A new hope for nature: Was 2015 a turning point for conservation?

Bayers Island in Musquodoboit Harbour, Nova Scotia (Photo by Mike Dembeck)

Bayers Island in Musquodoboit Harbour, Nova Scotia (Photo by Mike Dembeck)

No one was expecting 2015 to be a special year for nature conservation. As we started the year, it seemed Canadians were mostly focused on the economy, security and health care. Yet when we reflect on the year that was, it’s clear the...

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Why no net loss in biodiversity offsets fails nature and people

Misty Darkwoods forest, BC (Photo by Bruce Kirkby)

Misty Darkwoods forest, BC (Photo by Bruce Kirkby)

There is a new conservation tool making its way through the forests, wetlands and boardrooms of Canada: biodiversity offsets. Biodiversity offsets offer an opportunity to mitigate development impacts to nature that cannot be otherwise avoided....

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No sunflower seeds in the washrooms, please: What it's like to hold a conservation planning meeting in small-town SK

No sunflower seeds in the bathrooms, please (Photo by NCC)

No sunflower seeds in the bathrooms, please (Photo by NCC)

“So, what are you guys up to today?” It is about 8:15 a.m. on a Tuesday morning and I’m picking up the keys for the Lumsden River Park Centre at the town office. I arrived before the office was open so Chris, who apparently...

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Lake Erie: Recovery, or requiem?

Shore of the Middle Point Woods property, Pelee Island, Ontario (Photo by Sam Brinker, OMNR)

Shore of the Middle Point Woods property, Pelee Island, Ontario (Photo by Sam Brinker, OMNR)

Someone recently asked me how I would invest a million dollars to help conserve Lake Erie. My first thoughts were that I would use that money to protect wetlands and other habitats on the coast, or maybe to help farmers create wider buffer strips...

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Yes, B’y! Adventures in the Grassy Place.

Mountaintop lake, Grassy Place, NL (Photo by NCC)

Mountaintop lake, Grassy Place, NL (Photo by NCC)

As conservation planner for the Nature Conservancy of Canada’s (NCC's) Nova Scotia and Newfoundland programs, I am fortunate to have visited some truly astonishing places in the Atlantic Region. The latest mission was to reach a 3,880-acre...

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Answering the "where": The use of GIS in conservation planning

GPS device (Photo by Wikimedia Commons, Harry Wood)

GPS device (Photo by Wikimedia Commons, Harry Wood)

Have you ever been walking through the forest and wondered, "Where am I?" When I started working at the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) as a conservation intern we would ask ourselves that question daily. Not because we were lost, but because...

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Dotmocracy: How to get lots of good ideas boiled down to a few great ones!

White polka dots on red background (Photo by Wikimedia Commons)

White polka dots on red background (Photo by Wikimedia Commons)

Facilitating workshops can be a little intimidating. They can often generate a lot of good ideas, but it is difficult to boil down the list to a few great ones that will lead into projects that will produce the desired outcomes. A colleague of...

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Tomorrow never knows: The importance of conserving the present to prepare for the unknown future

The modified De Lorean of the BttF movie (Photo by Wikimedia Commons, Cowboy Wisdom)

The modified De Lorean of the BttF movie (Photo by Wikimedia Commons, Cowboy Wisdom)

Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow… I love to watch reruns of the Back to the Future films every so often. Not just because I am a big fan of Michael J. Fox. But also because the future as envisaged in 1989’s BttF Part II, which...

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Nature, the original dynamo: Understanding the relevance of resilient dynamism in conservation

River walking in the winter (Photo by Al Thompson)

River walking in the winter (Photo by Al Thompson)

“Health is the capacity of the land for self-renewal. Conservation is our effort to understand and preserve this capacity.” ~ Aldo Leopold (1949)As heads of state, intellectuals and journalists once again gather for the 2014 World...

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Labrador...one of nature's final frontiers

Lindsay Notzl cross-country skiing in Labrador (Photo by Jon Feldgajer)

Lindsay Notzl cross-country skiing in Labrador (Photo by Jon Feldgajer)

If you are a wilderness lover, or an adventurer of any kind, Labrador should be on your list of "must sees." Labrador (or "The Big Land" as it is sometimes called) stretches across vast expanses of tundra, taiga and boreal forest. Anglers from...

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