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

More than two dozen wild orchid species grow in Saskatchewan. A good place to look for some is at Pike Lake. [The StarPhoenix] See also: Orchids of Western Canada [EcoFriendly West]

A Saskatchewan rancher has watched his stream banks erode due to illegal drainage upstream: “In a lot of places, (the stream banks) are twice as wide as they were in 2010”. [National Observer]

The Prairies’ sand dunes are home to a wide variety of bees and wasps. Some use the dunes as hunting grounds, for food or a mate, while others dig deep burrows for their nests. [Canadian Museum of Nature]

Alberta Talks wants to have open, honest conversations about the things that matter – healthcare, education, cost of living and climate change. They’re holding deep canvassing training in Calgary on Zoom on June 26 and live on July 6 and 22. [Alberta Talks] Alberta Talks is modelled on BC’s Neighbours United. [Neighbours United]

The Town of Banff is limiting lighting in riparian zones to help bats. [Rocky Mountain Outlook]

The Manitoba and federal governments are investing in a study on a sustainable aviation fuel facility near Portage La Prairie. [CBC]

The Arctic Ocean is becoming warmer, saltier, and increasingly ice-free with Atlantic fish species moving in and taking over. [Hakai]

An environmental review of a proposed silica mine in southern Manitoba says more risk management is required. [CBC]

Transport Canada is imposing mandatory restrictions on dumping from cruise ships in Canadian waters. The order does not address the largest source of cruise ship pollution, scrubber washwater, and there are other potential loopholes. [West Coast Environmental Law]

Speakers at a Kootenay Lake Summit emphasized the interconnections between land and water and the responsibilities of lakefront owners in protecting the lake. [Creston Valley Advance]

Around the World

“A fifth of Australian residential greenhouse gas emissions come from domestic hot water, which could be made with renewable off-peak energy and stored in a decently insulated tank.” [Lloyd Alter]

The summer 2023 issue of Living Architecture Monitor is now online with articles about green roofs for dragonflies and migratory birds, community-driven biodiversity, and the Pollinate TO grant program. [Living Architecture Monitor]

Oregon’s Multnomah County is suing Big Oil for the role their products played in fueling the 2021 heat wave. [Mother Jones]

On the Bookshelf

From polar bears and Arctic berries to seaweed, seashells, and cargo ships – 12 new beach reads for kids. [Hakai]


Does your community celebrate Park(ing) Day? This year’s event on Sept. 15 is an opportunity to educate the public about pollinators. [American Society of Landscape Architects]

Rain gardens could reduce the amount of toxic tire chemicals from entering our waterways by 90%. [UBC] See also: What’s in the Water? [EcoFriendly West]

We can protect declining wild bee populations by ensuring managed bees are disease-free and creating native pollinator habitats in our gardens and parks. [Canadian Geographic]

You can check out a backpack, complete with first aid kit, a guide to the region, a compass, and other emergency gear from libraries in northwest BC. [The Tyee]

Have Your Say

Have your say on Canada’s biodiversity strategy. Here’s the background paper and a link to the survey (deadline is July 14).

If you would like to see fireworks replaced by light shows to protect wildlife and pets and reduce pollution, sign a House of Commons e-petition before July 14.

Portraits of Nature

Two Vancouver photographers have won Audubon Photography awards. Liron Gertsman says he doesn’t usually take photographs of pigeons, but “When you take a moment to appreciate a bird like that closely, there is so much subtle beauty to be enjoyed.” [CBC]

Nikon Peru invites us to not give up on the real world: “This obsession with the artificial is making us forget that our world is full of amazing natural places that are often stranger than fiction.” [Nackblog]

Cyanotype images of seaweed provide a lasting record of shifts in the underwater ecosystem. [Smithsonian]

Photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/apmckinlay/53001394036/

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.