Wild People: Shannon Duncan and Christopher McCurry

Photo: Douglas Noblet

Earth Day: Small Steps Change the World

The theme of this year’s earth day is “It’s Our Turn to Lead.” And the kids who’ve been participating in our Beyond Recycling program have taken this to heart. 

Since the fall, they’ve been on a journey to discover the impact of their lifestyles—product choices, energy, waste and consumption—and what effects their everyday actions have on the planet.

Jaquelyn, a Gr. 7 student said, “I totally feel that this program has made me look at waste a different way. I realize now what can happen to our earth if we don’t take care of it.”

For Earth Day, these inspiring students have planned various activities to celebrate all they’ve learned—Trash to Treasure recycled art projects, local food potlucks, flowers planted and posters placed around town challenging communities to reduce their ecological footprint. 

The sustainability issues we face today can be overwhelming. But these students have learned that change is possible; it begins with small everyday actions. 

Denovah, a student and participant said, “I think the best part of the program is how we make a difference. If we try, we can change the world. We have ideas to change.”

Take Back the Wild

This summer, Wildsight is partnering with the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society’s BC Chapter (CPAWS-BC) to build the capacity of 25 youth from the Kootenays. Take Back the Wild will provide free, comprehensive training for young people under 30 to become conservation leaders on local environmental issues that matter to them. 

The summit will kick off in Johnson’s Landing from June 5-7, 2015. After the training weekend, participants will partner with local community groups or start their own local, conservation project.Find more information, including the application, here.

Action Alert: Stand Up for Balance in the Elk Valley

The Elk Valley has long been known for it’s world class wildlife, clean water and vibrant fish populations. In more recent history, it has also become well known for its vast metallurgical coal resources—the five currently operating open pit coal mines are the second largest single source of metallurgical coal exports in the world.

Presently, there are proposals to expand four existing mines, open three new coal mines, with another four mine proposals on the horizon. Find out more about the proposals here. On top of all of this, there are also proposals for several new rock quarries and a large-scale increase in the rate of logging by Jemi Fibre on private lands.

We, the people who live and play in this region, need to raise our voices and call for balance. If unbridled development continues without a long-term vision or a sustainable plan, so much of what we love about this place will be put in jeopardy.

A comment period is currently open for the proposed Rock Quarry at Racehorse Pass, near Sparwood. The quarry would be located in an Access Management Area, set aside by multiple stakeholders at the land-use table for its high wildlife value. Please take action and send a letter to the BC government saying no to this proposal and yes to balance.

Inspiration: The Creston Community Forest

In 1996, the BC government announced that a Forest License to harvest 15,000 m3 per year was available near Creston. Responding to concerns from community members, Wildsight Creston Valley, along with four other groups, jointly submitted an application to the BC government and were granted the license. 

They had a bold and beautiful vision: an ecosystem-based, ecologically responsible philosophy of forest stewardship. A community taking care of and benefiting directly from its own resources. 

And they achieved it. All harvesting done by the Creston Community Forest is done using silvicultural systems and harvesting methods that are compatible with community values. The Community Forest provides local employment, encourages education and training in sustainable forestry, and uses local facilities for primary timber processing. 

Thank-you Creston Community Forest for your inspiration and your contribution to a world in which both humans and nature can thrive.

Find out more about the Community Forest here.

Spring Events

APRIL 15: Kimberley/Cranbrook AGM

APRIL 18: Birding with Cam Gillies, Invermere

APRIL 22: Earth Day Fernie

MAY 8-10: Creston Valley Bird Festival

MAY 16: Birdwatching Breakfast, Golden


For just $20, you can become a lifetime member of Wildsight. Together, we will work to protect wild places, wildlife and clean water and promote sustainable communities.

We’re stronger together – join Wildsight today!



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