Crown Land Securement Partnership Program, 2013-14
Goals and Objectives
The Crown Land Securement Partner Program (CLSPP) provides resources to assist the province through the Ministry of Forest, Lands, and Resource Operations (FLNRO) and their conservation partners in the expansion or designation of new Wildlife Management Areas (WMA) and other Crown Designations in BC. The program coordinator assists the partners and FLNRO in implementing a MOU agreement regarding “Environmental Management” of various Crown Land Act tenures.
Investments to secure and restore key parcels of private land from the partners of the Pacific Estuary Conservation Program (PECP), the securement arm of the Pacific Coast Joint Venture (PCJV), have been significant since the mid 1980’s. The CLSPP has leveraged these conservation efforts to help secure an additional 25,000 ha (62,500 acres) of Crown land (mostly estuaries, wetlands, and riparian wildlife corridors). This unique partnership program has been proven to be a very cost-effective conservation tool with the benefits of a ten-fold increase in critical habitat protected at a land scape level. FLNRO sets regional crown land securement priorities with input and support from the program partners (Canadian Wildlife Service, Ducks Unlimited Canada, The Nature Trust of BC, Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation, BC Ministry of Environment and Nature Conservancy Canada) and the program coordinator has now been involved in the creation of 10 of BC’s 25 Wildlife Management Areas. This program is now working on 16 proposed new WMA’s throughout BC with a goal to designate 3 to 5 in 2013/14. This project will be measured by the number of sites designated for conservation and the hectares (acres) of habitats protected, restored and effectively managed as well as the completion of the numerous tasks that are required for a WMA designation.
Specific Habitat Products/Results Supported by WHC’s Contributions
The CLSPP is currently working on 16 WMAs in BC. WHC support will go towards the establishment of new wildlife reserves (Courtenay River, Baynes Sound, and Chemainus River estuaries) and up to 5 coastal Wildlife Management Areas (Quatse River Estuary, Parksville-Qualicum Beach WMA and Green Mountain additions, Somenos Marsh, and Harrison-Chehalis wetlands). These sites are comprised of 12,945 acres of coastal estuaries, foreshore, and wetland habitats and an additional 675 acres of riparian coastal forests.
Benefits to Waterfowl, Wetlands-Associated Species, and/or Other Wildlife
In the coastal areas, WMA’s secure critical habitat that provides key wintering and migration sites for waterfowl. These sites are estuaries that provide key foraging sites for waterfowl, wetland-associated birds and migratory game birds. Over time, the CLSPP partners are creating a network of protected sites along the BC Coast for migratory birds. Securement of estuaries in the PCJV priority habitats support more than thirty waterfowl species, with the Fraser River Estuary alone benefiting over one million migrating and wintering Pacific Flyway waterfowl annually.
Relevance to Habitat Planning, Decision Making and/or Management
The project directly influences habitat conservation through Crown Land Transfers and Crown designations (securement) of land in perpetuity. Once secured, the lands are managed through FLNRO which provides access to funding for land management. Indirectly, the projects contribute to land use planning through internal government planning as well as through public consultation process that engages local government. The CLSPP compliments acquisition projects of government and NGO’s because in several areas, the WMA’s are designated on Crown lands that are adjacent to acquired parcels of land creating contiguous blocks of conservation lands.
British Columbia: District of Port Hardy, City of Courtenay, Regional District of Nanaimo, Municipality of North Cowichan, District of Kent, and Comox Regional District.
For more information on this project, please contact Dan Buffet, Head of Conservation Programs – BC Coast, Ducks Unlimited Canada, Surrey, B.C.