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 Lake Winnipeg watershed is experiencing drought conditions for the second year in a row, limiting Manitoba Hydro’s ability to generate and sell surplus power. [CBC]

The second annual Women Protecting the Land Camp will be held in La Ronge from August 16-18. [For Peat’s Sake: Protecting Northern Saskatchewan Muskegs]

Calgary Climate Hub has launched a tool to help residents measure the tree canopy in their neighbourhood as well as a tree planting guide with tips on how to properly plant and care for trees. [Calgary Climate Hub]

Indigenous forest management practices, drought, and wildfires are changing the nature of tree planting and forest restoration in BC. [The Tyee]

The Columbia River Treaty is up for renegotiation, and “Canada’s obligation to provide guaranteed pre-planned flood control services will end, shifting more responsibility for flood risk in the U.S. to the U.S. This could start to open up opportunities for Canada to manage its reservoirs in new ways." [Wildsight]

A spill from the increased tanker traffic in Vancouver’s Burrard Inlet due to the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion could result in the evacuation of 25,000 people. Spill response plans and resources are needed. [The Tyee]

Around the World

62 billion kg of electronic waste, including wireless earbuds, are generated every year. Fairphone’s earbuds with modular parts “proves that it is possible to make something this small with an easily user replaceable battery." [CBC]

By improving water storage infrastructure, Los Angeles County was able to store enough water during a wet winter to meet the demands of one in four residents for a year. “If we put water in the ground, it makes us more drought-proof, it makes us more resilient.” [Yale Environment 360]

National laws and community initiatives are making France a zero-waste leader. [Yes Magazine]

Making a Difference

Cities can play a role in encouraging residents to adopt more sustainable lifestyles by using billboards to advertise farmers’ markets and bike-sharing schemes or supporting urban farms/gardens and sustainable businesses. [Nature of Cities]

Planting grasses, shrubs, and hedges can improve the stability of roadside slopes as the plants’ root systems hold the soil in place, helping to prevent landslides. [The Guardian]

Crop-free areas around agricultural crops increase the number of beneficial insects and spiders and provide wildlife habitat. [Civil Eats]


Taking small steps towards more climate-conscious grocery shopping is highly effective – eat more fruit and vegetables; examine what foods you eat most frequently and consider occasional swaps; and look for the healthy foods where you already shop (beans, oats, unprocessed foods). [Civil Eats]

Renegade gardeners are embracing a new philosophy: gardening that prioritises insects not plants. [BBC]

Nature’s Wonders

A recording of a workshop on beavers and the role they play in watershed resilience with respect to drought features Dr. Cherie Westbrook, USask. [YouTube]

Oak Bay, Greater Victoria, is home to 6 key biodiversity areas, including Uplands Park that is home to 26 endangered or threatened plant species and one bumblebee. [Oak Bay News]

Photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/apmckinlay/9371569190

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.