NRDC's BioGems News, January 2006 January 17, 2006 3:56 PM
Despite its repeated pledges of support for permanently protecting 10.6 million acres of Canada's ancient boreal forest -- an area nominated as a United Nations World Heritage Site -- the Manitoba government has failed so far to put the necessary provincial protections in place for these lands. Meanwhile, proposals for hydropower development, logging and other destructive activity loom over this dense stretch of boreal old-growth forest, home to threatened woodland caribou, countless songbirds and other wildlife.
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Manitoba granted interim protection for the Poplar River First Nation's traditional territory in 1999, and this past November, the people of Poplar River completed a land-use plan calling for permanent protection of their lands. But long-term protection for the entire proposed World Heritage Site is only possible if Manitoba grants interim protection requested for the traditional lands of the Pauingassi and Little Grand Rapids First Nations as well.
» Tell the Manitoba government to follow through on its numerous public promises to protect these First Nations lands. HELP STOP ALBERTA'S GRIZZLY BEAR HUNT While leading grizzly bear experts in Alberta, Canada, have warned that continued hunting could wipe out the province's dwindling bear population, officials have so far refused to cancel the spring hunt. Fewer than 700 grizzlies survive today in the province -- home of the Castle-Bighorn BioGem and other key migratory routes for imperiled Rocky Mountain bears. Scientists from Alberta's endangered species subcommittee and grizzly bear recovery team say the population may be declining due to hunting and other encounters with humans, as well as habitat loss, and have recommended suspending the hunt and designating the bear as a threatened species. Over the past decade, hunting has claimed the lives of roughly 15 bears annually.
» Tell the Alberta government to help protect Rocky Mountain grizzlies by suspending the hunt. ARCTIC REFUGE WINS A REPRIEVE On December 21st -- in one of our hardest-won BioGems victories to date -- 44 U.S. senators blocked an outrageous attempt by the Republican leadership to attach a provision for oil drilling in Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to a "must-pass" defense spending bill. It was a stinging defeat for the oil lobby, the White House and pro-drilling congressional leaders. The vote culminated a year of unprecedented pressure by BioGems Defenders and other NRDC activists, who flooded Capitol Hill with tens of thousands of phone calls and petitions, helping to sway key senators. Drilling proponents have already vowed to renew their push in Congress again this spring, though, and we will be calling on you again soon to help keep the Arctic Refuge wild.
January 17, 2006 3:56 PM
BEANTREES ORGANIC COFFEE LAUNCHES BIOGEMS BLENDS
Now you can help protect NRDC's BioGems with every sip of your morning coffee. Available in regular or decaf, BioGems Blends from California-based Beantrees is certified organic, fair trade and shade grown. For every 12-oz. bag you purchase on its website, Beantrees will contribute $1 to our BioGems Initiative. In addition, we will select 15 lucky BioGems Defenders at random each month to receive a free bag of coffee. To enter our drawing, visit your Action Log.
EARTH DAY GIVEAWAYS
Taking part in an Earth Day event this year? NRDC can provide handouts, including BioGems bookmarks, environmental action guides and reprints of Nature's Voice and This Green Life. To request materials, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Be sure to include "Earth Day" in the subject line and let us know your name and mailing address, what type of event you're participating in, and the quantity of materials you are requesting. Supplies are limited.
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