Ad­vo­cat­ing for Wildlife

Canadian Wildlife - - FROM CWF -

The Cana­dian Wildlife Fed­er­a­tion was only eight years old, when, in 1970, we be­gan ad­vo­cat­ing in earnest for pro­tec­tions for Canada’s Arc­tic. That year, the or­ga­ni­za­tion was in­stru­men­tal in es­tab­lish­ing the fed­eral Task Force on North­ern De­vel­op­ment, a far-reach­ing and am­bi­tious na­tional project to learn about and pre­vent dam­age be­ing done to north­ern ecosys­tems as a re­sult of re­source de­vel­op­ment. That same year, af­ter sev­eral dev­as­tat­ing oil spills, CWF led a suc­cess­ful cam­paign for a mora­to­rium on the transportation of dan­ger­ous pol­lu­tants through the North­west Pas­sage. Over the next decade, we took the lead on call­ing for ac­tion to pro­tect po­lar bears, cari­bou, nar­whals and sev­eral other north­ern species.

We have been ad­vo­cat­ing, with you and for you, to en­sure re­spon­si­ble stew­ard­ship of the North ever since. One im­por­tant el­e­ment of our ad­vo­cacy is Cana­dian Wildlife magazine. By shar­ing with you the won­der and beauty of our coun­try’s wild ar­eas, the is­sues they face and the work un­der­way to pro­tect them, this magazine plays a vi­tal role in con­ser­va­tion in Canada. This is­sue fea­tures some im­por­tant el­e­ments of the flora and fauna of this ex­tra­or­di­nary part of Canada, which oc­cu­pies more than onethird of our coun­try’s land mass. Not only is this re­gion es­sen­tial to main­tain­ing the health of the planet, it is in the midst of tremen­dous change: tem­per­a­tures are ris­ing here faster than any­where, and as ice re­cedes, re­source de­vel­op­ment is in­creas­ing, and the North­west Pas­sage is be­com­ing a vi­able ship­ping route. There is much to be done to en­sure that we do it right.

Right now there is im­por­tant work un­der­way to se­cure a thought­ful and re­spon­si­ble path to land use in a large area of the North. I draw your at­ten­tion to one of the most heart­en­ing: Alanna Mitchell’s col­umn on the on­go­ing work be­ing done to de­velop a com­pre­hen­sive land use plan for Nu­navut. It may sound dry, of in­ter­est only to the pol­icy minded, but it is not. As the col­umn demon­strates, this com­plex (she calls it “messy”) ex­er­cise could be a model for the planet in en­gag­ing di­verse com­mu­ni­ties to en­sure re­spon­si­ble de­vel­op­ment while fos­ter­ing bio­di­ver­sity and en­vi­ron­men­tal pro­tec­tions. And shift­ing per­spec­tives from the over­all land­scape to a sin­gle, unique plant, the Field Guide sec­tion of this is­sue cel­e­brates the hairy braya, a mod­est yet hardy mem­ber of the mus­tard fam­ily. It clings to ex­is­tence on the north­ern­most point of main­land con­ti­nen­tal North Amer­ica, a strange place with per­pet­u­ally smok­ing hills that fea­tures in both the tragic first voy­age of Sir John Franklin and the fan­tas­tic sci­ence fic­tion of Jules Verne. I find it fas­ci­nat­ing that a sam­ple gath­ered in the 1820s can still be seen in the Kew Gar­den herbar­ium near Lon­don. This one plant profile cap­tures some­thing of what the Cana­dian Arc­tic is all about, and why it is so cap­ti­vat­ing.

This is­sue also cel­e­brates this year’s re­cip­i­ents of the Cana­dian Wildlife Fed­er­a­tion’s Con­ser­va­tion Awards (p. 42). While each of us does our parts, I am in­spired and hum­bled by the sto­ries of these seven di­verse and dis­tinct in­di­vid­u­als and or­ga­ni­za­tions that have con­tributed might­ily to the con­ser­va­tion of wilder­ness in Canada. They are an in­spi­ra­tion. I en­cour­age you to help us cel­e­brate their work, to con­tinue do­ing your part and per­haps to start think­ing now about con­ser­va­tion heroes you know to nom­i­nate for next year’s awards.

Rick J. Bates CEO, Cana­dian Wildlife Fed­er­a­tion

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.