Ducks Unlimited Canada
National Boreal Program
10525 170 St NW Suite 300
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
T5P 4W2

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The FMWSI is a partnership between Ducks Unlimited Canada (DUC), Alberta-Pacific Forest Industries Inc., Canfor, the Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC), Tolko Industries Ltd., West Fraser, and Weyerhaeuser Company to advance wetland stewardship in the boreal forest through sustainable forest management.

For DUC, partnering with Canada’s forestry industry on sustainable practices is key to success in the boreal forest—and we’re proud to have received a 2020 Award of Excellence from the Forest Products Association of Canada in recognition of our contributions to the FMWSI.



How are wetlands and forests related?

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 being reflected in existing and emerging wetland-related policies, forest certification standards, and forest management practices.

Forest sector leading the way to boreal wetland conservation

The forest sector has taken a lead role in advancing sustainable forestry and best management practices across Canada. DUC has spearheaded 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 FMWSI is an innovative approach to advance shared wetland and waterfowl stewardship goals by working together and leveraging resources.


Objectives and projects

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.

The objectives of these projects are to:

  1. Advance sustainable forest management,
  2. Establish guiding principles and best management practices to conserve wetlands and waterfowl in forest management planning and operations, and
  3. Complement provincial forest management planning requirements and the needs of forest certification programs.

So far, partners have completed several projects of mutual interest.

Term 1 projects completed (2017-2019)

  1. Forestry and Waterfowl: Assessing and Mitigating Risk
  2. Guiding Principles for Wetland Stewardship and Forest Management, and
  3. Guide to Wetland BMPs for Forest Management – Planning and Operating Practices.

Term 2 projects completed (2020-2023)

The second term (2020 – 2023), will build on the success of the first, with a greater focus on knowledge transfer.

  1. Wetland Stewardship in Alberta’s Operating Ground Rules
  2. Training and Relationship Building for Wetland and Waterfowl Stewardship and Forest Management
  3. Boreal Wetland Subsurface Carbon Storage Mapping


Stay tuned for updates!


How is DUC involved?

The boreal forest is one of DUC’s top conservation priorities because boreal wetlands provide crucial breeding and nesting habitat for waterfowl. The FMWSI is an opportunity for DUC’s National Boreal Program to work alongside forward-thinking industries and companies to achieve conservation goals in the boreal.

DUC is coordinating the initiative and the communication of outcomes. DUC is also providing expertise in land cover inventory and mapping, waterfowl surveys, wetland/waterfowl productivity research and hydrologic/wetland risk mapping, and wetland BMPs to lead the development of these projects and address various knowledge gaps identified.

Working together for a bright future in Canada’s boreal

DUC would like to thank partner companies and their representatives for contributing their time, expertise, and resources to this initiative. We believe that we can all achieve more by working together so we invite individuals and organizations who would like to learn more and get involved in the future of the FMWSI to contact DUC or partner companies for more information.


The FMWSI has been possible by funding delivered through the Forest Resource Improvement Association of Alberta, the North American Wetland Conservation Conservation Act, and each FMWSI member.

Contact us

The partners believe that more can be achieved by working together. We invite individuals and organizations who would like to learn more or get involved in the future of the FMWSI to contact the DUC boreal program at