This week two non-government organizations—FPInnovations and Ducks Unlimited Canada—released a new guide for the forestry sector to describe best management practices to mitigate the impacts of roads on wetlands in Canada’s forests.

Entitled, “Resource Roads and Wetlands: A Guide for Planning, Construction and Maintenance,”focuses is on the planning, construction, and maintenance practices for resource roads that cross wetlands.

The guide is primarily directed at road managers, planners, and construction crews who plan, build and maintain resource roads across wetlands. But it is also relevant and useful for conservationists and anyone concerned with protecting and managing wetlands, as these resource roads are also often the main way people access the backcountry for recreation.

“These are delicate ecosystems with different characteristics. For example, water in bogs is stagnant; in swamps it fluctuates; and in fens it’s a slow trickle. Understanding the way water flows is key to choosing the right road construction,” said Greg Siekaniec, CEO of Ducks Unlimited Canada.

The guide focuses on ensuring that resource roads that cross wetlands function at the required design and performance levels to allow forest access and hauling operations in a cost-effective manner; and on reducing the impacts of resource roads on the flow characteristics of wetlands.

Scientists, biologists, wetland ecologists, engineers and GIS specialists at FPInnovations and Ducks Unlimited shared their expertise to plan and build roads in ways that conserve Canada’s critical boreal forest wetland ecosystems.

“One of the most exciting things about this new guide is its potential to promote the use of best practices for resource road wetland crossings on millions of hectares of forestland certified to the SFI Standard across Canada,” said Kathy Abusow, President and CEO of SFI Inc.

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“We’re pleased that SFI Program Participants including Louisiana-Pacific, J.D. Irving, Resolute Forest Products and Weyerhaeuser have been involved in this important work led by FPInnovations and Ducks Unlimited Canada.”

Project partners included: FPInnovations, Ducks Unlimited Canada, the New Brunswick Department of Environment, Natural Resources Canada, and SFI Program Participants J.D. Irving, Louisiana-Pacific, Resolute Forest Products and Weyerhaeuser.

The guide is available for free online at FPInnovations’ website.

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