Wetland BMP Knowledge Exchange
Wetland Management and BMPs - Not Just Another Tool in the Box
Thorsten Hebben, Section Head - Surface Water Policy, Alberta Environment and Parks, 7th floor Oxbridge Place, 9820 106 St. Edmonton, AB T5K 2J6, Bus: (780)664-5302, Email:
Thorsten Hebben is a Director (and former limnologist) with the Water Policy Branch of Alberta Environment and Parks. In his twelve years with the Department, Thorsten has worked on a wide range of surface water quality issues and topics, including long-term trend assessment, water quality index reporting, and organic wastewater contaminants. For the past several years, Thorsten has been leading development and implementation of various surface water policies; not the least of these has been the Alberta Wetland Policy.
Incorporation of Wetlands into Forest Management
Paul LeBlanc, District Forester, Swan Valley Forest Resources Division, Louisiana-Pacific Canada Limited, 558 3rd Ave. S., Swan River, MB R0L 1Z0 Bus: (204)734-4102 ext. 724, Email:
The Duck Mountain Provincial Forest in west-central Manitoba is a landbase with a mosaic of uplands and wetlands. The wetlands are both interspersed and interconnected with uplands. Ecosystem Based Management (EBM) of just the uplands was deemed insufficient, as was ignoring wetlands, or trying to separate out the wetlands.
Ducks Unlimited Canada has helped Louisiana-Pacific Canada understand the classification, mapping, and strategic and operational significance of wetlands since 2002. Wetland mapping was completed for the Duck Mountains, and is being incorporated into an ecosystem inventory, which will be utilized in a 20 Year Forest Management Plan. Our capacity to protect wetlands helps us with Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) certification, especially Objective 3 ‘Protection and Maintenance of Water Resources’. Operational planning keeps larger wetlands out of the proposed harvest block, while wetlands inside the harvest blocks maintain connectivity and buffer small wetlands. Robust crossings over wetlands are constructed utilizing wetland-specific crossing techniques from the Ducks Unlimited Canada’s wetland crossing guide.
Louisiana-Pacific Canada got to where we are at cooperatively with Ducks Unlimited Canada’s help and expertise. Wetland management has corporate benefits to Louisiana-Pacific Canada Ltd., including improved social licence and public trust, saving money on roads due to better road planning, less washouts, and less road maintenance. We have further to go with regards to management and protection of the integrated mosaic of upland and wetland ecosystems.
Opportunity knocks! Ducks Unlimited Canada has provided a great opportunity for all agencies in western Canada. The five major wetland classes (bog, fen, swamp, marsh, and open water) have been hierarchically classified into 19 wetland subclasses, complete with a field guide to identify the wetland subclasses on the ground. Furthermore, these wetlands are mapped and spatially referenced across western Canada! Any agency can utilize the provided mapping tools to incorporate wetlands into their management of the landbase.
Paul LeBlanc is the district forester for LP Swan Valley – Forest Resources Division. His responsibilities include: long-term planning and sustainability; coordinating Operating Plans; forest certification; mensuration, growth & yield; hardwood silviculture; ecosystem inventory; soils & vegetation. Paul is a professional forester with 30 years of experience from both industry and government. He holds a Master of Science in Forestry and an Honours Bachelor of Science in Forestry (first class standing), as well as a diploma in Environmental Management. Paul has helped develop forest ecosystem guides in Ontario, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba. Other notable work includes ecosystem inventories, ecological growth and yield, and recently contributing to the new Ducks Unlimited Canada field guide for boreal wetland classes.