Ducks Unlimited Canada

Ducks Unlimited Canada

August 19, 2013 17:11 ET

Ducks Unlimited Canada: Sahtu Land Use Plan Approval is a Win for Boreal Forest Conservation

STONEWALL, MANITOBA--(Marketwired - Aug. 19, 2013) - Ducks Unlimited Canada (DUC) congratulates the Sahtu Land Use Planning Board, the Sahtu Dene and Métis, the Government of the Northwest Territories and the Government of Canada for their commitment to boreal forest conservation through the approval of the Sahtu Land Use Plan. The plan was approved by federal Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada, Bernard Valcourt, Northwest Territories Environment and Natural Resources, Minister Michael Miltenberger and Sahtu Secretariat Chairperson Ethel Blondin-Andrew. Effective August 8, 2013, this plan covers over 70 million acres of boreal forest, including large areas of wetlands important for sustaining waterfowl populations.

"This is a great achievement and an important step towards conservation of boreal wetland habitats," says Kevin Smith, national manager, boreal programs for DUC. "DUC is happy to see the Sahtu Land Use Planning Board working with the Sahtu communities to take an integrated approach to land use planning to protect and conserve this unique, natural landscape."

The Sahtu land use plan creates several new land use and conservation zones, including over 3.0 million hectares of new conservation zones identified by the Sahtu communities. It also includes 2.5 million acres of proposed conservation initiatives under the Northwest Territories Protected Area Strategy, including the candidate protected area Ts'ude niline Tu'eyeta, also known as Ramparts River and Wetlands, which is a key migratory bird terrestrial habitat site, providing excellent nesting, brood rearing and staging habitat for ducks, geese and loons. The Colville Upland Lakes conservation zone also represents important breeding duck habitat, further safeguarding these critical wetland areas.

"For over 20 years, DUC has been privileged to work with the people of the Sahtu in many ways which has enabled us to grow as an organization," says Jason Charlwood, manager of territorial operations for DUC. "One of the great experiences has been the ability to participate in this process to assist in the conservation and special management of this truly rich landscape."

Nearly 60 years of continental waterfowl surveys have consistently shown the NWT as one of the "right places" to conserve waterfowl habitat. The adoption of the Sahtu Land Use Plan reflects a balanced approach towards economic development, cultural and key ecological protection within Canada's Boreal region. DUC will continue to support the implementation of the Sahtu LUP and the review process that occurs every five years, and continue to work with governments and communities in the protection and management of vital waterfowl habitat.

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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