Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Alberta Sacrifices Wildlife for Profit

Anywhere else this would be an outrage, in Alberta its a dog bites man kinda story.

Let us count the species going extinct as we expand logging, mining and oil extraction into their wilderness. Grizzly, Black Bears, Wolves and now caribou. Oh yes and while the Environmentalists properly blame the government for allowing this the government blames, wait for it, the wolves........

Here is another example of the failure of provincialism, the idea that only the provincial government can manage the 'resources' of the province which include the wilderness and its creatures. When they fail in their duty to protect that 'resource' then it is time for it to be taken away from them. Simple really.

But who in Ottawa has the balls to fight Alberta...hmmmm....sure they will fight in the streets, and bistros and villages of Quebec but who will put up the dukes in Alberta to save Canada's wilderness and its endagered species?

Fighting for herds under threat in Alberta

Eight major conservation groups filed the petition to Environment Minister St├ęphane Dion yesterday. It demands that Ottawa stop the precipitous slide in caribou numbers in the province, where largely unrestricted logging and oil exploration have cut the population to 3,000 or fewer from as many as 9,000 during the 1960s.

Without protection, caribou are likely to be wiped out in many areas in less than 40 years, a trend described by scientists as "slow motion" extinction.

The groups are asking for federal intervention because they have lost confidence that Alberta will take any steps to protect the caribou if those actions inconvenience the resource industry. They say the province has indicated its approach by approving new logging in areas in the central part of Alberta inhabited by the most threatened caribou herds, as well as in most areas of the north that the animals use.

Dave Ealey, a spokesman for Alberta Sustainable Resource Development, defended the province, saying it is shooting wolves to prevent them from killing caribou for food. Some scientists say that would be unnecessary if habitat was preserved.

Alberta is also using donations from energy companies to buy items such as caribou-crossing signs to reduce highway road kill.

The province has classified the species as endangered and ended hunting in 1980. The population hasn't recovered because habitat destruction, rather than killing by sportsmen, is the major threat.

But Mr. Ealey said the Alberta government is loath to conserve land for animals because it would harm living standards.

And that is the real crux of the matter and also the most despicable excuse. Never truer words were spoken the " Alberta government is loath"some.

Even as the last of the caribou under the Klein dynasty will be sacrificed for the greed of big oil. Soon they will only be found on the 25 cent coin. And even there it may be come extinct replaced by the New Alberta quarter.

The coins tell the story


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