Ducks Unlimited Canada Delivers 77-Million-Acre Wetland Inventory to the NWT Treaty 8 Tribal Corporation
July 9, 2019 (Łutsel K’e, NWT) Today representatives from the Ducks Unlimited Canada (DUC) National Boreal Program delivered a comprehensive, 77-million-acre map of wetlands in the Northwest Territories at the 2019 Akaitcho Annual Assembly in Łutsel K’e, NWT. The map represents DUC’s largest mapping project, taking more than two and a half years to complete. The final product is a critical source of ecological and cultural information to support the land use planning process of the Akaitcho region.
“The delivery of this information to the Treaty 8 Tribal Corporation and regional communities is a testament to the value of conservation partnerships,” says Kevin Smith, National Boreal Program Manager, DUC. “We are committed to expanding our partnerships and relationships with Indigenous governments and communities, promoting conservation and protection in their traditional territories, and building bridges for future preservation projects. This project not only signifies a milestone in DUC’s mapping project accomplishments but also demonstrates how strong partnerships promote conservation through collaboration and mutual respect.”
The map is a comprehensive, high-resolution digital wetland inventory of the Akaitcho Traditional Territory and was created using satellite imagery. Extensive ground and airborne-based fieldwork were conducted with support from local Dene technicians. The final product meets the Canadian Wetland Classification System (CWCS) standards by identifying the mapped wetlands at broad levels (class, form, type) to help professionals from a variety of disciplines understand their value and function.
“Mahsi cho to DUC for helping us with the land-use plans and wetlands projects. First Nations need help from organizations to assist us in developing our own awareness of the land,” states Chief Ernest Betsina Yellowknives, Dene First Nation (Ndilo).
Located on the eastern half of Great Slave Lake and extending to the Nunavut border, Akaitcho Néné is home to four Dene First Nations communities. They share this landscape with waterfowl and wildlife, like the threatened woodland and barren-ground caribou. Described as the bellwether of the boreal, populations of these species are on the decline. DUC has set an ambitious goal to conserve 660 million acres of the best waterfowl habitat in Canada’s boreal forest. This habitat supports over 500 bird, fish and mammal species. The innovative mapping project delivered today will help DUC make well-informed land-use management decisions to conserve this diversity of species.
About Ducks Unlimited Canada: Ducks Unlimited Canada (DUC) is the leader in wetland conservation. A registered charity, DUC partners with government, industry, non-profit organizations, and landowners to conserve wetlands that are critical to waterfowl, wildlife and the environment.
Follow DUC’s National Boreal Program on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter: @DUCboreal
For all inquiries, contact:
Sonny Lenoir, Manager, N.W.T.
Ducks Unlimited Canada