2011: Year of Forests

Shell Canada's environmental study for its Jackpine Mine expansion in Alberta's bitumen sands region is seriously deficient

/publications/20111206A(2011-12-06) Documents newly filed to the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency by the Oil Sands Environmental Coalition say Shell Canada's environmental study of its proposed Jackpine Mine expansion is seriously deficient as it underestimates industrial impacts on the landscape by a factor of 12. The documents were prepared using maps and analysis by Global Forest Watch Canada.

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Mapping Disturbances and Restoration-Protection Opportunities for Woodland Caribou within the James Bay Region of Northern Québec

(2011-12-05) This study was conducted because the Grand Council of the Crees (Eeyou Istchee) expressed concerns about the potential devastating effects of industrial developments on woodland caribou within their traditional territory (in the James Bay region of northern Québec). The first report finds that with the current increasing rate of industrial disturbances in combination with forest fires, the prospect of these caribou supporting self-sustaining local populations in the near future appears to be declining rapidly. The second report maps restoration-protection opportunities for the caribou. 

At the International Society of Conservation Biology Conference in Auckland, New Zealand, in December 2011, representatives from the Grand Council of the Crees (Eeyou Istchee) in Québec, Canada presented on the dramatic scientific evidence produced by Global Forest Watch Canada in these reports.

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Conservation-type areas in the Draft Lower Athabasca Regional Plan, Alberta: Implications for whooping crane and woodland caribou

(2011-09-22) The Alberta Government's recently announced Draft Lower Athabasca Regional Plan 2011-2021 allocates much more area to oil sands leases than to conservation areas for whooping cranes and woodland caribou, according to this Global Forest Watch Canada report.

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Nova Scotia’s Proposed Chignecto Wilderness Areas: Are they Capturing Intact Forest Landscapes?

(2011-07-28) Global Forest Watch Canada provides comments on the Nova Scotia government's proposed boundaries for the Kelley River and Raven Head Candidate Wilderness Areas in the Chignecto region. We found that the Chignecto region is the only area in the province with more than 20,000 ha of intact forest landscapes not having a core protected area. The two candidate wilderness areas protect a significant portion of the intact forest landscapes in the Chignecto area, but additional adjacent intact forest landscapes still remain unprotected, including a substantial amount on crown land.

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Migration of whooping cranes (Grus americana) through Alberta’s bitumen sands region

(2011-07-11) This report maps historical records of whooping crane flight paths and landing points in relation to Alberta's bitumen (oil) sands region. Whooping cranes have regularly flown over and landed within Alberta's oil sands region. Their migration route intersects with areas leased to and developed by oil sands companies, including the surface mineable area and its associated facilities, mine pits and tailings ponds. Several factors present in the oil sands region, including exposure to tailings ponds, poses a threat to the survival and recovery of the Canadian wild whooping crane population.

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Canada's Terrestrial Protected Areas Status Report 2010: Number, Area and "Naturalness"

(2011-06-29) This study found that Canada has set aside only 8.5 percent (84.5 million hectares) of its land mass in permanent protected areas. This is more than four percent lower than the global average of 12.9 percent and more than six percent lower than the United States at 14.8 percent. The report also offers the first assessment of some of the significant recent progress in protecting Canada's wilderness between 2000 and 2010, the first decade of the 21st century.
 

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Anthropogenic and Fire Disturbances in Woodland Caribou Herd Ranges in the Lower Athabasca Regional Plan Area, Alberta

(2011-06-21) This satellite-based analysis of industrial disturbances within threatened woodland caribou herds in the area of the Lower Athabasca Regional Plan documents that the prospects of these herds supporting self-sustaining populations in the near future appear to be declining rapidly due primarily to oil sands developments.

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Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons Increase in Athabasca River Delta Sediment: Temporal Trends and Environmental Correlates

(2011-05-05) A new study, published in the prestigious scientific journal, Environmental Science and Technology, by scientist Dr. Kevin Timoney and GFWC's Executive Director, Peter Lee, documents that a group of toxic compounds known as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), are increasing in the Athabasca River sediments and are linked to Alberta's bitumen industries.

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A Forest of Blue: Canada's Boreal Forest, the World's Waterkeeper

(2011-03-18) A first of its kind report published by the Pew Environment Group and co-authored by GFWC's Peter Lee and Ryan Cheng reveals that Canada's boreal, the world's largest intact forest and on-land carbon storehouse, contains more unfrozen freshwater than any other ecosystem. As United Nations' International Year of Forests and World Water Day coincide, world leaders are grappling with water scarcity and pollution - and scientists are calling boreal protection a top global priority.

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Castle Area Forest Land Use Zone: Linear Disturbances, Access Densities and Grizzly Bear Habitat Security Areas

(2011-03-09) This report examines linear disturbances in the Castle Area Forest Land Use Zone of southwestern Alberta and analyzes these disturbances for: their use by motorized vehicles; the Government of Alberta's management and policy intentions compared to actual use by motorized vehicles, and; their potential impact on key grizzly bear areas.

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