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

At least 16 BC municipalities exceeded provincial or federal air quality guidelines in 2021 due to heat, vehicle emissions, industry, and wildfires. [North Shore News]

Where do we focus our energy – in short-term pursuit of LNG exports or in long-term transition-opportunity companies? BC doesn’t produce enough electricity to do both. [Clean Energy Canada]

There are at least 577 oil and gas sites with known contamination in Alberta and at least 400 of these are potentially dangerous to public safety and/or the environment. [The Narwhal]

A cluster of tremors, including the largest recorded earthquake in Alberta’s history, may have been due to oil and gas activity in the region. [The Tyee]

Around the World

France bans short-haul internal flights and use of private jets. [Euro News]

McDonald’s is trying out reusable food packaging in response to the European Union pushing businesses to do away with single-use packaging. [Euro News]

Rolls-Royce and easyJet have successfully tested a hydrogen-powered jet engine, a great improvement over current jet fuels but only if they are using green hydrogen, which is currently in short supply. [The Verge]

Data from 3 citizen science programs in the UK demonstrate that rare and declining bird species benefit the most from protected areas. [Nature Ecology & Evolution]

Microbial organisms — tiny bacteria, fungi, and viruses that live in the soil — are fundamental to our existence but risk extinction and need to be conserved and restored. Spraying these microbes on agricultural fields could boost plant productivity. [The Revelator]

Urban Nature

Trying to protect an urban wildland fragment? Encourage wildlife gardens in adjacent areas as they’ll increase the size of the available habitat and its connectivity to other natural areas. [Yale Environment 360]

A US Forest Service study indicates that street trees save lives and provide direct health benefits that far outweigh the costs of planting and maintenance. Bigger, older trees had a stronger association “with reductions in non-accidental and cardiovascular mortality” than did younger trees. [Public Square]

Resource Materials

Generation Ocean is a free learning program for ages 12+. The resources introduce young people to the role the ocean plays in sustaining life on Earth, highlighting threats and solutions for protecting our blue planet. [The Ocean Race]

A World Wildlife Fund report on Sustainable Groundwater Management for Agriculture establishes 4 basic principles: 1. Measure and manage; 2. Set sustainable limits; 3. Recharge and replenish; and 4. Reduce demand and maintain balance. [Global Institute for Water Security]

Transforming Conservation: A Practical Guide to Evidence and Decision-Making, William J. Sutherland ed., can be downloaded free of charge. Its goal is to transform conservation so it is more effective, more cost-efficient, learns from practice, and is more attractive to funders. [Open Book Publishers]

Nature’s Wonders

Bats emit ultrasonic chirps to echolocate flying insects in the dark, but they also use ventricular folds in their larynx to communicate with each other at low frequencies. Humans only use these vocal folds during death metal singing and Tuvan throat singing. [The Guardian]

Photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/apmckinlay/34033760934

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.