The Pekisko Group is an association of families and ranchers bound together by a common vision of land stewardship that protects the Alberta mountain range and its ecosystems including our fresh water and native grasslands. Many of our members are families who have stewarded these lands for over 100 years. We are proud of the work we do and the worldwide recognition and awards that we have received for outstanding achievement in land stewardship.
Today, we face a crisis. And we need your help. Without any public consultation, on June 1, 2020 the Government of Alberta rescinded the visionary Coal Development Policy put in place in 1976 by Premiere Peter Lougheed. As a result, 1.5 million hectares of formerly protected environmentally sensitive lands along the Eastern Slopes of the Rocky Mountains and 600,000 hectares of Alberta’s headwaters including the Oldman River, are now open for exploration, and the potential development of open pit coal mining.
Together, with the help of concerned Albertans, the Pekisko Group is raising awareness and taking action against the great risks and permanent damage that open pit coal mining will have on our freshwater resources, human and animal health and the environment including:
*Selenium pollution released by coal development poisons water and impacts human and animal health.
*Our freshwater resources are now at risk. The Oldman River currently provides water to 40% of the irrigated land in Alberta and all of the water used by the City of Lethbridge. In fact the watershed and its tributaries reach the North Saskatchewan River - which then flows all the way into Hudson Bay. This fresh water supply is already over-allocated and under tremendous pressure with declining flow rates. The impact of open pit coal mining will be devastating and irreparable.
*Lands no longer protected against open pit coal mining contain riparian habitat for the Westslope Cutthroat Trout, a species currently threatened under the Species at Risk Act. In the Elk Valley, Westslope Cutthroat Trout populations dropped by 93% as a result of selenium leaching into the river from coal mining upstream.
*The Eastern Slopes of our Rocky Mountains are home to a vast ecosystem of wildlife habitat, vegetation, native grasses and grazing lands. Open pit coal mining will forever change this mountain landscape.
*The opportunity for public use and recreation in these areas will be forever altered or lost altogether.
*The argument that coal mining will support Alberta’s economic recovery is unfounded. Resource royalties owed to the province and job opportunities created for Albertans will be minimal. These limited benefits don’t outweigh the risks to other important industries like agriculture and tourism. Economics should never take precedence over human and animal health or the sustainability of our environment.
Your Support will Help
Your funding support will help us support our local ranchers who are in the fight of their lives to protect grazing lands directly impacted by coal development. Help us fight to protect our beautiful Rocky Mountain range, native grasslands and watersheds all now at risk of being irreparably damaged by open pit coal mining.
All funding received will support the costs of litigation against the Alberta Government over the rescinding of the Coal Policy without stakeholder or public consultation. (The court date for this hearing is set for January 2021). Funding will also support our public awareness initiatives designed to inform and educate the public about this important issue. Funding will also support independent research that will identify the risks imposed from open pit coal mining to human and animal health for those living in the communities of the eastern slopes of our Rocky Mountains.
Thank you for your support. Every dollar counts. In addition or in place of monetary support, we encourage you to visit our website to learn more about further action that you can take, such as writing letters to the provincial & federal governments.
Please visit: https://www.pekisko.ca or savethemountains.ca to learn more.
On behalf of the Pekisko Group, fellow Albertan’s and Canadians, we sincerely thank you for your support.
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