Alberta Wilderness Association

Emergency Measures Needed for Jasper’s Few Remaining Caribou After Maligne Caribou Die Off

Alberta Wilderness Association has learned from a Jasper National Park website that Jasper’s Maligne caribou are officially extirpated, and that each of the remaining two caribou populations managed by Parks Canada are now too small to recover on their own. Alberta Wilderness Association (AWA) calls on Parks Canada to prevent the extirpation of Jasper’s Tonquin and Brazeau caribou and to manage Maligne range access for eventual caribou re-introduction there. Read more about Emergency Measures Needed for Jasper’s Few Remaining Caribou After Maligne Caribou Die Off

Issue Brief: Vista coal mine expansion

Updated: September 3, 2020

The Coalspur Vista mine is one of the largest thermal coal mines in Canada, and the proposed expansion could almost triple its capacity. Environment Minister Jonathan Wilkinson declined in December 2019 to order a federal impact assessment, but he reversed this decision on July 30 so the project will undergo a federal impact assessment. Coalspur Mines has launched a legal challenge to the Minister's decision.

Latest updates

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Losing protection where we need it most

The Government of Alberta’s plan to remove 164 sites from the provincial parks system will take a significant cut out of Alberta’s most endangered and least protected Natural Regions: the Parkland, Grasslands and Foothills. Between these three regions, 85 sites will lose their protected status, resulting in the loss of nearly 9,000 hectares of protection – equivalent to around eight times the size of Ghost Lake or one-half the size of Elk Island National Park. Read more about Losing protection where we need it most

“Optimizing” Parks… What Happened to the List?

On February 29, 2020 the Government of Alberta published a list of 164 parks and provincial recreation areas it intends to remove from Alberta’s parks system. That list has vanished from the government’s website. Read more about “Optimizing” Parks… What Happened to the List?

Alberta Energy Regulator Rules that Coal and Wildlife Don’t Mix

On July 9th, the Alberta Energy Regulator (AER) denied Horn Ridge Resources Ltd.’s application to explore for coal in the Kakwa wilderness, west of Grande Cache.

AWA commends the AER for refusing this application as it poses a significant risk to valued wildlife populations and the ecological integrity of sensitive alpine and sub-alpine landscapes. Read more about Alberta Energy Regulator Rules that Coal and Wildlife Don’t Mix

Groups across Alberta and the Northwest Territories warn the federal government of impacts of monitoring suspensions on Wood Buffalo National Park

Edmonton – The following letter was submitted on behalf of a joint group including: Fort Chipewyan Métis Association, Northwest Territory Métis Nation, Smith’s Landing First Nation, the Hamlet of Fort Resolution, Keepers of the Athabasca Watershed Society Organization, Alberta Wilderness Association, CPAWS Northern Alberta, CPAWS Northwest Territories, Ecology North, Alternatives North, and Council of Canadians – Edmonton and Northwest Territories Chapters. The letter to the federal Minister of Environment and Climate Change outlines the substantial risks to downstream communities and ecosystems due to the Alberta Energy Regulator’s decision to suspend environmental monitoring for oil & gas projects. The health of Wood Buffalo National Park and the success of its federal Action Plan is undermined by these suspensions. Wood Buffalo National Park is Canada’s largest national park, and continued ecological degradation would be grounds to list as a World Heritage Site “in Danger”. 

Download the full letter on the CPAWS website Read more about Groups across Alberta and the Northwest Territories warn the federal government of impacts of monitoring suspensions on Wood Buffalo National Park

Environmental reporting rules in Alberta modified during COVID-19 outbreak

By Jeff Wiehler

Three ministerial orders introduced at the end of March modified environmental reporting requirements in Alberta, citing challenges of complying with routine reporting during the COVID-19 outbreak. Following those ministerial orders, the Alberta Energy Regulator released two decisions on May 20 to suspend operators' monitoring requirements due to health and safety concerns during the pandemic. Read more about Environmental reporting rules in Alberta modified during COVID-19 outbreak

Alberta Strips Away Significant Mountain-Foothills Protection To Encourage Coal Mines

Coal Policy land zones, which have protected important mountain and foothills headwaters and wildlife habitat from open pit coal mining since 1976, were stripped away in a recent move by the Government of Alberta.

This policy change, made without any public consultation, has the potential to open up over 4.7 million hectares of environmentally sensitive lands to boom-and-bust coal developments, further jeopardizing headwaters integrity, wildlife security and the recovery of species at risk. Read more about Alberta Strips Away Significant Mountain-Foothills Protection To Encourage Coal Mines

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