Photo: Foundation sues feds for endangered species

Thanks to your support, the David Suzuki Foundation and other environmental groups are taking the federal government to court for failing to protect four endangered species along the proposed Northern Gateway pipeline and shipping route.

The species are the Pacific humpback whale, Nechako white sturgeon, marbled murrelet and Southern Mountain caribou. Though all are listed as endangered or threatened under the Species at Risk Act, their recovery strategies, to which the government is legally bound, are at least three years past their due dates. These strategies will detail the habitat the species require to survive and how it will be protected.

By delaying these recovery strategies and, by extension, delaying identification of the critical habitat they must then protect, the federal government is making it easier for projects that could destroy critical habitat and cripple species recovery to speed through regulatory review. A prime example is the Northern Gateway pipeline and tanker proposal.
These four are just a few of the many listed species at risk with overdue recovery strategies. Others that will be affected by Northern Gateway include the boreal caribou and northern goshawk. In total, over 180 other at-risk species in Canada are long past due for their own recovery strategies.

According to Foundation senior research scientist Scott Wallace, "These four species are of immediate concern, but this case is ultimately about ensuring protection to all of Canada's species at risk."

Ecojustice filed the litigation on September 26 in Federal Court, acting on behalf of the David Suzuki Foundation, Greenpeace Canada, Sierra Club B.C., Wilderness Committee and Wildsight.

Stay tuned as the case progresses. We expect a hearing in mid-2013 and hope for a final decision by the end of next year.

By Rachelle Delaney and Theresa Beer.