SAGE is a leading voice for a healthy and environmentally sustainable community.

Oki.  We respectfully acknowledge that SAGE meets on the traditional lands of Piikani, Kainai & Siksika, members of Siksikaitsitapi (Blackfoot Confederacy) and the homelands of Métis Nation of Alberta, Region III.  We are grateful for their keeping of these lands and waters - past, present & future.

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SAGE is currently recruiting for members and for positions on the Board. 

If you might be interested, please contact us.

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8 February 2023

Clean Air Strategic Alliance: Potential to Reduce Nitrous Oxide Emissions in Alberta

A new report by the Clean Air Strategic Alliance (CASA) identified potential options to reduce air pollution in the province and presents stakeholder perspectives on those options. This project was initiated because of anticipated exceedances of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) Canadian Ambient Air Quality Standards (CAAQS) that may occur if no action is taken to reduce nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions.

For more information, click ... here.

For the full report ... here

8 February 2023

... However, there is a risk that if the proposed investment tax credit for hydrogen is poorly designed, it could be used to subsidize fossil-hydrogen technology - which is incompatible with Canada’s climate commitments - or inadvertently impact the availability of more cost-effective and reliable climate solutions. This would risk locking Canada into a fossil-based economy and divert funds from effective, cost-effective decarbonization measures that align with limiting global temperature increases to 1.5°C. If the objective of ramping up clean hydrogen production is to avoid exacerbating the climate crisis, then a clean hydrogen definition must be compatible with the Paris Agreement’s net-zero goal by 2050. 

To read the entire letter, click ... here.

December 22, 2022

Re: Review comments on Proposed Terms of Reference, Environmental Impact Assessment Report, for St. Mary River Irrigation District Proposed Chin Reservoir Expansion Project

Southern Alberta Group for the Environment (SAGE) is a non-profit organization based in Lethbridge whose mission is to serve as a leading voice for a healthy and environmentally sustainable community. For over 35 years SAGE has worked to protect and restore rivers and watersheds in the Oldman River basin and beyond. SAGE researches environmental concerns and issues and writes letters, briefs and articles to inform the community, including elected decision-makers. SAGE members have been active participants in multi-stakeholder efforts to improve water management including the work of the Oldman River Basin Advisory Committee to develop the South Saskatchewan River Basin Water Management Plan (2006), the Oldman River Basin Water Quality Initiative and the Oldman Watershed Council. SAGE engages in regulatory and appeal processes when it is the only responsible avenue available to influence key decisions affecting environmental sustainability.

We have reviewed the Proposed Terms of Reference, Environmental Impact Assessment Report, for St. Mary River Irrigation District Proposed Chin Reservoir Expansion Project posted on Nov 15, 2022 to Environment and Protected Areas website. We provide the following written comments for your consideration to assist in achieving a comprehensive assessment of project impacts that will provide a solid basis for a public interest determination by the Natural Resources Conservation Board.

To read the entire letter, click ... here

December 2, 2022

To: Hon. Sonya Savage, Minister of Environment and Protected Areas

RE: COP15 - Conference on Biological Diversity

Biodiversity is both vital to, and an indicator of, a healthy natural environment (an intrinsic value) and the ecosystem services it provides (a human value). The Convention on Biological Diversity, ratified by Canada in 1992, “aims to conserve nature, ensure nature is used sustainably and that the benefits to people from the use of genetic diversity are shared fairly.” The tenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP-10) adopted a Strategic Plan for Biodiversity, including the Aichi Biodiversity Targets, for the 2011-2020 period. This plan provides an overarching framework for biodiversity in the context of the 2050 Vision, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The upcoming Conference on Biological Diversity (COP15) will provide an opportunity for global leaders to establish goals and make commitments to address biodiversity loss, from threats of local extirpation to global extinction.

Habitat loss and degradation is the primary threat to biodiversity, in Canada and globally. The United Nations recognizes biodiversity loss as one of the world’s most pressing emergencies, along with pollution and climate change (which contribute to threats to biodiversity). ...

To read the entire letter, click ... here.

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November 10, 2022

Letter: Environmental Impact Assessment of the “historic expansion of Alberta irrigation” including Chin Reservoir, Deadhorse Coulee Reservoir and Snake Lake Reservoir

"We are responding to Minister Guilbeault’s recent decisions that three proposed irrigation reservoir projects that are part of the larger project do not warrant designation under the Impact Assessment Act because existing legislation and processes provide a framework to address potential adverse effects within federal jurisdiction (...). We have reviewed IAAC analysis reports for the three projects and have identified gaps and uncertainties to be addressed if the Minister’s rationale for decision is to be realized."

To read the entire letter, click ... here.

October 2022

The River of Unfulfilled Expectations

Lorne Fitch, P. Biol.

Alberta’s big rivers, the Peace and Athabasca, flow north, away from people. The North Saskatchewan and South Saskatchewan rivers, along with their tributaries the Red Deer, Bow, and Oldman rivers, flow east through the Alberta heartland, delivering essential waters to most of the province’s population. As one travels further south the demand for water escalates in concert with increasing aridity. So the expectations for the Milk River, the one furthest south, are the greatest.

The poor Milk River has never lived up to people’s expectations. This likely started with President Thomas Jefferson’s Corps of Discovery in the early 1800s. Jefferson sent Lewis and Clark out on an exploration of his Louisiana Purchase, essentially the Mississippi/Missouri watershed. Among other things, their instructions included determining whether there was a connection with the Saskatchewan drainage and the long established and lucrative fur trade route of the Hudson’s Bay Company.

To read the rest of this informative essay, click ... here.


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