Wetland BMP Knowledge Exchange


Innovation Information Management to Support Innovative Wetland Conservation
Bev Gingras, Conservation Programs Specialist - Wetlands and Industry, Ducks Unlimited Canada, 17504 111 Ave NW, Edmonton, AB, T5S 0A2   Bus: (780)930-1245, Fax: (780)489-1856, Email: b_gingras@ducks.ca 

Ducks Unlimited Canada’s (DUC) conservation goal in the boreal forest is to maintain waterfowl abundance by conserving 660 million acres of habitat most important to waterfowl. Meeting this goal involves a balance of protected areas and sustainable land use, and DUC recognizes Best Management Practices (BMPs) as one approach to achieving the latter. DUC’s BMP program was developed to help industry’s growing efforts to implement BMPs that support the responsible management of wetlands, waterfowl, and waterfowl habitat. Our focus is on (1) identifying planning and operational practices that are or can be used to reduce potential impacts of industrial activities on wetlands and waterfowl; (2) evaluating practices and integrating wetland and waterfowl knowledge into new or existing practices; and (3) promoting the use of BMPs. 

An inherent part of our work is collating, reviewing, and synthesizing information, and to increase our effectiveness, the BMP Program developed an internal Access database to house information on wetland related BMPs. We are interested in sharing and exchanging our information with others, as well as providing a space for others to share and exchange their BMP information, and have taken steps exploring the best way to do so.  In 2014, we commissioned an information and management exchange needs assessment study to identify the business requirements and functional needs of DUC and our partners with respect to a system for managing BMP information.  Results of the study indicated that participants wanted information delivered through a number of methods ranging from workshops to synthesize report, but that a key challenge was locating and accessing BMP information. Many respondents expressed the desire for a central repository that would simplify access to BMP information. 

DUC hosted the Wetlands BMPs Workshop to follow-up on these results by bringing people together to learn from each other and to: (1) get feedback from potential system users by examining different information management and exchange system (IMES) options to guide the creation of a system, and; (2) promote and share BMPs for working in wetlands. Workshop outcomes will depend on the ability and willingness of participants to engage in discussions during the workshop, to apply what they learn, and to continue to work collaboratively on identifying, promoting and sharing wetland BMPs.  DUC will apply what we learn from the workshop to (1) developing a wetland BMP IMES; (2) developing future BMP recommendations; and (3) directing our BMP program’s future activities.


Bev Gingras leads Ducks Unlimited Canada’s Best Management Practices Program, and is the conductor responsible for orchestrating this workshop! Bev started with DUC’s Boreal Program in 2012 and was tasked with developing BMP program. Over the past three years Bev has developed and grown a successful program that works collaboratively with industry, government, and academia to identify and promote the use of BMPs to help meet DUC’s sustainable land use goals. Prior to DUC, Bev spent eleven years with Environment Canada working for the Canadian Wildlife Service and the Environmental Protection Operations Division.


SaskPower Transmission and Distribution Environmental Best Management Practice for Working In or Near Water: Need, Development, Implementation, Outcomes and Continuous Improvement
Jaret McDonald, Manager, Strategic Issues Management (Biodiversity), SaskPower, 6th fl, 2025 Victoria Avenue, Regina, SK S4P 0S1  Bus: (306)566-3998, Fax: (306)566-3428, Email: jdmcdonald@saskpower.com  

In 2015, SaskPower rolled out an Environmental Best Management Practices (BMP) Manual for linear Transmission, Distribution and Fibre optic construction, maintenance and operations. The objectives of the BMPs were to develop consistency in practice, help streamline permits and approvals and raise the awareness of environmental risk across the organization. To build the BMPs, SaskPower engaged external expertise and stakeholders, established internal focus groups with subject matter experts and piloted the material prior to corporate release and training.  Working in or near water is a common activity, particularly on maintenance projects where saturated structure foundations fail. A BMP for working in water was specifically developed to address planning, permitting, construction, maintenance and reclamation of projects in surface water (wetlands, lakes, streams, etc). Positive outcomes include better planning and avoidance, reduced regulatory risk and more consistent implementation of mitigation.  An ongoing improvement process has also been established to ensure efficiencies are identified and communicated.


Jaret McDonald is currently Manager, Strategic Issues Management (Biodiversity) at SaskPower. The role involves proactive development of biodiversity related policies, standards and best practice to ensure due diligence in this area and position SaskPower as leader in the industry.  Prior to this, I was an Environmental Assessment and Approvals coordinator at SaskPower for 1.5  years and prior to that an environmental consultant to the power, oil and gas and mining industries in Western and Northern Canada for 12 years.



Alberta Land-Use Knowledge Network and fRi Research 
Terri McHugh, Land-Use Knowledge Network Program Lead, fRi Research, 1176 Switzer Drive, Hinton, AB T7V 1V3, Bus: (780)865-8290, Email: tmchugh@friresearch.ca   

The Alberta Land-use Knowledge Network (ALuKN) website is an information portal designed to contribute to effective land use planning, analysis and decision making by providing access to high-quality, relevant, trusted and accessible information and knowledge resources.  The ALuKn website is supported by fRi Research, and has four main areas of focus: nature and biodiversity, people and community, industry and economy, and government and monitoring. The fRi Research website provides access to news, events, resources, and projects related to land and resource management done by fRI Research programs and associations.


Terri McHugh has been with fRI Research and the Alberta Land-use Knowledge Network for the past 5 years, first as the digital librarian, and later as the Program Lead. Terri received her Master of Arts degree in Human Ecology specializing in museum studies, and she has done work in both the museum and library fields.


Neill Gilbride, NAWMP/NAWCC Coordinator, Canadian Wildlife Service,
Environment and Climate Change Canada, 351, boul. Saint-Joseph Gatineau, Quebec, K1A 0H3, Canada. Bus: (819)938-4030, Email: neill.gilbride@canada.ca    


WetlandNetwork.ca is managed by the North American Wetlands Conservation Council (NAWCC) Canada, a government- non governmental partnership whose mission is to provide national leadership on wetlands, waterfowl and wetland dependent species conservation for Canadians through the North American Waterfowl Management Plan and other initiatives. WetlandNetwork was developed to provide a variety of users, including industry, government, and conservation organizations, access to practical tools and resources to help individuals and organizations make informed decisions about the management of wetlands. To accomplish this WetlandNetwork was developed as a web portal, giving the user the ability to access to wetlands resources from a variety of online sources from a single portal. Organizations and individuals can sign up to the website to contribute information resources to the site. The website is available in both English and French, but website information resources are available only in the language they were contributed in.


Neill Gilbride has worked for Environment and Climate Change Canada for the past 7 years.  Over the past 5 years he has worked in the Canadian Wildlife Service in ECCC. He works in the National Office located in Gatineau, Quebec.  Neill currently works on wetland and waterfowl issues related to the North American Waterfowl Management Plan and the North American Wetland Conservation Council (Canada).  Neill functions as the secretariat for NAWCC (Canada) Staff which includes managing the development of several wetland related websites, including wetlandnetwork.ca.


Intermountain Oil and Gas BMP Project 
Kathryn Mutz, BMP Project Manager, Natural Resources LCC, Intermountain Oil and Gas BMP Project, 2990 Regis Drive Boulder, Colorado, 80305 USA, Bus: (303)499-1092, Email: kathryn.mutz@colorado.edu     

The Intermountain Oil and Gas BMP Project is a free-access website of Best Management Practices (BMPs) for oil and gas development in the Intermountain West area (Colorado, Montana, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming) of the United States of America. The focus of the website is a searchable database that includes both mandatory and voluntary BMPs currently in use or recommended. The database describes each practice and documents the source of the practice (who requires or recommends it in what specific applications. The database includes BMPs to address a variety of resources and issues including wildlife, water quality and pollution, water quantity and rights, and aquatic and riparian values.  The website also provides access to a searchable bibliography with over 800 publications and a growing list of resources, including case studies, which help better understand the oil and gas development processes, resources affected by development and the potential for reducing impacts through BMPs.  The website was created as a project of the University of Colorado Law School and is maintained through grants from a number of project partners through the Engineering School.


Kathryn Mutz has a background in both law and natural resources management. Prior to her career in law, she worked throughout the West for state and federal government and private industry on scientific and public policy issues related to natural resources development. As a biologist, she specialized in wetlands, endangered species, and reclamation of disturbed lands. Her legal career began in 1996 clerking for Judge Janice Davidson of the Colorado Court of Appeals.  She then joined the research staff of the Natural Resources Law Center, currently known as the Getches-Wilkinson Center, at the University of Colorado Law School.  Her legal research at the Center included mineral development (primarily oil and gas), environmental justice, land conservation, forestry, and all aspects of community participation in resource management. Kathryn recently left the Law School and directs the Intermountain Oil and Gas BMP Project from the School of Engineering at CU.


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