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Articles by CPAWS

CPAWS is Canada's voice for wilderness. Since 1963 we've led in creating over two-thirds of Canada's protected areas. That amounts to about half a million square kilometres - an area bigger than the entire Yukon Territory! Our vision is that Canada will protect at least half of our public land and water. As a national charity with 13 chapters, over 50 staff, 40,000 supporters and hundreds of volunteers, CPAWS works collaboratively with governments, local communities, industry and indigenous peoples to protect our country's amazing natural places. We're also on guard to ensure that our parks are managed to protect the nature within them.

Camping in Alberta’s badlands: discovering Dinosaur Provincial Park

It’s easy to see why Dinosaur Provincial Park became recognized as a World Heritage Site.

Driving down from the familiar prairies into the alien landscapes of the Red Deer River floodplain stirs the imagination of child and adult alike. I remember as a kid being completely awestruck by the eroded steppes of the Alberta badlands. Once you are standing on the bottom formation, carved hills and hoodoos towering before you (and with a child’s mind overflowing with images of dinosaurs), you are transported back in time, encircled by volcanoes!

The high, round-topped mounds that people enjoy sitting sagely upon are of course not volcanoes; their slopes were engraved by water, not lava. However, they do act as mountain summits for aspiring explorers. Every gained height lends a new perspective on the topography and around every ridge is another surprising geologic feature. There are many eroded out caves and curious holes in the ground as well as interesting patterns overlaid onto different colored strata.

From donor to volunteer: a journey rewarded by s’mores and an unforgettable summer experience

Guest post by Catherine Angellen, CPAWS donor and Get Outside B.C. volunteer

Way back in the 1980s, when environmental groups in Canada were fledglings, there was only one way my husband and I thought about participating. It was simple: Give money.

To start, we bought memberships for ourselves. If a group was publishing calendars, we didn’t fret about gift ideas for friends and relatives. We faithfully subscribed to the glossy magazines put out by organizations as a benefit of membership. (Editor David Dodge, of CPAWS’ Borealis magazine, even welcomed my queries and in 1990 published my first feature length story in the magazine.)

Environmental groups dreamed up new ways to solicit financial support.  And you name it, we bought it. Throughout our peak working and earning years, we were too busy to respond to requests that regularly arrived via snail mail. By making contributions that were deducted each month from our bank account, we put the matter of giving out of our minds. We signed petitions and sent copies of pre-drafted letters to ministers of the environment and CEOs of logging and mining companies. We wanted to make a difference and in some impersonal way, our cash donations probably helped. Yet during the decades that we were members of environmental groups, we never actually met any of their dedicated staff and volunteers.

Reflections on my first CPAWS lobby day

Guest post by Kim Statham, Chair, CPAWS Wildlands League Board of Directors

The last time I was on “the Hill”, I was an awkward and keen 8th grader, on my school’s annual trip to the nation’s capital. It was a sunny day, and we were resting on the steps under the Peace Tower, after a morning of intense history lessons in the Parliament buildings. What we unsuspecting pre-teens didn’t realize at that moment, was that then-Prime Minister Brian Mulroney had just been dropped off right in front of us. As he climbed the steps to work, he stopped to talk to our class and deliver an impromptu pop quiz on democracy. It’s too bad we were all too young to really appreciate just how awesome that was!

In lieu of coffee, I’ll take some wilderness protection

  • Published on Oct 18 2013 |
  • by CPAWS |
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Although I’ve been working for CPAWS for a year and a half, it’s only recently that I decided to become a monthly donor. For a fraction of what I spend on coffee every month, I’m helping make a lasting difference to the future of Canada’s wild places. Why did I do it?

Working to achieve on-the-ground conservation successes can be tough. CPAWS conservation staff from across the country get together once a year for intense conservation planning sessions that lay the groundwork for our major campaigns, and this year’s planning is happening next week. Folks are coming to Ottawa from every corner of the country to put our heads together and talk wilderness protection.

We’re turning 50!

For 50 years, CPAWS has been Canada’s leading national voice for parks and wilderness. We’ve created a special new website to commemorate all of the conservation successes that you and so many others have helped us to achieve in the past half century – all in all, it amounts to over 50 million hectares of Canada’s treasured wilderness protected!

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