FORT NELSON PROJECT Ducks Unlimited Canada (DUC) created the Western Boreal Program (WBP) in 1997 to identify critical wetland systems, and to help develop sustainable-use practices and conservation strategies for the western regions of Canada's boreal forest. As part of the WBP, DUC developed a partnership with the SLOCAN GROUP and several other organizations to expand conservation efforts near Fort Nelson, British Columbia (Figure 1). What DUC has done in the Fort Nelson Project: In 2002, an earthcover inventory was completed that used Landsat TM 7 imagery to classify 3.5 million hectares (~ 9 million acres) into 29 upland and wetland cover types. We also detected changes in earthcover types over a 10-year period due to an increase in fires, urban expansion, forest harvesting, and changes in water levels. Also in 2002, water chemistry information was collected, and parameters were used as an indication of wetland productivity, and to develop a regional water chemistry profile. In 2003, DUC completed the first year of a three-year aerial waterbird survey program. The two most common waterbird species observed during pair and brood surveys were bufflehead and mallard. During staging surveys, it was estimated that more than 50,000 waterbirds used the area, including a variety of ducks, geese, swans, shorebirds, loons, grebes, gulls, and cranes. Kotcho Lake was identified as an important staging area for waterfowl and waterbirds. Information obtained from earthcover, water chemistry, and waterbird inventories will help wise land use decisions and lead conservation planning in the regions' important and sensitive areas. Contributing Partners British Columbia Ministry of Forestry, Ducks Unlimited Canada, Ducks Unlimited Inc., North American Waterfowl Management Plan, The Pew Charitable Trusts, Slocan Group, and United States Forest Service.
Ducks Unlimited Canada Western Boreal Program
Ducks Unlimited Canada - Western Boreal Program, Ducks Unlimited Canada. 2004. Preliminary results from the Fort Nelson, British Columbia waterbird inventory project: 2003 progress report. Forest Investment Account (FIA) - Forest Science Program. Forest Investment Account Report. FIA2004MR023