Lethbridge and Area Events
Wildlife in the Wind
The Alberta Chapter of the Wildlife Society will provide the second of this season's Wildlife in the Wind Talks on Wednesday December 4, 12 noon at the Lethbridge Public Library Community Meeting Room (downstairs at north end of library).
The Last Goldeye?
Cumulative effects and the loss of Alberta's small rivers
Dr. Michael Sullivan
Alberta's small rivers, like the Battle River, once supported popular fisheries for native fish like goldeye and walleye. These are fish are almost gone. Looking further afield, rivers such as the Beaver and Beaverlodge have lost their fishes like grayling and walleye. Their landscape and habitat is radically changed. People no longer drink, swim or fish in these rivers. What happened? Why? What will it be like in another 50 or 100 years? What can people who like fish, flowing rivers, and clean water do?
Alberta's vibrant grassroots watershed groups like the Battle River Alliance and the North Saskatchewan Watershed Alliance have looked at these questions, and hope the answers will provide advice and direction for the public and Alberta's decision-makers through processes like the Water-for-Life and Land Use Framework strategies.
Dr. Michael Sullivan continues to nurture a life-long love affair with Alberta and its furry and finny residents. He is employed by the Provincial Government as their Fisheries Scientist (Fish and Wildlife Division) and is usually found near the University of Alberta campus, where he is lucky enough to earn a living finding ways to make peace between fishermen, developers, and fishes.
The last sage meeting was:
10 October @ 7:00 pm
Lethbridge Public Library
Downtown branch, by the coffee shop
Sacred Spirit of Water is a documentary film written, directed and produced by Morningstar Mercredi - actor, writer and social activist.
The film traces the Idle No More movement against omnibus Bills C-45 and C-38, particularly the assault on water.
Connected with this movement is the impact of water contamination from oil & gas exploitation on First Nations' lands
and the emerging environmental concerns about hydraulic fracturing.
The 57 minute film can be viewed at: www.sacredspiritofwater.com
SAGE endorses the Environment Lethbridge Strategic Plan
To: Mayor Dodic and Lethbridge City Council
Please accept this letter in support of the Environment Lethbridge Strategic Plan. This plan aligns directly with the City’s Integrated Community Sustainability Plan / Municipal Development Plan (ICSP/MDP) in the effort to “ensure that Lethbridge is a leader in environmental stewardship, innovation and active leadership.” This organization offers to foster Sustainability, alongside the existing broadbased organizations dealing with economic and social development in the community, including the Lethbridge Sports Council, the Allied Arts Council, and Economic Development Lethbridge.
The Southern Alberta Group for the Environment (SAGE) endorses the vision of an organization in Lethbridge that would provide insight and help define direction toward environmental sustainability policy, planning and education. If we are to continue to build the social and economic resilience of Lethbridge in the future, it will be important to cultivate a cooperative process of communication between the Community (business, industry and citizens) and the City of Lethbridge regarding environmental sustainability. Quality educational materials that are regionally appropriate could be developed to provide clear direction for the Community on topics including waste management, energy efficiency, alternative transportation, alternative energy technologies, water conservation and xeriscaping. Environment Lethbridge would also provide value-added work in communication, policy development and implementation, and advocacy for City and Community initiatives.
We are very excited about the prospect of establishing a collaborative and effective organization in Lethbridge that would help facilitate efforts to sustain our collective prosperity and the health of the ecosystem of which we are a part.
Get a copy of the document by clicking here (PDF in new window).
To: Mayor Dodic and Members of Lethbridge City Council
Copy to: Braum Barber, Executive Director, SAGE (Southern Alberta Group for the Environment)
Dear Mayor Dodic and Members of Council:
As a SAGE member and clean air advocate, I wish to voice my support for the Environment Lethbridge Strategic Plan. I believe the organization proposed as an integral part of implementing this plan could, in important ways, help enable Lethbridge to continue evolving as the most clean, healthy, vibrant, and sustainable city possible. I think the support that Lethbridge City Council and the City's Environment Committee have shown throughout the consultation process regarding this proposal is commendable. I am confident that the organization would also be welcomed, and valued, by many others in our community.
Environmental concerns are shared by a growing number of people. Examples include problems posed by increased development and the ongoing need for preservation and stewardship of our natural areas. Other issues citizens may bring to the attention of a Sustainability Council might include, for example, ideas for projects and policies regarding waste reduction and recycling, water conservation, goals for reduced air pollution, and the potential for appropriate use of clean, renewable energy sources.
Thoughtful exploration of these and other environmental issues could benefit greatly, I believe, from the existence of an arm's length advisory council enabling greater communication between the City and the community regarding education, initiatives, and policy input relating to sustainability issues, such as clean air, clean water, and careful land use. With the proposed organization being based on a foundation of caring about the environment and its ultimate importance in numerous civic matters, I feel that tremendous value could emerge from the way it could facilitate a helpful exchange of ideas regarding environmental issues affecting our city. Such discussion, along with current resources and research on the various issues, could assist community members as well as city officials in making informed and beneficial choices.
Last winter, Canada joined an international UN-led clean air coalition aimed at helping to reduce emissions of pollutants considered factors in climate change. The coalition was formed as part of a response to United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) recommendations that nations and communities are urged to consider in the 2011 publication, Integrated Assessment of Black Carbon and Tropospheric Ozone: Summary for Decision Makers (pdf document). With the myriad complex issues facing City Council, I think that this is just one example of where a group of informed citizens, with input from concerned residents, could assist our local government in making decisions that could help Lethbridge to meet environmental goals, such as implementing applicable strategies outlined in the UNEP summary and original full report.
Environmental challenges are growing, along with increased public awareness and concern. I feel that the proposed organization could help Lethbridge in offering optimized responses to environmental challenges locally while, at the same time, thereby contributing to the kinds of solutions now being sought globally.
Thank you very much for your time and consideration.
SAGE is supportive of the private member’s bill (Bill 202) as advanced by Dr.Neil Brown, MLA, Calgary Mackay-Nose Hill. The bill advances more transparency around the privatization of public prairie rangeland in southern Alberta by making publically available all wildlife habitat reporting, and by requiring a 90 day waiting period to allow public comment about the sale of such lands.
Read the rest on our Letters to Government Page.