Latest News

Stop Road Construction and Clear-Cutting in Temagami's Solace Wildlands

 

Our partners at Friends of Temagami have launched a petition to stop construction of the Turner Road into the Solace Wildlands, Temagami's last remaining tract of roadless, virgin forest!   

The Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) has given Vermilion Forest Management (VFM) license to build a 25 kilometre-long, kilometre-wide primary logging road straight through the heart of the Solace Wildlands.

The Turner Road will destroy a wild, undisturbed forest, erasing campsites and portages in use for thousands of years.

Please help us hold VFM and the MNRF to account and help protect the last intact wilderness in Temagami. Let’s tell VFM and the MNRF that the value of an intact forest is worth far more than its timber.

SIGN THE PETITION NOW

 

Take action this Earth Day to protect the places we love!

Planet Earth is a shared home for humans and millions of other species, and our fates and well-being are interdependent.

In 2010, Canada endorsed the United Nations target to protect at least 17 percent of the planet’s land and inland waters by 2020. This national commitment was then adopted in the Ontario Biodiversity Strategy (target 13), opening the door to a new and welcome opportunity to protect the places we love.

Currently, less than 11 percent of Ontario is protected. We need to work together to make sure the next three years count so that wild species and wild spaces are protected for generations to come.

Protected areas are the cornerstone of efforts to conserve the diversity of life on Earth. By signing the declaration, you will be part of a movement demanding governments meet their protected areas targets, and respect Indigenous responsibilities and rights.

We need your voice to ensure the governments of Ontario and Canada meet the commitment to protect at least 17 percent of lands and inland waters by 2020.

Take action this Earth Day! Sign the declaration to show you care about protected places.

 

We need your help to grow the Greenbelt and protect at-risk water features across the Greater Golden Horseshoe. Submit your comments by March 7th.

 

Heeding our collective call for a Bluebelt, the Government of Ontario has initiated a public consultation on the areas for potential Greenbelt expansion. We are calling for a larger study area to safeguard the region’s moraines, headwaters, river valleys and wetlands.

Such protection is vital to community health and resilience in the face of climate change. With flooding, drought and extreme weather events increasing in frequency and intensity, we simply cannot afford to pave over those landscape features which store, filter and supply our water.

Take action by March 7th - your voice will make a difference!

 

There are less than 500 Algonquin wolves left and they need your voice! Take action by Wednesday February 14th.

 Photo: Eastern Wolf Survey

 

Help strengthen the Recovery Strategy for Algonquin wolves by submitting a personalized comment here.

 

This population of Algonquin wolves is so small and patchily distributed that it is under serious threat from hunting, trapping, hybridization with coyotes, and vehicle collisions. Where hunting and trapping have been banned, packs return to family-based structure, hybridization is reduced, and direct killing is virtually eliminated.

Currently, the draft Recovery Strategy only outlines a recovery zone that is less than 1/2 of the area scientists outlined around all known Algonquin wolves. In order to survive and eventually thrive, these wolves need to be fully protected from hunting and trapping across their entire range.

 

Your voice will make a difference - take a stand for Algonquin wolves now!

 

Province finds mercury-contaminated soil and possibly buried metal on Dryden site upstream from Grassy Narrows

 

Confirmation of what Earthroots and The Toronto Star found at the site a year ago.

"Last January, the Star and the environmental group Earthroots dug several holes in the area identified by Glowacki and had the soil tested at a lab. The holes were dug behind the riverside factory. The soil showed mercury readings up to 80 times natural levels."

 

By JAYME POISSON Investigative Reporter
DAVID BRUSER Investigative Reporter

 

The province has found mercury in soil and possibly buried metal in an area upstream from Grassy Narrows First Nation and Wabaseemoong (Whitedog) Independent Nations that was identified by a former paper mill worker as a dumping ground for mercury-filled barrels.

The Environment Ministry’s findings confirm results found by the Toronto Star one year ago.

The mercury-tainted soil and the metallic underground “anomalies” were found in a clearing identified by Kas Glowacki as the area in Dryden, Ont., where he and a small crew dumped 50 drums of salt and mercury in 1972.

The province says it will dig up the clearing for more answers.

“We are continuing our site assessment and will be excavating areas where there are larger anomalies this coming spring,” said an Environment Ministry spokesperson, Gary Wheeler, in an email to the Star.

Between 1962 and 1970, 10 tonnes of mercury from the Dryden paper mill, then owned by Reed Paper, were dumped into the Wabigoon River, which flows to the two Indigenous communities in northern Ontario.

Mercury contamination, a serious health risk, has plagued the people there for decades. Dangerous and persistently high levels of mercury found in the river sediment and fish in the river system suggest there is an ongoing source.

Until recently, provincial officials had said the site was not an ongoing source of mercury to the river system. Scientist John Rudd has said that, historically, paper mills have been known to be sources of contamination long after they stopped using mercury in the paper-bleaching process.

Mercury has not been used in paper production at the site in decades, and there is no suggestion that Domtar, several owners removed from Reed Paper, is responsible for any ongoing source of mercury.

Last January, the Star and the environmental group Earthroots dug several holes in the area identified by Glowacki and had the soil tested at a lab. The holes were dug behind the riverside factory. The soil showed mercury readings up to 80 times natural levels.

 

Read the full article in The Star.

'There is a lot of tension': why efforts to monitor Ontario wolves face opposition

CBC's Quirks & Quarks with Bob McDonald

 

Ontario Eastern wolves

Eastern wolves are elusive creatures that roam the forests of Quebec and Ontario. In 2016 the Government of Ontario changed the status of these wolves - known as Algonquin wolves in that province - from 'special concern' to 'threatened'. The Ontario government only has until June of this year to come up with a recovery plan for the animal. Wolf researcher and activist Hannah Barron works for the Eastern Wolf Survey. She is currently busy gathering data about this population to help forge a plan for their protection. Documentary producer Andrew Budziak went out with Barron and her team of citizen scientists to collect wolf feces, known as 'scat.' 

Hannah Barron works with Earthroots to monitor the populations of wolves in Ontario. (Andrew Budziak)

The problem

One of the big problems is that these wolves are still being legally hunted and trapped for a couple of reasons. There is a commercial industry as well as the fact that these wolves are a threat to livestock. But some hunters and trappers believe this population are not true wolves and do not have a distinct lineage, that they are big mixed-breed coyotes that have been around for a long time and do not deserve special status. They base this information on a recent Princeton University study that even found dog DNA among the population. The Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources thinks differently

 

Listen to the documentary here.  

The Chilly Work of Saving Ontario’s Algonquin Wolf

Researchers don snowshoes and brave freezing temperatures to learn more about the threatened species

Photos and article by Andrew Budziak, Earth Island Journal

 

Hannah Barron instructs volunteer Suzanne Charron on how to best collect a scat sample without contaminating it. In -20°C weather, this is easier said than done. The scat freezes quickly and often must be cut out of ice and snow. To see more photos, click here.

 

Visibility is less than 100 feet. The snow is not only blinding, it’s making it nearly impossible to keep my car on the road. The car in front of me stops, and I realize I’ve driven over what we’re looking for.

Hannah Barron, a wolf researcher and director of Wildlife Conservation Campaigns for Earthroots, steps out of her car. Barron, her research assistant Adrienne Chalaturnyk, and I are the only people for miles. We’re standing on the side of a road near Ontario’s Killarney Provincial Park and I’ve just run over a set of wolf tracks.

“Sorry,” I tell Barron. 

“That’s ok,” Barron says. “We probably shouldn’t be driving in this weather anyway.” 

The wolf tracks tell us we’re close to what we’re there to document: scat and urine. Ontario’s provincial government is creating a recovery strategy for the Algonquin wolf, known outside the province as the eastern wolf. In 2016, the province declared the Algonquin wolf a distinct canid. Its status was moved to “threatened” which means the province has two years to come up with a recovery strategy for the animal.

I’ve met with Barron and Chalaturnyk as they hunt for DNA samples of wolves in and around Killarney Provincial Park to help better understand their population distribution. Wolf scat and urine provide great DNA samples, and this method of DNA collection is relatively non-invasive when compared to darting or collaring animals.

Barron heads over to the snow bank at the side of the road and starts wiping away the freshly fallen snow.

“If there is urine or scat here, it’s likely just below this recent snow,” she tells me.

 

Read the full article in Earth Island Journal.

The countdown to protect threatened wilderness and wildlife in 2017 is on!

Photo: Natasha Mathias

It's that time of year to recap what we achieved together in 2017 and look ahead to 2018! None of our important work would be possible without people like you.

Over the last year your support helped:

  • Launch the Ontario Wolf Survey to increase protection for threatened Algonquin wolves across their habitat and enabled Earthroots to be a strong voice for wolf protection.

Despite this significant progress, our work is far from being done. We need your help to keep our campaigns going strong in 2018.

Please keep Earthroots on the list when making your year end donations this weekend! Click here or on the red "Donate Now" button on the upper left of this page - you can choose to support our research and education projects or our action and advocacy campaigns.

At Earthroots we are a small dedicated team. We wear our passions on our sleeves and with your support we work tirelessly to make real change in Ontario.

Help us ring in the New Year with the funds we need to take on the important work ahead! 

 

Wishing you and yours all the best for 2018.

Adopt an Algonquin wolf and give the gift of wild this holiday season!

 

$45.00 CAD + $10.00 shipping flat rate for Canada ($30.00 tax receipt provided) 

Each 12” plush Algonquin wolf is incredibly soft and guaranteed to evoke those warm and fuzzy feelings. You can either give the gift yourself, or have it shipped directly to the recipient of your choice. A beautiful card will be included with your order. After your order is complete, you will have an opportunity personalize the card with a heartfelt message.

 

How do adoptions help protect wolves?

Earthroots is the leading environmental organization monitoring and working for the protection and recovery of threatened Algonquin wolves. Did you know that there may only be 250 adult Algonquin wolves left in the world? Researchers believe about 65% of the wolves and their habitat are found in Ontario, with the rest living in Quebec.

We conduct research to identify Algonquin wolves in the Ontario wilderness and engage in the development of the provincial Recovery Strategy to ensure that these wolves receive more protection before it is too late. Learn more here.

 

Adopt A Wolf Now!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo: Helen E. Grose Photography

 

 

 

 

I love my wolf so much. It is the cosiest toy

and the wolf sparkles in the light!” – Molly, age 4 

Adopt a wolf this holiday season!

Looking for the perfect gift for the wolf lover in your life?

Adopt a wolf pup, pair or pack in their name.

  

When you adopt wolves in honour of a loved one, you can send them one of our beautiful e-Cards to let them know you are protecting wolves in their name!  

All donations from symbolic wolf adoptions go directly towards our work protecting wild wolves in Ontario.

Click here to adopt a wolf today!

Temagami's endangered old-growth forests need you!

Your voice can help change Temagami's future.  Take action by December 7th.

 
                                       Photo credit: Natasha Mathias
 
The proposed plans for the next 10 years of logging will not ensure that Temagami's unique ecology, endangered ancient red and white pine forests, remote wilderness areas, recreation and cultural values, are protected.
 

The decision-makers need to hear from you - click here!

 

Read the post on the Environmental Bill of Rights for more info.

Ottawa to help build care facility for mercury victims in Grassy Narrows

Indigenous Services Minister Jane Philpott first made the promise at a closed-door meeting Wednesday. “We will support them through the troubles that they are facing,” she said.

 
By DAVID BRUSER News Reporter
JAYME POISSON Investigative Reporter
 
Chief Simon Fobister said residents affected by the serious impacts of mercury contamination now don't have have to travel to centres like Winnipeg or Kenora, Ont. to receive care.
Chief Simon Fobister said residents affected by the serious impacts of mercury contamination now don't have have to travel to centres like Winnipeg or Kenora, Ont. to receive care.  (CHRIS YOUNG / THE CANADIAN PRESS)  
 

The federal government will help the people of Grassy Narrows First Nation build a new care home for those suffering from mercury poisoning.

For nearly four years, Grassy Narrows leaders have been asking for help for survivors of the industrial pollution that has sickened the community for decades.

Many ill residents have had to leave the community to get the care they need in Kenora, Ont., or other towns and cities further from home.

In an interview with the Star Wednesday, Jane Philpott, the federal Minister of Indigenous Services, acknowledged that the people of Grassy Narrows and nearby Whitedog First Nations were “suffering from symptoms and syndromes that are associated with mercury exposure.”

“They have been asking for a very long time for a treatment centre to address these particular health needs and I made the commitment to them today that we would support them in the development, planning, design and construction of the treatment centre in Grassy Narrows.”

Philpott made the promise at a closed-door meeting earlier in the day that was attended by provincial and federal government officials as well as leadership from Grassy Narrows and nearby Whitedog, which is also affected by mercury. Those in attendance said Simon Fobister, the Chief of Grassy Narrows, repeatedly pressed the minister to commit to building the home. When she did, it was met with applause.

“It means a lot to our people . . . it means people with disabilities can stay in this residence, can stay with their families,” Fobister told the Star after the meeting.

“The government of Canada is stepping up to build this building for our people.”

Read the full article in The Star.

Grassy Narrows’ leaders want care facility for mercury victims

It’s not the first time the First Nation community has made this request. Top officials from both the provincial and federal governments say they are taking the request seriously.

By DAVID BRUSER News Reporter
JAYME POISSON Investigative Reporter

 

Several other organizations, including the David Suzuki Foundation, Amnesty International and Earthroots, also threw their support behind Grassy Narrows’ request for a mercury home in an open letter to Wynne and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Said Gord Miller, Chair of the Board for Earthroots and former Environmental Commissioner of Ontario: “This preventable tragedy has gone on far too long. All possible measures to help the people of Grassy Narrows and mitigate the impacts must be pursued.”

 

Bill Fobister Sr.’s granddaughter, Betty, is forced to use a wheelchair and is unable to speak.

The 25-year-old has qualified for compensation from a disability board that gives money to people with symptoms consistent with mercury poisoning.

But there is no specialized care for her in Grassy Narrows First Nation, where she is from, and which has a long legacy of mercury contamination, Bill Fobister said. So his granddaughter lives with a foster family in Fort Frances, Ont., a town 280 kilometres from her parents, siblings, grandparents, cousins and culture.

“We don’t have a place for her,” Fobister Sr. said. “I beg the . . . government to make a commitment that they will do something (in) our community for the sake of those who are suffering.”

Fobister and other Grassy Narrows leaders are in Toronto this week to ask provincial and federal officials to help build a care home for survivors of the industrial pollution that has sickened the community for decades. It is not the first time they have come from northwestern Ontario with this request.

“It’s just like when a dog chases its tail around and around but never catches up . . . and this is what’s been happening with our demand for this mercury home and treatment centre,” Chief Simon Fobister said Tuesday.

Top officials from the provincial and federal governments said they are taking the request seriously, will be meeting with Grassy Narrows representatives Wednesday, and want to get something done.

“We will be there for them for the long run to support some appropriate facility once we have more information,” said federal Indigenous Services Minister Jane Philpott after a cabinet meeting Tuesday. The federal government has already committed to a feasibility study of a care home. “Going forward, we will do the right thing.”

Read the full article in The Star.