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September 2020 Newsletter

SEPTEMBER 2020 NEWS

* Information contained in this newsletter may not imply approval by SENS directors.
* For the latest updates, check out the SENS Facebook Event Page!

SENS STUFF

1. ACTION - Vernon Heronry – Second Public Hearing September 14th, 5:30pm, Vernon Rec Centre: Please add your voice - Council will not act in the interests of the herons if they don’t hear of people’s concerns. Two things will be decided at that Public Hearing:
  • whether or not the property beside the heronry will be rezoned from Rural Small Holdings to Low Rise Apartment Residential and 
  • whether or not the City will require a protective covenant on Scotland Constructor's title to protect the herons which are Blue Listed Provincially and "at risk" federally.  
  • Council's decision may be influenced by what they hear from the public at the hearing so it is important that the public speaks to Council about why they feel this at-risk species needs to be protected.  The City of Vernon's bylaws state that they will "protect and conserve sensitive ecosystems throughout the City" and I only hope we can hold them to that.

***More background details are present in the attachment from SENS Director, Jane Weixl.

2. Fluoro Ski Wax Ban: SENS directors, on behalf of all members and the community, wrote to ask for a ban on an environmentally damaging new wax. The ban is in place! Here’s the article.

3. ACTION - BC Forest Watch Summit: SENS joins this group and the local CAN (Climate Action Now) group to take action on serious forest issues in BC. Please join us all in taking part in this speaker summit on forestry and forestry policy from Sept 10 – 15 followed by widespread action across the province on Friday September 18.

The summit schedule is here: BC Forests: The People's Convergence
General Information about this initiative: https://www.forestmarchbc.com/

The driving force behind this summit is that early in 2020, there was a study by the BC Government of Forestry Policy and the Status of Old Growth at the same time as a growing number of concerns about BC forests. It is time to stand up and push the government to make changes that they seem incapable of doing on their own.  The concerns include but are not limited to: 

1. Climate Change: Over the last 20 years, BC forests have transitioned from a Greenhouse Gas (GHG) sink to a GHG source, due to forestry mismanagement and climate change (see attached graph. Note that the blue area is the amount of the GHG sink, not as indicated in the legend; the bottom line is Growth minus Decay which is negative indicating a shrinking a GHG or Carbon Sink). In 2018, BC forests produced 3.5 times as much GHGs as the reported GHG production for the province which does not include forests 

2. Loss of Old Growth. While BC stats indicate that 28% of Old Growth Forests remain, only 3% of the relatively rare Productive Old Growth Forests which produce large trees found in valley bottoms remains. This is a serious issue for biodiversity as well as climate change. 

3. Damage to community watersheds 

4. Vulnerability to forest fires due to forestry practices

5. Threats to wildlife and salmon stocks 

6. Loss of forestry-related employment 

7. Lack of public accountability

LOCAL STUFF

1. Farmers’ Markets:

            Vernon: Mondays and Thursdays, 8 am – 1 pm, Kal Tire Place, outside.

            Lumby: Year-round, Monashee Food Co-Op (GMO/pesticide-free!), Shuswap Ave.

            Armstrong: Saturdays, 8 am – noon, IPE grounds until the end of September. 

2. Make it a “Bag-it” Day! September 27th is World River's Day—a day to celebrate and encourage stewardship of these awesome waterbodies. Grab a bag or 2, walk a river or creek near you – with friends!  Fill your bag … and send your pics to SENS for the website, share on fb, and send to your local newspaper/e-paper!  Good on ya, ahead of time!

 SENT BY MEMBERS OR READERS

1. YouTube: (a) Reforestation in Iceland  (b) Primobius Co. Recycles Lithium Batteries!

 2. Bird Deaths at Windows (via NONC): Watch “How to Stop the Thuds" to learn about BirdSavers. These   offer a simple, yet elegant, solution to the major problem of birds dying at our windows!  They can be especially inexpensive too if you make them yourself (DIY instructions are here)... 

FROM VALHALLA WILDERNESS SOCIETY

1. Wolf Cull vs Habitat Protection for Caribou: For the article, go here!

FROM AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL

1. ACTION– Mount Polley Disaster: The Mount Polley Mining Co. continues to dump untreated mine waste into Quesnel Lake! You are asked to: (1) Write a letter, sign our online action, or send a tweet calling on the B.C. government to suspend the discharges; (2) Sign this petition calling on B.C. to reform its mining laws; and (3) to Donate to the Concerned Citizens of Quesnel Lake to help them mount their case before the B.C. Environmental Appeal Board. The full article is here! 

FROM EVERGREEN

1. #Unexpected Solutions: This Future Cities Canada program hopes to build and showcase innovations that will create cities where everyone will thrive. Tap into the tools, workshops, and wisdom from across Canada and around the world. With seven streams of unique programming, there will be 40+ virtual events for you to participate in! This free six-week program runs from October 20th to November 26th, 2020. Learn More here!

2. Web Links:

 FROM DAVID SUZUKI FOUNDATION

1. Role of Language in Environmental Protection: As Indigenous botanist and writer, Robin Wall Kimmerer noted, “Beyond the renaming of places, I think the most profound act of linguistic imperialism was the replacement of a language of animacy with one of objectification of nature, which renders the beloved land as lifeless object, the forest as board feet of timber.”  Read the entire article here!

2. ACTION - Canadian Environmental Protection Act (CEPA): Please Sign this digital petition which asks the federal government to strengthen the CEPA and recognize the right to a healthy environment. You could sign a similar petition via Ecojustice instead… 

FROM  NATURE CONSERVANCY OF CANADA

Its Home Needs Heart Rot: IF a Williamson’s Sapsucker’s home were destroyed it would take 100 years to ’find’ a new one, and logging is the main threat.… Read more.

FROM UBC ALUMNI NEWS

Sea-Star Extinction: Disease and warming oceans continue to push sea stars to the edge of extinction  (National Observer)
2.Non-toxic water repellant for clothes: UBC Okanagan creates non-toxic water repellant for clothing (Castanet)
3.Alberta’s Water Woes: Study suggests retreating glaciers could impact Alberta municipal water supplies (Global News)

From IISD

1. Five in Five Years For 50 Billion: The Task Force for a Resilient Recovery released its preliminary report outlining clear steps for how Canada can build back better.

2. Resilience Needs Biodiversity: The UN has set a date for the Summit on Biodiversity; so it's worth asking how can nature-based solutions aid global recovery efforts?

3. Super Nordic Economies: Their economies have grown 28% while their carbon emissions have fallen by 18%. What's their secret?  

4. IISD Website: The new-and-improved IISD.org allows visitors to better connect with their experts, quickly find the resources they need, and take action.

5. Podcasts with Solutions: Join a different host each episode as ISSD tracks down solutions to create a more sustainable and resilient world in 30 minutes or less! 

FROM POLIS WATER SUSTAINABILITY PROJECT

1. Watershed Security:  A new research report that offers insights and options for a modernized land use and planning regime in BC is available here!

2. Investing in Our Watersheds: This webinar video is available here! 

FROM COUNCIL OF CANADIANS

1. New NAFTA: Corporations no longer have the right to sue Canada over laws that protected Canadians and the environment… but it will take 3 years before this comes into effect. So, predictably, some corporations are seeking to sue government for taking action to protect people during the COVID crisis under the provisions of ISDS. For more on these mindless disputes, go here.

2. ACTION - Water Quality Monitoring: Since this March, the federal government has suspended  monitoring and also signed an agreement with Alberta’s government to reduce and cut funding to environmental monitoring activities in the tar sands. Please send a letter to the Minister of Environment and demand that these critical monitoring activities resume immediately! 

FROM CANADIAN FRESHWATER ALLIANCE

5,700 British Columbians have already endorsed the CodeBlue plan to safeguard and restore watersheds in BC. Join them 

FROM EGAN MANDRECK, Co-editor

1. Elevator Fundraiser Update: My Mom's garden tour was a rousing success! We managed to collect over $15,000, enough for that first down payment. My heart-felt thanks goes out to all who donated! But ,we still need to make a second, final payment. As such, the fundraiser has shifted to a more robust online model. Please check it out or make a bank e-transfer to donnajscott64@gmail.com. 

Co-Edited with Egan Mandreck

We are now allowed to accept memberships (Join Us) via e-transfer!

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