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

The Breaking Ice documentary follows University of Manitoba Arctic scientists aboard the Amundsen icebreaker as they investigate a changing climate. [U Manitoba]

Saskatchewan has lost half its wetlands for crop production. Drainage projects are flooding land downstream, contaminating well water, and limiting wetlands’ ability to recharge groundwater and filter out contaminants. [CBC]

Calling for a Sustainable Quill Lakes Solution, in conjunction with the Saskatchewan Alliance for Water Sustainability, has launched a letter-writing campaign calling on the province of Saskatchewan to institute a wetlands policy that will mitigate flooding, prevent droughts, and secure the protection of drinking water.

The Nature Conservancy of Canada plans to take the lead on conserving more than 500,000 hectares of Prairie grassland by 2030. [Nature Conservancy Canada]

CPAWS Northern Alberta has developed a summer reading list that includes Ducks: Two Years in the Oil Sands, The Mushroom Fan Club, and The Arbornaut. [CPAWS Northern Alberta]

Explore alpine meadows, sand dunes, and wetlands with Alberta Wilderness Association this summer. [AWA]

So many Canadians live far from the coast and are unaware of the challenges faced by oceans. This article provides a useful overview of both the challenges and the opportunities. [Knowable]

Across Canada

Planting a wide variety of trees in our forests increases resiliency, removes more carbon from the atmosphere, benefits wildlife, and reduces wildfire risk. [CBC, University of Alberta]

Around the World

Fireworks harm pets and wildlife. Alternatives, such as silent fireworks (similar to concert pyrotechnics) and choreographed lights on drones, are an improvement but still not perfect. [CBC, The Conversation]

North America has lost 1/3 of its birds in the past 50 years. Conservation success stories point the way to stopping the decline by establishing species-specific conservation plans, involving local communities, and establishing better population estimates. [Knowable]

How do we remove all the carbon we’re putting into the atmosphere? Trees seem like the better approach, but there are drawbacks. [Grist]

Smarter climate policies reach more voters: timing is everything, limits not taxes, and decoupling from culture wars. Independent candidates and municipal policies can also play a role. [Anthropocene]

Research Matters

Conservation Options for Municipalities across Canada provides provincial case studies from local governments who are prioritizing conservation. They include the Dufferin Wetlands Tax Credit Program in Manitoba, Edmonton’s Larch Creek Conservation Easement, and the South Okanagan Conservation Fund. [Alliance of Canadian Land Trusts]

The State of Play of Natural Infrastructure on the Canadian Prairies emphasizes the importance of natural infrastructure to treat and supply clean, fresh water and the steps that are needed to take natural infrastructure from novel to normal. [IISD]

An updated edition of Protecting the Coast and Ocean: A Guide to Marine Conservation Law analyzes the strengths and weaknesses of legal tools and provides case studies. [WCEL]

Sustainable Consumption

Fairphone’s headphones are modular with spare parts available, making them easy to repair and reassemble. [The Earthbound Report]

Curious about how Fairphone operates? Here’s an article and video explaining how the company tackles e-waste, environmental damage, and exploitation. [EuroNews Green]

Nature’s Wonders

By adopting different food strategies, Yellowstone’s grizzly bears are staying fat despite difficult circumstances. [The Verge]

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Photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/apmckinlay/27811886876

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.