Lower Saint John River Strategic Conservation Planning and Landowner Outreach

[rokdownload menuitem=”25″ downloaditem=”318″ direct_download=”true”]Final Project Report: Lower Saint John River Strategic Conservation Planning and Landowner Outreach, 2012-2013[/rokdownload]

Goals and Objectives

The Nature Trust of New Brunswick (NTNB), established in 1987, is New Brunswick’s only provincial land trust. Our focus is
on acquiring private lands and ensuring that their biological diversity is protected in perpetuity.

This project seeks to develop a strategic conservation plan for the Lower Saint John River Valley area (See maps section for location).
This project is being conducted in conjunction with representatives from the federal and provincial governments, and other environmental
NGOs working in the area. Through the use of GIS and relevant geospatial data, a fine-filter analysis will be conducted on the study area
with the goal of identifying priority conservation sites. Identification of these sites will in return lead to extensive landowner contact and
permanent protection of some of the identified areas with high conservation values.

The goals of this project are:

1) Develop a strategic Conservation Plan

2) Arrange partnership and collaboration with government and other conservation and environmental groups

3) Conduct Gap analysis

4) Develop outreach and education programs

5) Delineate conservation of priority habitat

6) Foster community ownership of conserved and vulnerable land

7) Management/ restoration and enhancement of land with high conservation values
 

Activities

April 2012-July 2012: Identify key conservation targets by Fine-filter GIS analysis using a wide array of data as inputs.

April 2012-March 2013: Involve stakeholders from the area to increase awareness and share data.

April 2012-July 2012: Use feedback, sensitivity analysis and ground truthing to identify missing or inadequate data in the analysis

October 2012-March 2013: Educate landowners about the high conservation values of their land

October 2012-March 2013: Use the conservation plan to guide land acquisition by approaching land owners with information on
conservation methods and the benefits of the different methods

October 2012-March 2013: Educate communities on land conservation, encourage formation of stewardship groups for nature
preserves/conserved land

October 2012-March 2013: Share data with other environmental groups and government that will continue conservation work in the area

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

This project will address habitat conservation through conservation planning, outreach, education and acquisition of land containing wetlands,
habitat necessary for breeding, staging and wintering of waterfowl and habitat necessary for migration.

This project supports habitat conservation for other migratory game birds through the identification and prioritization of wetlands and bird
habitats, and promoting their permanent conservation. Migratory game birds found in the area include the American Woodcock and the Canada
goose. Habitat for these species will be protected by proxy through the identification and subsequent protection of habitat with high
conservation values, and important ecosystems.

Relevance to Habitat Planning, Decision Making and/or Management

This project is directly associated with the five NB EHJV implementation plan targets and goals for both habitat needs and enhancement efforts.
The completed strategic plan will identify priority sites for conservation that will be integral in future land conservation, restoration and enhancement
decisions. Government agencies such as the Department of Natural Resources and the Canadian Wildlife Service could use this information for further
research and conservation organizations could generate enhancement and restoration projects.

Project Location

The study area of the conservation plan covers land in ten counties, but is located primarily in York, Sunbury, Queens and Kings counties. The study
area is defined by the watershed of the lower Saint John River, downstream from Mactaquac dam, including Grand Lake, stretching south to the City of
Saint John. The study area covers approximately 1.5 million hectares of land.

The St. John River watershed is one of the most significant watersheds in the Province of New Brunswick. It is important for wildlife and plants and has a
variety of habitats: riparian floodplains, alluvial islands, hardwood uplands, lakes, streams, bogs and fens. It provides an expansive corridor and is a
significant nesting and stopover area for migrating birds.

Project Contact

For more information on this project, please contact Renata Woodward, Executive Director, The Nature Trust of New Brunswick. Fredericton, NB.