Year in review: rising to the challenge is in our DNA

December 21, 2021
Franz Hartmann, Executive Director

To say 2021 was a tough year would be an understatement. COVID tested our physical and mental health. The climate crisis decimated our fellow Canadians through a combination of heat, fires and floods. Here in Ontario, the Provincial government continued weakening and ignoring environmental laws and policies. With all of this coming at us, it would have been easy to just give up.  

But that’s not Earthroots.

Our DNA, shaped by our fight to stop the logging of rare old growth forests in the Temagami in 1986, has made us scrappy, persistent, and strategic. We fight for what we believe in, and we get things done, especially when things get tough. Throughout 2021 we worked hard to continue protecting wilderness, wildlife, and watersheds. Because we know protected species need protected spaces.  

Below are some highlights from 2021. But before we get to them, it’s important to acknowledge our success is entirely because of our supporters who helped financially and, more importantly, engaged their friends, colleagues, and elected officials in our issues. Together, we made a difference and moved forward with protecting wilderness, wildlife, and watersheds in Ontario.

Highlights from 2021

Earthroots wins legal battle against the Ford Government: In September, the Ontario Divisional Court ruled the Province broke the law with Bill 197, which cuts out public consultation and input into major decisions regarding Ontario’s environment. Earthroots was part of a consortium of environmental groups that took the province to court.

Earthroots launches the Pollinator Highways project: Pollinators need habitat and natural corridors to move around. Unfortunately, they’ve been losing habitat for years because of sprawl-style development. In late September, Earthroots launched and began implementing its plan to create a network of highway corridors designed to help bees, butterflies and hummingbirds move around.  

Earthroots reveals new 5-Year conservation plan: During a live webinar in the second half of November, Earthroots launched its new 5-year Conservation Plan designed to protect the spaces our species need to survive and thrive.

Woodland caribou campaign launch: Ontario's woodland caribou are threatened with local extinction and unsustainable forestry is the driving force behind their decline. Caribou are a protected species who have crucial forested habitat on Crown Land that forestry can now freely destroy. In early December Earthroots brought this issue to light in a new campaign and will continue to fight for the protection of caribou habitat.

The 34th symbolic wolf adoption takes place: After launching our symbolic wolf adoption kits on November 23rd, the last available wolf is symbolically adopted. As result, we have new funds to help support wolf conservation and the protection of at-risk species through continued research and advocacy. In 2022, we are starting our annual DNA sampling to push towards further protection for Ontario's Algonquin wolves and their habitat.

Final thoughts

I started on July 1st and I’m honoured to be part of this amazing staff team and part of an organization with such a rich, long, and successful history. I know 2022 will bring much success for Earthroots and, more importantly, our efforts to protect wilderness, wildlife, and watersheds.

On behalf of the Earthroots staff and Board of Directors, we wish all of you Happy Holidays and a safe New Year.

Franz Hartmann, Executive Director

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