Alberta Wilderness Association

Coal Mining in Alberta's Eastern Slopes and Beyond

Concerns about the impacts of open-pit coal mining in Alberta is not new. In 2021, a culmination of decisions and regulatory changes has renewed the attention to coal development in the province.

News coverage and public attention has been focused two separate matters: Read more about Coal Mining in Alberta's Eastern Slopes and Beyond

The Promise and the Ambiguity in Reinstating the 1976 Coal Policy

Few governments and politicians are willing to admit their mistakes. So it was good today to hear Energy Minister Savage say it’s important for a responsible government to “admit when you’ve made a mistake and to fix it. And that’s what we are doing here today.” AWA thanks Minister Savage for taking the podium to admit her government’s mistake in rescinding the 1976 Coal Policy and to declare that “Alberta’s government will reinstate the full 1976 Coal Policy.” Read more about The Promise and the Ambiguity in Reinstating the 1976 Coal Policy

Coal and Health Virtual Town Hall

Feb 16 2021 - 6:30pm to 8:00pm

From the AWA website:

Alberta’s Rocky Mountains and Foothills are facing an unprecedented threat; coal mining exploration and development in the Eastern slopes has the capacity to pollute vital headwaters and completely dismantle fragile ecosystems. Read more about Coal and Health Virtual Town Hall

Stop Work, Consult: Alberta Needs Public Hearings on the Future of Alberta’s Eastern Slopes

Last week, Premier Kenney’s Director of Strategic Planning was reported to have written that some of the strip-mining restrictions in the 1976 Coal Policy “will be restored.” Alberta Wilderness Association wants to be encouraged by this news. AWA hopes the firestorm of opposition the Kenney government has faced over rescinding that policy has convinced the government to restore restrictions. To that end, the Energy Minister should: Read more about Stop Work, Consult: Alberta Needs Public Hearings on the Future of Alberta’s Eastern Slopes

Recreational Users and Conservationists Come Together to Protect Tonquin Caribou in Jasper National Park

EDMONTON, AB – Caribou in Jasper National Park are on the brink of extinction. Backcountry and conservation groups are calling on Parks Canada to reduce human access impacts to the Tonquin caribou, the largest herd left. The Alpine Club of Canada (ACC), Alberta Wilderness Association (AWA), Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society (CPAWS) Northern Alberta Chapter, David Suzuki Foundation and Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative (Y2Y) are urging Parks Canada to: Read more about Recreational Users and Conservationists Come Together to Protect Tonquin Caribou in Jasper National Park

Cancelling Leases, Pausing Lease Sales in Category 2 Lands – A Good First Step

Yesterday, Energy Minister Sonya Savage delivered a small, but important, reward to the thousands of Albertans and Canadians who have objected to the provincial government’s unilateral decision to revoke the 1976 Coal Policy. She announced that 11 leases sold in December would be cancelled. She also announced a “pause” in offering more lease parcels for sale in the Coal Policy’s Category 2 lands. Read more about Cancelling Leases, Pausing Lease Sales in Category 2 Lands – A Good First Step

Grassy Mountain Coal Project

The oral portion of the public hearing for Benga Mining Ltd.'s proposed Grassy Mountain Coal Project in the Crowsnest Pass concluded on December 2. The next step in the federal impact assessment process is for the Joint Review Panel to draft the Impact Assessment Report, Consultation Report, and recommend potential conditions for submission to the Minister of Environment and Climate Change.

Grassy Mountain is the first of at least six mountain-top removal coal mines proposed by large Australian mining companies in various stages of regulatory approval in the region. There are more than 50,000 ha of the Old Man River headwaters under lease for future mountain-top removal mining.

Public hearing

Read more about Grassy Mountain Coal Project>

Continuing the Sacrifice of the Eastern Slopes to Old King Coal

Yesterday, the Alberta government took another step towards turning Alberta’s Eastern Slopes into little more than a string of coal mines. Nearly 2,000 hectares of coal leases were offered for sale in the Rockies of southern Alberta. This offering, together with existing coal leases and applications for coal leases, confirms the government’s ambition to sacrifice the southern Alberta mountain landscape for coal. Read more about Continuing the Sacrifice of the Eastern Slopes to Old King Coal

Conservation of Wood Buffalo National Park of ‘significant concern’, local Indigenous communities and environmental organizations say more action is needed

EDMONTON, AB – The ongoing precarious state of Wood Buffalo National Park was internationally recognized today by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), which stated in a report assessing all of its World Heritage Sites, that its conservation outlook is of “significant concern”. This assessment came only one day after the Government of Canada was due to submit a State of Conservation update report to the UN on the federal government’s implementation of the Wood Buffalo National Park Action Plan to recover the park. The Action Plan was announced nearly two years ago, but Indigenous communities and environmental organizations have consistently expressed concerns about the need for more resources and timely actions to reflect the scope and severity of threats.  Read more about Conservation of Wood Buffalo National Park of ‘significant concern’, local Indigenous communities and environmental organizations say more action is needed

Canada and Alberta reach agreement on woodland caribou conservation and recovery

On October 23, the governments of Canada and Alberta announced that they had reached an agreement for the conservation and recovery of Woodland Caribou in Alberta. The agreement follows years of pressure from First Nations and environmental groups including a 2019 lawsuit calling on the courts to compel the Minister of Environment and Climate Change to recommend a safety net order to protect boreal caribou habitat. While recognizing the agreement as a necessary first step, environmental organizations remain concerned, particularly that the timelines contained within the agreement are not fast enough to protect threatened herds.

Read more about Canada and Alberta reach agreement on woodland caribou conservation and recovery>

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