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Banding Together for Waterfowl

Progress and Peril in the Boreal Forest

Millions of acres have recently received protection in this region, but grave threats remain for wetlands and waterfowl.
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The scale of this conservation effort is unlike any other in the world. During the past decade, more than 115 million acres of boreal habitat have received interim or permanent protection. Recently protected areas in the Northwest Territories include Upper Nahanni River Valley (1.9 million acres), East Arm Great Slave Lake National Park (8.3 million acres), East Arm Great Slave Lake Tribal Conservation Area (16 million acres), Ramparts National Wildlife Area (3.7 million acres), and Horn Plateau National Wildlife Area (6.2 million acres). In addition, all of the important wetlands in the North Yukon (the area north of Dawson City) have been designated for full protection or the next highest level of conservation through regional planning and land claims covering more than 3.8 million acres. DU biologists worked closely with local communities, governments, and other IBCC partners in making these conservation achievements possible.

Another huge victory for boreal conservation occurred when the government of Ontario announced in July 2008 its commitment to protecting at least 50 percent of the province's 110 million acres of boreal forest and conserving the rest of this area with high-level environmental standards. In neighboring Quebec, the provincial government has recently pledged to protect more than 140 million acres of boreal landscapes under a new "Plan Nord." DU and Canadian Boreal Initiative biologists and conservation planners are actively involved in these efforts as well.

Moreover, sustainable development plans have been crafted with certain industries, most notably the forestry sectors of Alberta, Manitoba, and British Columbia. Ongoing conservation planning efforts exist with Alberta Pacific on 28.4 million acres, Weyerhaeuser (12.4 million acres), Ft. Nelson, British Columbia (12 million acres), Louisiana Pacific (840,000 acres), and the Saskatchewan River Delta and Red Deer areas (1.1 million acres).

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