Westhead Chairing Endangered Species Conservation Committee

Banff-Cochrane MLA Cam Westhead has been named chair of the Endangered Species Conservation Committee (ESCC) by Alberta Environment and Parks Minister Shannon Phillips, it was announced today.

Westhead says the committee will be playing catch up after its work was put on hold while a review of agencies, boards and commissions was completed. He'll be chairing his first meeting in late June and the committee is scheduled to meet three times annually.

The committee focuses on providing advice and recommendations to the Minister of Environment and Parks on the identification, management and recovery of species at risk in Alberta and it's an area Westhead has paid particular attention to his Eastern Slopes constituency.

“I’ve heard from constituents that they want to see their government take meaningful action to protect species at risk," says Westhead. "I look forward to working with the ESCC, Minister Phillips, and our government to ensure policies reflect Albertan’s values, and that robust recovery plans are in place to safeguard our province’s natural heritage.”

Westhead brings his experience as co-chairing a wildlife-human coexistence roundtable to find ways to improve management and coordination between Parks Canada, AEP, and the towns of Banff and Canmore. He has also been working with a wide range of stakeholders regarding land-use management and its effects on native trout populations.

The committee was created under the Wildlife Act in 1998 in response to Alberta signing the National Accord for the Protection of Species at Risk. Its last update list of species at risk was published in 2015.

First published April 16, 2018. Cochrane Now.