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News Releases

Here you'll find official news releases from CPAWS bc. Clicking on a link will you take to the chapter's website.

Jun 26 15

Proposed Hecate Strait Marine Protected Area regulations too weak: CPAWS
The Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society (CPAWS) welcomes progress on a new marine protected area for rare glass sponge reefs in northern B.C.’s Hecate Strait but has concerns that draft regulations posted this week will not do enough to save them. Fisheries and Oceans Canada posted draft Hecate Strait MPA regulations on June 27th to the Canada Gazette. They allow for some fishing activities including bottom trawling to continue around the reefs, and other types of fishing to continue above them. Fisheries and Oceans Canada is proposing to allow these activities to continue while they conduct monitoring and research. Cable laying within the MPA is also being allowed under the regulations.

Jun 05 15

Conservation groups welcome protection for Strait of Georgia’s unique glass sponge reefs
Vancouver, BC – 5 June 2015 – Local and national conservation groups are welcoming today’s announcement by the federal government of fishing closures for the Strait of Georgia’s glass sponge reefs – a global treasure found nowhere else in the world. “For more than six years the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society (CPAWS) has been leading a concerted effort to convince Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) to protect these reefs. They are a global treasure found nowhere else in the world. The reefs are thousands of years old and they are incredibly fragile,” said Sabine Jessen, National Oceans Program Director at CPAWS.

Jun 01 15

New CPAWS report underlines weaknesses in British Columbia’s marine protected areas
In its annual report released today on Canada’s progress in protecting its ocean, the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society (CPAWS) has found that the regulations and policies governing existing marine protected areas (MPAs) are too often weak or confusing. “It is worrying that human activities known to harm ocean ecosystems are permitted in any of Canada’s marine protected areas. Yet they are, including in British Columbia, and these activities include oil and gas exploration, shipping, large-scale commercial and recreational fishing, and dredging and dumping,” says Sabine Jessen, CPAWS National Oceans Program Manager.

Apr 27 15

Marine Planning Partnership heralds new wave of ocean management in British Columbia
Today the BC Government and 18 coastal First Nations came together to sign the world-leading Marine Use Plans for the Pacific North Coast region of BC. This region includes Haida Gwaii, North Vancouver Island, the Central Coast, and the North Coast. “CPAWS sees the endorsement of the plans as heralding a new wave in ocean management and marine conservation in Canada, starting right here in British Columbia,” said Sabine Jessen, National Oceans Program Director at CPAWS.

Apr 08 15

Local support for national park in South Okanagan-Similkameen grows to over 3:1 in favour

New public opinion poll reveals strong and growing support across the region

Osoyoos, BC.-- An independent poll showing wide-spread and growing local support for the proposed South Okanagan-Similkameen national park was released this morning by the South Okanagan-Similkameen National Park Network. During the 5-year period since an identical telephone survey was last conducted, the poll found local support for the park increased significantly from 2:1 in favour to over 3:1, and opposition to the national park had reduced markedly to just 21% opposed.

Mar 03 15

New parks vulnerable to industrial development
Vancouver, BC – This week the Minister of the Environment introduced new legislation that would expand the provincial park system by approximately 1,540 hectares over six different parks. The Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society (CPAWS-BC), while pleased with these minor additions, remains concerned that all parks remain vulnerable to industrial activity due to recent changes in law and policy. At present, there are at least 10 parks being considered for “boundary adjustments” that would facilitate industrial development.

Dec 19 14

U.S. Senate Passes Watershed Legislation Affecting B.C.’s Flathead River Valley
Late last Friday, the U.S. Senate passed the North Fork Watershed Protection Act as part of a nationwide U.S. public lands legislative package. Canadians have awaited this particular legislation since 2010, when then-governor Brian Schweitzer and then-B.C. Premier Gordon Campbell signed the B.C.-Montana Memorandum of Understanding promising to ban mining and oil and gas development in the entire transnational Flathead watershed.

Dec 17 14

Site C Dam Puts Communities, Wildlife, World Heritage Site at Risk
Yesterday the BC government announced it has decided to proceed with the Site C dam in northeastern BC, despite widespread opposition to the project. CPAWS-BC is deeply concerned about the further flooding of the Peace River Valley that Site C will require, and the resulting loss of high-value ecosystems and fertile farmland. This will jeopardize a core part of the Yellowstone to Yukon conservation corridor, critical for wildlife movement.

Dec 16 14

In its second annual review of governments' efforts to conserve Canada's boreal caribou, the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society (CPAWS) finds that threats from industrial development to boreal woodland caribou have continued to increase while conservation and restoration efforts have shown little progress across the country.

Dec 10 14

CPAWS-BC releases new report detailing environmental impacts of proposed pipelines to BC wilderness

Vancouver, B.C. – A report released today by the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society – BC Chapter (CPAWS-BC) outlines the potential impacts of proposed liquefied natural gas (LNG) pipelines in northern B.C. on wilderness values. The new report, Gas Gone Wild, finds that the potential for negative landscape-level impacts is significant, and points to the need for a ”big picture” assessment of all potential impacts before proceeding with any one project.

“The province intends to construct at least five LNG pipelines, and we have determined that this would require a minimum of 120,000 hectares of cleared land – over ten times the size of Vancouver – with serious impacts to wildlife such as grizzly bears and caribou,” says Peter Wood, Director of Terrestrial Campaigns, CPAWS-BC. “This is in addition to the impacts of thousands of additional fracking wells that will be required to get the gas to feed these pipelines.”

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