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

MyHEAT SOLAR, a new mapping tool launched by the City of Saskatoon, helps homeowners evaluate the savings they could realize by installing solar panels. [CBC]

The Saskatchewan Association for Environmental Law’s moot court on Mar. 25 will feature a mock appeal from Attawapiskat First Nation v Ontario, 2022 ONSC 1196, a case about the duty to consult and accommodate First Nations groups regarding natural resource projects. Oral arguments are open for the public to observe. [SKAEL]

The Johnson Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy has received funding for a Governing Sustainable Municipalities Project to strengthen the capacity of municipal governments to move towards a net zero future. [JSGSPP]

Canada Post’s fleet of 14 battery-electric cargo vans in Nanaimo are the first of many to be introduced across Canada. [CBC]

Panorama Mountain Resort is on track to become the first ski resort certified as “Whitebark Pine Friendly” by the Whitebark Pine Ecosystem Foundation of Canada.  [Conde Nast Traveler] For more information, check out They Grow Where No Other Tree Can - Canada's Limber and Whitebark Pines. [EcoFriendly West]

A proposed silica mine in southeastern Manitoba would drill into a drinking water aquifer, leaving some residents concerned about contamination. [CBC]

Nature Works Wonders

“Beaver sites should be treated as small nature reserves.” The wetlands supply bats with insects; birds with added warmth, food, and roosting sites; and butterflies with flowering plants. [The Revelator]

Mussels, like beavers, are ecosystem engineers. They keep rivers and streams clean; provide habitat for insects, plants, and other small creatures; and address sea rise by making large deposits on salt marshes. [Futurity]

Farms with a “multifaceted landscape of forest and crop trees, hedgerows and prairie” are better able to withstand climate extremes, support wild pollinators, and retain moisture, as well as serving as wildlife refuges. [Yes Magazine]

Protecting Biodiversity

Western bumble bees are in trouble. The best thing we can do is to plant more nectar and pollen-producing plants. [The Tyee]

A fear of nature can make people increasingly adverse to interacting with it and decrease support for biodiversity conservation. Outdoor educators play such a key role in helping children (and adults) enjoy being outside. [Trends in Ecology and Evolution]

Environmental stewardship efforts should aim to protect and connect natural systems, not save a chosen few species. [Undark]

These women campaigned to protect wildflowers, established some of America’s first botanical gardens, and published a book on naturalistic gardening. [Sierra Club]

On the Bookshelf

Urban Jungle: The History and Future of Nature in the City by Ben Wilson views cities as the conservation sites of the 21st century in response to people’s desire for wildness, helping to clean air and water, providing relief from the heat  and natural barriers to flooding and sea rise. [Undark]

Photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/apmckinlay/9735960119

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.