Yukon

Changing the Conversation

A snaking river winds its way through a wide mountain valley

The Wind River is one of six navigable rivers that make up the vast waterway system of the Peel River Watershed.

This week, don’t fear the tears. Terra Informa takes a hard look at a threatening future and has to ask the question, what are we thinking? We’ll get an analysis of the troubled plans for a parcel of Canada’s North that stretches far beyond the horizon. And a person who spends all their time thinking about the far future tries to get the rest of us to look beyond the next quarter. We’re examining the at times ineffective processes that we have in place to protect the land and plan for the future.

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Turning Perspectives Upside-down

It's a visualization of the Blatchford Redevelopment, on the site of the old City Centre Airport. Photo credit: Perkins + Will/City of Edmonton

A visualization of the Blatchford Redevelopment, on the site of Edmonton’s old City Centre Airport. Photo credit: Perkins + Will/City of Edmonton

This week on Terra Informa, two new stories that have us envisioning, and then questioning our future environmental perspectives, with a story on the new Edmonton Ambleside Ecostation and the Blatchford Redevelopment project, in “Treadmill”, and then a story about one woman’s deep shift in her perspective on knowledge of our planet in this week’s Eye-opener. We’ll also revisit a really fun story about the red squirrel of the Yukon and the tricks it employs to stay alive in the great North with “The Little Squirrel that Could”.

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Observe, Listen, and Protect

On this weeks episode of Terra Informa the sounds of bark beetles in New Mexico are transformed into music for the ears.  Also, the forces behind stopping shark finners as well as the protective measures put in place to gives the sharks a safe future are explored.  Finally, the Red Squirrel of the Yukon is revealed to have more skills than meet the eye.

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The Los Brazos Cliffs of New Mexico, a State rich in habitat for all life, including the dark beetle which spends a large part of it's life eating off the bark of native New Mexico pines.

The Los Brazos Cliffs of New Mexico, a State rich in habitat for all life, including the bark beetle which spends a large part of it’s life eating off the bark of native New Mexico pines.

The Acoustics of Bark Beetles

David Dunn, sound artist and composer produced an album in 2006 called The Sound of Light in Trees: The Acoustic Ecology of Pinyon Pines, in collaboration with the Acoustic Ecology Institute. With tiny microphones, he records the sounds of bark beetles in New Mexico’s pinyon pines. Beyond a fascinating listening experience, this is an innovative approach to the ecology of insects, and to monitoring bark beetle populations.

More on this story: The Sound of Light in Trees: The Acoustic Ecology of Pinyon Pines

Catching shark finners on the high seas

Have you ever wondered how shark finners get caught? The US strengthened its laws against shark finning in 2011, banning the practice for almost every shark species in American waters. Paul Raymond is a special agent with NOAA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association. He’s helped enforce the US laws protecting sharks. Chris Chang-Yen Phillips reached him in Florida to ask how they do it.

More on this story: Wired, Oceana

The Little Squirrel That Could

The Red Squirrel of the Yukon Territory weighs less than half a pound. They can be seen spending their days collecting pine cones, and scampering up trees. They are an animal that wouldn’t be out of place in your favorite children’s cartoon.  Not a very formidable presence when you consider their imposing surroundings in the great wilderness that is the Yukon.  But as we’ll soon find out, the red squirrel has a little trick up its sleeve.

Matt Hirji spoke with University of Alberta biologist Stan Boutin to find out more.

What’s Happening

Garlic Mustard is a native species to Europe and Asia that were originally introduced to North America as a medicinal and culinary herb.  The species is very invasive to our environment and can be destructive to native biodiversity and habitat.  It causes long term negative effects in soil and reduces available plants for wildlife such as deer, birds and insects.  It’s been listed as a prohibited noxious weed in the Alberta Weed Control Act.  Mill Creek ravine is one of few known locations in Edmonton where this non-native species occurs.

To prevent further distribution and reduce the negative impact on other areas in Mill Creek, the Edmonton Naturalization Group and the City of Edmonton organize Garlic Mustard pulls in Mill Creek.  They are looking for volunteers to come and help remove this weed on Saturday, May 25, 2013, 9:30–11:30am

For more information visit our website at terrainforma.ca

or visit Edmonton Pest Control

Does Solar electricity, solar hot water, geothermal heating, water collection, retrofit or new construction interest you?  After many years of arranging tours of homes in Edmonton, the Eco-Solar Tour is branching out to commercial buildings.  This year, they will be conducting the second Eco-Solar Tour of Energy Efficient Buildings.  The Tour will feature businesses that are doing their part to reduce their energy use and to improve the working environment for their employees.  The Eco-Solar Tour of Energy Efficient Buildings will feature one energy efficient building, per day, for nearly two weeks, starting on May 28th and finishing on June 6th.

Each weekday, from Monday to Friday, one building will be open for touring from noon until 4 pm.

Check out more details of the tours at http://www.ecosolar.ca/