Wildlife & Natural Spaces

You cannot protect what you do not know. Nature’s diversity exists all around us. SCCF works with individuals, partners and community groups to promote knowledge of wildlife and natural environments. We work to preserve and protect for all to enjoy, both now and in the future.

Webinar: Using Two-Eyed Seeing as a Model for Reconciliation and Marine Conservation

La version française suivra. Notez que cet évènement se déroulera en anglais seulement.

Join us for the second event of our webinar series dedicated to ocean conservation! This webinar will focus on the role of reconciliation between settlers and Indigenous communities in the conservation and management of marine resources.

Prospects for New National Urban Park in Greater Edmonton Region Spark Excitement

Version française à suivre

By Lindsay Boucher

This summer Johnathan Wilkinson, Former Minister of the Environment and Climate Change, announced a new program to create national urban parks across Canada. Seven cities were being considered, including the greater Edmonton area.  This announcement aligns with Sierra Club Canada Foundation’s goal of providing access to nature for all, protecting wildlife and habitat, and mitigating climate change with nature-based solutions.

Major Conflicts Over Land Use Planning Threaten Lake Ontario

In Memory of Alicja Rozanska.

From John Bacher:

The health of the great lake of Ontario, which is a Seneca translation of the words Beautiful Clear Lake, is one of the significant issues facing the province for which it is named. In the watershed of the Great Lakes live most of Ontario’s people. The health of the Great Lakes and its tributaries are threatened by the curses of urban sprawl and expressways. 

The Battle to Save Lake Simcoe Should Be on Voters’ Minds This Election

In Memory of Alicja Rozanska.

From John Bacher:

Critical environmental indicators, which should send warning signals at the polls, are the fate of native cold-water fisheries. These are important warning signals of pollution since self-supporting cold-water fisheries will not survive in polluted environments. What should send alarm bells off on election day is the fate of Lake Simcoe’s Lake Trout.  

Future Threats in Niagara If Urban Boundaries Expanded: Voice Your Opposition

In Memory of Alicja Rozanska.

***Scroll down to reach out to local councilors

From John Bacher: 

It is an old but true saying that photographs express threats to the natural world more vividly than the most eloquent warning. Some of these images recently emerged, which captured the beauty of the portion of the Thundering Waters Forest in Niagara Falls, on the eve of its destruction for a subdivision.

Niagara Carolinian Bulldozer Massacre

In Memory of Alicja Rozanska.

From John Bacher:

Over the past week and a half, there has been a Carolinian tree massacre by bulldozer underway in Niagara. A preliminary report, completed on August 11, 2021, by Nash Colville of Colville Consulting Inc. provides a rough description of the damage. 

Two Court Battles Seek to Defend Southern Ontario’s Threatened Forests

From John Bacher:

In her last report before her office was shut down by the provincial government of Premier Doug Ford, Ontario’s Environment Commissioner, Dr. Diane Saxe, drew attention to what she termed “Southern Ontario’s Disappearing Forests.” She urged that, “Conserving forests must become a top priority in land use planning.” Since “each incremental loss has a big impact on the services the forests provide to society and the wildlife they support.”

Webinar: Treaty 9 and Development of the Ring of Fire within NAN Territory

We invite you to learn about the historic context and current concerns related to the proposed Ring of Fire mining project in the Nishnawbe Aski Nation (NAN) Territory. 

Joseph Duncan, an Indigenous member from the NAN Territory and former chair of the Sierra Club's Ontario chapter, discusses the club’s work on a report for the government’s Regional Assessment of the Ring of Fire. Our report focuses on the social, environmental, and economic impacts of the proposed development including a survey of some local residents.

The $60 billion chromite mining proposal, referred to as the Ring of Fire, impacts 5,100 square kilometers of Northwestern Ontario. The area is rich in mineral deposits, peat moss, caribou, and many other species essential to Indigenous nations’ economy and culture. The region is home to the Indigenous people of the Nishnawbe Aski Nation, with a population of 45,000. 

Treaty Nine was established in 1905, making the NAN Territory a sovereign nation. 

Repercussions of mining developments have significant impacts on the economy, environment, society and Indigenous nations' natural habitat, impacting their survival. Provincial and federal leaders hail the Ring of Fire proposal as a multigenerational opportunity that can economically and socially benefit communities. Unfavorable repercussions of surface and subsurface mining frequently include toxic waste material, long-term environmental devastations, and human rights violations. 

This presentation highlights parts of the research report Ring of Fire Assessment: An Assessment of Reflections From the Members of Nishnawbe Aski Nation Territory. We recommend you read the report in addition to watching the webinar.

Our speaker:

Joseph Duncan is an Indigenous member from Nishnawbe Aski Nation Territory, situated in Muskrat Dam First Nation. He is a former police officer who served with the Nishnawbe-Aski Police Service for 14 years. After an injury ended his law enforcement career he has pursued higher education at Lakehead University completing degrees in Outdoor Recreation, Parks and Tourism and an MA in Social Justice. Joseph is familiar with the political structure of the NAN Territory and ran in the 2021 election for Deputy Grand Chief of NAN. Today, Joseph teaches at Lakehead University instructing Advance Land Relations.

You can also watch all of our webinars at: www.sierraclub.ca/en/all-hands-on-deck-webinars

 

Monstrous Mid-Peninsula Highway Sought to Be Resurrected from the Dead

In Memory of Alicja Rozanska.

From John Bacher:

Shortly after being forced into hospitalization following an attack of congenital heart failure, veteran environmentalist Doug Draper sent me an ominous warning. He informed me that powerful cliques in Niagara were trying to convince the Ontario provincial government of Premier Doug Ford to resurrect the terminated 130-kilometer Mid-Peninsula Highway from the dead. 

We need alternatives for our whales

This year, the Sierra Club Canada Foundation will be organizing a Multi-Stakeholder Initiative to bring people together to discuss potential solutions to restore the Gulf of Saint-Lawrence and reduce NARW mortality from entanglements and other stressors. Let’s hope these discussions will accelerate collective action in the region to help relieve the pressures on our ocean giants.

A Brief History of Bison Conservation in Canada

Within a single human lifetime, tens of millions of bison were killed until less than a thousand individuals remained in all of North America. Despite over 120 years of hard work, many conservation challenges still face bison today.

This is a story you don’t want to miss. It’s a story of twists and turns, from dramatic roundups by Blackfoot and Mexican cowboys, to epic train journeys, "lost" national parks, near-ruinous mistakes, and no small amount of luck.

Watch the webinar recording below! You can also watch all of our webinars at: www.sierraclub.ca/en/all-hands-on-deck-webinars

Our presenter this month is Lauren Markewicz, a member of our Prairie Chapter’s Executive Committee.

Lauren is a public historian who has come to specialize in the history of bison. She is the author of Through the Storm: Canada's Bison Conservation Story, a book dealing with the twists and turns of the history of bison conservation in what is now Canada, in both images and text.

She has worked at various historic sites and natural areas in Western Canada. She likes to spend time on the landscape, hiking and camping, and thinking a lot about the human relationships with and impacts on the land and the other creatures that live there.

Sierra Club Ontario members oppose proposed urban expansions in Niagara

Proposals have been put forward to urbanize vast swaths of land via the Niagara Region’s new Official Plan. Planned urban expansions threaten Canada’s most biologically diverse Carolinian zone.  These expansions would impinge on land currently restricted for rural purposes, including habitats for many endangered and declining species.

Two members of Sierra Club Ontario (Dr. John Bacher and Danny Beaton) recently spoke to oppose planned urban expansions to the Niagara region. Click to see their full presentations. 

Stopping Forest Extinction

By Dr John Bacher and Danny Beaton, Mohawk of the Turtle Clan.

In Memory of Alicja Rozanska.

Crazed Axe-Wielding Mad Men Threaten Niagara.

The mentality of those doing land use planning in the Niagara Region was captured vividly by paleontologist Michael Benton, through his examination of the catastrophic mid-Permian extinctions. Benton described how during this era, “vast swaths” of the trees of life “are cut short, as if attacked by a crazed, axe-wielding madmen.”