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

Over 5700 people participated in Project FeederWatch this past winter. Highlights included large flocks of Bohemian Waxwings in Prince George (including a flock of 1600 birds), Eurasian Collared-doves continue to expand their range in Saskatchewan (they’re now found in all 4 western provinces), and it was a great winter for observing woodpeckers in Manitoba. [Birds Canada]

“Stopping the degradation of old-growth boreal forests constitutes a major environmental challenge in Canada … Old forests offer very different habitats and ecological services than young, managed forests.” And just because they’re old doesn’t mean they aren’t dynamic and resilient. [The Conversation]

Mine 14 – exempt from Alberta's pause on coal mining in the Rockies – is poised to start digging – raising concerns in an ecologically sensitive area. [The Narwhal, CPAWS Northern Alberta]

A CPAWS report on the progress being made to protect 30% of land and ocean by 2030 shows BC as making significant progress. Manitoba is making some progress, but there has been minimal progress in Alberta and Saskatchewan. [CPAWS]

Weird, rare, and everywhere – exploring the mosses and lichens in the bogs and peatlands of Hecate Island, part of the Great Bear Rainforest. [Hakai Magazine]

Disasters waiting to happen: BC’s 11 most ‘polluting and risky’ mines according to Skeena Wild Conservation Trust and BC Mining Law Reform. [The Narwhal]

A survey of wastewater treatment plant discharges in southern Saskatchewan found “higher nutrient loads and pollutant concentrations resulted in significant changes in microbial community composition.” Wascana Creek (Regina) was found to be heavily polluted. [Science Direct]

Always wanted to visit the desert? Head to Spruce Woods Provincial Park, 2 hours south of Winnipeg. [CPAWS Manitoba]

Around the World

In the next 80 years, farm numbers are expected to halve while farm size doubles. “We need policies to counter that loss and ensure that farms, of whatever size, foster biodiversity and connectivity across the world.” [Anthropocene]

Waste Reduction

Plastics contain over 13,000 chemicals, many of which are hazardous to human health, and recycling increases their toxicity. We need to reduce plastic production and shift to a system of refill and reuse. [Greenpeace]

Despite its shortcomings, curbside recycling is “one of the easiest opportunities for communities and citizens to mitigate climate change and reduce natural resources demands.” [Grist]


Explore the Universe is a free introductory program from the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada for people who want to learn to stargaze – and all you need is a pair of binoculars. [RASC]

Pollinator Man, a children’s story book by one of Starfish Canada’s Top 25 Environmentalists Under 25, “shows how to be a male human in a way that also cares, collaborates with others, and chases butterflies, too!” [National Observer]

Alberta’s Green Acreages program enables people to become better stewards. It is supported by regional programs, such as Red Deer County’s funding program. [Land Stewardship Centre, Red Deer County]

Get Involved

Albertans are invited to help survey for at-risk bumble bees this summer following a training workshop on June 10. [Alberta Native Bee Council]

Environmental groups and First Nations in Canada and the US are challenging plans to construct Roberts Bank Terminal 2 (RBT2). [Global News]

RBT2 requires approval from the BC Environmental Assessment Office. They’re accepting feedback from across Canada until June 8. [Raincoast]

Nature’s Wonders

Herring gulls have worked out that if humans are eating it, it must be good. [The Guardian]

Photographs of butterflies in flight [Rewilding]

Photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/apmckinlay/23245288481

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.