 70,000 km2 of pristine wilderness, and home to species that are rare or threatened elsewhere--like grizzlies, wolverines and barren ground, mountain and woodland caribou. CPAWS and the Yukon Conservation Society have been urging the Yukon government to work collaboratively with local First Nations to produce a final plan that protects at least 80% of this spectacular watershed.

The Yukon government is currently deciding the conservation future of the Peel.  In recent consultations, 80 to 90% of respondants supported protecting at least 80% of the watershed from industrial development.  Most went even further, supporting the local First Nations' call for protecting the entire watershed. 

Now, the Peel Planning Commission is working on a final recommendation. Will they listen to the public?

See a more detailed timeline and read more about the Peel in CPAWS Yukon's latest newsletter.

Photo: Jack Kobayashi

Big companies add their support to the Boreal Agreement


Woodland Caribou

Last year, when two years of work by CPAWS and other environmental groups finally came to a multi-party agreement with the Forest Products Association of Canada, I was ecstatic. What an amazing success for the woodland caribou, which is fast disappearing in the Boreal forest.

And after a year of work, it is starting to get the recognition it deserves.

A large group of companies who buy wood and paper products from forestry companies have added their voices of support for the agreement. Companies like Rona, Indigo and Lowes just announced they've joined the new Boreal Business Forum today, alongside environmental groups including Greenpeace and Canopy.

At CPAWS, we're focusing our efforts on working hard right across the country with the FPAC member forestry companies to come up with conservation solutions to propose to governments - First Nations and provincial. There is much more to do under this agreement to achieve long-term success for conservation over the next few years, but this is very helpful in moving forward. When the buyers of wood products are paying attention, it will help to influence the purchase decisions they make. Sustainable products that look after the needs of nature, wildlife and climate change are a key part of the agreement - and added demand dor these products is good news.

Thanks to all the supportive companies who are following our work so closely.

Conservation plan for oilsands region released


oilsands9

As you may have seen in the media in early April, the Alberta government has released a draft land use plan for the Lower Athabasca region. Over the next two months, the public will have an opportunity to submit comments on the plan to the government.

CPAWS is studying the government's proposal and will respond to it in detail within the next few weeks. We've been seeking a plan for the Lower Athabasca that will honour commitments to aboriginal people and protect the health of its ecosystems. This is an area that is under intense industrial pressure. It's also of critical importance to at least six threatened Boreal woodland caribou herds.

Our initial impression: the government's proposed plan does not meet all of our goals. For example, it doesn't include conservation areas for many of the threatened caribou herds in the Lower Athabasca.

We'll be letting you know more about our assessment of the plan shortly.

You can download the plan here (PDF).

Parties make environment election promises


CPAWS and three other national environmental groups released the results of a survey today that we sent to all of the major parties during the election period, asking them where they stand on wilderness conservation, and other issues including climate change and reducing toxic chemicals. All parties except the Conservatives responded to the poll and we were pleased to see that all are committed to doing more to protect public land and water - especially increasing the amount of marine protected areas and national parks.

See the results for yourself in full detail.

Protecting Chignecto


There's an amazing place in Nova Scotia called Chignecto.  Here, you'll find miles and miles of wilderness coastline on the shores of the Bay of Fundy and some of the largest remaining intact forests in the province.  If you're lucky, you may also spot a mainland moose, which is an endangered species in Nova Scotia.

The Nova Scotia government has promised to protect Chignecto by creating a "large" protected wilderness area on these public lands, but so far has not yet released a proposed boundary for the protected area.  What's left outside of the boundary will likely be clearcut.

To find out more about Chignecto and how you can help protect this amazing place, check out: www.cpawsns.org/chignecto

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