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

Watershed CPR (Connect, Protect, Restore) is a self-guided online program to help users of all ages learn about the Fraser River and identify 11 different flora and fauna of the area. [Canadian Geographic]

BC’s new conservation fund “can provide [alternative] economic opportunities for communities dependent on logging” and “fuel protected areas establishment”. [The Narwhal]

In a belief that they’re protecting the economy, Saskatchewan’s Water Security Agency is prepared to drain 70% of the province’s wetlands. [Calling Lakes EcoMuseum]

BC’s Supreme Court has ruled that First Nations must be consulted about mineral claims on their traditional territories. The ruling is likely to benefit the environment by drastically reducing the number of future mineral claims that are approved. [Wildsight]

Across Canada

Nature Conservancy of Canada and the federal government have each contributed $15 million to protect lands near 10 national parks against biodiversity loss. [Lethbridge News]

Around the World

International Dark Sky Places use imaginative educational approaches from 3D and braille maps of the solar system to a phone-based treasure hunt for children and a tourism training program. [Dark Sky]

The installation of bird-friendly glass at a New York convention centre led to a 90% drop in bird collisions. The building’s green roof is now home to 62 different species of birds. [The Economist]

Role-play and a scavenger hunt educate participants about how, and why, stewards care for green spaces in New York City. [The Nature of Cities]

Gas-powered leaf blowers emit a shocking amount of air and noise pollution. [Gizmodo]

There may be a label on the clothing you’re planning to buy that says it’s made from recycled materials. But consumers are being duped as the labels are primarily greenwashing. [CBC]

Although few motorists want to forego driving altogether, many would prefer to drive less, spend less time and money on travel, and rely more on non-auto modes, provided those options are convenient, comfortable, and affordable. [Planetizen]


“Insulation, air sealing, heat pump water heaters, HVAC duct work, and upgraded heating and cooling appliances will be available to North Carolina households on a pay-as-you-go basis under a new “tariffed on-bill” energy efficiency program … customers will pay for the improvements through their monthly power bills, and will be guaranteed an annual reduction in electricity costs.” [The Energy Mix]

Sustainable housing, which considers impact across the whole of its design, construction, use and end-of-life phases, has an important role to play in a liveable and resilient future. This ranges from fossil-free heating to small houses, dense neighbourhoods, and co-living. [The Conversation]

On the Bookshelf

Stewards of Splendour: A History of Wildlife and People in British Columbia by Jennifer Bonnell documents the effects of rising scientific understanding and public appreciation for the province’s fish and wildlife and the gradual reclamation of land and management authority by First Nations. [Jennifer Bonnell]

Wildlife Conservation

Pest control technicians meet bats more often than most, so they are in a great position to be allies in bat conservation. Check out Wildlife Conservation Society Canada’s guide on how to gently exclude bats from buildings – or even find ways to co-exist. [Alberta Bats]

Removing or closing backcountry roads is the right thing to do for wildlife but very difficult for human users to accept. [The Narwhal]

Learning about spiders can change how people feel about them. So check for spiders in your neighbourhood. Take a photo and post it on iNaturalist. You’ll be helping to save spiders from disappearing. [Knowable]

Nature’s Wonders

A close-up look at the microscopic world through award-winning photographs, from caffeine crystals to the blood and lymphatic vessels in a zebrafish’s head. [Digital Photography Review]

Photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/apmckinlay/53250342165/

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.