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

Aki Energy with its partners Fisher River Cree Nation and Peguis First Nation have installed $6 million worth of energy-efficient geothermal energy systems in 350 homes on 4 different First Nations in Canada. Aki has plans in place for an additional $14 million worth of geothermal systems. [Aki Energy]

The Manitoba Important Bird Areas Program is asking landowners to partner with them in protecting habitat for birds such as the red-headed woodpecker that nests in stands of dead trees. [Important Bird Areas Manitoba]

Landowners will bid to receive money to spend on turning part of their land back into grassland in an experimental reverse auction organized by the Saskatchewan Stock Growers Foundation. [CBC]

Exposed Wildlife Conservancy has initiated a cougar coexistence project in the Ghost and Village of Waiparous areas of Alberta. The project will work with the communities to identify ways of reducing conflict, starting in the areas where wildlife cameras show the cougars to be most prevalent. [Exposed Wildlife Conservancy]

Three new conservation easements by the Southern Alberta Land Trust Society, a rancher-led conservation organization, will protect about 27 sq km of land around Jumpingpound Creek and could help protect Calgary’s drinking water. [CTV]

Tiny freshwater jellyfish (Craspedacusta sowerbii) originated in the flood areas of the Yangtze River in Southeast Asia. They’re now spreading to Canada and many other parts of the world. [Invasive Species Council of BC]

BC’s Valhalla Wilderness Society is proposing 3 new provincial parks to protect the inland temperate rainforest and its mountain caribou. [VWS] A 20-minute documentary, Primeval: Enter the Incomappleux, showcases one of the world's last truly intact temperate rainforests. [Film Freeway]

The Government of BC’s proposed initiatives to finance old-growth forest protection, more Indigenous participation in land-use decisions, and an end to prioritizing timber extraction over all other values are a step in the right direction, but more immediate action is required. [The Narwhal] A United for Old-Growth rally is planned for Feb. 25 in Victoria.

Across Canada

Rewilding a popular recreation area – from campground, dance floor, and wading pool to natural wetlands and native plants – an Ontario success story. [Rewilding]

Around the World

A recent study indicates that riparian ecosystems with beaver dams are relatively unaffected by wildfires compared to undammed riparian corridors. [Ecological Applications]

An estimated 20 billion pairs of shoes are manufactured each year. Getting rid of them has proved challenging. Nnormal plans to re-stream any still-usable parts of shoes (or other donated clothing) that it can. [I Run Far] An 11-minute film documents how many old shoes end up on Alaska beaches. [YouTube]

Algramo makes zero-waste shopping accessible to people in middle- and lower-income neighborhoods in Chile by using vending machines to refill containers. Algramo says being sustainable should not cost more. [4-minute video on YouTube]


Alberta’s Environmental Law Centre is planning a series of reports and webinars on the constitutional challenges around environmental management. Deconstructing Environmental Jurisdiction under the Canadian Constitution outlines the current legal state. [Environmental Law Centre]

Photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/apmckinlay/52673437027/

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.