Posts

The Implications of Shifting Baselines on Nature Conservation

By Steph Weizenbach / 22 July 2022

BY LU CARBYN

Ecosystems change over time without any tampering by humankind. Human impacts, however, have caused massive changes over a short period of time that have resulted in serious environmental concerns, including loss of biodiversity.1 We are all aware of the global issues of habitat loss and wildlife extinction around the world, which call for intervention and leadership from governments, academics, and researchers. However, we do not need to look so far as the destruction of tropical forests of Brazil or Borneo; we can see these issues right here in Alberta.

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Death by “Data Deficient”: The Disappearance of Wolverines in Alberta’s Eastern Slopes

By Steph Weizenbach / 22 July 2022

BY GILLIAN CHOW-FRASER

Olaus Murie once wrote, “I wonder if there is another inhabitant of northern wilderness that so excites the imagination.”1 The species he was referring to? None other than the wolverine.

More than 60 years later, the same thought ran through my mind as I tracked through the foothills of Alberta’s Rocky Mountains. Would this be the day? Would I be able to catch even a brief glimpse of a wolverine’s bushy tail in the distance?

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Coal mining

Coal Mining Update: Kicking the Can Down the Road (Again)

By Steph Weizenbach / 5 May 2022

The message from the year-long public consultation is crystal clear. Albertans do not want more coal mining in the Eastern Slopes. They want this special region to be protected. If you agree, please write to Minister Savage and urge her to take meaningful action now: minister.energy@gov.ab.ca. The government should enact legislation that provides permanent protection for all ecologically important lands within the Eastern Slopes. Kicking the can down the road is not a reasonable alternative.

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Scanning for Life Forms

By Steph Weizenbach / 5 May 2022

Using Environmental DNA to Identify Species, Science Fiction Becomes Reality
By Jay White, M.Sc., P.Biol.

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Shall We Gather at the River?
Irrigation and the Future of Southern Alberta’s Rivers

By Steph Weizenbach / 24 April 2022

BY LORNE FITCH

In the heat dome and severe low flows of 2021, our canoe left smears of colour on several barely submerged boulders of one of Alberta’s prairie rivers. These low water levels had me reflecting on the recent scheme by southern Alberta’s irrigation sector to expand irrigated acreage. I thought of the old hymn, “Shall we Gather at the River.”

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Making Citizen Science Count

By Steph Weizenbach / 24 April 2022

BY RICHARD SCHNEIDER
As naturalists, we love to watch wildlife, but if we want wild species to remain viable we need to actively contribute to their conservation.

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Chinese Mystery Snails in Alberta

By Steph Weizenbach / 9 March 2022

Non-native Chinese mystery snail (Cipangopaludina chinensis), first introduced to North America in the 1890s through food markets in San Francisco, was officially sighted in McGregor Lake Reservoir, near the village of Milo in southern Alberta in 2019.

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Gravel pit

Sand and Gravel Operations Putting Natural Ecosytems at Risk

By Rick Schneider / 5 February 2022

The Red Deer River Naturalists Society are concerned that sand and gravel operations in Alberta are increasingly putting Alberta’s natural ecosystems at risk and is calling on the government to resolve deficiencies in the management of these operations.

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Trails Act Heading in the Wrong Direction

By Steph Weizenbach / 1 February 2022

The UCP government has proposed legislation to govern trails on public land in Alberta.

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Space: A Frontier No Longer?

By Steph Weizenbach / 28 January 2022

BY LORNE FITCH

Outer space may still be a frontier, but the space we call wilderness is getting increasingly crowded. The refrain I hear, from people who remember the Eastern Slopes from a previous era, echoes Yogi Berra’s enigmatic statement that “No one goes there, it’s too crowded.” I know I’m reluctant to visit there now, based on my memories of a place much quieter, with less traffic and fewer people.

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