Ducks Unlimited Canada

Ducks Unlimited Canada

September 12, 2013 16:46 ET

Ducks Unlimited Canada Reacts to the Alberta Wetland Policy

CALGARY, ALBERTA--(Marketwired - Sept. 12, 2013) - Ducks Unlimited Canada (DUC) is pleased that the Alberta Wetland Policy appears to balance vital long-term conservation objectives with Alberta's economic prosperity. If properly implemented, the policy may provide the framework to protect critical wetland resources across the province.

"We see potential for this policy to protect Alberta's wetlands throughout the province," says Perry McCormick, provincial manager of operations for DUC Alberta. "Although the policy requires further detail, the government has committed to future stakeholder engagement to achieve its intended outcomes.

As a leader in wetland conservation and restoration, we look forward to engaging in the development of the finer details in the implementation phase. As well, we are encouraged by the government's adaptive management approach to implementation, as it will measure and monitor progress towards defined outcomes."

Important points in the policy include its comprehensive scope covering all areas of the province, its enhanced focus on avoidance of wetland impacts as a top priority, and a focus on restoration where historic losses have been high.

The intention to implement a formalized evaluation system of wetland values to remove subjectivity, and "type-for-type" restoration articulated as a priority, are also important. Furthermore, the commitment to enhanced wetland inventory and mapping will help with protection and restoration under this new policy.

Specific elements that are of concern to wetland health in the province are the exclusion of a "no net loss" statement and the fact that only permanent wetland loss will require mitigation.

"DUC looks forward to working with the Alberta government towards the protection of wetlands across the province to benefit Albertans and wildlife," says McCormick. "The true test will come in the implementation phase, which DUC looks forward to. In order to achieve the policy goal and outcomes, there needs to be compliance and effective enforcement relating to all wetland impacts."

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. Learn more at ducks.ca.

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