Cel­e­brat­ing Canada’s Nat­u­ral Her­itage

Canadian Wildlife - - FROM CWF - Rick J. Bates CEO, Cana­dian Wildlife Fed­er­a­tion

At home and abroad, Canada’s iden­tity is closely tied to our geography and cli­mate. It al­ways has been. From long be­fore Euro­peans ar­rived right up un­til today, the peo­ples, the cul­tures and the wildlife here have been de­fined by the chal­lenges of our in­tem­per­ate weather and our var­ied to­pog­ra­phy. The wild and its bounty were the ba­sis for the eco­nomic forces that shaped the coun­try, from cod on the Grand Banks and the early fur trade to the mas­sive hydroelectric projects of the mid-20th cen­tury.

Today, the wilder­ness also serves to draw many Cana­di­ans out­side, help­ing us con­nect to na­ture. It is where we go for fun, be it for­ag­ing, ca­noe trip­ping, hunting, fish­ing, hik­ing, berry pick­ing or any of the count­less other ac­tiv­i­ties that bring us out­doors in every sea­son.

Most Cana­di­ans em­brace the idea that we are one facet of an ecosys­tem: that rivers and lakes are not only part of our drink­ing wa­ter and a source of clean en­ergy, but they are also home to a com­plex yet frag­ile web that needs our care­ful at­ten­tion; that wet­lands and forests ab­sorb harm­ful green­house gases and pro­duce oxy­gen and reg­u­late flood­ing; and that we have a re­spon­si­bil­ity to every­one else on the planet be­cause 30 per cent of the world’s bo­real for­est and 20 per cent of global fresh wa­ter are in Canada.

CWF is proud of our long his­tory of work­ing with Cana­di­ans of all ages, back­grounds and in­ter­ests in and for the wild. With this era’s height­ened un­der­stand­ing of the need for each of us to con­serve and pro­tect bio­di­ver­sity for the fu­ture health of hu­mans, flora and fauna, all of us who are part of the Cana­dian Wildlife Fed­er­a­tion are ex­cited to pro­vide another unique op­por­tu­nity to Cana­di­ans to join in the fun. CWF is a co-or­ga­nizer of Canada’s Na­ture Selfie Bioblitz, one of 40 “sig­na­ture” projects sup­ported by Her­itage Canada as part of the coun­try’s 150th an­niver­sary, with events right across the coun­try (page 30). To mark this spe­cial time, we are cre­at­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties for every­one and any­one to join to­gether with sci­en­tists from across the coun­try to cre­ate a com­pre­hen­sive in­ven­tory and a clear pic­ture of the state of our bio­di­ver­sity. It is an im­por­tant con­tri­bu­tion to en­sur­ing a healthy fu­ture for Canada and all its di­verse in­hab­i­tants. And it will be loads of fun in the out­doors. See you there!

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