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

Manitoba’s New Flyer Industries is a leading North American zero-emission bus manufacturer – but the industry needs government support for green jobs and financial assistance for transit fleet replacements if it’s to remain strong in Canada. [The Narwhal]

The World Heritage Committee is investigating the ecological health of Wood Buffalo National Park. Stressors include oil sands tailings and growing mines, climate change, and weak water governance. The public is asked to write the Alberta and federal governments calling for swift and major changes to protect the park. [CPAWS Northern Alberta]

Treated effluent from the Town of High River and Cargill Limited is released and is cleaned further in Frank Lake. A research study will examine for how long the restored wetland can sustain current treatment levels and what actions could be taken to enhance its functioning. [Water Canada]

A report commissioned by the Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative identifies 3 key ways in which communities in southwestern Alberta can diversify local economies while supporting nature through tourism, renewable energy, and agriculture. [Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative]

BC’s Harbour Air draws closer to its goal of completely converting its fleet of aircraft to electric. [CBC British Columbia]

Sustainable Construction

Efforts are underway in BC to conduct deep retrofits “to transform how we retrofit multi-unit residential buildings to eliminate climate pollution, reduce energy waste, improve health and safety, and increase resilience to extreme weather events.” [Passive Buildings Canada]

Sustainable Building Manitoba is urging the provincial government to adopt the 2020 energy code in order to meet a higher standard of energy efficiency and avoid future expensive retrofits. [Winnipeg Free Press]

“Buildings are such a dominant source of carbon emissions because of the carbon emitted to create and transport the materials used to build them and the carbon emitted to power and maintain the buildings.” [Inside Climate News]

Demolishing a building is “a waste of energy, a waste of material and a waste of history.” Retention is “a commitment to a more resourceful and responsible approach to our future, based on intelligent use of existing material and cultural capital.” [The Guardian]

Nature’s Wonders

“A lichen is an ecosystem, not an individual” formed by the interaction of a fungus, one or more photosynthetic partners (e.g. algae and cyanobacteria), and various other microscopic organisms (e.g. yeast or bacteria). [Nature Manitoba]

Jumping spiders appear to exhibit similar sleep patterns to humans and may even dream. [Live Science]

Paco Calvo, author of Planta Sapiens: Unmasking Plant Intelligence, encourages us to radically change our view of plants, “from mechanisms akin to robots to complex organisms with a range of behaviours, responding to and anticipating their environments”. [The Guardian]

Photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/apmckinlay/25409439922

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 subscribe by email.