Tuesday, 26 June 2012

EcoSask News, June 26, 2012

Sage grouse and water, fruit-shaped bus stops and garden sculptures - there's something for everyone in this week's edition of EcoSaskNews

Hort Week, July 7-13
Hort Week, organized by the Centre for Continuing and Distance Education, includes an impressive array of workshops and activities – from constructing hypertufa containers and garden sculpture to identifying insects and garden tours. There is a free Sunday night lecture on Creating Privacy in your Garden.

Sage Grouse Numbers Drop by Half 
18 male sage grouse were counted in Saskatchewan in 2012 – less than half of the 42 recorded in the last count in 2010. In Alberta, only 13 males were counted – the same number as in 2011. The birds have been listed as endangered since 1998. The Alberta Wilderness Association says the grouse abandon their leks (mating grounds) when confronted with oil and gas development. Other challenges include human activity, weather, habitat change, and West Nile virus. Alberta Environment is attempting to bolster the Alberta population with birds from Montana, but this will take time.

Stress Points: Water & Economic Growth
Stress Points: An Overview of Water & Economic Growth in Western Canada, published by the Canada West Foundation, points out that a series of water challenges are beginning to emerge in Western Canada, encompassing water quality, quantity, and the effects of economic development on communities and aquatic ecosystems. The paper highlights some of the difficult decisions we face, such as whether water should be allocated based upon its economic value.

Food Access
Food is a basic necessity of life. Here are 10 steps that local governments can take to plan for healthier, more sustainable local and regional food systems.

Community Pastures
A woman who lived for several years in cattle country writes a moving letter about the value of community pastures: Community pastures: “a vital support for rural communities”

Making Transit Fun! 
Making Transit Fun: How to entice motorists from their cars (and onto their feet, a bike, or bus) is an ebook from Darrin Nordahl. Examples from around the world range from bus stops that look like fruit to music-filled buses with skylights. Portland held a Streetcar Mobile Music Fest last year: 8 bands, 6 streetcars, 3 hours of fun. (via Making Public Transport Fun)

EcoSask News is a weekly round-up of local news and events. Email us if you have items you would like us to include. A listing of upcoming events can be found on our Calendar.

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