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What we do

Our vision is to keep at least half of Canada's public land and water wild — forever. We focus on protecting many important areas of Canada's wilderness. Find out about the issues we work on below, or click on a link to the right to more about where we work.

Issues

Wildlife

Wildlife

We focus on protecting large tracts of land, oceans and great freshwater lakes so species like grizzlies, woodland caribou and wolverine have room to roam, and whales and fish can thrive. Learn more about Wildlife
Parks

Parks

Canada has one of the oldest and most extensive parks systems in the world. CPAWS advocates for new parks and acts as a watchdog to ensure that existing ones are well-managed. With pressures on our wilderness growing, creating more parks and ensuring existing ones are well-funded and protected is more important than ever. Learn more about Parks
Forests

Forests

Canada’s temperate and vast boreal forest landscapes represent and protect some of our most valuable assets, including the air we breathe and the water we drink. CPAWS’ goal is to ensure our forest ecosystems stay healthy by conserving at least half of our Boreal forest, and to create a network of large conservation areas within the temperate forests of Eastern and Western Canada.

Learn more about Forests
Oceans: Dare to be Deep

Oceans: Dare to be Deep

While Canada boasts one of the largest ocean territories in the world, only 1.3% of it is protected through meaningful long-term conservation measures. The federal government has committed to establishing networks of marine protected areas covering at least 10% of our oceans by 2020. Progress by all of our governments on creating new marine protected areas needs to speed up if we are going to meet that commitment.

Learn more about Oceans: Dare to be Deep
Grasslands

Grasslands

Grasslands are some of the most unique ecosystems in the world, but are also considered the most threatened, with the highest concentration of species at risk. CPAWS chapters in British Columbia, Alberta and Saskatchewan are working to protect these unique landscapes and their rich biodiversity. Learn more about Grasslands

Current campaigns

Wood Buffalo National Park

Wood Buffalo National Park, Canada’s largest National Park celebrated around the world for its Outstanding Universal Values, is under threat! Hydroelectric activity on the Peace River in British Columbia and oil sands developments along the Athabasca River in Alberta are leading to the degradation of the Peace-Athabasca Delta, the world’s largest fresh water inland delta! The Mikisew Cree First Nation have taken action to protect Wood Buffalo National Park by asking UNESCO to place it on the List of World Heritage Sites in Danger. Read more below!

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Caribou and You

By protecting caribou, you are protecting your future. Caribou need the intact ecosystems that provide the fresh air and clean water we need to survive. By saving caribou's remaining habitat in Canada’s Boreal forests and Northern tundra, we are protecting our health and a way of life for Indigenous peoples, and slowing the effects of climate change.

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Last chance to protect BC’s Sea of Glass

Submit your thoughts on the proposed regulations’ inadequacies now!

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The Rouge: Getting it right for Canada’s first National Urban Park

The Rouge National Urban Park is back on track after the federal government tabled a new Bill in Parliament that puts nature conservation first in the park’s management. In response Ontario has announced its intention to transfer provincial lands for the park to the federal government. This opens the door to celebrate an exciting new era for the Rouge as Canada’s first National Urban Park. The Rouge National Urban Park in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) will protect and restore an important ecosystem in Canada’s largest urban centre, and provide millions of Canadians with the chance to directly experience wild nature without leaving the city.

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Show the government you care for Alberta’s caribou

Alberta’s caribou deserve a future. While it is encouraging that Alberta is the first province to release a range plan to for its threatened woodland caribou, the draft range plan for the Little Smoky and A La Peche herds sets a bad precedent in Canada for future plans meant to protect this struggling iconic species. Help speak for those who can't speak for themselves. Send a letter encouraging a stronger protection plan!

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Protect the Yukon’s Peel watershed

The Yukon’s Peel River watershed is one of the largest and most beautiful intact natural areas left in North America. Mining and oil and gas extraction threaten to fragment this stunning landscape and harm its delicate ecological balance.

Learn more at Protect Peel.

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Thaidene Nene: Protecting the East Arm of Great Slave Lake

CPAWS is supporting creation of a huge new protected area by the local Lutsel K’e Dene First Nation and Parks Canada around and beyond the shores of East Arm of Great Slave Lake, called Thaidene Nene, meaning “the Land of the Ancestors” in Denesuline.
Learn more about this very special place at the CPAWS NWT chapter site.

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Fight for Your Parks: Stop commercial development in Banff and Jasper National Parks

This past July, just before the federal election, a massive expansion of the Lake Louise Ski hill was approved. It requires removing land from legally protected wilderness to accommodate the demands of a private business to expand. This is an assault on the very essence of our national parks.

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Create a park in the South Okanagan-Similkameen

At the bottom of soggy, lush British Columbia, there exists a strange world full of desert snakes, prickly sagebrush, Bighorn sheep and birds that dare to nest on grass. This South Okanagan-Similkameen area of B.C. remains desert-like, born of very warm summers and little rainfall. But the Okanagan is disappearing fast, snapped up by humans wanting wineries, retirement homes and urban conveniences. As a result, a third of British Columbia's species at risk now must cling to this vanishing landscape. Protection is urgent.

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Save Gros Morne National Park

Gros Morne National Park protects 1,805 square kilometres of western Newfoundland’s coastal lowlands and towering Long Range Mountains and is one of Canada’s most treasured national parks. Gros Morne was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in recognition of its unique geological features and spectacular natural beauty. In 2013 the park was threatened by a proposal to drill and frack for oil metres from the boundary. After a huge public outcry this proposal was stopped, but Gros Morne is still vulnerable to future industrial proposals. That's why CPAWS is working with concerned local community members, businesses and prominent Canadians to encourage the federal and provincial governments to create a permanent buffer zone around the park to protect it from harmful industrialization.

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I Love Parks

Canada’s parks protect extraordinary wild places where people can connect with nature. But our parks’ future isn’t secure, and they need your voice!

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Protect Jasper National Park from proposed development at Maligne Lake

Jasper National Park in Alberta is one of Canada’s most spectacular and beloved national parks. Part of the UNESCO Canadian Rocky Mountain Parks World Heritage Site, Jasper is home to Maligne Lake, one of the most photographed landscapes in the world. Maligne Tours, the commercial operator that runs daytime operations at Maligne Lake, is proposing to build a resort along the shores of this iconic lake.

On July 25, 2014, Parks Canada announced a decision on the resort proposal. While they rejected the proposed hotel building, they gave the green light to proposed tent cabins to advance to the next stage of the approval process, saying they will amend the park management plan to allow this development to proceed. CPAWS has filed a legal objection to the tent cabin proposal and a court date is now set for late October 2015 in Edmonton.

This proposal directly contravenes national park policy prohibiting new commercial overnight accommodations outside the park town site – a policy that was enacted specifically to control commercial development in our Rocky Mountains national parks. The proposal also threatens sensitive wildlife, including the endangered Maligne herd of woodland caribou, which only has four animals left and needs less development in its habitat, not more.

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A Whale’s Tale: The importance of networks of MPAs

Join our host, the Humpback Whale, on a special journey through our oceans to explore very important places called marine protected areas. Right now only 1.3 % of our waters are protected. The Humpback Whale is just one of the many animals in our oceans that are depending on us and our governments to raise that number to 10% by 2020.

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Keep the Flathead Wild

The Flathead Valley, in southeastern British Columbia, is one of the most biologically important places on earth. Despite its relatively untouched state and the mining and oil and gas development ban announced by the B.C. government in February 2010, this area – and the species found here – are still urgently in need of permanent protection.

Learn more at CPAWS BC

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CPAWS Talks Oceans with Dr Sylvia Earle

Dr. Sylvia Earle of Mission Blue is a National Geographic Explorer in Residence, TED prize winner, author and lecturer. In a rare Canadian appearance on May 25, 2015, Dr. Earle inspired an entire room with her message on the state of our ocean and Canada's role in protecting it. We are pleased to share our video of her presentation with you!

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Implementing the Canadian Boreal Forest Agreement

CPAWS is playing a lead role in this ambitious agreement signed by environmental groups and forestry companies in 2010 that focuses on conserving caribou habitat and protecting important areas within 72 million hectares of Boreal forest.

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CPAWS works across Canada. Find out more about why what we're doing in these major areas:

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