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Forestry and Waterfowl: Assessing and Mitigating Risk Technical Report

Publication Type: Technical Report

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

Date: July 2018

forestry and waterfowl assessing and mitigating risk technical reportWhat is it?

The Forestry and Waterfowl: Assessing and Mitigating Risk Technical Report describes a decision-making approach for assessing and mitigating the risk of incidental take of waterfowl in Canada’s boreal forest. The technical report provides detailed information about the project background and purpose, methods, and supporting information.

The report focuses on waterfowl and is intended to complement other incidental take tools that focus on upland migratory bird species. The Technical Report is aligned with the guidance provided in Environment and Climate Change Canada’s Migratory birds: developing beneficial management practices.  

Who is it for?

The technical report was designed for forestry professionals who play a role in assessing and mitigating the risk of incidental take and who are looking to get more in depth information than is offered in the Practitioner Guide. Readers who are looking for additional information on:

  • boreal waterfowl
  • the regulatory context
  • detailed rationale and methods supporting the steps of the decision-making approach
  • migratory bird best management practices (BMPs)
  • supporting resources

About the technical report

In Canada, migratory birds, nests and eggs are protected under the Migratory Birds Convention Act (MBCA 1994). Currently, the inadvertent harming, killing, disturbance or destruction of migratory birds, nests and eggs, often referred to as “incidental take”, may be considered a violation under the Act and its regulations.

Individuals and companies found to have willfully or inadvertently violated the prohibitions of the MBCA may be subject to enforcement and penalties. 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.

The Technical Report 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 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 (MBCA 1994) and voluntary (e.g., forest certification) requirements.

This report 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

This report has also been made into a short, user-friendly Practitioner Guide.

The Forestry and Waterfowl: Assessing and Mitigating Risk Technical Report 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.