March 21, 2005

Survey shows NWT residents want more protected areas

OTTAWA, ONT-The vast majority of Northwest Territories residents want to see more of the territory protected from industrial development, according to the results of a recent poll released by the Canadian Boreal Initiative (CBI). The poll found that 83% of NWT residents supported the creation of more areas protected from industrial activities, but where traditional activities like hunting and fishing were allowed. A similar proportion of respondents (82%) also cited "a balanced approach to economic and environmental protection" as a high priority. This, says the CBI, is in line with the vision of the Boreal Forest Conservation Framework, which aims to protect half the region and ensure sustainable management on the remaining landscape. "This direction needs to guide us as we contemplate the single largest industrial construction project in the history of our country--the proposed Mackenzie Valley pipeline," said CBI director Cathy Wilkinson. "The NWT represents fully one-fifth Canada's vast boreal region, and is one of our most important opportunities to plan for conservation in advance of development." The December 2004 opinion research was conducted in December 2004 for the CBI by McAllister Opinion Research. The findings are based on a phone survey of 500 randomly selected NWT adults, with a 4.3% margin of error, 19 times out of 20. The survey was weighted to reflect the latest census figures on ethnicity, gender, age and region. Related information can be found at www.borealcanada.ca.

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