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.

Introducing … Our Line in the Sand Manitoba & Save Our Water Springfield

Our Line in the Sand is a group of concerned citizens advocating to protect the watershed in eastern Manitoba. They are concerned about plans for an industrial sand mining facility that would operate in the water source for southeastern Manitoba.

Save Our Water Springfield is advocating for uninterrupted access to clean water. They share Our Line in the Sand’s concerns about the Can White Sands proposal and are also concerned about the amount of water being used by the Berger Peat Moss Processing Plant.

Introducing … Alberta Biodiversity Monitoring Network

The Alberta Biodiversity Monitoring Institute (ABMI) tracks changes in Alberta's wildlife and their habitats and provides ongoing, scientifically credible information on Alberta's living resources to key decision-makers in government, industry, business, and not-for-profit.

Research Matters

Ryan Brook, University of Saskatchewan, says, “wild pigs on the Canadian Prairies are expanding completely out of control,” from 2 occurrences in 1995 to 1,124 in 2013. 91% of these occurrences are in Saskatchewan and Manitoba. While disease and ruined crops present the largest economic risks, wild pigs eat almost everything, putting at risk reptiles (such as southwestern Manitoba’s endangered prairie skinks), amphibians, ground-nesting birds, and mammals. [USask and Twitter]

Building Codes

The federal government has committed to developing a net-zero emissions model building code for provincial/territorial adoption by 2024. Platforms to cut emissions from building operations are already in place, but Efficiency Canada recommends additional supports to measure and report embodied carbon (emissions from the manufacturing of building materials and components). [Efficiency Canada]

First Nations Leadership

Two Manitoba First Nations are calling for a halt to commercial logging on traditional lands, stating that the province has failed in its duty to consult. [CBC Manitoba]

In Saskatchewan, a Métis community wants to create an Indigenous protected area named Sakitawak to protect the region's forests, ways of life, and carbon stores. Provincial support is lacking. [The Narwhal]

The proposed Tribal Wildlife Corridors Act (US) would provide $50 million in grants to Indigenous groups who are working to protect wildlife migration routes. The Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes have led the way, working on wildlife corridors using fencing, overpasses, and underpasses on tribal lands since the early 2000s. [Public News Service]

Minimizing Risks

BC is taking steps to be better prepared for wildfire and floods, but is it enough? Do we need to stop creating disaster risks by not allowing people to build in flood plains or fire zones? [CBC British Columbia]

A flood-prone neighbourhood in Grand Forks, BC, is being demolished and will be returned to natural floodplain and wetland.  [CBC British Columbia]

A judge in California has denied a proposed development in a wildfire-prone area. [Planetizen]

It’s not just homes that are affected by rising water levels. It’s also transportation connections, water supplies, infrastructure, and toxic pollution. Can we learn to live with higher water, following the example of the Dutch who have pioneered urban floating islands? [The Guardian]

Nature’s Wonders

Five Australian magpies have outwitted researchers by working together to remove each other’s tracking devices. [ABC News]

Photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/apmckinlay/9884236493/

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