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

Take a walk through Saskatchewan’s Grasslands National Park in search of the elusive (and rare) Greater Shorter-horned Lizard. [National Parks Traveler]

The City of Airdrie has responded to citizen concerns by shifting to a policy of coexistence with beavers in Nose Creek (tree protection, diversionary plantings, and promoting beaver occupancy in areas away from private properties) instead of killing them. [The Fur-Bearers]

UBC researchers are tracking and testing bats in 20 Vancouver parks to establish baseline information on urban bats. [CBC]

Across Canada

Canada has made a start on reducing single-use plastics. Next steps should include greater support for reusable programs, expanding the list of harmful plastics, and targeted consumer education around plastic waste. [The Conversation]

Around the World

To address the weather whiplash from drought to torrential rain, some communities are working with rain rather than against it, giving up ground for water and restoring natural systems. [Hakai Magazine]

Starlink and other satellite constellations will increase the brightness of the night sky, impacting animal activities including migration, depriving humans “of an important source of enchantment in nature,” and betraying a “lack of reverence and respect for the more-than-human universe.” [Ecological Citizen]

“The forest looks pristine … but we’ve been logging here for over a century.” The Menominee tribe of Wisconsin is providing a sustainable model for foresters worldwide. [Yale Environment 360]

Three of France’s largest cities are introducing higher parking fees for owners of SUVs based on size, weight, and motor in an effort to reduce pollution. [The Guardian]

Fast fashion generates waste and uses large amounts of water. The EU plans to introduce extended producer responsibility making manufacturers responsible for the cost of managing their textile waste. [CBC]

Parents in the UK and Germany can rent a bike for their kids instead of buying one, exchanging it for a different size as the child grows. Greater convenience for families, less waste, and less carbon emissions from manufacturing. [Tech.eu]

Housing & Construction

From January 2025, all new-build homes in Scotland will have to meet a Scottish version of the Passivhaus standard for energy efficiency and ventilation. [Inside Housing]

Demolition and replacement of a large London department store won’t go ahead as it would “fail to support the transition to a low carbon future, and would overall fail to encourage the reuse of existing resources, including the conversion of existing buildings. [Carbon Upfront]


Each of us can help protect endangered species and prevent extinction – from what we buy to activities we undertake in our communities. [Rewilding]

Saskatoon’s SOS Trees is organizing get-togethers of City councillors and local residents to discuss tree protection and expansion as part of the budget decision-making process. [SOS Trees]

Research shows that vegan diets result in 75% less climate-heating emissions, water pollution, and land use than meat-rich diets and cut the destruction of wildlife by 66% and water use by 54%. [The Guardian]

Nature’s Wonders

A field guide to sidewalk wildflowers: "weeds are plants that are adapted to disturbance in all its myriad forms, from bulldozers to acid rain ... Their pervasiveness in the urban environment is simply a reflection of the continual disruption that characterizes the habitat." [StreetsBlog Mass]

Male southern resident killer whales are less likely to get into fights with other whales if their mother is by their side. [CBC]

Photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/apmckinlay/14375665372/

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.