Welcome to EcoWest News, a weekly round-up of news and resources that you can put to use in addressing environmental issues and protecting the wild in your community.

Across the West

The South Saskatchewan River, which feeds Lake Diefenbaker, is at its second lowest level in 23 years and inflows to the lake were just 28% of the historic levels last year. Yet the province of Saskatchewan plans to initiate a costly irrigation project next year. [The StarPhoenix]

Manitoba will need to double its power over the next 20 years. The province is relying on natural gas for backup and isn’t making plans for renewable energy that they consider variable. [The Narwhal]

We Are Made From the Land: Protecting the Seal River Watershed tells the story of the Dene and Cree peoples’ work to care for the watershed and ensure the lands will sustain their communities into the future. [38 min, YouTube]

Scientists have realized that resident and transient killer whales are two entirely different species, basing their decision on culture, communications, and behaviour as well as genetics and physiology. [Hakai Magazine]

The BC government has approved a new jetty on the Fraser River for LNG exports even though it is opposed by local citizens and municipalities who believe it will endanger crucial salmon habitat, putting further pressure on the southern resident orca population. [CBC]

A 10-year plan to move beyond personal automobiles as the preferred means of getting around BC recommends a province-wide express bus service, regional rail connections, passenger ferry options, and double the number of BC Transit buses. [CCPA]

Across Canada

The federal government provided over $65 billion in fossil fuel subsidies over the last 4 years. “Rather than subsidizing fossils we should be taxing their massive profits – and investing the revenues into clean energy measures that will benefit Canadians.” [Desmog]

Around the World

Chris Goodall, author of Possible: Ways to Net Zero, believes green steel is attainable – here’s what would be required. [Sustainability by Numbers]

“This future is not yet inevitable. A hyper-aggressive worldwide programme of emissions cuts combined with the super-charged development and deployment of CDR techniques capable of extracting vast amounts of CO2 from the air and getting rid of it somehow might make it possible to stay below +2°C even into the 2040s.” [Gwynne Dyer, The Walrus]


Birds Canada’s Gardening for Birds website includes a database of native plants, regional factsheets, and interactive maps and can be searched to help you choose the best plants based on bird, ecological, and horticultural regions. [Birds Canada]

Help protect wildlife such as bears and coyotes by removing attractants from your yard. Remove unsecured garbage, bird feeders, and pet food and clean your barbecue and eating area. [The Fur-Bearers]

We could save hundreds of millions of birds each year if we kept our cats indoors. They could still spend time outside in a catio – portable palaces, pop-up pens, window seats, and more permanent structures. [Audubon]

On the Bookshelf

Amy Tan spends hours observing the birds in her backyard. Her nature journal entries and sketches have led to a new book, The Backyard Bird Chronicles, which she hopes will inspire others to protect and cherish birds. [Audubon]

Nature’s Wonders

In praise of trees in words and photographs: “Between heaven and earth, between mankind and the stars, lies the kingdom of trees” [Steve McCurry]

Amazing photographs of gannets feeding underwater, a plant that looks like an owl, and a lizard on the head of an iguana – World Photography Award winners. [The Guardian]

Photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/apmckinlay/33747307155/

EcoFriendly West informs and encourages initiatives that support Western Canada’s natural environment through its online publication and the Nature Companion website/app. Like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter or Mastodon, or subscribe by email.