HALIFAX, Nova Scotia – Dalhousie University’s School of Resource and Environmental Studies has received a Sustainable Forestry Initiative® (SFI®) Conservation and Community Partnerships Grant to develop best management practices for forest road crossings in Atlantic Canada to avoid disrupting water flows in wetlands.
“The forest industry makes a considerable effort to avoid wetlands when building access roads but this is not always possible,” Peter Duinker, Director and Professor in the School for Resource and Environmental Studies at Dalhousie University, said today. “Our goal is to conduct rigorous experiments to test the most promising approaches and techniques, which are most effective at maintaining hydrologic function when building roads in forested swamps.”
The project will receive a total of $70,000 over three years through the SFI Conservation and Community Partnerships Grant program. In addition to Dalhousie University, project partners include Ducks Unlimited Canada; SFI Implementation Committees in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick; the Nova Scotia Department of Environment; the New Brunswick Department of Natural Resources; two SFI program participants – J.D. Irving Ltd. and Bowater Mersey Paper Company Ltd. – FPInnovations non-profit research institute; and the University of New Brunswick.
“This research brings together academic, non-profit, government and industry experts to identify the best way to cross streams so biodiversity is conserved and water flows maintained,” said SFI President and CEO Kathy Abusow. “The findings will help SFI-certified companies, and will also be communicated widely through peer-reviewed papers.”
Last year, SFI Inc. created the Conservation & Community Partnerships Grant program to build upon the more than $1.1 billion SFI program participants have contributed for research activities, including forestry research, science and technology since 1995. The Dalhousie University project is the second SFI Conservation and Community Partnerships Grant awarded for 2011, and brings the total for all of the grants awarded to-date to more than $900,000 US. Through the involvement of partners, these forestry research projects will leverage additional resources, achieving a total investment of more than $3 million.
The SFI 2010-2014 Standard is based on 14 core principles that promote sustainable forest management, including measures to protect water quality, biodiversity, wildlife habitat, species at risk, and Forests with Exceptional Conservation Value, and encourages community involvement. The SFI program is the only forest certification standard in North America that requires participants to support and engage in research activities to improve forestry forest health, productivity and sustainable management of forest resources.