CPAWS on their goal of protecting 50% of Canada’s wilderness

The Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society advocates for the creation of parks and the protection of land from development. Today their national director joins us and explains why Canada should be setting itself the goal of preserving fifty percent of our wilderness. We look into the environmental impact of cremation and some cutting edge alternatives. And we stop by an urban agriculture symposium for a taste of what the growing movement has in store.

Download this week’s show

Ram Plateau, Photo by Mike Beedell of CPAWS

Ram Plateau in Nahanni National Park. Photo by Mike Beedell of CPAWS.

News Headlines

Female polar bear recorded swimming for 9 days.

The US geological survey released a report this week, recording her 700km swim through the Beaufort Sea.  She then continued her trek for another 1800 kilometers mainly swimming but occasionally encountering sea ice substantial enough for her to walk on.  While this news was inspiring to the zoologists involved in the study it also depicted the costs of such a journey.  The bear lost 22% of her body weight as well her 1 year old cub died on the voyage.

CBC News

Pictures of Polar Bear Voyage

Save Mary Lake fundraising campaign ramps up

The estimated cost for protecting the lake is $1 million and the campaign has taken an innovative approach to fundraising using a variety of social media such as Facebook, Twitter and You Tube.  They have modelled their fundraiser after the “save an acre of rainforest” programs from the 1980’s.  They have divided the lake into square meters that you can sponsor on their website.

Bob McMinn (local activist) explains why Mary lake is important and how the fund-raising program works

Save Mary Lake Website

Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation becomes the largest Canadian supporter of renewable energy from Bullfrog Power

Bullfrog Power will now cover its nearly 12,000 MegaWatt Hours of annual electricity consumption using 100% green sources. The Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation will now be greening 35,000 Megawatt hours of electricity annually, enough to power over 3,800 Canadian homes.  Bullfrog  Power is a national company that provides certified renewable electricity to homes and businesses.   In Ontario, their electricity comes entirely from wind and hydro facilities.

Bullfrog Power

Bullfrog Power Press Release

Bruce Macgregor, the Chief Administrative Officer of the York Regional Municipality, speaking on benfits of signing on with Bullfrog Power

Nature Conservancy of Canada, with the federal government, have announced the acquisition of four additional conservation easements -Riding Mountain National Park in Manitoba, and the Bay of Fundy near Moncton, New Brunswick.

The Manitoban properties secured by the Nature Conservancy of Canada represent pieces of one of the last remaining ecologically functioning landscapes in prairie Canada.  At a net cost of less than $168,000, the properties include a mix of forest and grasslands that add about 330 ha of valuable habitat to the 50 properties previously secured by the Conservancy in the Riding Mountain Aspen Parkland region. The New Brunswick acquisition included about 4 hectares of mudflats and tidal marsh that are an important stop over site for North American shorebirds. Over 2 million shorebirds stop to feed in the Bay’s rich mudflats on their winter migration from the Canadian Arctic to South America.

Peter Hicklin, a shorebird biologist, has found that as the Peregrine Falcon recovers, the mean weights of shorebirds in the area is declining

The Nature Conservancy of Canada Press Release

Environment Canada New Release

Interview with The Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society

Canada has about ten percent of its land under some form of protection for the sake of environmental heritage.  Much of this is due to the advocacy work of conservation organizations. One of those organizations is the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society, who tell us they won’t rest until 50 percent of the country is under some form of protection. It sounds like a lot, so we got their national director on the phone from Ottawa to explain their mission. Here’s Éric Hébert-Daly with our correspondent David Kaczan. They got their conversation rolling with some politics…

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