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May 22 07

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Nova Scotia establishes Blandford Nature Reserve: conservation status upgraded from game sanctuary
Halifax, Nova Scotia - Public lands within the Blandford Game Sanctuary will be designated as a nature reserve.
 
That was the announcement made by the Nova Scotia government on Friday, indicating that the conservation status of the site would be upgraded from its current game sanctuary designation to a nature reserve (the highest form of land-based protection in Nova Scotia).
 
"This is an important recognition by the province that a nature reserve is a far more effective designation for ecologically significant areas than game sanctuaries", says Chris Miller, Wilderness Conservation Coordinator for CPAWS-NS. "We welcome the government’s decision and we congratulate the local community groups who campaigned so hard to have the public lands at Blandford properly protected".
 
CPAWS-NS has been advocating for the upgrade in the conservation status of the Blandford site for the past two years, since game sanctuaries in Nova Scotia lack the legislative and administrative tools to protect habitat. Unlike nature reserves, game sanctuaries do not prevent activities such as clearcutting, mining, road-building, or development.
 
The Blandford Nature Reserve is located on the Aspotogan Peninsula, just west of Halifax. It contains a number of important ecological features, including old jack pine forests, coastal barrens, significant wetlands, rare plants and lichens, and concentrations of migratory birds.
 
CPAWS-NS will now focus its intentions on upgrading the conservation status of the Chignecto Game Sanctuary. This site, located near the New Brunswick border, is home to one of the largest remaining populations of endangered mainland moose in Nova Scotia.

May 22 07

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In memory of Glen Davis

The Board of Trustees and staff of the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society are very sad to have learned of the death of Glen Davis. Glen was a long-time friend of CPAWS and was one of the greatest supporters of our wilderness conservation work across Canada. From his role as Treasurer of our Board in the 1980s to his steadfast financial support of so many of our programs, Glen has been a CPAWS friend. He will always be remembered as a man who cared passionately about Canadian wildlife and wilderness and those who fight to protect it.

His support of CPAWS, World Wildlife Fund, Sierra Club and many other organizations has helped to double the parks and protected areas system in Canada, protect endangered species and bring improvements to government and corporate behaviour on public lands. CPAWS, and our conservation partners, will continue these efforts and celebrate Glen’s life whenever a grizzly roams free, a forest remains standing or a river runs wild.

Thank you Glen, for all you have done.


May 18 07

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CPAWS presents 3500 Nahanni postcards to Environment Minister

May 15 07

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Yukon’s Three Rivers Project a Finalist for Canadian Environment Award

Whitehorse -- The Yukon’s Three Rivers Project, organized by the Yukon Chapter of the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society (CPAWS) is a finalist in the conservation category for the prestigious annual Canadian Environment Award. Launched in 2003, the Three Rivers Project included more than 100 participants and contributors from Yukon communities and across Canada.

The announcement today by Canadian Geographic Magazine recognizes CPAWS-Yukon’s contribution to northern conservation through its ambitious and innovative work on the Three Rivers Journey; the group art exhibition, Three Rivers: wild waters, sacred places; the book Three Rivers: the Yukon\'s Great Boreal Wilderness; and ongoing work to conserve and protect the Wind, Snake and Bonnet Plume Rivers within the Peel watershed.

“We’re thrilled that the Three Rivers Project is receiving national recognition, and are proud to be among the many Yukoners who contributed their energy, vision and talents to this exciting endeavor,” said Juri Peepre, project coordinator.

The award nomination coincides with the final event of a 12 city cross-Canada tour, Journey to the Yukon\'s Three Rivers, to be held this Thursday evening in Whitehorse. Organized by CPAWS, in partnership with Mountain Equipment Co-op and Yukonwild, the Journey to the Yukon\'s Three Rivers has invited audiences from coast to coast to discover the wild waters and sacred places of the Yukon’s great boreal wilderness. The Three Rivers project is part of an ambitious national effort to conserve Canada’s boreal forest ecosystem.

“It has been inspiring to have the Yukon’s Three Rivers story received with such eagerness everywhere we visited. Canadians are fascinated with the beauty and mystery of Yukon’s clean flowing rivers and intact boreal wilderness, but also care deeply about its future,” said Juri Peepre. “Whether it was Montreal, Halifax, St. John’s, Saskatoon or Calgary, people lined up for their chance to support conservation in the Three Rivers.”

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Contact: Theresa Gulliver, CPAWS-Yukon 393-8080 ext 8


May 15 07

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Ontarians want forest protection in climate plan
New poll highlights need for Boreal planning, protection of endangered species habitat

TORONTO -New polling released today by two leading conservation groups shows that 90% of Ontarians want the provincial government to protect more forests as a defence against global warming. "This polling shows that the public is leading on this issue," says Janet Sumner, Executive Director of CPAWS Wildlands League one of the groups releasing the polling. "The McGuinty government must keep its promise and implement land use planning before development in the Boreal Forest," Sumner adds.  

The polling comes on the heels of a letter signed by 1,500 scientists released yesterday in Ottawa urging all governments to act to protect the Boreal Forest. The scientists warned that the Boreal Forest - a garland of green in Canada that shields us against global warming - is clearly under serious threat from industrial logging and mining activities. It shields us from global warming by storing more carbon in its soils, forests and wetlands than any other ecosystem on the planet.

"Scientists, a chorus of celebrities, conservation groups and now the public all support setting aside large portions of Ontario\'s intact Boreal Forest in the face of global warming while safeguarding threatened species," says Wendy Francis, Director of Conservation and Science for Ontario Nature. "We know it can be done without closing mills. When will this government act?" Francis adds.   

Other findings from the poll include:

  • 92% of Ontarians agree that Ontario needs proper land-use planning for our remaining wilderness in the North; and,
  • 88% agree that Ontario should BAN all logging in key habitat of endangered species such as Woodland Caribou.

In 2003, Mr. 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, instead approving the massive DeBeers Victor Diamond Mine. The groups are also asking the government to protect significant areas of intact caribou habitat in the commercial forestry zone; a move that also would store large quantities of carbon that otherwise would contribute to global warming.      

The polling was conducted by McAllister Opinion Research and is based on a random digit dial telephone survey of 500 Ontarians aged 18 and over. The survey was fielded from the 30th March 2007 to the 3rd April 2007 inclusive. A random sample of 500 Ontarians would yield a margin of error of ±4.4%, 19 times out of 20.  

For more information, please contact:

Janet Sumner, Executive Director, CPAWS Wildlands League (416) 579-7370 (cell)
Wendy Francis, Director of Conservation and Science, Ontario Nature (416) 846-2404

May 15 07

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Cyclists to cross Canada for CPAWS
Val Bennett, Grant MacDonald, and Ed Coles are planning to take a bike trip this summer - and it will be a big one. On May 28th, they\'ll start peddling across Canada from coast to coast, raising money along the way for the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society (CPAWS).

"I have been interested in the environment since I was a child. I\'ve always loved spending time in wilderness areas, but hate coming across the very visible signs of mismanagement that can be seen in many parks, let alone areas that are not protected.", said Bennett.  "CPAWS is providing a valuable service by helping to ensure that Canada\'s parks are treated properly, that more areas are being protected, and that people are being educated about these issues."

The three 23 and 24 year old current and former students at Lakehead University in Thunder Bay have been planning their trip for almost a year.

"Biking is probably my favourite thing to do other outside of music," said MacDonald, "so what could be better than doing something you love for an entire summer while raising money for a charity you respect?"

Val, Grant and Ed\'s goal is to raise at least $8,000 for CPAWS. They\'ve created their own site at www.bikingforcpaws.ca,  where supporters can make contributions.

"We\'re honoured that Val, Grant and Ed have chosen CPAWS as their cause for their trip, and we will be wishing them well with every kilometer that they cycle. CPAWS is all about Canadians working together to protect the big wilderness places we love, and we are thrilled that these three are undertaking such a big venture in support of our work," says Sherri Watson, President of CPAWS Board of Trustees.

May 08 07

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Parc Orford : Une demi-victoire pour la population du Québec
14 mois après le début de la saga du Parc national du Mont-Orford, le gouvernement minoritaire de Jean Charest écoute enfin la population et maintient les terres du Parc publiques. Bien que la Coalition se réjouisse que le gouvernement ait mis fin à l’appel d’offre, ait résilié le bail et ait gardé les 458 ha à propriété publique, elle déplore que les terres demeurent hors Parc et que la construction de condos soit possible.

Pour la Coalition SOS Parc Orford, qui disait non à la vente et non aux condos, la victoire en est une de demi-mesure. En n’abrogeant pas la Loi 23, le gouvernement se garde une option sur la construction de condos sur terres publiques, si tel était le désir de la MRC Memphrémagog. En effet, suite aux discussions qui se tiendront dans les prochains 24 mois, rien n’assure que les terrains au bas de la montagne ne seront pas convertis en parc régional et donc ouvert au développement. Selon Claude Dallaire, coordonnateur : « Les 458 ha demeurent exclus du Parc, donc nous poursuivons nos actions pour faire abroger la Loi 23 ». Au lieu d’envoyer un message clair contre le développement à l’intérieur des parcs, la décision d’aujourd’hui pourrait mener à la régionalisation des parcs nationaux. La Coalition rappelle que la Loi 23 n’est pas nécessaire pour assurer l’agrandissement du Parc et la restauration de la montagne; la Loi sur les Parcs le permet sans problème.

L’annonce surprise d’hier et les commentaires de l’ensemble des intervenants, de la MRC et du gouvernement consacrent le consensus social sur la protection de l’intégrité territoriale du Parc du Mont-Orford et sur le rejet de la construction de condos sur ce territoire. En ce sens, SOS Parc Orford s’engage dans un processus de recherche de solutions pour assurer le retour de la montagne et du terrain de golf à l’intérieur du Parc national avec l’abrogation de la Loi 23 et pour une mise en valeur de ces espaces qui soit respectueuse de la mission de conservation du Parc.

La Coalition tient à féliciter TOUS les citoyens qui se sont soulevés devant cette saga, que ce soit par la signature de la pétition, par leur présence aux nombreuses manifestations ou par leur prise de position dans les médias. Cette demi-victoire revient à l’ensemble de la population qui tient à la protection de ses parcs nationaux.

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AU SUJET DE SOS PARC ORFORD La coalition SOS PARC ORFORD s’est donnée comme mission de mettre fin aux démarches de vente d’une partie du Parc. Elle regroupe les partenaires principaux suivants : La société pour la nature et les parcs du Canada (SNAP), Nature Québec / UQCN, CREE, Regroupement Orford pour un parc sans condos, auxquels s’ajoutent plus de 80 000 citoyens et citoyennes du Québec.

SOURCE : COALITION SOS PARC ORFORD / www.sosparcorford.org Information : Claude Dallaire, 819-578-7083


May 08 07

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CPAWS welcomes new Boreal information resource
CPAWS welcomes the launch today of a new conservation research tool - the Boreal Information Centre.  This Centre is a one stop source of mapped information illustrating the bounty of natural characteristics and human use of North America’s great boreal forest.  CPAWS has been an advisor during the Centre’s development. Sponsored by a coalition of scientists, forest products suppliers and buyers, conservationists and resource managers, the Centre is publicly accessible via the internet at www.borealinfo.org

Aran O’Carroll, CPAWS National Manager of Forest Programs, is also chair of Global Forest Watch Canada, one of the centre’s partners. “We’re pleased to be part of this effort that will make critical data for conservationists available without charge and on-demand,” says O’Carroll.  

The Centre will initially house 50-some data layers and associated summaries of information, for issues such as the location and extent of old-growth forests, for most of the entire boreal forest of Canada. 

“With CPAWS initiatives across the boreal, including efforts to protect “endangered forests”, “critical habitats” and other forests of high conservation value, we are very pleased to be able to access this tool as we work towards achieving our bold boreal forest conservation ambitions,” says O’Carroll.

May 07 07

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Quebec reverses decision on Mont Orford Park

14 months of hard work by CPAWS (SNAP) Quebec as a key member of the SOS Parc Orford coalition has paid off. The Quebec government announced on Monday, May 7that it will reverse its decision to sell off part of Mt Orford National Park. SNAP welcomes this reprieve for the park, and thanks everyone who took action.

However, the government has not closed the door to future condo development – the lands remain excluded from the park, and future development is possible.   SNAP continues to work to ensure “protected” areas in Quebec are truly protected, forever.


May 03 07

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CPAWS calls on feds to stop road, protect entire Nahanni Watershed
OTTAWA – In the wake of an April decision by the Mackenzie Valley Land and Water Board to permit reconstruction of a 170 km winter road through the heart of the Northwest Territories’ Nahanni wilderness area, the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society (CPAWS) is calling on the federal government to act now to ensure that no industrial development proceeds within this world-famous, yet fragile, ecosystem.  

The Board has issued a land use permit to Canadian Zinc Corporation, the junior mining company that owns the proposed Prairie Creek mine, that would permit the company to reconstruct a winter access road that has been abandoned for over 20 years.  CPaWS anticipates that with the road permit in hand, the company may begin re-building activity as early as this summer in the area by clearing brush and hauling in machinery. Over the five years of the permit, the company would be able to use the road to haul supplies such as diesel fuel into the mine, and toxic chemicals such as cyanide out.  

CPAWS has been leading a public campaign to protect the entire South Nahanni Watershed, one of the world’s most spectacular Boreal wilderness treasures, in an expanded national park reserve since 2003.  

“Federal Environment Minister John Baird has said he wants to move forward with protecting the Nahanni by expanding the national park.  It’s crunch time. We are calling on Minister Baird and his colleague, Indian and Northern Affairs Minister Jim Prentice, to sit down with company officials and find a way to stop this road and this mine, before the bulldozers move in,” says Alison Woodley, CPAWS’ Northern Conservation Specialist. 

“If the road were to go through, and if the Prairie Creek mine site were ever to begin operation, the threat to the ecological integrity of the Nahanni would be significant. World leading scientists have advised us that this area is simply too fragile, due to its karst topography and being prone to earthquakes, to ensure that industrial impacts could ever be contained,” adds Woodley.  

The re-constructed winter road would run directly through the mountainous Nahanni karstlands -- an area identified for protection through the expansion of Nahanni National Park Reserve which is also a renowned World Heritage Site and premier canoeing destination.  The Nahanni karstlands, just north of the current park boundary, have been identified by scientists as having globally unique and sensitive geological formations that should be added to the park.     

The road permit application was never subject to an environmental assessment. In a 2004 court challenge CPAWS and the local Dehcho First Nations argued that an environmental assessment should be conducted because of the potential environmental impacts of the road on this sensitive area.  Canadian Zinc successfully argued that the permit should be grandfathered from environmental assessment because of a legal loophole that respects old, expired permits. 

The local Dehcho First Nations have passed a unanimous leadership resolution calling for protection of the entire South Nahanni Watershed, which lies within their traditional territory, including the Nahanni karstlands.  

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Contact:  

Alison Woodley
Northern Conservation Specialist
CPAWS
(613) 569-7226 ext 227
www.cpaws.org/nahanni


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