Wilderness and Species Conservation

Bullying Canada’s Environment

OTTAWA--The federal government is afraid to deal with the environment honestly and in the open. The budget implementation bill introduced Monday contains changes to the Environmental Assessment Act that have nothing to do with the 2010 budget. The changes fly in the face of the recent Supreme Court decision on the Red Chris mine and validate Sierra Club Canada’s decision to challenge the regulatory changes made in last year’s budget.

"If these changes are just, then why not deal with them on their own instead of using an election threat to steal environmental protection from Canadians," said John Bennett, Executive Director of Sierra Club Canada.
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Richfield vs. Sierra Club in Kanata

Extending Terry Fox Drive through the sensitive South March Highlands and then only allowing construction on one side of the street makes no sense, argues a development company seeking to expand the urban boundary further into the endangered species habitat.

Richcraft Homes is appealing to the Ontario Municipal Board, which can overrule city planning decisions, to strike down the urban boundary set by city council last summer and instead allow expansion in several areas of Ottawa, including the South March Highlands.

There, the Terry Fox Drive extension -- set to be built this summer -- marks the boundary of allowed urban development in Ottawa.

Additional Excerpt:

However, the executive director of the Sierra Club Canada, which is leading the lobby against the Terry Fox Drive extension, says Richcraft's appeal just proves that the entire $47-million roadway project is a bad idea.... Read more »

17 grizzly deaths worry Sierra Club

New statistics that show 17 grizzlies died last year as a result of interaction with humans trumpet the need to quickly designate grizzlies as a threatened species, say biologists and conservation groups.

"The No. 1 cause of grizzly bear mortality is obviously people," said Carl Morrison of Sierra Club Canada.

"It's confusing why there continues to be a government delay."

He said the high mortality could have been avoided if the government had implemented key aspects of a grizzly bear recovery program it adopted two years ago.

The province now estimates there are less than 700 grizzlies in the province and less than 360 breeding adults.

Additional Excerpt:

Since the Alberta Endangered Species Conservation Committee first recommended grizzlies be listed as threatened in 2002, 159 grizzlies have died in human-bear encounters.... Read more »

Lobby groups sound alarm over human-related grizzly deaths

The call for grizzly bears in Alberta to be declared a threatened species is growing ever louder.

A number of wildlife and environmental groups, including the Sierra Club of Canada, Nature Alberta, and Alberta Wilderness Association, have gone through the numbers of grizzly deaths in Alberta last year and say confirmed human-related mortalities are at a critical level.

Additional Excerpt:

They say figures from the Sustainable Resource Development ministry show in 2009, 17 of 21 bear deaths were linked to humans.

Humans killing too many grizzly bears in Alberta

EDMONTON--Human caused deaths of grizzly bears in Alberta reached unsustainable levels in 2009. Alberta Sustainable Resource Development (SRD) reported that 17 grizzly bears were killed by humans in 2009 and almost that many again were relocated. Scientific research indicates that unknown poaching kills likely accounted for an additional five to eight undocumented grizzly bear mortalities. Conservationists are calling on the Alberta government to immediately list the grizzly bear as Threatened under Alberta’s Wildlife Act; increase habitat security by protecting critical habitat and reducing open route densities in grizzly bear range; and increase funding to public education programs that aim to reduce human-bear conflict. 

“These high rates of mortality could have been avoided had the government implemented key aspects of the Grizzly Bear Recovery Plan that it adopted two years ago,” says Carl Morrison of Sierra Club Canada


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