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Guiding Principles for Wetland Stewardship and Forest Management: Technical Report

Guiding Principles for Wetland Stewardship and Forest Management: Technical Report


This resource was submitted by the Climate Risk Institute for theCanAdapt Climate Change Adaptation Community of Practice.

This article is an abridged version of the original text, which can be downloaded from the right-hand column. Please access the original text for more detail, research purposes, full references, or to quote text.

Wetlands are prominent features in forests and are often part of interconnected systems that link all forest ecosystems. They help maintain forest productivity (water/ nutrient flow). Many wetlands are flowing systems, making them vulnerable to linear developments, such as roads.

Wetlands, in various forms, are an important component of Canada’s commercial forest zone and provide a variety of ecological goods and services (e.g. food, water, timber, air purification, soil formation and pollination) to both the forest industry and society. Due to greater pressures on water resources, there is increasing interest in water and wetland conservation, which is reflected in existing and emerging wetland related policies, forest certification standards, and forest management practices.

The forest sector has taken a lead role in advancing sustainable forestry and best management practices across Canada. DUC has spear-headed multiple wetland conservation initiatives and views the forest sector as a critical and leading industry to ensure wetlands remain a healthy component of Canada’s working boreal forest today and into the future. The Forest Management and Wetland Stewardship Initiative (FMWSI) is an innovative approach to advance shared wetland and waterfowl stewardship goals by working together and leveraging resources.

In 2016, DUC launched the FMWSI with a coalition of forestry partners to work together under a threeyear collaborative agreement. The FMWSI is a partnership between Ducks Unlimited Canada (DUC), Alberta-Pacific Forest Industries Inc., Canfor, the Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC), Millar Western Forest Products Ltd., Tolko Industries Ltd., West Fraser, and Weyerhaeuser Company to advance wetland stewardship in the boreal forest through sustainable forest management.

Under the FMWSI, partners identify projects of potential interest and then select, by consensus, projects to focus on. The end goal of each project is to develop tools that forest practitioners can use when working in and around wetlands. So far, partners have selected three priority projects of mutual interest, to be completed over a three-year term.

These include:

1. Forestry and Waterfowl: Assessing and Mitigating Risk

2. Guiding Principles for Forest Management and Wetland Stewardship

3. Wetland Best Management Practices for Forest Management: Planning and Operating Practices

The objective of these projects is to advance sustainable forest management with a specific focus on establishing guiding principles and best management practices to conserve wetlands and waterfowl in forest management planning and operations and to complement provincial forest management planning requirement and the needs of forest certification programs.

Chapters One, Two and Three cover an introduction to the document, introduction to boreal wetlands, and describe the intersection of wetlands and forest management. The following chapters cover guiding principles for wetland stewardship (Chapter Four), wetland stewardship objectives to meet those principles (Chapter Five), and avoidance and minimization planning considerations to meet the principles and objectives (Chapter Six). In Chapters Five and Six we link the material presented in that chapter with the material presented in previous chapter(s). Chapter Seven covers knowledge gaps and recommendations.