Sunday 7 March 2021

Managing & Exploiting Nature

Kingsmere Lake sunset

We’ve come across some thought-provoking articles that we wanted to share with you. 

Against the Duck Factory 
Many members of the Opaskwayak Cree Nation (OCN) in Manitoba and Cumberland House Cree Nation in Saskatchewan have an uneasy relationship with Ducks Unlimited. They are wary of the dams and other water control measures that have been established in the Saskatchewan River delta that they believe have ruined lakes, rivers, and creeks. It’s unclear what their purpose has been, but it’s worth noting that Ducks Unlimited “controls more land and water in Canada than all First Nations combined.” 

The Last Frontier 
Canada has a long history of natural resource exploitation. Is northern Canada the last frontier? 

Saskatchewan residents, many of whom live in northern Saskatchewan, are speaking out against a proposed peat mine south of La Ronge. “Although peatlands, also called bogs and muskegs, cover only 3 per cent of the Earth’s surface, they store twice the carbon of all the world’s forests combined. Peatlands also regulate water flows, mitigating the risk of flooding and preventing drought. In addition, they act as natural water cleansers and support a rich assortment of flora and fauna, which is why they are sometimes called ‘nature’s nurseries.’ . . . Over the course of a millennium, the peatland will grow by only one metre, which hardly makes it a renewable resource.” 

“A coalition of Indigenous and environmental organizations is calling on the Canadian and Ontario governments to impose an ‘immediate moratorium’ on all mineral exploration or impact assessment work related to the Ring of Fire region.” The Ontario government has acknowledged that industrial activity could have a negative impact on the wetlands and peatlands in the region. 

“Two Yukon First Nations are renewing calls for a regional land use plan to be completed before any new development on their traditional territories is considered . . . . Allowing industry to explore in a region where land use planning is underway could rule out protecting areas with high conservation values.” 

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