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Comments on Ontario's Climate Change Action Plan

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Comments on Ontario's Climate Change Action Plan
(March 16, 2017) In June 2016, Ontario’s Minister of the Environment and Climate Change released Ontario's Climate Change Action Plan. This five-year plan outlines how the Government and its partners will fight climate change and is focused actions to reduce greenhouse gases (mitigation) and help move Ontario towards a low-carbon economy.One of the actions in the Plan focuses on the role of land to reduce emissions. For example, trees and plants absorb carbon dioxide, a key greenhouse gas, and st...

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Premier Announces Ban of Off-Highway Vehicles from Castle Wildlands, Alberta

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Premier Announces Ban of Off-Highway Vehicles from Castle Wildlands, Alberta
(February 13, 2017) Alberta Premier Rachel Notley has announced the final boundaries and new protection measures for the Castle Wildlands and Provincial Park in southwest Alberta. The Wildlands Park will encompass nearly 80,000 hectares, while the adjacent Provincial Park will cover 25,500 hectares. These areas border Waterton Lakes National Park to the south. In the management plan, Premier Notley made the crucial decision to prohibit Off-Highway Vehicles (OHV) in much of the area later this spring ...

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B.C. Has Only a Small Window to Help Bats

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B.C. Has Only a Small Window to Help Bats
(January 25, 2017) The recent discovery in northwest Washington State of bats infected with white-nose syndrome (WNS), a fungal disease that has devastated bat populations in eastern North America, is a wake-up call. When WNS finds its way to BC, it is likely to bring with it major economic impacts both agricultural and forestry. Bats are voracious consumers of insects and if their numbers decline like they have in the east, there is big trouble ahead.Bats play vital roles in pest control. At least one species of ...

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WCS Canada Scientists Suggest Environmental Assessment Changes to Address Concerns About Process and Outcomes

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WCS Canada Scientists Suggest Environmental Assessment Changes to Address Concerns About Process and Outcomes
(January 10, 2017) In June, the Government of Canada announced the launch of a comprehensive review of federal environmental assessment processes associated with the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012 (CEAA 2012). With our extensive experience working in regions of northern Canada where natural resource development is being planned in remote and ecologically intact areas, we at WCS Canada see significant gaps inherent in environmental assessment law, policy, and practice when it comes to address...

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Caribou Story Map: Interactive Web Tool Shows Mining Claim Footprints and Caribou Ranges in Ontario’s Far North

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Caribou Story Map: Interactive Web Tool Shows Mining Claim Footprints and Caribou Ranges in Ontario’s Far North
(December 29, 2016)   Great potential mineral wealth, including world-class mineral deposits of chromite in the Ring of Fire, has resulted in Ontario’s Far North becoming the fastest growing area of mineral exploration in the province. Resulting threats to caribou in Ontario’s northern regions include cumulative habitat disturbance and loss of access to critical areas for calving or feeding. Although the province is committed (through the Caribou Conservation Plan) to track disturbance within carib...

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North America's Wetlands Need Planning and Protection

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North America's Wetlands Need Planning and Protection
(December 12, 2016)  The Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (OMNRF) has a mandate to halt wetland loss in Ontario, and just released the first draft of a Wetland Conservation Strategy that is intended to fulfill this important commitment. However, the draft Wetland Conservation Strategy suffers from a number of critical weaknesses, and will not deliver on protecting wetlands in Ontario.   As it is currently written, some of the key shortcomings of the draft Wetland Conservation Strategy in...

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Bats Are Charged Up for Halloween

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Bats Are Charged Up for Halloween
(October 31, 2016) By Sarah Olson (via Medium)Bats have long been associated with the dark and deadly– most infamously in the form of that monstrous prowler of the night, Dracula — in search of fresh blood to feed his thirst and claim new victims. On Halloweens of late, however, it is bats who have had a monster to fear — a real one — that is devastating populations of these flying mammals in eastern North America.Click here to read more. 

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Government review of environmental and regulatory processes

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Government review of environmental and regulatory processes
(September 13, 2016) Canada’s federal environmental and regulatory processes are currently under review to restore public confidence in government decision-making by modernizing and improving key federal environmental legislation, including the Fisheries Act, the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012 (CEAA 2012), the National Energy Board, and the Navigation Protection Act. WCS Canada staff have been and will continue to be engaged with the Fisheries Act and CEAA 2012 processes. The Fisheries Act is an i...

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Planning for Change in One of the Most Intact Places on Earth

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Planning for Change in One of the Most Intact Places on Earth
(August 26, 2016) By Cheryl Chetkiewicz (via National Geographic)Ontario’s Northern Boreal Forest is a special place. Not only because of its size – which is comparable to Sweden – but also because it remains largely untouched by human development. Now, then, is the time to create responsible planning frameworks for this region which includes one of the most significant chromite deposits in the world.Click here to read more. 

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The Next Great Victory for Birds

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The Next Great Victory for Birds
(August 17, 2016)  By Hilary Cooke (via Huffington Post)2016 marked the 100-year anniversary of the Migratory Bird Treaty – a historic agreement that protected birds from indiscriminate slaughter for food and fashion markets. Dr. Hilary Cooke reflects on the legacy of this the treaty, the role WCS played in its inception, and the future of bird conservation in North America.Click here to read more. 

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