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Mar 12 07

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Group applauds establishment of Canada’s newest marine protected area
The Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society (CPAWS) is congratulating the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans on officially designating New Brunswick\'s Musquash Estuary as Canada\'s sixth marine protected area (MPA) under the Oceans Act.

The Musquash Estuary, located 20 kilometres west of Saint John, is one of the last ecologically intact estuaries in the Bay of Fundy. It provides a rich habitat and a refuge for many species of wildlife.

"CPAWS is pleased to see Minister Hearn completing this long standing proposal for a marine protected area in the Musquash Estuary," says Sabine Jessen, national manager, CPAWS Oceans and Great Lakes Program. "We look forward to the completion of other proposed MPAs, including Bowie Seamount on Canada’s west coast, and to seeing concrete plans for how Canada will meet its international commitments to complete a national network of MPAs by 2012.”

Canada\'s Oceans Act gives DFO the ability to establish marine protected areas to conserve and protect unique habitats, endangered or threatened marine species, commercial and non-commercial fishery resources, marine areas of high biodiversity, and any other marine resource or habitat requiring special protection.

“The Musquash MPA is the result of years of hard work by local conservation groups and individuals and was only possible with cooperation between the municipal, provincial and federal governments,” says Roberta Clowater, executive director of the CPAWS New Brunswick chapter. “We congratulate Minister Hearn, Premier Graham and the Conservation Council of New Brunwick for making this happen.”

MPA designation will prevent further coastal development in this rural, relatively pristine area and aquaculture will not be allowed.

With 13 chapters across the country and over 40 years of experience, CPAWS is one of Canada\'s oldest and most respected, non-profit wilderness protection organization.

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Contact:
Sabine Jessen, 604-685-7445 or 604-657-2813 (cell)
Roberta Clowater, (506) 452-9902

Mar 12 07

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CPAWS welcomes federal commitment to protect important NWT ecological and cultural site

Yellowknife - CPAWS is pleased that Federal Environment Minister John Baird announced yesterday that Sahoyúé-§ehdacho, two large peninsulas covering 5550 km2 on Great Bear Lake, will be permanently protected as a National Historic Site.  The Minister announced federal funding of $5 million over five years, followed by $700,000 per year to achieve this goal. 

This unique cultural and ecological region has been identified for protection by the Sahtugot\'ine (Dene people of Great Bear Lake). CPAWS has been working with the Sahtugot\'ine from the community of Deline to protect these sites for nearly 10 years.

"We welcome this move - the first in what we hope the federal government, working with other partners, will protect in a series of critical cultural and ecological landscapes identified under the NWT Protected Areas strategy, national parks and regional land use plans," says Daryl Sexsmith, Executive Director of CPAWS-NWT.

"It is critical that the governments responsible for the NWT, working with other stakeholders, ensure that a network of protected areas are set aside before major industrial development, forecloses the opportunity" adds Sexsmith. 

The NWT offers one of the most important opportunities in the world to protect large-scale Boreal wilderness, and put Canada on the map as a leader in nature conservation - vital to protecting caribou and cultural livelihoods, responding to climate change and conserving clean water and air.

"We look forward to more announcements in the near future from the government to protect other sites in the NWT that have been identified as immediate opportunities, including the Ts\'ude niline Tu\'eyeta (Ramparts River and Wetlands), Edéhzhíe (Horn Plateau) the South Nahanni Watershed, and a proposed national park on the East Arm of Great Slave Lake, " adds Sexsmith. 

 

About Sahoyúé (Grizzly Bear Mountain) - §ehdacho (Scented Grass Hills):

  • Sahoyúé-§ehdacho  contains approximately 5550 km2 of intact boreal forest on two peninsulas reaching into Great Bear Lake. Great Bear Lake is the largest lake that is completely contained within the boundaries of Canada, the 9th largest lake in the world.   
  • Sahoyúé - §ehdacho are important cultural landscapes, central to how the Sahtugot\'ine see and define themselves.  They are important teaching, healing and spiritual places, where elders pass on their heritage to the younger generations.
  • The cultural values of Sahoyúé - §ehdacho are expressed through the inter-relationship between the landscape, oral histories, graves and cultural resources, such as trails and cabins.  
  • Sahoyúé-§ehdacho is home to woodland caribou, grizzly bear, wolverine and Peregrine Falcon. 
  • Sahoyúé-§ehdacho is a traditional harvesting area for fish, berries, medicine plants and wildlife.  

 

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Contact: Daryl Sexsmith (867-873-9893 ext 24)
Background: www.cpaws.org


Mar 07 07

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Nouveau sondage CROP : Les aires protégées, une priorité selon les Québécois !

Montréal, le 6 mars 2007 -- Un sondage réalisé du 28 février au 4 mars 2007 par la maison CROP révèle que la population du Québec se prononce largement en faveur de la conservation de la forêt boréale et appuie en grande majorité la création d\'aires protégées. Les partenaires de l\'Initiative Aux arbres citoyens ! y voit la confirmation que les Québécois se préoccupent de cet enjeu et exigent que le prochain gouvernement agisse dans ce dossier, notamment en donnant suite aux recommandations de la Commission Coulombe.

Le sondage a été effectué auprès de 500 répondants du Québec, afin de mesurer leur niveau de sensibilité aux enjeux de conservation de la nature, particulièrement ce qui touche à la création d\'aires protégées en forêt boréale. D\'un point de vue statistique, un échantillon de cette taille est précis à 4,4 points près, 19 fois sur 20. Une copie des principaux résultats est annexée au présent communiqué.

Pour Nature Québec / UQCN, le Réseau québécois des groupes écologistes (RQGE) et la Société pour la nature et les parcs (SNAP) les résultats parlent d\'eux-mêmes :

  • 86 % des répondants ont déjà entendu parler des aires protégées
  • Parmi les répondants se disant en mesure de se prononcer sur la question (soit 81 % des répondants), 74% croient que la forêt boréale est surexploitée tandis que 26 % jugent plutôt qu\'elle est gérée de manière responsable (18 %) ou qu\'elle est sous-exploitée (8 %)
  • 87 % trouvent que le niveau actuel de protection du territoire québécois est insuffisant
  • En prenant en compte que les aires protégées interdisent l\'exploitation forestières et les mines mais favorisent le récréotourisme, près de 90 % des répondants au sondage évaluent que les aires protégées sont une bonne affaire pour le Québec
  • 31 % des répondants indiquent faire confiance au Gouvernement en matière de gestion durable de la forêt ; ce pourcentage est d\'à peine 17 % en ce qui concerne les compagnies forestières
  • 91 % appuient la recommandation du Rapport Coulombe de protéger 12 % de la forêt boréale ; toutefois, 60 % doutent que le Gouvernement la mette en application.

Les partenaires de l\'Initiative Aux arbres citoyens ! ne s\'étonnent pas outre mesure des résultats du sondage. Ceux-ci confirment le premier son de cloche obtenu lors de la campagne « On dort comme une bûche », qui a amassé plus de 187 000 signatures en faveur des aires protégées en quelques semaines.

« Il apparaît évident que la population du Québec est préoccupée par la situation des forêts et s\'inquiète de savoir que seulement 5 % du Québec est voué à la conservation » déclare Mélanie Desrochers de Nature Québec / UQCN. « La presque totalité des répondants réclament des changements majeurs dans la gestion pour garantir une forêt en santé aux générations à venir » poursuit-elle.

« Beaucoup de choses ont été dites sur les aires protégées et la crise forestière, mais le sondage démontre que la population trouve raisonnable de soustraire au moins 12 % du territoire aux activités industrielles à des fins de conservation de la nature » affirme Jean-François Gagnon de la SNAP. « Bien que beaucoup de gens croient que le Gouvernement ne donnera pas suite à la recommandation du rapport Coulombe, les groupes gardent espoir que les futurs élus prendront acte des résultats ».

De son côté, Henri Jacob du RQGE déclare « la surexploitation des forêts demeure une réalité importante à laquelle les régions du Québec doivent faire face et ce même si certaines mesures correctives ont déjà été mises en place ». « La création d\'aires protégées devrait s\'inscrire dans une stratégie de diversification économique régionale et contribuer à créer des emplois durables en remplacement de ceux perdus en exploitation» conclut-il.

Durant la campagne électorale, Nature Québec / UQCN, le RQGE et la SNAP mettent au défi les candidats des différents partis en lice de s\'engager publiquement à atteindre 12 % d\'aires protégées d\'ici 2010, et de donner suite aux recommandations du rapport Coulombe touchant l\'aménagement écosystémique, la participation du BAPE, ainsi que la certification environnementale.

En terminant, les partenaires de l\'Initiative Aux Arbres Citoyens ! invitent la population à se manifester auprès des candidats de leur région pour exiger l\'application de la recommandation de la Commission Coulombe en matière d\'aires protégées. L\'outil en ligne « Électeur exprimez-vous » est disponible depuis samedi dernier sur le site de l\'Initiative et les résultats du questionnaire aux partis le seront également sous peu. Pour en savoir plus, visitez le site www.auxarbrescitoyens.com

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Pour information et entrevues :

Sébastien Cloutier, Coordonnateur Initiative Aux arbres Citoyens ! Téléphone : (514) 278-7627 poste 226 Cellulaire : (514) 603-7627 .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)


Mar 06 07

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Mont Orford: Sacrifier un parc national pour 15 ans de ski!
Orford, 6 mars 2007 - Un an jour pour jour après la mise en vente d\'une partie du Parc national du Mont-Orford, la Coalition SOS Parc Orford dévoile une montagne de surprises dans le dossier. Après avoir épluché l\'appel d\'offre, la Coalition conclue que le gouvernement s\'apprête à sacrifier un Parc national pour faire profiter un promoteur qui pourrait offrir du ski pendant seulement 15 ans! Sans parler des quelques 300 emplois saisonniers du ski qui seraient perdus à long terme.

EMPLOIS
Alors que M. Charest s\'exclame depuis quelques jours que 1000 emplois sont en jeu, SOS Parc Orford réplique qu\'il n\'en est rien. En fait, au Mont-Orford il y a 300 emplois saisonniers et 80 emplois permanents, qui couvrent les 4 saisons (golf et ski). Or, la menace de perte de ces emplois exprimée par le promoteur actuel n\'est point réelle puisque d\'autres promoteurs sont envisageables (Coopérative de solidarité Mont-Orford, Sépaq, etc.) et ce, sans qu\'on ne vende le Parc national ni qu\'on construise des condos. De plus, les pertes supposées du gestionnaire actuel contrastent étrangement avec les profits des trois montagnes voisines : Owl\'s Head, Bromont et Sutton.

VISION COURT TERME
Alors qu\'un récent rapport rédigé par des chercheurs de l\'Université de Montréal pour le compte d\'Ouranos rappelle que la survie des stations de ski des Cantons de l\'Est est compromise par les changements climatiques, le ministre Claude Béchard se ravise et inscrit dans l\'appel d\'offres (article 26) que l\'acheteur n\'est tenu d\'ouvrir le centre de ski que pendant 15 ans, soit jusqu\'en 2022. Cette période courte contraste étrangement avec le bail actuel de 50 ans, renouvelable 20 ans. De plus, lors de ces 15 ans, le promoteur n\'est tenu qu\'à exploiter une seule remontée mécanique et ne sera pas tenu à ouvrir la station plus de 80 % des journées skiables de la saison, selon une moyenne établie avec le cumul des trois stations voisines. De plus, si la saison dure moins de 100 jours, il peut piger dans un Fonds de fiducie patrimoniale de 3 millions $, constitué lors de la vente et pour parer à d\'éventuelles pertes dues à de mauvaises conditions climatiques (article 41).

PARC RÉGIONAL AU BERCAIL
Alors que le rapport du Préfet Nicolet proposait le retour du domaine skiable à un statut de parc régional administré par la MRC, l\'appel d\'offre en fait fi. En effet, le promoteur qui remporte l\'appel d\'offres peut vendre à un nouvel acquéreur, avec la seule obligation de l\'offrir d\'abord à la MRC Memphremagog qui devra donner suite en payant un prix égal à celui du promettant acheteur (ce qui est loin de la somme attendue de 1$)1. Rappelons que la MRC s\'est clairement prononcée qu\'aucun argent ne devra être investi pour obtenir le domaine skiable même pour entretenir et protéger ce dernier. Non seulement la construction de condos n\'aurait pas assuré la survie du ski alpin et de ses 300 emplois temporaires au-delà de 15 ans, mais le projet de Parc régional issu de la consultation-bidon de l\'été dernier auprès de la MRC Memphremagog n\'aura pas fait long feu, ni consensus.

PROFITS AU PRIVÉ
SOS Parc Orford constate que la construction de condos ne servira même pas à sauver les activités de ski. L\'acquéreur, pour une somme ridicule de 2 millions $, pourra mettre la main non seulement sur une autorisation de construction de 750 condos et un profit potentiel de 49 millions $, mais au bout de 15 années, il aura accès à tout le Mont Orford (458 hectares) et la possibilité de passer à une phase 2 de construction de condos, encore plus payante (article 53)! On comprend que le gestionnaire actuel s\'est plaint de pertes en 2002-2003 et 2004 et qu\'il a convaincu le gouvernement de lui offrir, contre la Loi sur les Parcs, des terrains au pied des pentes pour construiredes condos et, à même les profits de vente de ces condos, d\'éponger ces pertes. Or ces pertes étaient dues à des dépenses administratives largement supérieures aux dépenses administratives moyennes des autres centres de ski du Québec et à des frais financiers pour amortir ses investissements d\'équipement.

« Alors qu\'il se fait du ski depuis 1938 et que cette activité est une priorité pour la région, le gouvernement est prêt à liquider un Parc national au profit d\'un promoteur privé qui pourrait exploiter la station de ski que pendant 15 ans! » de s\'exclamer Jacques Saint-Pierre de la Coalition.

Tableaux et annexes sont disponibles sur le site www.sosparcorford.org

1 Car, malgré l\'obligation faite à l\'acquéreur d\'offrir en priorité la montagne à la MRC Memphremagog pour la constitution d\'un Parc régional, cet apparent droit de veto est doublé d\'une obligation de la MRC de concurrencer « le prix et les conditions offertes par un promettant acquéreur de bonne foi » (article 53).

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Étude citée : Bhawan Singh, Christopher Bryant, Pierre André, Jean-Pierre Thouez. Impact et adaptation aux changements climatiques pour les activités de ski et de golf et l\'industrie touristique : le cas du Québec, soumis au consortium Ouranos, 31 mai 2006.

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.

Pour information :
Jacques Saint-Pierre 514.987.3000 #1657 ou 514.208.0310 (cell)
Claude Dallaire 819.578.7083 (cell)


Mar 01 07

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Community People Call for High Level of Protection for the Peel Watershed

from the Peel River Watershed Working Group

Representatives from Tetlit Gwich\'in, Na-Cho N\'yak Dun, Tsiigehtchic communities and representatives from northern Renewable Resource Councils developed a sweeping vision for the Peel River Watershed at a Gathering held a week ago. People from around the Watershed came together in Mayo to reaffirm their role as stewards of the Peel Watershed and to chart its future.

Over 70 participants at the Gathering worked for three days to develop a common vision for the Peel Watershed. They envision an intact watershed where the water and air remain clean, the fish and wildlife remain healthy, and where traditional knowledge can be passed on to youth out on the land. “We heard a strong plea to protect the Peel River watershed as a source of our culture and identity and we want to make sure it stays the way it is now and for future generations,” says James Andre, Peel Gathering community organizer and co-chair.

The Elders of all four First Nations, who described the Gathering as a meeting of “brothers and sisters”, developed a common statement to provide direction for their people. In it, the Elders collectively state “We want our people to protect the Peel Watershed, which means the Watershed remains as it was created, with a high level of protection for the land and water and our heritage, and all living things, where we can continue to practice our traditional way of life and care for the land, water, air, wildlife, and medicinal plants.” They go on to say “We want our people to find a way to give a high level of protection to the Peel Watershed, in the way a park gives protection. With such protection in place, we still practice our rights to hunt, fish, trap and use the land.”

The Elders statement says “We are seeing great changes in the Earth, such as climate change, yet the Watershed is still a natural place.” They envision the Watershed as a place of learning for their youth to acquire traditional knowledge and skills.

The group reaffirmed the provisions of a 1990 Vancouver agreement among the Na-Cho N\'yak Dun, the Tetlit Gwich\'in, Tr\'ondek Hwech\'in, and Vuntut Gwitchin, which proclaimed the principle of “protecting the Peel Watershed in perpetuity from all damage to harvesting, wildlife, and fish habitat, and the quantity and quality of water flow.”

Youth from Mayo and Fort McPherson also met throughout the Gathering. The role of the Watershed for youth was an important focus of discussion for all participants. The youth talked about wanting economic opportunities for themselves, such as guiding and outfitting companies. The Elders statement emphasizes the critical importance of youth having these opportunities, and being able to “make a living from the land in its natural state.”

A community working group was established as a result of the Gathering. They are tasked with implementing the vision statement to protect the Peel Watershed and support a full and immediate moratorium on all claim staking and extraction of non-renewable resources until land use planning is complete. As part of a community driven leadership, selected representatives will be ensuring the work is done from the interests of their communities first and foremost before working with other non profits.

“We, as concerned peoples have come together to reaffirm our rights and concern for full protection of the Peel River Watershed that includes a moratorium on resource extraction,” says Elaine Alexie, Peel River Watershed Working Group member. She continues “a big cause for concern is the fact that we as peoples have not been adequately consulted for future planning of the Peel Watershed, and yet, governments such as that of the Yukon Territory are allowing resource exploration in various locations within the watershed. We have an inherent right to self determination and must be consulted on all levels that involve any and all appropriation, commercial use and intrusion onto our lands, waters, ecosystems and natural resources. We reserve the right to say no.”

Additional working group actions include working closely with an Elders Advisory Committee, developing a conservation strategy for the Three Rivers watersheds of the Wind, Snake, and Bonnet Plume Rivers, and ensuring community input to the ongoing Peel Watershed Planning Commission. A major interest for full protection for the Peel Watershed is the idea in the form of a ‘Tribal Park’, where a model under co-management relationship between the First Nations groups is to be operated and owned by the First Nation communities within the Peel River Watershed.

The community vision statement describes the Peel Watershed as the place where all the rivers flow from their headwaters in the mountains into the Peel River, including all the major tributaries: the Wind, Snake, Bonnet Plume, Ogilvie, Blackstone, and Hart Rivers.

The Peel River watershed is located in the central Yukon and covers over 67,500 square kilometres. It includes traditional lands of the Tetlit Gwich\'in, Trondek Hwech\'in, Na-cho N\'yak Dun and Vuntut Gwich\'in First Nations. Land use planning is currently underway for the watershed.

For more information, contact:

James Andre
Co-chair of Peel River Watershed Community Gathering and
Peel River Watershed Working Group Member
867-952-2828

Frank Patterson
Co-Chair of Peel Watershed Community Gathering and
Peel River Watershed Working Group Member
867-996-2825


Mar 01 07

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CPAWS-Yukon congratulates northern community elders and delegates on their vision of protection for

CPAWS-Yukon congratulates the elders and community delegates at the Peel Watershed Community Gathering held in Mayo, Yukon February 16-18, 2007. CPAWS respects and endorses the communities’ Vision and Statement that calls for protection of the Peel Watershed for present and future generations. We look forward to continuing to work with the communities to realize their vision, which is consistent with our own ongoing Three Rivers campaign.

During CPAWS-Yukon’s Three Rivers community tour from Mayo, YT to Inuvik, NWT in June 2006, the Tetlit Gwich’in Renewable Resources Council asked us to help organize a Gathering to bring together people from Mayo, Ft. McPherson, Aklavik, Tsiigehtchic, Dawson City and Old Crow to discuss a common vision for the Peel watershed. We accepted the challenge and assisted with logistics and by sharing resource materials. Thank you to The Walter and Duncan Gordon Foundation for the generous funding that helped make this Gathering a reality.

The Gathering Vision and Statement will make a significant contribution to the Peel Watershed land use planning process. The Commission, tasked with planning the future of the 67,000-km2 watershed, has already heard from Ft. McPherson community members arriving home from the Gathering. The Commission will now have more direction from the communities about their hopes and desires for the future of this pristine area at the intersection of the boreal region and northern Yellowstone to Yukon (Y2Y).

The CPAWS Three Rivers campaign launches its 12-city Canadian tour in April 2007 entitled Journey to the Yukon’s Three Rivers: a celebration of art and wilderness.


Feb 27 07

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National conservation group calls for Fisheries Act with bite

View backgrounder (PDF, 40KB)

CPAWS, one of Canada\'s oldest and most respected national conservation organizations, is calling on the federal government to withdraw the proposed new Fisheries Act, Bill C-45, from second reading in Parliament until the Act is revised to give stronger protection for fish stocks and habitat.

Bill C-45, an update of Canada\'s Fisheries Act of 1868, was introduced in the House of Commons in December 2006 and was submitted for second reading on February 23rd 2007. CPAWS is concerned that the new Act does not provide sufficient measures for conservation and habitat stewardship.

"Canada needs a Fisheries Act that legislates the protection of fish habitat and an innovative management approach. Bill C-45 does not respond to the current crisis in our oceans, lakes and rivers. As it is written, it won\'t not restore damaged ecosystems or ensure sustainable fisheries," says Sabine Jessen, national manager of CPAWS\' Oceans and Freshwater Great Lakes program.

"Everyone agrees the current Act is in dire need of modernization to address current crises in global fisheries," says Jessen. "The world\'s oceans are under increasing assault from overfishing, pollution and global warming and are expected to collapse completely by mid-century without immediate action to protect habitats," she adds, quoting research by scientist Boris Worm of Dalhousie University published in the respected journal Science last fall.

CPAWS is concerned that Bill C-45 fails to set any clear environmental standards and leaves the Minister and fisheries managers with no obligation to identify and protect crucial fish habitat from destructive fishing practices.

"The Bill leaves standards to be set in the future through regulations," says Julie Huntington, a biologist and executive director of the CPAWS-Newfoundland chapter. "The Bill doesn\'t require the Minister to conserve or protect habitat. Stronger legislation than that is needed if we ever hope to recover Atlantic groundfish stocks," she adds.

"Canada needs an Act that legislates effective fisheries management," says Laura Hussey, marine coordinator of the CPAWS Nova Scotia chapter. "The preamble refers to an ecosystem approach to management, but the Bill does not mandate any requirements for this approach."

CPAWS has submitted a comprehensive federal action plan for nature conservation to the current government calling for increased spending on marine protection.

"We also need a new act that acknowledges current threats to fish and their habitat and provides clear provisions to address these threats - most importantly, the identification and stronger protection of critical fish habitats," says Jessen.

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Contacts:

VANCOUVER
Sabine Jessen, National Manager, Oceans and Great Lakes, CPAWS
(604) 685-7445 ext. 27 or (604)657-2813 (cell)

OTTAWA
Ellen Adelberg, Director of Communications, CPAWS
(613) 569-7226 ext. 234
http://www.cpaws.org

ST. JOHN\'S
Julie Huntington, Executive Director, CPAWS Newfoundland
(709) 726-5800
http://www.cpawsnl.org

HALIFAX
Laura Hussey, Marine Coordinator, CPAWS Nova Scotia
(902) 446-4155


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 www.savetheboreal.ca 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

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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.


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