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

A Travel Manitoba consultant report on developing provincial parks for private business interests fails to recognize the role parks should play in addressing biodiversity loss and climate catastrophe. [Wilderness Committee]

Cities are regreening the concrete jungle. Edmonton has turned 7 downtown parking lots into lush, green parks. There’s an oasis of prairie grasslands, mini-wetlands and rainwater harvest systems at Winnipeg’s Millenium Library. [Winnipeg Free Press]

More than half of Canadians rely on groundwater for drinking with the South Saskatchewan River water already nearly over-allocated. We need to balance supply with demand so this valuable resource is available for centuries, not decades. [University of Saskatchewan]

The Alberta Energy Regulator has approved Suncor’s proposed expansion which would cut the McLelland Lake Wetland Complex,  a pristine wetland ecosystem and one of Canada’s largest peatlands, in half by constructing a large subterranean wall. [Alberta Wilderness Association]

Suzanne Simard is urging the forest industry to conserve “mother trees,” which she believes play a critical role in maintaining fungal networks, nurturing younger seedlings and safeguarding millions of tons of carbon stored in vegetation and soil. [Washington Post]

Around the World

The European Union’s proposed Nature Restoration Law would set specific timetables for repairing degraded rivers, wetlands, fields, and forests across 1.6 million square miles and 27 member countries. [Inside Climate News]


Healthy soil is alive with croaks, bubbles, and munches – but noise pollution silences it. [Resurgence]

Ship noise stops crabs from mating. [Hakai Magazine]

Ships as far away as 80 km cause beluga whales to change direction and could result in long-term displacement of belugas from important habitats such as feeding and calving grounds. [University of Victoria]

We Can Do Better

Waste created in manufacturing bikes, mountains of excess bikes due to bike sharing, planned obsolescence – to reduce waste, we need extended producer responsibility and a circular economy. [International Review for the Sociology of Sport]

Development has been slow due to higher costs, but solar carports provide many benefits, from energy savings to shelter from sun and snow. [CNET]

Carbon-neutral methods for producing nitrogen fertilizer are available, but “we need to make agricultural demand for nitrogen more sustainable in the future, both for meeting climate targets and for food security reasons”. [Futurity]

Nature’s Wonders

There’s so much to discover inside a drop of seawater. (photo essay) [Smithsonian Magazine]

Photographers share their love and awe of nature in images – enjoy 2022’s top photographic collections, from astronomy to wildlife and oceans. [Illuminating Creativity]

Photo credit: Moul Falls, Wells Gray Provincial Park, BC https://www.flickr.com/photos/apmckinlay/9792148776

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.