To protect and conserve wildlife and habitats in Canada by engaging people and advocating on behalf of nature.
Parks and Protected Areas - Suffield National Wildlife Area
Great News! On November 30, Minister Kent announced the Government will reject Cenovus' request for a permit to expand drilling inside Suffield National Wildlife Area! That's great news for the 19 federally listed species at risk who depend on Suffield's rare prairie grassland habitat. When our elected officials make the right decision it's important to tell them, so please send a letter of congratulations to Minister Kent today.
Suffield National Wildlife Area near Medicine Hat, Alberta. Home to nearly 100 plant and animal species at risk of extinction. And 1,275 shallow gas wells and 220 km of pipeline if a proposed drilling project is allowed to proceed.
The Government of Canada established an NWA within the Canadian Forces Base at Suffield in 2003, and just two years later a proposed drilling project by energy giant EnCana Corp. threatened - and continues to put at risk - one of the last remaining large intact pieces of pristine prairie grasslands in Canada.
Nature Canada supporters have already raised their voices in alarm over this potentially precedent-setting development. No permit of this kind has ever been granted inside a national wildlife area in Canada, and in hundreds of letters you told the government that’s the way it should stay. Keep up the pressure!
Thanks to your letters, we convinced the government to conduct a full and public review of the proposed drilling project. This was an important first step, but the future of Suffield is still in doubt.
Public hearings were held in October 2008. Thanks to your letters and support, Nature Canada was successful in convincing the panel to reject EnCana's proposal as presented.
The panel found that the project would likely result in significant adverse effects on species at risk and interfere with the conservation of wildlife.
What Does the Future Hold?
Since the Panel issued its recommendation in 2009, Canadians have been left wondering what would be the fate of one of Canada's last remnants of "protected" native prairie. No decision has been taken on Cenovus' proposal and whether or not the necessary permit will be issued.
You can ask the government to remove this cloud of uncertainty. Send a letter asking that Cenovus' permit be denied.
Why Deny the Permit?
Nature Canada poses the following questions regarding plans to develop inside Suffield National Wildlife Area:
If Canadians cannot expect 16 federally listed species at risk to find safety inside a national wildlife area, where in the world can we expect our endangered species to exist in peace?
Can Canada allow expanded drilling operations inside a protected area like Suffield NWA and still meet its international conservation commitments as laid out in agreements like the Convention on Biological Diversity?
Does Canada really want to set the dangerous precedent of granting a permit for development inside a federally protected area, and risk rendering the very concept of “protected area” meaningless?
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