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Feb 22 07

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Chorus of celebrities and conservation groups call for protection of Ontario’s Boreal Forest
Capture green markets, respond to global warming, save caribou

TORONTO - Prominent Canadian authors, artists and musicians joined seven conservation groups today in calling on Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty to bolster his government\'s much anticipated climate change plan with protection of Ontario\'s Boreal Forest. A letter urging the Premier to fulfill his pre-election promise was sent by eleven prominent Canadians including Robert Bateman, Sarah Harmer, Cathy Jones, Yann Martel, and Clayton Ruby. They join conservation groups in championing an innovative plan to set aside vast swaths of intact Boreal Forest in the face of global warming while safeguarding threatened species and revitalizing Ontario\'s flagging forest sector. It would also elevate Ontario as a distinguished environmental leader within North America.

"Forests have long been valued by Canadians as an important part of our heritage." said awardwinning author and letter signatory, Barbara Gowdy. "Here\'s a chance for the Premier to share being a hero with our forests in fighting against climate change and providing critical habitat for caribou."

Government action to protect these intact forests would help Ontario capture a rapidly expanding market for eco-friendly products such as those certified by Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). It is estimated that the global market for ecologically harvested wood products is currently more than $5 billion - with hundreds of North American companies committing to shift to ecologically responsible forest products in recent years.

"Increasingly informed corporate consumers are reducing their carbon and biodiversity impacts by shifting to papers that are free of endangered and intact forests," said Nicole Rycroft,Executive Director of Markets Initiative. "Ontario stands to gain from North America\'s increasingly green market place but to do so; it requires significant leadership from the government and industry on Ontario\'s intact forest."

Logging activities in Canada\'s Boreal Forest are a significant contributor of greenhouse gas emissions each year - releasing twice as much as all passenger vehicles in the country. It is also estimated that intact natural forests, when left undisturbed, store up to fifty percent more carbon than forests that are managed for logging. Protecting the carbon stored in the Boreal Forest provides a complementary strategy to a renewed effort to meet the targets set out in the Kyoto Protocol and beyond.

"The McGuinty government has an extraordinary opportunity for a huge ecological, political and economic victory," says Janet Sumner, Executive Director of CPAWS Wildlands League, "but only if they position Ontario as a global leader in ecologically-friendly forest products. This is essential in efforts to respond to global warming and save the majestic woodland caribou from extinction."

Before being elected, Premier Dalton McGuinty promised to implement a land-use planning regime for the northern third of the province, an area that until now has been off limits to logging. So far he has failed to deliver on this promise in spite of the fact that conservation based land use planning is seen as an essential first step for sustainable economic development in the North.  Additionally, environmental organizations have identified intact areas of Ontario\'s allocated Boreal forest that should immediately be deferred from logging. These deferrals would not cause mill closure or job losses as recent mill closures have freed up millions of cubic meters of standing timber.

For more information, please visit or contact:
Janet Sumner, Executive Director, CPAWS Wildlands League, (416) 579-7370 (cell)
Nicole Rycroft, Executive Director, Markets Initiative (250) 725-8050 (cell)
Tzeporah Berman, Strategic Director, ForestEthics (250) 935-0061
Wendy Francis, Director of Conservation and Science, Ontario Nature (416) 846-2404
Kim Fry, Forests Campaigner, Greenpeace Canada (647) 406-0664
Dr. Anastasia Lintner, Staff Lawyer & Economist, Sierra Legal (416) 368-7533 ext 30
Susan Casey-Lefkowitz, Senior Attorney, Natural Resources Defense Council (202) 289-2366


Feb 21 07

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Peel Appeal—CPAWS Yukon brochure
Conservation in the Peel Watershed could conserve a globally important mountain boreal ecosystem both for its inherent value and as a benchmark for more developed ecosystems elsewhere, would allow for appropriate new economic and community development compatible with a healthy ecosystem, and more.

Learn more about why the Peel Watershed is so important, and how it is threatened.

Download the new brochure from CPAWS Yukon:

Peel Appeal (PDF, ~360K)

Feb 06 07

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CPAWS welcomes Baird’s personal commitment to conservation in the north

CPAWS welcomes Environment Minister John Baird\'s personal commitment to protecting large areas in the Northwest Territories, including expanding Nahanni National Park Reserve.

On January 31st the Minister addressed First Nations Chiefs and conservation groups, including CPAWS, at a reception in Ottawa. In his remarks, Minister Baird committed to moving forward with his colleagues on:

  • expanding Nahanni National Park Reserve;
  • permanently protecting Sahoyue ehdacho National Historic Site on the shores of Great Bear Lake with the community of Deline;
  • The "Ramparts," a sacred place for the people of Fort Good Hope, and a nationally-significant wetland proposed for protection as a National Wildlife Area;
  • The "Horn Plateau", a unique ecological and cultural landscape for the Dehcho First Nations and a proposed National Wildlife Area;
  • A proposed national park in the East Arm of Great Slave Lake, as well as conserving surrounding lands in the Akaitcho Territory;

CPAWS will be working to ensure that the federal government takes concrete action soon to fulfill these commitments.

Feb 01 07

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How Ottawa can protect our Made in Canada wilderness

Proactive nature conservation is critical to enable natural ecosystems to respond to the impacts of climate change. CPAWS is calling on the federal government to implement a Federal Action Plan for Nature Conservation that will protect some of the world\'s largest remaining wilderness areas, and serve as a model for other Canadian governments and the rest of the world.

February 2007
Read the full message to MPs (PDF, 600K)

Feb 01 07

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CPAWS Board Member Appointed the TransAlta Professor of Environmental Management and Sustainability

Congratulations to Dr. Robert (Bob) Page on his appointment as The TransAlta Professor of Environmental Management and Sustainability.

TransAlta, The University of Calgary and the Institute for Sustainable Energy, Environment and Economy (ISEEE) have partnered to create this new Professorship within ISEEE, the Faculty of Environmental Design and the Haskayne School of Business at the University of Calgary.

ISEEE, as a uniquely integrative Institute, provides the Professor the opportunity to collaborate with multiple faculties, and to bring together leaders from industry, government and other post-secondary institutes to address the most pressing challenges – and tap the most exciting opportunities – in the area of sustainable energy, environment and economy.

Working within ISEEE and its partner Faculties’ collaborative, multidisciplinary and mission-oriented framework, the Professor will:

  • Engage in innovative research, education and outreach to advance environmental management and sustainability in energy and environment, at the regional, national and international levels.
  • Provide advice and counsel to TransAlta on policy and regulatory issues and environmental strategies, and evaluation of proposed energy projects.
  • Contribute to TransAlta’s role as a recognized leader in energy and environment sustainability.
  • Advise on investments in the U of C.

Dr. Robert Page has been on the Board of Directors at the Calgary/Banff Chapter of CPAWS since 2006. We congratulate him on this esteemed appointment.

Read Dr. Robert Page\'s biography at CPAWS Calgary.

Feb 01 07

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Adventure canoeists to present Ontario Boreal wilderness conservation message at Toronto Symposium
Two Canadian adventurers who undertook arduous canoe trips through Ontario’s northern Boreal forest last summer will be present their experiences to about 600 other extreme canoeists at the Wilderness Canoe Symposium on February 3rd at Monarch Park Collegiate in Toronto.

Jay Morrison paddled solo 3,000 kilometres between April and August 2006 starting at Les Escoumins at the Gulf of St Lawrence and ending in Lake Winnipeg as a personal challenge and a quest to promote Boreal wilderness conservation. Evan Ferrari paddled 700 kilometres, retracing an old fur traders’ route from Lake Superior to James Bay last July in an attempt to understand the plight of Ontario’s endangered woodland caribou.

Says Ferrari, “The best way to stop caribou extinction is by creating protected areas large enough to sustain healthy populations of Caribou in Ontario’s boreal forest and keep logging out of caribou habitat.  Few people in southern Ontario are aware that this slow motion extinction could happen in our children’s lifetime.”

Ferrari traveled up the Michipicoten River and then down the Missinaibi/Moose River system.

Morrison paddled the St Lawrence, battling late snow and winds, to the Ottawa River then inland and over the northern waters of Lake Superior until he reached Fort Frances and then onward towards Lake Winnipeg.

Ferrari is the Director of the Parks and Protected Areas Program at the CPAWS-Wildlands League and Morrison is a board member of the CPAWS Ottawa-Valley Chapter. Both will be talking about the link between their adventures and the imperative to protect our remaining northern Boreal wilderness.


For interviews, please contact:
Evan Ferrari – (416) 971-9453 xt 43
Jay Morrison -- (905) 820-0226

Across The Boreal - From Inland Sea to Arctic Ocean (Click on Photo to advance)

Jan 24 07

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Groups call on Ontario Government to Proceed with Introduction of New Endangered Species Act
TORONTO -- As the provincial government concludes its public consultation on changes to the Ontario Endangered Species Act, leading environmental groups today called on the government to follow through on its commitment to introduce a new Endangered Species Act as soon as the Legislature resumes sitting in March. The groups contend that the proposed legislative package, which includes funding, incentives, and an exceptions process, presents a balanced approach to protecting endangered species while addressing the concerns of landowners and resource users.

The groups - CPAWS Wildlands League, Environmental Defence, Ontario Nature, Sierra Legal, and David Suzuki Foundation - are partners in the Save Ontario\'s Species (S.O.S.) campaign (

Monday was the final day for public comment on the Province\'s proposed package of new legislation and programs that are intended to provide effective science-based protection for Ontario\'s approximately 200 endangered species and their habitats. The government proposal would implement the recommendations of a government-appointed panel of experts in science, law and Aboriginal matters.

"Reforming the Endangered Species Act so that it is better for species protection and affected landowners is long overdue," says Rachel Plotkin, an Ontario-based Policy Analyst for the David Suzuki Foundation.
 "If the government follows through on its promise to implement the expert panel\'s recommendations, Ontario will have the best endangered species law in the country," says Aaron Freeman, Policy Director for Environmental Defence.
Last month (December 14, 2006), Minister of Natural Resources, David Ramsay, indicated in the Legislature that the legislation would be tabled at the earliest opportunity in the spring session. "In a report submitted to the government in August, the advisory panel suggested a framework for legislation that provides effective protection and recovery measures as well as the necessary tools for practical application," he remarked, noting that the government would use the framework in developing its new legislation.
The groups agree that the proposed framework must address the concerns of landowners. "We agree the new Act needs a properly resourced stewardship fund for landowners. The costs of protecting species cannot be placed solely on those who steward the land," says Wendy Francis, Director of Conservation and Science for Ontario Nature.
Robert Wright, Counsel for Sierra Legal, adds: "The province should announce proper stewardship funding and incentives at the same time as the Act is introduced in March. The suggested approach of combining strong new legislation with proper funding would create a win-win situation for wildlife and landowners."
The groups are critical, however, of the position taken by the Ontario Forest Industry Association. "The Ontario Forest Industry Association has recently taken to scare-mongering in an attempt to oppose the new Endangered Species Act. Their position seems to belie efforts being undertaken by industry leaders such as Tembec who are actually proactively examining their operations to reduce their impact upon threatened species like the Woodland Caribou," says Janet Sumner, Executive Director of CPAWS Wildlands League.
For a full copy of the expert panel report that the government is using as a basis for the new legislation, visit:

About Save Ontario\'s Species (
S.O.S. is a collaboration among CPAWS Wildlands League, Environmental Defence, Ontario Nature, Sierra Legal and the David Suzuki Foundation. The groups are working together to ensure that Ontario\'s new Endangered Species Act creates the necessary legal basis for protecting and restoring all of the province\'s species at risk. The S.O.S. Campaign is also supported by ForestEthics and Western Canada Wilderness Committee.


For further information: or to arrange interviews, please contact:
Jennifer Foulds, Environmental Defence, (416) 323-9521 ext. 232, (647) 280-9521 (cell);
Wendy Francis, Ontario Nature, (416) 846-2404;
Janet Sumner, CPAWS-Wildlands League, (416) 971-9453, ext. 39;
Robert Wright, Sierra Legal, (416) 368-7533 ext. 31;
Rachel Plotkin, David Suzuki Foundation, (613) 594-9026

Jan 18 07

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Groups slam Ontario for poor oversight of public forests

Two of Ontario's leading conservation organizations, CPAWS Wildlands League and Sierra Legal, filed a critical submission to the Environmental Commissioner today highlighting serious concerns over how public timber resources are allocated to the logging industry. The groups state that the province's current approach to managing and accounting for public forests fails to adequately protect the environment and the rights of Aboriginal Peoples, and is delivering a dreadful return on investment for Ontarians.

Dec 21 06

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One year after federal legal action launched, woodland caribou’s fate worsens

Dec 19 06

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Groups assail Ontario mining loophole

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