Forests and Biodiversity

Alberta Oilsands Bad News for B.C. Tourism


International advocacy groups have targeted the energy megaprojects, pointing to environmental destruction and the big greenhouse-gas emissions involved in getting the sticky oil out of the ground.

And this summer, they dusted off one of their most effective tactics -- a call for a tourism boycott.

That's bad news for B.C.'s tourist industry at a difficult time.

Consider this headline in The Guardian: "Think twice about visiting Canada until it abandons tar sands destruction." (The British national newspaper claims about 1.2 million readers a day; its website actually attracts more daily visitors.)

Note the headline doesn't urge people to stay away from Alberta.

Shun Canada, it says.... Read more »

Oil Sands Independent Toxins Report


On August 31st, 2010, a study which was led by University of Alberta researchers was published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, which conclusively shows that numerous highly toxic pollutants are being released into the Athabasca River and its tributaries by the development of the oil sands.

The levels exceeded both federal and provincial government guidelines.

The report is available for download here.

Excerpted from the report:... Read more »


Renner Dismisses Oilsands Toxins Report

EDMONTON — Alberta's environment minister disputed the conclusions of a controversial oilsands study Tuesday, saying it's likely that increased toxins in the Athabasca River are due to natural causes.

But Rob Renner admitted he hadn't read the paper and could point to no peer-reviewed data or studies to back up his assertion.

"My scientists are telling me that the amount of compounds that can be detected in the Athabasca River at this point in time are not a concern and are of insignificant levels," Renner said. "The fact remains that there are naturally occurring substances in the water. And if we had never set foot in the region those kinds of results would still be there."

Renner said the task ahead is to tease out what toxins in the river are from industrial development and what occur naturally from bitumen seeping into the river.... Read more »

Forests and Wildlife

Canada's most important natural resource is its forests...

Canada's most important natural resource is its forests which provide timber, pulpwood, wildlife habitat and a wealth of recreational opportunities. But the forests are not limitless and all Canadians must share a renewed commitment to their wise use and management.

Within the conservation movement, sustainable forestry means forest practices that ensure that the structure, function and composition of the forest are maintained in perpetuity. It also entails the equitable distribution of forest resource benefits, and the opportunity for the public to be involved in a meaningful way. After all, the forests of Ontario are ours—88% of forested land is Crown land, held for the people of Ontario in trust by the provincial government.... Read more »

A Grizzly Challenge: Ensuring a Future for Alberta's Threatened Grizzlies (pdf, 39 pp.)


Addresses some important questions about the status and future of Alberta’s Threatened grizzly bear population. Although a great deal of important research about the size and structure of the grizzly bear population has recently been completed, many concerns still remain about the adequacy of the province’s efforts to provide enough protection for grizzlies and their habitat to allow recovery.  Report draws from the best-available science and successful experiences in the United States.  Written by Jeff Gailus and jointly published by Sierra Club Canada and six other North American, national and provincial environmental organizations. 

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