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Conservation-Net Update May 26, 2005

Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society - Edmonton Chapter

In this Issue...

  • Take Action! - Alberta's Environmental Deficit
  • Alberta Conservation Groups urge Victoria's Secret to stop using Alberta's endangered forests for catalogues.
  • Joint initiative will take "Caribou Nation" to the Canadian public and international buyers of Canadian forest products; Alberta's draft Caribou Recovery Plan criticized
  • Environmental groups accuse Kleenex manufacturer of wiping away Canadian forests at annual meeting
  • Weyerhaeuser under increasing pressure to change
  • Add your voice - membership is important!

1. First Conservation-Net Action Alert - Alberta's Environmental Deficit

Starting this month, Conservation-Net updates will feature an Action Alert. One of the most important things you can do for Alberta's wilderness is to make your voice heard, and speak up about the important environmental issues our province faces. Please take a few minutes to help protect our wild spaces by writing a quick note or letter to your MLA or local paper to express your views on this month's issue. Your voice does make a difference - if you write about our current issue, please send me a quick volunteer [at] cpaws-edmonton [dot] org (email), so I can track your support.

Alberta's Environmental Deficit:
Analysis of the new budget indicates that Alberta is running an environmental deficit. Expenditures were compared against results of the government's recent It's Your Future survey of Albertans. Although Albertans ranked environment as their third priority, after health and education, government spending on the environment is extremely low.

"Whereas expenditures of most Ministries have increased in recent years, expenditures related to the stewardship of the environment have declined," says Rick Schneider, Director of Conservation at the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society, Edmonton. Environmental groups and scientists want Klein to put more money into environmental protection including establishment of protected areas, dealing meaningfully with the decline of woodland caribou, grizzly bears and fish in the province, improving forest management, and conserving our water resources.

Although the government has committed 63% ($16.3 billion) of the budget to the two top priority areas of Alberta taxpayers, health and education, the environment as the third priority will receive less than 0.7% ($0.19 billion). Remarkably, the word environment is not found anywhere in the text of the government's new fiscal plan!

Send a letter, email or call your MLA to let him or her know that you think spending money to protect Alberta's parks and wilderness heritage is important! For more information on this issue, visit http://www.cpaws-edmonton.org/CPAWS-CurrentIssues.html

Find your MLA's contact information here: http://www.assembly.ab.ca/adr/adr_template.aspx?type=mla , or if you don't know who your MLA is, find out what riding you are in here: http://www.assembly.ab.ca/lao/mla/mla_help.htm


2. Alberta Conservation Groups urge Victoria's Secret to stop using Alberta's endangered forests for catalogues.

The Calgary Herald, Page: B4 | Reporter: THERESA TAYLER | 17 May 2005
An Albertan conservation coalition wants to expose Victoria's Secret Lingerie Company for what they're calling environmentally-damaging practices. Bighorn Country Wildlands Coalition claims the U.S.-Based lingerie manufacturer uses pulp that comes from endangered Alberta forests to make their underwear catalogues. Rebecca Reeves, a spokeswoman for the coalition, spoke at the Annual General Shareholders meeting of Victoria's Secret parent company, Limited Brands, in Columbus, Ohio, on Monday. Limited Brands makes the famous Victoria Secret lingerie magazines. Reeves was urging Limited Brands to put the pressure on their Canadian pulp supplier, West Fraser Timber Co. Ltd. to stop logging in Alberta's Bighorn Country and Little Smoky boreal forest areas.


3a. Conservationists warn situation critical for Caribou across Canada: Joint initiative will take "Caribou Nation" to thousands of Canadians

Press release, Sierra Club of Canada, ForestEthics, Western Canada Wilderness Committee, 28 April 2005

Winnipeg, MN - Today at a national meeting on woodland caribou recovery ForestEthics, the Sierra Club of Canada and the Western Canada Wilderness Committee released a new educational report - "Caribou Nation" - documenting the urgent situation facing this Canadian icon. Caribou have been wiped out of PEI, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia, and populations are declining in every Canadian province. Scientists are warning that some southern herds could disappear in as little as ten years. Federal and provincial government efforts to recover caribou have thus far proven ineffective.

Today's report will be distributed not only throughout Canada, but also to international buyers of Canadian forest products, which have repeatedly exhibited concern for the welfare of Canada's forests and wildlife. A companion website can be found at www.caribounation.org.

"Caribou are a Canadian icon and they are vanishing before our eyes," said Candace Batycki of ForestEthics. "Will our children tell tales of the mythical caribou that once roamed our country, or will they learn the story of Canadians coming together to protect this gentle creature? Many northern cultures have relied on caribou for food, shelter and spiritual sustenance for thousands of years. But we're in danger of losing them if we don't get a handle on industrial development in caribou habitat."

"The Canadian Species at Risk Act has proven ineffective at protecting and recovering caribou," said Rachel Plotkin of the Sierra Club of Canada. "The feds are downloading responsibility onto the provinces. And the provinces aren't doing much better - some provinces don't even have stand-along endangered species legislation. Our leaders are fiddling while Rome burns."

"Government inaction is out of step with Canadian values," said Ron Thiessen of the Western Canada Wilderness Committee. "Poll after poll shows that Canadians want protection for species at risk. Here in Manitoba there is over 80% public support for protecting woodland caribou. Yet the Manitoba government has failed to live up to their promise to list and protect woodland caribou under our provincial Endangered Species Act. The province's Species Advisory Committee has repeatedly recommended this action for over a decade. What is the Manitoba government waiting for?"

"We hope this week's conference will mark a shift in government and industry's approach to dealing with this problem," said Plotkin. "Caribou need strong laws that restrict industrial activities in caribou habitat, and provide for effective recovery actions. Our organizations, and many others, are joining forces to educate the public, marketplace and media about the problems facing caribou, and the solutions which need to be put in place to ensure this Canadian icon survives into the next century."

www.caribounation.org

3b. Alberta Draft Recovery Plan a Green Stamp for Further Caribou Decline

Press Release, Sierra Club of Canada, 19 April 2005

Ottawa: Alberta stands poised to shirk its responsibility to take immediate action to protect woodland caribou, opting instead to protect industry while long-term plans are developed, says the Sierra Club of Canada. The Sierra Club today released an evaluation of Alberta's draft recovery plan for woodland caribou.

"The present draft recovery plan for Woodland Caribou in Alberta fails to adequately address key industrial threats facing caribou today," said Rachel Plotkin, National Forests and Biodiversity campaigner for the Sierra Club of Canada. "Some of these populations are circling the drain towards extinction, and unless actions are taken to halt logging and oil and gas activity in their habitat, their future is bleak" she added.

Industrial operations and the resulting degradation and fragmentation of forested habitat are a main factor in the decline of caribou across the country. Sierra Club of Canada's evaluation was completed with the assistance of Dr. James Schaefer, a caribou biologist, and Dr. Karen Beazley, a landscape ecologist. It concluded that the draft recovery plan proposes too little to challenge the momentum of ongoing industrial development in caribou habitat.

"These herds need protection now, but the draft recovery plan fails to deliver" said Rick Schneider, Executive Director of the Edmonton Chapter of the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society. "The draft plan gives a green stamp to the current industrial activity that has led to the decimation of Alberta's caribou herds to continue."

The Plan recommends the creation of range teams to determine habitat targets for caribou populations in the future, and also recommends a moratorium on further industrial allocations in the habitat of the caribou herds that face immediate extirpation (local extinction). But under the plan, current industrial activity can continue unchecked.

Under SARA, recovery plans developed by the provinces must ultimately be approved by the Federal Minister of Environment. "It's our hope that the federal Minister will read these evaluations and take note," said Ms. Plotkin. "Industrial activities are chewing through forested habitat and leaving little room for caribou to live and recover. In order to ensure that there are caribou in Canada for future generations, recovery strategies need to have the teeth to bite back."

The evaluation of the Alberta Recovery Plan, and the full reviews by Dr. Beazely and Dr. Schaefer can be found on the Sierra Club of Canada's website: www.sierraclub.ca


4. Environmental groups accuse Kleenex manufacturer of wiping away Canadian forests at annual meeting

Press release NRDC and Greenpeace 28 April 2005

Irving, Texas - As Kimberly-Clark's annual meeting began today, members of Greenpeace and the Natural Resources Defence Council (NRDC) attended the event, calling on the company to stop purchasing pulp from destructive logging operations in ancient forests, especially the Canadian boreal. Greenpeace activists also held events around Irving, highlighting the need for Kimberly-Clark, the world's largest producer of tissue products including the Kleenex brand, to increase both the use of recycled and sustainably produced fiber.

"Kimberly-Clark is wiping away ancient forests by using Canadian boreal tree fiber for toilet paper and facial tissue. It's time for Kimberly-Clark to step up and become a responsible corporate citizen and increase ecologically sound fiber in all their brands," said Richard Brooks, a Greenpeace forests campaigner, who attended the meeting.

In conjunction with the annual meeting, Greenpeace engaged shoppers and employees of Kimberly-Clark with a 15-foot "Kleercut Truck." The truck, which resembles a giant Kleenex box, made stops at the company's headquarters in Irving, TX as well as at two busy shopping areas where activists informed consumers, employees and shoppers about Kimberly-Clark's role in the destruction of ancient boreal forests.

"Almost 40,000 concerned activists have already asked Kimberly-Clark to increase the post-consumer recycled content of its products," added Susan Casey-Lefkowitz, an NRDC senior attorney who also attended the meeting. "By increasing the use of post-consumer recycled materials, Kimberly-Clark would relieve much of the pressure to log Canada's boreal - our last, large North American wilderness forest."

Greenpeace also distributed "Kimberly-Clark: Investing in Forest Destruction" to investment analysts and the company's board of directors and shareholders. The report summarizes the rise in green consumerism, socially responsible investments and the potential economic ramifications of the company's ecologically unsound practices. The report also includes specific recommendations on how Kimberly-Clark can improve its practices.

Currently, less than 19 percent of the pulp Kimberly-Clark uses for tissue products is from recycled sources, and none is used for Kleenex products sold in most grocery stores in Canada and the US. Much of the pulp used is sourced from North America's boreal forest including large areas of intact forests in Ontario and Alberta. The boreal forest, often called the Amazon of the North, represents 25 percent of the world's remaining ancient forests. Thirty percent of North America's land birds and 40 percent of its waterfowl depend on this forest and its wetlands.

To read the report visit:
www.kleercut.net/pdfs/Kimberly-Clark_Investing.pdf


5. Shareholder activists protest unsustainable logging by Weyerhaeuser

Press release, Rainforest Action Network 21 April 2005

Seattle, WA - Activists, customers and investors will today join forces to demand that Weyerhaeuser (NYSE: WY, TSX: WYL), the world's largest lumber company, end over a century of unsustainable logging. Simultaneous demonstrations at the New York Stock Exchange, Toronto Stock Exchange and Weyerhaeuser's annual general meeting of shareholders in Federal Way, WA will call on the company to "wake up," modernize its outdated environmental policies - originally developed in 1971 - and publicly commit to protect endangered forests and respect native land rights.

Consistent with Weyerhaeuser's unilateral corporate culture, shareholders were told earlier this week that they would be prohibited from speaking at their annual meeting but would instead be provided with "comment cards" and allowed to submit their concerns in writing. In response, shareholders with over $400,000 in Weyerhaeuser stock and other stakeholders plan to hold a press conference today immediately following the AGM at the entrance to the company's Federal Way headquarters. Speakers will raise concerns about Weyerhaeuser's "cut & run" reputation of ignoring industry best practices and subverting laws meant to protect the environment, communities and workers.

"Wake Up Weyerhaeuser," a corporate reform campaign led by San Francisco-based Rainforest Action Network, has also launched www.BuyGoodWood.com, a web site to link Weyerhaeuser customers with sustainable resources like the Forest Stewardship Council, Co-op America and the U.S. Green Building Council. The site also includes a list of hundreds of leading companies with forest protection policies including Bank of America, Burger King, Citigroup, FedEx Kinko's, Home Depot, Centex Homes and KB Home among others. BuyGoodWood.com will begin publishing one "Clear-cut Case Study" per month until Weyerhaeuser agrees to join forest products companies like Tembec and Domtar, Inc. in working with environmental groups, impacted communities and independent scientists to implement comprehensive policies to protect endangered forests and their inhabitants.

Rainforest Action Network campaigns for the forests, their inhabitants and the natural systems that sustain life by transforming the global marketplace through education, grassroots organizing and non-violent direct action. For more information, please visit www.RAN.org.


6. Your membership is important!

Add your voice to the hundreds of other Albertans who are making a difference for Alberta's wilderness - become a CPAWS member today! There are many benefits to becoming a CPAWS member.

  • You will receive up-to-date information on our wilderness campaigns through national and local newsletters
  • You will be joining our team of over 15,000 supporters and more than 400 volunteers who are playing a major role in protecting Canada's wilderness
  • Your voice will be added to our Northern Alberta supporter base of more than 1500 members and volunteers who ensure a strong and consistent voice for Alberta's wilderness
  • You will receive a tax receipt with your membership fee or donation

An annual CPAWS-Edmonton membership is $30. For more information on how to become a member, please send an email with your contact information (name, full mailing address, phone number and email) to info [at] cpaws-edmonton [dot] org.


Tamara Millard
Outreach Coordinator
Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society - Edmonton Chapter
Ph: 780.432.0967 Fax: 780.439.4913
volunteer [at] cpaws-edmonton [dot] org
www.cpaws-edmonton.org

To find out more about volunteering, visit: www.cpaws-edmonton.org/CPAWS-Volunteer.html

Posted May 27, 2005 by russ

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