You and I know there’s no shortage of work to do on behalf of endangered wilderness and wildlife in this province. None are better suited to continue creating a wilder Ontario than the Wilderness Committee - in a partnership with you!
Help us keep boots on the ground!
Since the start of all our Ontario campaigns we’ve been relying on volunteers and staff members from across the country to boost our on-the-ground presence and capacity to take on environmental challenges in the province. Our grassroots outreach staff and our Ontario-based canvass team reach thousands of you each year to give you updates on campaign advances and offer you opportunities to take action on provincial or federal legislation to strengthen wilderness and wildlife protection in the province. And with your investment, they can do more.
Threats to wilderness and wildlife in Ontario — as well as its climate protection — are too great and too pressing. To adequately challenge these issues today we added a full time, boots-on-the-ground campaigner to monitor attacks on nature in at-risk old-growth forests and species critical habitat. Why? Because:
- We need to work full-time to track cuts to climate policies and species legislation.
- We need a spokesperson each and every day standing up to industrial destruction and demanding legislative change.
- Most of all, you deserve a dedicated full-time campaigner to advocate for Ontario’s remaining wild areas.
The Fund for a Wilder Ontario means expanded infrastructure so our outreach team can reach more people and increase actions they take to build momentum for environmental protection. You deserve an expanded team who can monitor what’s going on across the province, bringing that research and information back to communities in education and actions so that together we can keep our government accountable and stand up against attacks on nature. Together our voices are amplified. Together we make change.
Will you consider a donation today to keep our boots on the ground in Ontario full-time?
What will we do?
You and I don’t want logging in our provincial parks or agricultural waste disrupting our sensitive lakes and waterways. You don’t want a government that ignores the climate emergency we are facing with ongoing cuts to clean energy initiatives and national climate solutions.
With a full-time Wilderness Committee campaigner, we can monitor what’s going on across the province and use this research to keep our governments accountable. We can use our grassroots advocacy model to amplify the work of local groups and First Nations, work closely with allies to further outreach on current campaigns for bees and pollinator protection, climate change and park logging. We can challenge the current government’s gutting of environmental legislation and ensure international reports on climate, biodiversity protection, Indigenous rights and species at-risk decline are linked to local wilderness and wildlife issues on a daily basis.
Preserving Wilderness Areas
A full-time campaigner is an opportunity to continue our original mission: to protect remaining old-growth forests in the province. Partnering with local community groups and First Nations, we can amplify their ongoing work and end destructive industrial development harming lands and watersheds. Through our current work in Algonquin Park to challenge logging of old-growth hemlock and yellow birch, we have formed key and strategic relationship with Ancient Forest Research and Exploration.
A full-time campaigner will build this alliance and together, educate the public on why both old-growth logging and industrial development in parks are not a part of our future in the province. A full-time campaigner offers opportunities for volunteers to be on the ground in at-risk areas as part of expeditions or trail building trips, much like the winning strategy we’ve used for nearly 40 years in British Columbia. They research, document and monitor at-risk wilderness and bring photos and videos of those areas to the public through traditional and social media and door-to-door outreach. They provide real information about unsustainable forestry practices and their impact on jobs and communities.
Defending Species at Risk
For years, Ontario’s endangered species legislation was heralded as a strong example of legislation. Its independent scientific panel assessed species and automatically listed species at risk for protections. The current Ford government has gutted that legislation.
A full-time campaigner means working with allies to challenge cuts to this legislation. To illustrate and strengthen our case, they monitor on-the-ground impacts to species habitat as a result of legislative cuts and industrial development and fight for increased and expanded habitat protection. As part of our current alliance with groups working to protect boreal caribou, we supplement our role with first-hand research and monitoring of industrial destruction affecting protected habitat. As part of our alliance on bees, we are building on this shared work to identify other species at risk, create strategies to increase awareness of their plight and defend their habitat from destruction.
Tackling a climate crisis starts with preserving wilderness and biodiversity in Ontario. And it requires leadership to shift to a zero-carbon economy. The Wilderness Committee has a full-time climate campaigner committed to monitoring national climate strategies, researching developing climate solutions, and works with allies to identify steps to a just transition for workers as we decarbonize our economy and stand up to fossil fuel expansion projects.
Having a full-time campaigner in Ontario meant we've been able to rise to challenge the current provincial government’s abandonment of all urgent measures to address the climate emergency. We know that reduced funding to emergency forest fire-fighting after sweltering summer heatwaves meant reduced funding for flood management, the elimination of the environmental commissioner and cuts to more than 200 initiatives set to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the province are unacceptable steps to take in a climate crisis. A full-time campaigner and our expanded outreach team can now join with allies and voices across the province and be on the ground to mobilize, organize, educate, lead and advocate for bold climate policies needed now in Ontario. When we work together with our allies, our reach is greater and our message is stronger.
That’s how we truly build an atmosphere for change — by increasing our capacity on the ground. Together, we are getting this done!
How much will it cost?
The Wilderness Committee is a small but mighty activist organization funded nearly 100% by individual donors like you. Whether it’s fighting in court for the bees, monitoring national caribou commitments or standing up to industry as they log our last ancient trees, we’ll call our leaders to task. With your help, you can ensure we stay on the front lines in Ontario.
Each year of this three-year expansion of our campaign work builds our capacity to do outreach to thousands more Ontarians and increases our fundraising efforts to sustain campaign and education efforts for the longer term. In the next year, we've undertaken and expect the following costs:
- Campaigner: Full-time, on the ground staff person, salary plus benefits. $63,000
- Vehicle: A used vehicle, insurance and maintenance to expand door-to-door outreach and canvass team reach. $15,000 (we did not purchase this in year one as we'd hoped)
- Infrastructure: Computer, office equipment, supplies, photo and video tools. $5000
- Campaign activities: Travel to the field, materials, publications, event costs. $7000
So far, we've raised $75,000 of this total and need $15,000 to meet our goal. Your contribution today will help sustain our work for the long term. Your investment in the Fund for a Wilder Ontario will build the capacity required to sustain our work in Ontario. With increased ability to reach new areas of Ontario, new supporters’ annual gifts will assist in covering the costs of Ontario campaigns. Add to this, donors like you who’ve given loyally year after year we hope will continue to contribute to our ongoing critical environmental defence work.
For the next two years, we must challenge every move the Ontario government makes to attack nature and ensure the next provincial government is ready to take on the challenge of climate change and biodiversity loss – for real.
Be a part of the next two years turning the tide on issues that matter to all of us. Together, we can create the unstoppable change we want to see – keeping a full-time voice for wilderness, wildlife and the climate. We can do this! Will you join us?
The current political context in the province demands we step up - we can’t afford to see more environmental initiatives and laws axed or wilderness and wildlife threatened. Will you join us in investing in the Wilderness Committee's Fund for a Wilder Ontario today?