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

From the vast northern Boreal forest to the temperate forests stretching across Ontario, Quebec and the Maritimes, Canada is home to some of the largest unbroken tracts of forest on the planet. CPAWS’ goal is to conserve at least half of our Boreal forests, and to create a network of large conservation areas within the temperate Eastern Woodlands of New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Quebec and Ontario.

Learn more about Forests
Oceans

Oceans

Canada has the longest coastline in the world, and a marine area that is half the size of our country. But our marine ecosystems tend to be out of sight and out of mind, and they are in serious trouble.

Learn more about Oceans
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

World Parks Congress 2014

Once a decade, the IUCN World Parks Congress brings together country representatives and NGOs to identify and communicate natural solutions for some of the world's most pressing global challenges. In November 2014, experts from around the world, including CPAWS, are gathering in Sydney, Australia, to assess progress, share ideas and set the direction for parks and protected areas for the next decade.

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Protect Canada’s Species at Risk!

According to COSEWIC, the scientific body that identifies and advises the federal government on species at risk, there are 650 species listed at risk of extinction in Canada, and the list continues to grow each year. As threats to our environment grow, we need stronger, not weaker, laws to protect the plants and animals that are struggling to survive across Canada. However, CPAWS is concerned that protection for species at risk is getting weaker.

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

The proposed Rouge National Urban Park in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) is an opportunity to protect and restore an important ecosystem in Canada’s largest urban centre, and to provide millions of Canadians with the chance to directly experience wild nature without leaving the city. In such a busy urban landscape, assuring the long-term health of the park will require strong management tools that prioritize conservation and provide clear guidance for visitor use.

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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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Protect Jasper National Park from proposed resort 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.

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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Take action for Alberta’s endangered caribou

The Alberta government has auctioned off more than 2,000 hectares of caribou habitat to energy development. These new licenses will impact the habitat of mountain and boreal caribou, listed as endangered and threatened respectively under the Canadian Species at Risk Act. Recovery strategies developed for each type of caribou call for urgent action by provincial land managers.

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Dare to be Deep: Protect Canada’s Ocean

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.

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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. The park was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987 because of its unique geological features and its spectacular natural beauty. Gros Morne protects highland and lowland forests, huge freshwater fjords, hundreds of lakes and ponds, extensive bogs, rock barrens, towering cliffs, and rugged coastline. The park is at the heart of Newfoundland's thriving tourism industry, attracting visitors from across Canada and around the world. Last year Gros Morne National Park was threatened by a proposal to drill and frack for oil metres from the park boundary. After a huge public outcry this specific proposal was stopped. However the park is still vulnerable to future industrial proposals. That's why CPAWS is working with concerned local community members and businesses to encourage the federal and provincial governments to create a buffer zone around the park to permanently protect it from industrialization

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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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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.

Learn more at CPAWS BC.

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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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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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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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Celebrate the expansion of the world-famous Nahanni!

In 2009, the Dehcho First Nations and the Government of Canada announced the expansion of Nahanni National Park Reserve. CPAWS has a long history working with the Dehcho First Nations and thousands of Canadians to expand this world-renowned park reserve, which is now six times the size of the original one established in 1972. It will permanently protect almost 40,000 sq kms of Boreal wilderness - an area the size of Vancouver Island.

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Keep the Restigouche Wild

The Restigouche is a land of misty mountains, sparkling wild rivers and majestic forests. Where wild Atlantic salmon still leap over deep, dark pools. Where elusive Canada lynx roam. An internationally-renowned paradise for anglers, paddlers, hikers and tourists.

Learn more at wildrestigouche.ca.

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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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Where we work:

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

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