Conservation and Restoration of Priority Wetland and Upland Habitat on Salt Spring Island 2015-2016

Final Report: Conservation and Restoration of priority wetland and upland habitat on Salt Spring Island, 2015-16

Goals and Objectives

The purpose of this project is to improve wildlife value and increase the area of protected, restored or enhanced wetland and/or upland habitat in priority conservation areas on Salt Spring Island, BC.

The goals of this project are:

  1. Long-term protection of priority wildlife and wetland/upland habitat on Salt Spring Island.
  2. Increase amount of habitat available for waterfowl and wildlife.
  3. Increase protected habitat through Stewardship Agreements.
  4. Conserve and restore priority wetland and upland habitat within the Cusheon Lake Watershed.
  5. Stewardship of priority wetland and upland habitat around 3 major lakes.
  6. Increase long-term conservation of sensitive wetland and upland habitat where Off-Road Vehicle (ORV) damage has been an issue.
  7. Increase public knowledge of wetland and upland stewardship and restoration techniques for waterfowl habitat.
  8. Increase planning and sharing of conservation and management strategies with partner organizations.
  9. Ensure compliance on existing SSIC covenanted land and nature reserves.
  10. Enhance upland and wetland habitat in up to 3 locations.

 

Specific Habitat Products/Results Supported by WHC’s Contributions

Specific habitat results that will be supported by WHC’s contribution:

  • Progress towards legal protection of land on up to 2 properties (up to 150 acres) of lake, wetland, shoreline or upland habitat
  • Enhancement of wetland and/or upland habitat in up to 3 key locations
  • Restoration of lake shoreline habitat (primarily loosestrife eradication) on up to 7 properties
  • Ensure compliance of conservation covenants on up to 16 properties with wetland, shoreline, and/or upland habitat (totalling 680 acres/275 hectares); update or develop Management and Restoration Plans or Baseline Inventories for up to 2 reserves; implement habitat enhancement on up to 2 covenanted lands
  • Increase public awareness of importance of wetlands, stewardship and/or wetland-associated species through local media and newsletter articles (newspaper circ. 4,000), restoration workshop (up to 30 landowners), and private consultations
  • Establish native wetland plant nursery for future wetland restoration over 5 years.
  • Maintain wetland constructed in 2014 through irrigation, weeding, and invasive species removal

Benefits to Waterfowl, Wetland-Associated Species, and/or Other Wildlife

Project activities will result in the conservation, restoration, protection and enhancement of wetlands and upland habitat for wildlife, waterfowl and migratory game bird species on Salt Spring Island. Project activities will benefit the 45 known species of waterfowl, wetland associated species and migratory game birds on these properties

Relevance to Habitat Planning, Decision Making and/or Management

SSIC participates in and reports to Recovery Teams for several Species at Risk on Salt Spring, involves different levels of government where applicable in project activities, provides recommendations and data to local Islands Trust, BC Parks, and SSI Parks and Recreation Commission in their management of protected areas and parks.

Direct Influences include:

  • Increased land protected through Stewardship Agreements with private landowners.
  • Increased land protected through acquisition of fee simple title or conservation covenant.
  • Increased wetland and upland habitat restored and enhanced through stewardship activities such as invasive species removal, native plant and tree planting, and establishment of native wetland plant nursery for propagation of plants for future wetlands.
  • Recommendations for wetland conservation and stewardship activities provided for management of up to 7 Nature Reserves (through updating or creating up to 2 Management Plans or Baseline Inventories as needed) and up to 16 priority covenant lands (through implementing habitat enhancement on up to 2 sites as needed).
  • Consultations and review provided by partner organizations and experts will solidify restoration work on Blackburn Lake Nature Reserve, and ensure restoration techniques based on sound scientific recommendations.

Indirect Influences include:

  • Partner organizations’ participation in workshop to share wetland and upland habitat management strategies and practices will build stronger relationships and efficacy within the field of wetland conservation.
  • Workshop, presentations, consultations, and articles will increase landowner engagement in wetland restoration and stewardship issues.

Project Location

Salt Spring Island, British Columbia.

Most of Salt Spring is in the Coastal Douglas-fir biogeoclimatic zone (CDFmm), which is an area of high species richness with a conservation status of ‘Imperiled’ as it is the rarest ecosystem in BC. The higher elevation land on Salt Spring is within the Coastal Western Hemlock very dry maritime (CWHxm1) zone, which has a similar conservation status.

Project Contact

For more information on this project, please contact Christine Torgrimson, Executive Director, Salt Spring Island, BC.