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

Small nuclear reactors are touted as an energy solution, but they’re still in the design phase and will take years to implement. [The Tyee]

The provincial government has rejected the Sio Silica sand mining project in southeast Manitoba due to concerns about its impact on drinking water. [CBC]

A proposed 10-year public investment plan in BC public transit incorporates improved local transit, express bus service between communities, and new regional rail connections. [Policy Note]

A highway wildlife fence to be constructed along the Trans Canada Highway through Canmore is expected to reduce wildlife-vehicle collisions by as much as 80%. Construction is expected to begin in 2025. [Rocky Mountain Outlook]

Across Canada

The upcoming federal budget will include a new Greener Homes energy retrofit grant tailored to better meet the needs of low- and moderate-income households and to assist tenants as well as homeowners. [The Energy Mix]

Indigenous peoples’ traditional knowledge: what is it and why is it valuable? [Inside Climate News]

Around the World

Ripping out old logging roads and restoring the land’s natural contours makes room for wildlife and biodiversity as well as cleaning the sediment out of streams. [Smithsonian]

AI runs on power-hungry equipment that uses millions of gallons of fresh water. Policymakers and activists want to make sure that the next generation of AI doesn’t come at the expense of the environment. [Undark]

Large sports events are making an effort to reduce their carbon footprint, but approximately 85% of emissions “from major sporting events come not from the actual game, but from the travel and lodging of fans, particularly fans that are traveling by aircraft.” [Heated World]

Urban Trees

If only cars and buildings were more like trees, “flawlessly serving their useful function while contributing to the greater good … While much time and effort are dedicated to the technology that will allow humans to live in harmony with the planet, a large part of that solution simply involves more trees.” [Planetizen]

Housing and urban trees don’t need to compete. Flexible zoning requirements and prioritizing trees over parking can make a big difference. [Strong Towns]

Planting a fast-growing tiny forest is a great way to connect with nature and beneficial for areas with very few trees, but the long-term impact and longevity of the trees is not yet known. [CBC]

Making a Difference

Since 2009, Alberta’s Municipal Climate Action Centre has helped more than 150 municipalities install solar, EV charging stations, and energy efficiency projects. [David Dodge]

Coventry, UK, is experimenting with very light rail – “small and lightweight electric trams that run on simplified tracks that are much quicker to install.” [Earthbound Report]

A new linear park in Hayward, CA, uses repurposed asphalt, concrete, trees, soil, and even benches. [Dirt]

Nature’s Wonders

Butterflies originated over 100 million years ago in North and Central America. They started flying in the daytime thanks to bees that had triggered plants to develop nectar and colourful flowers. [Smithsonian]

Insects often rely on smell to home in on their favourite flowers, but air pollution that accumulates at night can cancel out those scents. [Anthropocene]

Photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/apmckinlay/33537106023

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.