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National Boreal Program
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Forestry and Waterfowl: Assessing and Mitigating Risk Practitioner Guide

Publication Type: Guidebook

Author: Ducks Unlimited Canada in collaboration with the Forest Management and Wetland Stewardship Initiative

Date: July 2018

Forestry and waterfowl assessing and mitigating riskWhat is it?

The Forestry and Waterfowl: Assessing and Mitigating Risk Practitioner Guide is a user-friendly guide targeted towards forestry professionals responsible for assessing and mitigating the risk of incidental take of migratory birds in Canada’s boreal forest. This guide focuses on waterfowl and is intended to complement other incidental take tools that focus on upland migratory bird species.

Who is it for?

This guide was designed for forestry professionals, including planners, operators, and contractors, who play a role in assessing and mitigating the risk of incidental take at the planning or operational level.

 

About the guide

In Canada, migratory birds, nests and eggs are protected under the Migratory Birds Convention Act (MBCA 1994). To demonstrate due diligence and support migratory bird conservation, the forest industry is looking for ways to reduce the risk of incidental take when undertaking forest management planning and operations.

Individuals and companies found to have willfully or inadvertently violated the prohibitions of the MBCA may be subject to enforcement and penalties. As a result, the forest industry is looking for ways to reduce the risk of incidental take when undertaking forest management planning and operations and to demonstrate due diligence.

The Practitioner Guide describes a decision-making approach for assessing and reducing the risk of incidental take that will help the user assess the risk of incidental take of nesting waterfowl and waterfowl nests when operating within the migratory bird nesting season by considering:

  • risk of disturbance from forest industry activities;
  • waterfowl nesting season;
  • waterfowl density; and
  • nesting habitat potential.

DUC believes that using regionally relevant best management practices (BMPs) to reduce the risk of incidental take of migratory birds by industry will support waterfowl conservation in the boreal forest and assist industry in meeting their regulatory and voluntary (e.g., forest certification) requirements.

This guide identifies migratory bird BMPs in the following categories:

  • Scheduling practices
  • Planning to avoid nest disturbance
  • Planning to provide long-term habitat
  • Education and training
  • Harvest operations
  • Other practices

For more information about the project background, detailed methods, and supporting information refer to the Technical Report.

The Forestry and Waterfowl: Assessing and Mitigating Risk Practitioner Guide is a product of the FMWSI, a collaboration 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.