Thursday, April 5, 2012
Happy spring! Migration is underway as boreal birds by the billions are winging their way north to Canada's boreal forest, for a productive breeding season. Check below for quite a bit of good news about the boreal forest and its birds, and actions you can take for more progress.
Plan Nord to Protect 50% of Northern Quebec
Calling it perhaps the largest environmental conservation project on the planet, Quebec premier Jean Charest recently unveiled formal plans to safeguard 50% of the province’s northern territory - a region the size of France - from industrial development. Plan Nord has the support of 750 international scientists, who weighed in during the plan's consultation period, as well as 81% of Quebecers, a recent poll showed. According to the plan, 20% of the area will be fully protected - more than initially promised - and 30% will be closed to mining and hydroelectric projects, though certain types of low-impact development will be permitted.
Read The Montreal Gazette article about Plan Nord >
TAKE ACTION: Support environmental protection in Plan Nord >
Boreal Forest Home to Potential UNESCO Site
After years of preparation, Pimachiowin Aki - a sweeping region of pristine boreal forest that is home to five First Nations in Manitoba and Ontario - formally submitted their nomination to become a UNESCO World Heritage Site. If approved it will become the first UNESCO site in Canada designated under both natural and cultural heritage. A decision is expected in 2013. In the meantime, Manitoba is considering plans to run a hydroelectric transmission line through this very area.
Read the CBC News article about this announcement
Watch videos of birds in the area from Dr. Jeff Wells >
TAKE ACTION: Urge Manitoba to reject the transmission line >
Canadian Mint Issues Boreal Forest Coins
Canada’s boreal forest received some glowing attention from an interesting new ally: the Canadian Mint. To mark the United Nations' declaration of 2011 as the International Year of the Forest, the Canadian Mint issued these beautiful $2 boreal forest commemorative coins. They also released a $1 coin to celebrate 100 years of Parks Canada. And you can find gorgeous fine silver and pure gold coins featuring the boreal forest as well, designed by First Nations artist Corrine Hunt.
Read a press release for the complete story >
Read about the honor on Dr. Jeff Wells' blog >
Top Ten Boreal Forest Stories of 2011
As the United Nations' International Year of the Forest drew to a close, our partner the Canadian Boreal Initiative created a Top Ten list of big news in the boreal during 2011. The list includes several impressive conservation efforts as well as a groundbreaking report on water in the boreal forest, co-authored by our own Senior Scientist, Dr. Jeff Wells. Another partner, the Pew Environment Group, created a Top Five list of boreal forest stories.
Check out the top ten list from the Canadian Boreal Initiative >
Check out the Pew Environment Group's top five list >
Report: 66% Caribou Decline in Newfoundland
BSI Senior Scientist Dr. Jeff Wells has branched out yet again from his beloved birds to focus on protection for caribou habitat in the boreal forest. He has co-authored a recent report highlighting a rapid decline of woodland caribou in Newfoundland - a decrease of 66% in the last decade. Because large swaths of this habitat are still intact, Dr. Wells points out that Newfoundland has a rare opportunity for conservation and urges the province to increase protection in the boreal forest.
Find the complete report, related maps and other resources >
Read coverage by The Canadian Press >