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Y2Y Applauds Government Motion on Alberta Headwaters

Y2Y's Stephen Legault hopes a recent Alberta Government motion will spur further action toward protecting the province's headwaters.

May 9, 2016

Canmore, AB - The Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative (Y2Y) is applauding a private members motion listed on the Legislature of Alberta’s order paper as of May 2, 2016.

Written by Cam Westhead, MLA for Banff-Cochrane and Deputy Whip for the governing NDP, the motion says: “Be it resolved that the Legislative Assembly urge the Government to increase its efforts to conserve and manage public lands in Alberta’s headwater regions to optimize downstream water security for future generations of Albertans.”

"This is an important statement for people who care about water and watershed health,” says Stephen Legault, Y2Y’s Program Director for Alberta, Crown and Northwest Territories. “This effort to stand up in the Alberta Legislature and seek the approval of that legislative body to advance the conservation of Alberta’s headwaters is a significant step forward.”

“For decades Albertans have been advocating for the protection of the Rocky Mountains and Foothills,” says Legault. “Places like the Castle, the Oldman River headwaters, Kananaksis Country, the Ghost and the Bighorn are vital for the clean water we depend upon in Lethbridge, Calgary, Edmonton and communities throughout Alberta. We need that water, and so do westslope cutthroat trout, grizzly bears and other endangered wildlife.”

“We hope all Legislators will consider this motion very carefully. A private members motion isn’t binding on the government, however, and Y2Y would like this debate to spur further concrete action that leads to meaningful protection of our headwaters. In the Ghost Watershed, for example, an accelerated pace of logging that started under the previous PC government has continued since the NPD came to power less than a year ago,” says Legault.

“A large percentage of Calgary’s water comes from the Ghost, and by the end of 2017, 20 percent of that watershed will be clearcut under a business-as-usual scenario. There is a major discrepancy between Mr. Westhead’s visionary motion and the current policy of clearcutting our headwaters.”

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For further comment, contact:
Stephen Legault, Y2Y Program Director – Alberta, Crown and Northwest Territories
(cell) 403-688-2964 | stephen@y2y.net 

Click here to read the motion, (p. 12, motion 511).