Alberta students sounding call to protect grizzlies


Calgary, AB -- Students across Alberta are calling for government action to save grizzly bears. After learning about grizzly bear biology and threats, students at numerous Alberta schools are trying to make a difference and urging governments to do the same.

Over 1000 students in the Calgary area became Bear Guardians learning about ways to help bears, and promising to keep campgrounds clean and drive slowly in bear country. But some classes took their own actions a step further by penning letters to their local politicians, calling for greater action by the Alberta Government to protect grizzly habitat and populations. In light of the recent release of Alberta\'s grizzly bear population data, this call to action couldn\'t be timelier.

Students in Donna McLeod-Huynh\'s and Krista Moriarty\'s grade 3/4 classes at University Elementary in Calgary initiated a letter-writing campaign voicing their concerns regarding the Province\'s Grizzly Bear Recovery Plan and population estimates. The students sent letters to the Alberta Minister of Sustainable Resource Development, Ted Morton, Premier Ed Stelmach, Prime Minister Steven Harper, and Federal Minister of the Environment John Baird.

In a letter to Minister Morton, one student wrote: "I am in grade 4 and go to University Elementary in Calgary. I am 10 years old. Please do NOT stop reading just because I am 10. I am begging you ... I have learned that these bears are an umbrella species, meaning if they become extinct it will effect many other plant and animal species. Thank you very much for taking the time to read this letter, and I look forward to two things: one, that you have adopted the (Grizzly Bear Recovery) plan, and two, your reply."

The letters caught the attention of at least one politician. Liberal MLA for Calgary Varsity, Mr. Harry Chase, visited the class to discuss the children\'s letter writing campaign and their concerns over the lack of leadership on part of the government to protect grizzly bears in Alberta. Mr. Chase took several of their letters and presented them to the legislative assembly, which the students watched on live feed.

The call to save grizzly bears is being heard in the Capital, too. As part of the social studies curriculum, Shelley Kennedy\'s students at Ellerslie Campus learned about becoming responsible citizens by taking care of the environment. Students studied the grizzly bear and how its habitat has become threatened. The grade 1 class decided to write letters to their local Liberal MLA, Mr. Bharat Agnihotri, saying: "I think the grizzly bear is important because they are part of our family, there are not many left and they help keep the food chain balanced."

Kim Kiel, a bear educator and Director of School Programs for the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society in Calgary has seen many inspiring action projects arise from environmental education programs. "Children and youth understand that environmental conservation begins with them. They are not afraid to commit to taking positive steps to conserve nature, and challenging others to do so as well. These student letters are a great testament to that, especially given the small number of grizzly bears left in Alberta," says Kiel.

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For more information about the CPAWS Education Program or the chapter\'s conservation work, visit www.cpawscalgary.org.

Contacts

Kim Kiel, Education Director
403-232-6686
kkiel@cpawscalgary.org via gmail" src="http://75.126.61.175/cgi-bin/mt/data:image/bmp;base64,Qk1GAgAAAAAAADYAAAAoAAAAEAAAAAsAAAABABgAAAAAABACAADEDgAAxA4AAAAAAAAAAAAAODjaODjap6f5p6f5p6f5p6f5p6f5p6f5p6f5p6f5p6f5p6f5p6f5p6f5ODjaODjaODjaODja4uL%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F4uL%2FODjaODjaODjaODjap6f54uL%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F4uL%2Fp6f5ODjaODjaODjaODja4uL%2Fp6f54uL%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2FgYHygYHy%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F4uL%2Fp6f54uL%2FODjaODjaODjaODja%2F%2F%2F%2F4uL%2Fp6f5trb%2FgYHyWlrpWlrpgYHytrb%2Fp6f54uL%2F%2F%2F%2F%2FODjaODjaODjaODja%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2Ftrb%2FgYHyWlrpODjaODjaWlrpgYHytrb%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2FODjaODjaODjaODja%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2FgYHyWlrpODjatrb%2Ftrb%2FODjaWlrpgYHy%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2FODjaODjaODjaODja%2F%2F%2F%2FgYHyWlrpODjatrb%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2Ftrb%2FODjaWlrpgYHy%2F%2F%2F%2FODjaODjaODjaODjagYHyWlrpODjatrb%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2Ftrb%2FODjaWlrpgYHyODjaODjaODjaODjaODjaODjatrb%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2Ftrb%2FODjaODjaODjaODjaODjaODjaODjagYHyp6f5p6f5p6f5p6f5p6f5p6f5p6f5p6f5gYHyODjaODjaODja" border="0" />kkiel@cpawscalgary.org

David Poulton, Executive Director
403-232-6601
dpoulton@cpawscalgary.org via gmail" src="http://75.126.61.175/cgi-bin/mt/data:image/bmp;base64,Qk1GAgAAAAAAADYAAAAoAAAAEAAAAAsAAAABABgAAAAAABACAADEDgAAxA4AAAAAAAAAAAAAODjaODjap6f5p6f5p6f5p6f5p6f5p6f5p6f5p6f5p6f5p6f5p6f5p6f5ODjaODjaODjaODja4uL%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F4uL%2FODjaODjaODjaODjap6f54uL%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F4uL%2Fp6f5ODjaODjaODjaODja4uL%2Fp6f54uL%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2FgYHygYHy%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F4uL%2Fp6f54uL%2FODjaODjaODjaODja%2F%2F%2F%2F4uL%2Fp6f5trb%2FgYHyWlrpWlrpgYHytrb%2Fp6f54uL%2F%2F%2F%2F%2FODjaODjaODjaODja%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2Ftrb%2FgYHyWlrpODjaODjaWlrpgYHytrb%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2FODjaODjaODjaODja%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2FgYHyWlrpODjatrb%2Ftrb%2FODjaWlrpgYHy%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2FODjaODjaODjaODja%2F%2F%2F%2FgYHyWlrpODjatrb%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2Ftrb%2FODjaWlrpgYHy%2F%2F%2F%2FODjaODjaODjaODjagYHyWlrpODjatrb%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2Ftrb%2FODjaWlrpgYHyODjaODjaODjaODjaODjaODjatrb%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2Ftrb%2FODjaODjaODjaODjaODjaODjaODjagYHyp6f5p6f5p6f5p6f5p6f5p6f5p6f5p6f5gYHyODjaODjaODja" border="0" />dpoulton@cpawscalgary.org

Donna McLeod-Huynh or Krista Moriarty
University Elementary, Calgary
403-777-6240

Shelley Kennedy
Ellerslie Campus, Edmonton
780-988-5350

 

See also:
You can help Alberta\'s grizzly bears


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