Latest News

Ontario Government Abandons Endangered Species

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - David Suzuki Foundation, Earthroots, Ontario Nature, Sierra Club of Canada

Environmentalists decry Cabinet decision to gut law protecting imperilled wildlife

Toronto, May 31, 2013 – The provincial Cabinet announced today its approval of sweeping exemptions for industry under the Endangered Species Act, 2007 (ESA).  Environmental organizations are incensed at the government’s abdication of its responsibility to protect and recover Ontario’s endangered plants and animals.

“This is the first major test of the new Cabinet’s commitment to the environment, and they have failed,” says Dr. Anne Bell, director of conservation and education at Ontario Nature. “They have turned their backs on the province’s most imperilled wildlife, and at a time when the federal government is poised to do the same.”

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Ontario's forests still at risk

MEDIA RELEASE

Some of the world’s largest clearcuts still planned in the province

Toronto - Despite announcements made today, the devastation of Ontario’s forests continues largely unabated.  Giant clearcuts, which level forested areas as large as pre-megacity Toronto (10,000 ha), still make up 94% of the area logged each year in Ontario.  Canada’s logging industry employs only 2/3 of the workers per tree cut that Sweden employs, and Ontario has still not respected the human right of Indigenous peoples to say “no” to logging on their traditional lands.

“Ontarians should not rest easily about the health of our forests,” said David Sone of Earthroots.  “Our forests are still being decimated by the same cut-and-run logging industry giants who leave a trail of laid off workers, violated Indigenous land  rights, and ecologically barren clearcuts before moving on to new jurisdictions with weaker environmental and human rights standards.”

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Media Release: Building Resilience Through Accountability

For immediate release: Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Today at Queen's Park, Ontario's Environmental Commissioner (ECO) released his annual 2008-2009 report, "Building Resilience." The report is a critical assessment of the Provincial Government's management of our natural resources, highlighting shortcomings for a diverse spectrum of environmental policy issues.  As Ontario's outspoken, non-partisan environmental watchdog, Gord Miller makes a series of urgent suggestions regarding the provincial government's management of our aggregate resources, biofibre, and the overall response to the biodiversity crisis currently unfolding in our province.

The Report delineates the mass extinction taking place on a global level, and highlights Ontario as an example of a biologically rich and vast region at a crossroads.  The initial momentum of Ontairo's Biodiversity Strategy, introduced nearly five years ago has quickly died down as "serious shortcomings of the strategy have gone largely unaddressed."  The Commissioner also underlined the Environmental Communities' frustration with the ambiguity of the Strategy by highlighting that it does not outline respective responsibilities of Ontario's ministries, or set out timelines to accomplish measurable targets.  "Ontario has more species at risk than any other province," notes former Biodiversity Council member and Earthroots campaigner Josh Garfinkel.  "We are at a critical juncture where our provincial government can become leaders in conservation, but they must first revise the Biodiversity Strategy."

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Toronto’s Leslie Street Spit: Cormorant Refuge in the midst of an international slaughter

by Ainslie Willock, Cormorant Defenders International (CDI)

Over a period of five years, more than 171,000 cormorants have been killed and far too many have been wounded in a North American-wide government sanctioned massive and cruel cull.

Tommy Thompson Park, simply known as the “The Spit” to Torontonians, is the home of the largest colony of double-crested cormorants on the Great Lakes.  The Toronto Regional Conservation Authority (TRCA), who manages the Spit, has chosen a responsible and thoughtful approach to managing the colony.  Their 2009 management goal is to "achieve a balance between the continued existence of a healthy, thriving cormorant colony and the other ecological, educational, scientific and recreational values of Tommy Thompson Park". 

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Our Volunteers

Featured Volunteer

Who?
Josephine Lau    

How long have you been volunteering at Earthroots?
I have been volunteering with Earthroots since 2009.

What have you done with Earthroots?
I have been involved with the Southern Ontario campaign.  Mainly, I attempt to contact the Planning Departments of various municipalities to obtain information and documents concerning the Oak Ridges Moraine, the Greenbelt, and the Niagara Escarpment.

What are your favourite pastimes?
I enjoy reading and eating.  

What is your favourite food?
Desserts and sweets… yum!

What is your most memorable volunteer experience?
I would have to say being on hold for half an hour then being passed off to someone else… only to be on hold once again.  I also enjoyed the learning experience that volunteering here at Earthroots has offered me.

 

Volunteer Profile

Who?
Seema Chandroga

How long have you been volunteering at Earthroots?
I have been volunteering at Earthroots since 2008.

What have you done with Earthroots?
I have helped out with various office duties such as data entry, research, mailings, filing and photocopying, etc.  I have also assisted with various special events and fundraisers.


What are your favourite pastimes?
Some of my favourite pastimes include volunteering and reading.

What is your favourite food?
I do like candy...

What is your most memorable volunteer experience?
There isn't really one - I enjoy coming into the office to help out with various tasks and I also enjoy helping out at fundraisers and special events - can't wait for the next one!

 

Volunteer Profile

Who?
Linda Marie Bird, DOB - September 7th,1949.

How long have you been volunteering at Earthroots?
Just over three years!

What have you done with Earthroots?
I have done data-entry, Wilderness Defenders email list maintenance, and my favourite – folding action alerts and stuffing envelopes for the weekly mailing!

What are your favourite pastimes?
I love to walk - especially by a lake or the ocean, and just sit and watch the water.  I believe this is the most calming and settling thing anybody can do.  I also love doing crafts (card-making), dancing, listening to music, watching old movies and painting.

What is your favourite food?
I like most foods but don't feed me any kind of peppers or coconut!  My very favourite foods are fish, seafood and veggies - especially the green ones.  When I eat out I love to go to a nice English pub, but if I am feeling adventurous I go for Japanese or Vietnamese.

What is your most memorable volunteer experience?
This is less of a one-time memorable experience, but the people involved in Earthroots’ volunteer program and their immense dedication to their beliefs and what the organization is all about – that’s the experience I enjoy the most when volunteering here.  Every time I come to Earthroots it’s like coming to visit a relative from out of town.

 

 

Volunteering at Earthroots

canoes.jpg (25365 bytes)Earthroots is a small effective organization that operates on a relatively small budget. We could not achieve our goals without the support we receive from volunteers. There is often more work to do than we can get done on our own!

Earthroots welcomes volunteers in a number of different capacities:

  • Community outreach,

  • Distributing Earthroots information materials at events and among friends,

  • General office help,

  • Participating in demonstrations and peaceful civil disobedience protests,

  • Campaign research and support.

The success of the Temagami blockades and all of our activist work would have never been possible without the hundreds of volunteers who provided technical, moral and financial support. Organizing demonstrations, providing transportation, tabling at community events and helping send out newsletters and tax receipts to our members are only a few ways in which we benefit from the dedication of many individuals.

Join the Wilderness Defenders!

Please fill out the form to the right to add your name to our contact list for volunteer opportunities with Earthroots.

 

Wilderness Defenders

 

The Wilderness Defenders email list is the best way for you to keep informed about updates on Earthroots campaigns. The email list is an announcement-only list, thus you will not be flooded with emails daily - you will generally receive 1-2 emails a month. ferguson.jpg (24315 bytes)

The Wilderness Defenders email list is one way that you can become involved in campaign activities. Postings of volunteer meetings, calls for activists to spread the word about the project and host events in their area as well as postings of the latest Earthroots action alerts and press releases will go through this list. Hear the news first! And then pass it on to other friends, family or work acquaintances on email.

Get involved with Earthroots by becoming a Wilderness Defender!

You can unsubscribe any time and your email address will not be traded or exchanged with other groups.

 

Request Materials

 

Stay Informed - Educate Yourself 

 

Local community action is essential to achieving wilderness and wildlife protection in Ontario. Community coordinators are needed to distribute information about Earthroots’ campaigns, organize media events and local letter-writing campaigns, and educate neighbours and friends about the threats to Ontario wildlife and wild spaces.

Earthroots needs your help! We can provide factsheets, postcards, action alerts, sample ‘letters to the editor’ and advice that you can use to mobilize your community.

These materials can be distributed to:

    * Schools – high schools, colleges, universities
    * Chambers of Commerce
    * Volunteer groups such as Lion’s Clubs, Rotary Clubs, reading groups, Public Interest Research Groups (PIRGs), wildlife clubs, outdoors clubs etc.!
    * Friends, family, neighbours
    * Libraries
    * Other environmental groups
    * City councilors, provincial, and federal members of parliament (MPPs and MPs)
    * Eco-Tourism centers
    * Any other interested group or individual!

Fill in the form to your right to be contacted. Indicate which campaigns you would be interested in knowing more about. Please understand that sending out materials costs us a lot in postage and staff time so please use materials wisely! Thank you for helping us protect the wildlife and wilderness of Ontario!

About Us

Earthroots is a grassroots conservation organization dedicated to the preservation of wilderness, wildlife and watersheds in Canada, with a focus on Ontario.

We have been on the front lines of wilderness conservation since 1986, when our predecessor organization, the Temagami Wilderness Society (TWS) was formed. The TWS was created to fight for the preservation of rare old growth white and red pine forests in the Temagami region of northern Ontario. After campaign success in the Temagami region, the organization changed its name to Earthroots in 1991, in order to broaden the organization’s campaign focus beyond the Temagami issue.

Earthroots consists of two separate organizations: Earthroots Fund, a charitable organization (registration #135165140 RR0001) that engages in public education and research, and Earthroots Coalition, a non-profit organization that engages in advocacy and action. Earthroots' campaigns focus on achieving meaningful protection for Ontario's threatened wilderness areas and wildlife species. Earthroots acts on behalf of 12,000 supporters across the country.

Earthroots is a strong advocate and agitator for wilderness preservation in Ontario, combining grassroots campaign strategies with effective research and educational programs. Since 1986, Earthroots has used its grassroots expertise to organize, educate and mobilize the public, conduct successful media events, carry out wilderness research projects and ensure proper forest management planning.

We empower thousands of Canadians each year to advocate for better environmental protection and achieve conservation victories!

 

Staff 

Left to right: Dave Vasey, Teresita Tanjanlangit, Josh Garfinkel, Hannah Barron, Tyler MacDougall, Amber Ellis. Absent: David Sone

 

Hannah Barron
Director, Wildlife Conservation Campaigns

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Amber Ellis
Executive Director

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Josh Garfinkel
Director, Southern Ontario Campaigns

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Tyler MacDougall
Canvass Director 

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David Sone
Director, Northern Ontario Campaigns

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Teresita Tajanlangit
Volunteer Coordinator / Administrative Assistant

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Dave Vasey
Outreach Canvasser

 

Board of Directors

 

Gord Miller, Chair
Former Environmental Commissioner of Ontario / Consulting Ecologist

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Andrea Wilson, Vice-Chair
Ethics Professional / Eco-tourism Entrepreneur

 

John Willms, Secretary / Treasurer
Former Environmental Law Specialist / Willms Institutional Strengthening 

 

Ellen Greenwood
Greenwood and Associates

 

Marjan Lahuis
Ontario Environment Industry Association / Consulate General of the Netherlands

 

David Oved
Environmental Consultant

 

Hap Wilson
Earthroots Co-founder / Author / Trails and Tourism Consultant

 

Special thanks to

Clayton Ruby
Lawyer, Ruby & Shiller

for 20 years of dedicated service to Earthroots!

 

Council of Patrons


Robert Bateman - Wildlife Artist / Author

Dr. Robert McGhee - Curator of Archaeology, Canadian Museum of Nature

Farley Mowat - Author / Wildlife Advocate (RIP Farley - 1921 - 2014)

Les Stroud - "Survivorman", TV Personality and Survival Expert

 

Advisory Board

 

John Ellis
Privacy Officer

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Steve Abrams - Co-founder, Mill Street Brewery

Andrew Athanasiu - Senior Policy Advisor to Councillor Josh Matlow, Toronto City Hall

Carly Armstrong - Former Forest Campaigner, Earthroots / Communications Specialist

Audrey Bankley - Former Outreach Coordinator / Event Planner, Earthroots

Lesli Bisgould - Animal Rights Lawyer

Jean Buie - Lawyer

Mark Calzavara - Community Organizer 

Kim Cowan - Economic Development Officer, Temagami First Nation 

Evan Ferrari - Program Manager, Community Energy Partnerships Program 

Brigitte Hebert - Communications Specialist

Abbey Huggan - Artist / Urban Agriculturalist / Community Educator 

Mark Kear - Former Temagami Campaigner, Earthroots

Peter Kelly - Cliff Ecology Research Group

Josh Kohler - Former Southern Ontario Campaigner, Earthroots / Urban Planner

Elizabeth May - Leader, Green Party of Canada

Barry Kent MacKay - Naturalist / Writer / Artist

Melissa Matlow - Campaigner, World Animal Protection Canada

Doug McRae - Naturalist / Writer / Guide

Bob Olajos - Director, Friends of Temagami

Blaine Pearson - Partner, Dot Dot Dash

Dr. Peter Quinby - Ancient Forest Exploration & Research

Wayne RobertsFormer Project Coordinator, Toronto Food Policy Council / Author

Lesley Sampson - Founding Executive Director, Coyote Watch Canada

Phil Saunders - Communications Specialist

Dr. John Theberge & Mary Theberge - Wolf Researchers

Nicole Thouard - Director of Development, Wildlands League

Jason Van Bruggen - Director / Photographer / Partner, Dot Dot Dash

Phil WintersBusiness Development Manager, Renewable Energy, Canada at Eaton

 


 

Financial Supporters

 

Donations from the public are essential to the success of Earthroots' campaigns to protect wilderness, wildlife and watersheds in Ontario - we are very grateful for the ongoing financial support from our members.  Our donors, volunteers and dedicated staff make our important work possible!

 

We would also like to thank the following foundations and granting programs for their generous support of our projects:

 

 

 

EDLC - Home 

 

Global Greengrants Fund

 

 

 Impact Fund

 

Max & Anna Levinson Foundation

 

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Join Earthroots

Join us in protecting wilderness, wildlife and watersheds in Ontario! Earthroots' work is primarily funded by private donations - for our important campaigns to continue, we need financial support from caring wilderness defenders just like you.

Your donation goes directly towards funding our campaigns and because we are lean organization, we make every contribution go a long way. Protecting wilderness and wildlife is an ongoing battle and we need all the help we can get. By donating $40 or more you will automatically become a member of Earthroots and receive special publications and invitations to events.

We have three easy ways for you to make a donation; donate online through the secure services of Canada Helps, print out a donation form and mail it with a cheque or credit card information, or you can call  the Earthroots office at 416-599-0152 x0 and made a credit card donation over the phone.

We can also accept securities and mututal fund shares through Canada Helps! Click here to learn more.

 

Wolf Lake

Wolf Lake, located in the southwestern part of the Temagami region, contains the largest contiguous old-growth red pine forest in the world.  Towering red pines - some as old as 260 years old - quartz cliffs, and sparkling blue lakes dominate the landscape.

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The area around Wolf Lake has been permanently protected by the creation of the Chiniguchi Waterway Provincial Park.  However, despite the fact that old-growth red pine forests are a globally endangered ecosystem, Wolf Lake has been excluded from the park.   Wolf Lake is currently protected by “Forest Reserve” status, which means that logging is not permitted in the area but mineral exploration and mining still is.

Even allowing mineral exploration in the area, let alone full-scale mining, poses serious risks to the ecosystem.  The Ontario government has listened to the public and has decided to keep Wolf Lake's Forest Reserve status in place - this would have never happened without the strong voice of our supporters!  The next much bigger step is to phase out mining from the area and include Wolf Lake in the Chiniguchi Waterway Provincial Park.  Otherwise this precious forest may be lost in the interests of the mining industry.

Find out what’s at stake. Watch a video of Wolf Lake.


Learn more about the history of Wolf Lake


Find out how you can help!

How You Can Help Protect Temagami2

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Three Sisters: This photo of three white pine and a red along the trails at the north end of Obabika Lake was turned into a popular poster in 1990 and continues to be an iconic image of the Temagami region.
Photo: Ian Mackenzie


The Temagami region in northeastern Ontario encompasses close to one million hectares of land and is internationally renowned because of its unique ecology. Temagami contains nearly half of the world’s remaining old-growth red and white pine forests. This type of forest is an endangered ecosystem as it now exists on less than 1% of its historic range.


Ancient Pines Under Threat

Although half of Temagami’s old-growth red and white pine is formally protected, the other half is open for harvest. The current forest management plan has approved logging in Temagami’s pristine back-country. Clearcuts will be visible from the legendary Maple Mountain, an aboriginal sacred site, and will border directly on Provincial Park lands. Ancient red and white pines will be cut, along with jackpine and spruce.

The public has demonstrated consistent opposition to logging in Temagami – we must ensure that the next forest management plan, which will begin in 2009, does not put Temagami’s parks, old growth, and aboriginal sacred sites at further risk. Temagami’s pristine wilderness regions must be off-limits from industrial activities.

Forest management planning for the next 10 year plan is underway and the public has an opportunity to get involved in this process.

Take action now to stop the logging of old-growth red and white pine - click here to send a fax to the Ministry.
Comments must be submitted by February 16, 2008!

View the government's strategy for logging in Temagami (PDF).

Please join our Wilderness Defenders e-mail list to ensure you receive all of our action alerts and stay up to date on any developments with this important campaign by clicking here.

 

Temagami Integrated Plan Released

In February 2004 Earthroots challenged the logging plan for Temagami, charging that it did not follow the direction of the Temagami Land Use Plan, which mandates integrated planning for commercial-industrial, recreational, ecological and cultural heritage values on the Temagami land base.

After a 3 year public consultation process, the Ministry of Natural Resources released the final version of the Temagami Integrated Plan (TIP) on August 9th, 2007. While the final plan makes some improvements regarding the protection of portages and maintenance of camp sites on crown land and in conservation reserves, there is a lack of attention to ecological values in the Park Management Plan.

Earthroots believes that TIP doesn't go far enough to protect Temagami's wilderness and low-impact recreational opportunities, especially in Lady Evelyn-Smoothwater Provincial Park (Temagami's only wilderness class park), where motorized access should be restricted. Motorized access is inconsistent with wilderness class park management principles: scientific evidence shows that even limited motorized use can have long term adverse affects of wildlife and plants species.

Earthroots has expressed its concerns to the Ministry of Natural Resources and will continue to push for increased protection for ecological values and low-impact recreation in Lady Evelyn-Smoothwater Provincial Park.


Wolf Lake: A National Treasure

Wolf Lake, which contains the largest old-growth red pine forest in North America – and maybe even the world – is located in the southwestern part of the Temagami region, along the Chiniguchi Waterway. Wolf Lake contains 1,600 hectares of red pine forest with trees up to 260 years old. The area surrounding Wolf Lake has been has been incorporated into a Provincial Park, however half of the old-growth forest has been excluded from the park because of mining claims in the region.

Wolf Lake currently has the status of Forest Reserve, but the Ministry of Natural Resources plans to lift this in order to attract mining investments to the area. If this occurs, logging operations will also be allowed to proceed in the forest. Resource extraction in the largest stand of ancient pines on the continent is irresponsible and must be stopped immediately. Along with local paddling and environmental groups, Earthroots is urging the government to include Wolf Lake in the Chiniguchi Waterway Provincial Park so that it receives permanent protection.

To view a video of the Wolf Lake region and learn more about what is at stake, please visit: www.friendsofchiniguchi.com/video_01.html

 

The fight to protect Temagami’s ancient ecosystems continues to be one of the key goals of Earthroots’ work.