Endangered species: Industry vs. spotted owl
The Labrador duck is long gone and the wild Vancouver Island marmot is struggling to bounce back, but the whooping crane, the swift fox and the bison are actually making comebacks. With more than 30 species already gone and over 400 species of plants and animals at risk, Canada is starting to get serious about protecting its endangered species. Let's hope it's not too late.
Waterman reports that environmentalists have all but given up on the province and are turning instead to the federal government, hoping for tough legislation similar to that in the United States.
• In September 2002 the Western Canada Wilderness Committee, Sierra Legal Defence Fund and Forest Watch released Logging to Extinction: The Last Stand of the Northern Spotted Owl in Canada.
• Following the release of this publication, two of the top industrial loggers of owl habitat, International Forest Products and Canadian Forest Products, voluntarily deferred logging in spotted owl habitat while they wait for the B.C. government's new Spotted Owl Recovery Team to issue recovery recommendations.
• The province of British Columbia has no endangered species protection laws.
• The 2003 Species at Risk Act contains provisions allowing the federal government to invoke protection measures when a provincial species at risk is critically threatened and the responsible provincial government cannot or will not address the imminent threat.
• In February 2004 a coalition of environmental groups submitted a legal petition to the federal government asking for emergency intervention to halt logging in the owl's habitat.
• According to this coalition, only 14 adult owls were recorded in British Columbia in 2003, making the spotted owl the most endangered bird in Canada.
• The coalition consisted of the David Suzuki Foundation, ForestEthics, Sierra Club of Canada, the Western Canada Wilderness Committee and Sierra Legal Defence Fund.
• While Environment Minister David Anderson said he recognized the merits of the petition, he wanted to give the province time to come up with a recovery plan.
• The coalition will seek a meeting with the new environment minister, Stéphane Dion, in the fall of 2004.
• CBC's Eve Savory looks at the spotted owl situation south of the border and finds tempers running high.
Program: Canada Now
Broadcast Date: Sept. 5, 2001
Guest(s): Gwen Barlee, Mike de Jong, Joe Foy, Devon Page
Reporter: Alan Waterman
Last updated: June 21, 2013
Page consulted on December 6, 2013
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