START A PETITION 27,000,000 members: the world's largest community for good
May 13, 2009
Focus: Endangered Species
Action Request: Write E-Mail
Location: Canada
CPAWS Stop the extinction clock for Ontario caribou

On April 27, the Ontario government released its long overdue Caribou Conservation Plan. The plan incorporates important scientific principles, but it fails to stop the extinction clock for woodland caribou.

The plan doesn't say how and when Ontario will protect woodland caribou habitat. In fact, it would allow logging and road building to occur in the remaining intact Boreal forest habitat.

We're calling for an immediate halt to development in the Woodland caribou's remaining habitat.

You can help!

Let the government know how it can improve the plan to ensure it will protect woodland caribou. The deadline for comment is May 27, so please act soon.

Take action now!

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Posted: May 13, 2009 7:13am
Jan 18, 2009
Focus: Environment
Action Request: Write E-Mail
Location: Canada

Received from "Western Canada Wilderness Committee Victoria":

BC Liberal government proposes to revive deeply unpopular “Anti-Forest Protection Zones” previously killed by huge public outcry - Please SPEAK UP AGAIN!


This is serious. The BC Liberal government is looking to revive their old proposal to halt new forest protections on our public lands, including obstructing the protection of old-growth forests. They are calling these anti-forest protection zones "Commercial Forest Reserves". It is VITAL that we kill this plan before it gets going.


Many of you will remember our successful campaign a few years ago against the BC Liberal government's so-called "Working Forest Initiative", where tens of thousands of BC citizens spoke out and rallied against the vast proposal to pseudo-privatize our public forest lands, forcing the government to back away from legally implementing the initiative. This new proposal is essentially an attempt to revive the old Working Forest more sneakily by starting off small, and then expanding gradually over all of our biologically richest forest lands. It's a tumour that must be destroyed before it spreads.


Instead of helping forestry dependent communities by assisting in the retooling of sawmills away from the last, increasingly marginal stands of old-growth forests on the south coast and to handle the more abundant and accessible second-growth stands (which are generally exported as raw logs now), the BC Liberal government has instead chosen to obstruct new forest conservation measures as a false way to "save" the forest industry.


See the PRESS RELEASE below for more details.


*** IMPORTANT: Please WRITE and PHONE the elected decision-makers - be sure to include your home mailing address.


Let the politicians know if you believe they must:


- Toss out plans for a Commercial Forest Reserve that obstructs future protected areas on our public forest lands, or else face a major fight.

- Enact concrete timelines to quickly end old-growth logging on
Vancouver Island and the Southwest Mainland where old-growth
forests are now scarce.
- Ensure the sustainable logging of second-growth forests, which
now constitute most of the landbase on the south coast.
- Ban raw log exports.
- Assist in the development and retooling of sawmills for
second-growth logs and value-added wood processing facilities.

Write and Phone:

Pat Bell, Minister of Forests and Range

Phone: 250-387-6240

Premier Gordon Campbell

Phone: 250-387-1715

Both at:  Legislative Buildings, Victoria, BC  V8V 1X4

ALSO very importantly, your own BC Liberal or NDP Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) (ie. your provincial political
representative for your area) who you can find at:



Press Release


Proposed Commercial Forest Reserves will prevent new forest conservation measures on public lands, are another step towards pseudo-privatization of public lands for timber companies


The Wilderness Committee is preparing for an increasingly fierce battle against the BC Liberal government’s forest policies due to their plans to revive one of their most anti-environmental ideas – the designation of public lands that are off-limits to future forest conservation measures. Premier Campbell announced on Wednesday to the Truck Loggers Association Convention that he has instructed Forest Minister Pat Bell to start developing plans for a Commercial Forest Reserve where “forestry is the priority” and “harvested land will not be set aside for other uses” (Press Release, Ministry of Forests and Range, January 14, 2009)


“For a fleeting moment, I thought Campbell was talking about keeping out suburban sprawl from destroying private forest lands where he deleted the Tree Farm Licenses on our coast,” states Ken Wu, campaign director for the Wilderness Committee’s Victoria office. “Then I realized to my horror he was talking about public lands - about preventing future forest protections on Crown lands, such as for drinking watersheds, scenic viewscapes, deer and elk wintering ranges, endangered species protections, new parks, and old-growth management areas. This revived push to keep out ‘other uses’ on public lands to benefit private logging companies is fundamentally about eliminating the public’s right to choose what to do with their own public lands, specifically when it entails choosing options that keep trees standing for conservation. It’s a form of pseudo-privatization for the exclusive benefit of the major timber companies that hold logging tenures on our public lands”.


Previously in 2001 the BC Liberal government proposed to implement a “Working Forest” designation on all of BC’s Crown lands outside of parks that would have obstructed new protected areas and forest protections. However, a massive public outcry spearheaded by the Wilderness Committee resulted in the BC government backing down from the legal implementation of the plan in the summer of 2004  (see media release and Vancouver Sun article  )


Forest Minister Pat Bell has stated that the Commercial Forest Reserve would be different from their previous Working Forest proposal in that it wouldn’t include all of BC’s Crown lands, but instead would at first be limited to areas that are “ particularly   productive ” and “ start small and grow ” (Prince George Citizen, January 14, 2009)


“At this point it looks like a sneaky, foot-in-the door, scaled-down version of their previous Working Forest proposal - at least to begin with. They remember how unpopular their previous proposal was, so they know they need to start small at first. But it’s like a tumour – once it’s in place, it’ll grow and spread. They even admit this. We’re calling on all conservationists and recreationists, hunters and anglers, tourism operators and First Nations, to kill this tumour before it takes over and destroys our public forest lands, ” states Wu.


In particular, the Wilderness Committee is concerned about the proposed Commercial Forest Reserves obstructing the protection of old-growth forests, as well as areas with the highest biodiversity, most of the salmon and trout, and the largest trees which usually coincide with the most productive growing sites in the valley bottoms. The Wilderness Committee is calling on the BC Liberal government to enact concrete timelines to quickly phase-out old-growth logging from Vancouver Island and the Lower Mainland, ensure sustainable second-growth logging, ban raw log exports, and assist in retooling and developing mills and value-added wood processing facilities for second-growth forests which now constitute most of the south coast and interior.


Satellite photos show that about 75% of Vancouver Island’s productive old-growth forests have already been logged, including 90% of the valley bottoms and 99% of the coastal old-growth Douglas firs. Only 6% of Vancouver Island’s original productive old-growth forests are protected in parks.  See maps, stats, and photos at and


The movement to protect Vancouver Island and the Lower Mainland’s old-growth forests and to ban raw log exports is the largest movement in the province. Almost 3000 people showed up at the last Wilderness Committee rally in October ( ) and last week over 30,000 signatures had been gathered on the petition (see and )


“How backwards, anti-environmental and reckless can the BC Liberal government get with their forest policies? Right now we have the largest, active grassroots movement in the province. The Commercial Forest Reserve runs precisely counter to our goals. With this proposal Campbell and Bell are saying ‘lets go to war with conservationists’. If they are serious about pursuing this, they are committing themselves to the fiercest conflict only four months before a BC election,” states Wu.


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Posted: Jan 18, 2009 5:14pm
Mar 6, 2008
Focus: Environment
Action Request: Write E-Mail
Location: Canada

In January, 2008, Ontario Parks released the Preliminary Park Management Plan for Komoka Provincial Park. This draft plan, which sets the long-term direction for the management of the park, is one of the first to be produced under Ontario's new Provincial Parks and Conservation Reserves Act, passed in 2006. The Komoka management plan can thus be considered a test of the government's approach to implementing the new Act and maintaining the ecological integrity of the province's protected areas.

The public has an opportunity to submit comments on this draft management plan online via the Environmental Registry or by letter to the Park Superintendent before March 25, 2008. We believe that there is reason to be concerned about some of the policies and recommendations contained in the plan, and urge you to take advantage of this opportunity to express your support for a management approach that will adequately protect the park's significant natural features.

About the park:
Komoka Provincial Park lies along the Thames River, near London Ontario. For many years the park has functioned as a non-operating Recreation Park, with hiking being the main activity. The park is home to more than 100 species of plants and animals that are rare in Middlesex County. A significant number of endangered species have also been found in the park, including Blue Ash, Least Bittern, Black Tern, Northern Bobwhite, American Badger, Spiny Softshell and Eastern Hog-nosed Snake.

Issue: classification does not offer optimum protection.
The draft plan proposes to reclassify Komoka as a Natural Environment Park, with a large Nature Reserve Zone covering most of the area. Within the 15% of the park that is to be less fully protected as a Natural Environment Zone there is habitat that is important for amphibians, Grasshopper Sparrows, waterfowl, rails, shorebirds and species such as the threatened Eastern Hog-nosed Snake. The park's flora and fauna would be better protected if the entire park were reclassified as a Nature Reserve. This would direct management to give much higher priority to the protection of the natural values. Further, from a system-wide perspective, there are very few provincial Nature Reserve Parks in the Carolinian zone of southern Ontario but many Natural Environment and Recreation Parks. Pinery Provincial Park already satisfies the MNR's need for at least one Natural Environment Park in the area (Ecodistrict 7E-2). Komoka Provincial Park should be classified as Nature Reserve.

Issue: non-conforming uses to continue.
The proposed management plan intends to allow recreational activities such as horseback riding and biking to be permitted in the Nature Reserve Zone for two more years after the new plan has been adopted. These activities do not conform with provincial policy regarding Nature Reserve zones, and their continuation could be construed by the public to indicate that park management has no serious commitment to managing Komoka Provincial Park according to accepted ministry standards. It also sets a precedent that argues for the permanent establishment of these activities within the Nature Reserve. Such non-conforming and incompatible uses should not be allowed as they threaten park values and set a poor precedent.

Let Ontario Parks know that Komoka Provincial Park, like other parks across Ontario, must aim first and foremost to protect and restore ecological integrity. The reclassification of Komoka Provincial Park as a Nature Reserve would give much higher priority to the protection of natural values within the park. At the same time, the management plan needs to immediately prohibit non-conforming uses such as biking and horseback riding in the Nature Reserve Zone.

Please submit comments by March 25, 2008, online, via the Environmental Registry: noticeId=MTY1NjY=&statusId=MTY1NjY=&language=en

or in writing to the address below
(be sure to include the EBR # : PB01E3003):

Keith Early, Park Superintendent
Port Burwell Provincial Park
9 Wilson Lane
Port Burwell, Ontario
N0J 1T0
Phone: 519-874-4601
Fax: 519-874-4104

Please send a copy of your letter or email to Ontario Nature at, or fax us at (416) 444-9866.

We want this message to be loud and clear. Please forward this Action Alert to your friends and family and other contacts.

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Posted: Mar 6, 2008 10:48am
Feb 28, 2007
Focus: Environment
Action Request: Write E-Mail
Location: Canada

The Manitoba government still has not honored its pledge to permanently protect the Poplar Nanowin Rivers traditional lands in our Heart of the Boreal Forest BioGem.

Your urgent action is needed to ensure that Manitoba makes good on its repeated promises. Mounting proposals for clearcut logging, roadbuilding and industrial hydropower development loom over this irreplaceable habitat for threatened woodland caribou, moose and millions of songbirds.

Please go to
and urge Manitoba's premier to grant permanent protection to these First Nation lands.

For thousands of years, the Poplar River First Nation has relied on the trees, plants and wildlife of this expanse of rugged granite cliffs, dense evergreen woods and tranquil marshlands for food, medicine and the survival of its beliefs and traditions. In 2004, the Canadian government recognized the outstanding cultural and natural values of this wildland by including it as part of a potential U.N. World Heritage Site.

Under pressure from BioGems Defenders like you, the Manitoba government renewed interim protection of the Poplar-Nanowin Rivers Park Reserve to allow for the completion of a land management plan. Yet more than a year has passed now since the plan was finalized -- and the Manitoba government has failed to legislate permanent protection.

Please go to
and tell Manitoba's premier to take this long overdue next step toward creating a World Heritage Site in this region.

Thank you for all of your efforts to protect the wildest reaches of Canada's vast boreal forest.


Frances Beinecke
Natural Resources Defense Council

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Posted: Feb 28, 2007 12:11pm


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Elena P.
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Toronto, ON, Canada
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