Posts Tagged "national parks"

The Tornado Hunter comes to Saskatoon

Posted by on 9. February 2014 in Blog / Journal, News & Events | Comments Off on The Tornado Hunter comes to Saskatoon

The Tornado Hunter comes to Saskatoon

Greg Johnson a.k.a. The Tornado Hunter will give a public presentation at the  Saskatoon Camera Club meeting this upcoming Tuesday, February 11, 2014. Time: 7 – 9 p.m. Location: Mayfair United Church, 902 33rd Street West, Saskatoon Source: Saskatoon Camera Club This could be an intriguing & inspirational talk (disclaimer: do not attempt to do what he does in his spare time without the proper training & equipment – be warned).    ...

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Calgary Zoo to begin a captive breeding program for Greater Sage Grouse

Posted by on 26. January 2014 in Blog / Journal, Conservation, News & Events | Comments Off on Calgary Zoo to begin a captive breeding program for Greater Sage Grouse

Calgary Zoo to begin a captive breeding program for Greater Sage Grouse

Greater Sage Grouse populations are at critically low numbers in Canada. The estimated population size is less than 100 birds, most of them can be found in the grasslands of southwest Saskatchewan and southeast Alberta. In December of 2013, Environment Canada published the first ever Emergency Order under the Species at Risk Act to protect the Greater Sage Grouse on crown lands (see the related post, A step in the right direction). Later that month, Environment Canada released a proposal for the Amended Recovery Strategy for this species.   There have been previous attempts to supplement the Canadian population by bringing in adult birds from Montana, where the Sage Grouse is more abundant. Now, Calgary Zoo will begin a captive breeding and rearing program for this endangered species, in attempt to help stabilize the population numbers. The program will receive financial help from the Canadian Government in the amount of $2.1 million over the next 10 years. The Government of Alberta allocated a matching contribution of $2.1 million for the same program. The Calgary Zoo has had previous experience contributing to the recovery strategies for endangered species in Canada. Over the last few years, the Zoo employees took part in reintroduction and monitoring of Black-footed Ferrets in Grasslands National Park in southern Saskatchewan, captive breeding programs for Whooping Cranes, and many other successful initiatives. Watch a short video about the release of Black-footed Ferrets in Grasslands National Park. Here is a press release from the Environment Canada about the Greater Sage Grouse captive breeding program: Working Together to Protect the Greater Sage-Grouse Government of Canada, Government of Alberta and the Calgary Zoo enter into multi-million dollar partnership for new program January 23, 2014 – Calgary, Alberta Minister Aglukkaq has announced a $2.1 million contribution for the Calgary Zoo’s new captive breeding and rearing program for the Greater Sage-Grouse. The Government of Canada is committed to protecting and preserving our rich biodiversity, as seen in the $25 million/year investment for species at risk in Economic Action Plan 2012. This program is breaking new ground—this will be the first time that Sage-Grouse have been bred and raised in captivity in Canada. This program is the next step in a series of actions the federal and provincial governments are taking to protect and bring back the Greater Sage-Grouse in Canada. On December 4th, the federal government published an Emergency Order to protect the Greater Sage-Grouse across 1700 km2 of crown lands in Alberta and Saskatchewan.  On December 20th the proposed Amended Recovery Strategy for Greater Sage?Grouse was published, which outlines the state of the species, provides information about the species and population objectives, and identifies new critical habitat. Quick Facts: In 2012, there were estimated to be between 93-138 adult birds in Canada. The population has declined by 98 percent since 1988. The Sage-Grouse captive rearing and breeding program will cost a total of just over $5 million over 10 years. The Government of Canada and the Calgary Zoo have been collaborating on endangered species recovery for decades. Quotes: “Our Government’s partnership with the Calgary Zoo in a captive breeding and reintroduction program is an important step to recovering the Greater Sage-Grouse in Canada. Our long-term goal is to establish a stable Sage-Grouse population in Canada through stewardship initiatives and partnerships.” – The Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, Minister of the Environment, Minister of the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency and Minister for the Arctic Council “The Government of Alberta is proud to be supporting Sage-Grouse recovery in Alberta by contributing $2.1 million over 10 years towards the Greater Sage-Grouse captive breeding program at the Calgary Zoo. This is an...

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Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society – 50 years of caring for the wilderness

Posted by on 4. August 2013 in Blog / Journal, Conservation, News & Events | Comments Off on Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society – 50 years of caring for the wilderness

Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society – 50 years of caring for the wilderness

A celebratory news The Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society (CPAWS) is launching a special ‘Week for the Wild’ from October 21-26, 2013 to celebrate the 50th anniversary as Canada’s leading national voice for parks and wilderness. CPAWS 50th Anniversary Cocktail Reception – October 23, 2013 As part of these celebrations, CPAWS will host a cocktail reception at the Canadian Museum of Nature in Ottawa on October 23rd from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., featuring the presentation of the prestigious Harkin Conservation Award to this year’s recipients. The Harkin Award honours individuals who have demonstrated a significant contribution throughout their lifetime to the conservation of Canada’s wild places. Nature Nocturne – October 25, 2013 On October 25th, CPAWS is partnering with the Canadian Museum of Nature to organise the biggest Halloween party in Ottawa this year at the Nature Nocturne. This will be a unique opportunity to celebrate nature in style, complete with live music from the musical group Plants and Animals and special activities from 8 pm to midnight. Share a moment of CPAWS history – share your story and photos As part of the celebration, CPAWS would like to take the opportunity to showcase the “voices” of CPAWS over the years. The CPAWS team is building a special section on their website that will feature a “Family Album,” capturing stories and photos of the people who have been a part of CPAWS. Would you like to contribute to the “CPAWS Family Album” and share a story that makes you proud to be part of CPAWS? Please send your short story and photo to 50@cpaws.org by August 26, 2013. Note: by sending your pictures, you will give CPAWS the right to use it for non for profit activities. Please include the name of the photographer and location in the title.   CPAWS activities in Saskatchewan: CPAWS works to ensure that the provinces provincial and national parks are managed to protect the ecological integrity of the ecosystems they encompass. CPAWS sits at the Prince Albert National Park Management Plan Stakeholder roundtable and contributes a voice for the wilderness to the discussion. CPAWS is also active in the Grasslands National Park Management Plan consultations. In southern Saskatchewan, CPAWS is participating in the South of the Divide Multi-Species at Risk Action Planning Process, aimed at developing a plan for 13 Species at Risk in Southwest Saskatchewan. Through our efforts with Protect the Prairie and Public Prairies Public Interest, CPAWS is also engaged in the efforts to maintain the strong grassland management practices that have been in place for decades as the Province moves to transition ownership and management of the former PFRA Community Pastures from the public sector to private...

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Canada Parks Day & State of Canada’s Parks report

Posted by on 22. July 2013 in Blog / Journal, Conservation, News & Events | 1 comment

Canada Parks Day & State of Canada’s Parks report

It was Canada’s Parks Day this weekend. This is an annual event where thousands of Canadians participate in educational and family-oriented events. Activities are organized in national parks, national historic sites, provincial parks, territorial parks and in community and regional parks across the country. Canada’s Parks Day is usually celebrated on the third Saturday in July of every year. Another, related event is the annual release of a report by the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society (CPAWS) on the ecological health and status of our parks, both federal and provincial. The report highlights some good news in the past year on creating new parks such as the Tursujuq in Quebec – now Canada’s largest provincial park, a major proposed expansion of the parks and protected areas system in Nova Scotia and Manitoba, and an announcement of the first new park in Saskatchewan in almost 20 years. The Saskatchewan government has announced the creation of a new provincial park. A 112 square kilometre Great Blue Heron Provincial Park will protect an area of the southern boreal plain around Anglin and Emma Lakes on the eastern boundary of Prince Albert National Park. Anglin Lake has one of the highest populations of mating common loon pairs in North America. The new park will stop logging in the area, and lead to better management of recreational activities. The Saskatchewan government has also committed to creating more provincial parks, noting them as a cornerstone of the tourism industry. Unfortunately, there are signs of problematic trends, including inappropriate industrial and commercial developments such as a proposal to drill and frack for oil in the immediate vicinity of Gros Morne National Park, or a decision to allow large-scale summer use of the Mt. Norquay ski area which could negatively affect threatened grizzly bear population. Last year’s dramatic budget cuts are starting to make impact on our national parks. Many parks are now essentially closed for a large portion of the year. Here in Saskatchewan, you probably remember the decision by Parks Canada to discontinue winter maintenance of cross-country ski trails in the Prince Albert NP. Lack of recreation opportunities presented a threat to the local tourism economy until a group of local volunteers decided to maintain the trails within the park perimeter. The information centre in Grasslands National Park is closed to visitors on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. If you need information about park (even basic safety information about visiting this isolated park, you have to look for help at the museum run by a local ‘friends of the park ‘ group Prairie Wind & Silver Sage. Science and monitoring programs are being cut or reduced; Grasslands Park lost several wildlife biologists and species at risk specialists. Nationally, about 30% of ecosystem scientist positions were declared ‘surplus’, reducing the ability for Parks Canada to track and report on the status of our parks. It is not all doom and gloom. CPAWS has identified opportunities across Canada where governments could take action to shift these negative trends into a more positive direction over the next few years. There are opportunities to create new protected areas and to take steps to better protect the existing parks. You can download the CPAWS 2013 State of Canada’s Parks Report in pdf format from CPAWS web site (direct link to the report, 2.26...

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70 Mile Butte at sunset, Grasslands National Park

Posted by on 7. July 2013 in Grasslands National Park | 3 comments

70 Mile Butte at sunset, Grasslands National Park

Sunset at 70 Mile Butte in the West Block of Grasslands National Park. I took this image on the last day of a week-long trip in mid June of 2013. Although the weather was very unstable, I did not get too many days with interesting skies or cloud formations. Most of the time it was gray and uniformly overcast. That evening, everything came together and I was awarded with a glorious sunset. A composite HDR image made of 3 separate exposures. The location is just a short walk from the parking lot leading to the 70 Mile Butte hiking trail. Back to the Grasslands National Park photo...

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