WINNIPEG, Manitoba (News release) -- Ducks Unlimited Canada (DUC) and Louisiana-Pacific Building Solutions (LP) announced the signing of a new, 10-year agreement that will positively impact more than 6.2 million acres of Manitoba's boreal forest, an area larger than the state of Vermont and about half the size of Nova Scotia.
LP, an international engineered wood products company that is certified to Sustainable Forestry Initiative® (SFI) Standards and has managed forestlands in Manitoba's boreal forest since 1996, has signed a new stewardship agreement with DUC. This unprecedented agreement between a conservation agency and a forest product company demonstrates a shared commitment to wetland stewardship through planning and operational wetland best management practices. The agreement also includes an annual commitment by LP to continue implementing wetland best management practices and to modify its approach based on new applicable science. The stewardship report, a resource complementary to the agreement, has the endorsement of SFI, the Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC), the LP Swan Valley Stakeholders Advisory Committee, and an Elder from Pine Creek First Nation.
"Partnerships like these are at the forefront of wetland and waterfowl conservation as they continue to advance methods of operating sustainably in the boreal forest," said Karla Guyn, CEO of Ducks Unlimited Canada. "Congratulations to all who helped realize these achievements; you represent the strong conservation leadership we need to ensure a healthy and sustainable future."
"Early on in our forest management operations in Manitoba, we recognized the benefit of working with organizations like DUC to ensure we have the right information in support of our sustainability efforts," said Brad Southern, CEO of LP. "We're committed to being good forest stewards and working with DUC and other partners to continue to sustain boreal wetlands and waterfowl within our Manitoba-based operations."
Since the partnership launched in 2001, DUC and LP have inventoried more than 6.2 million acres of waterfowl-supporting habitat in Manitoba using DUC's Enhanced Wetland Classification (EWC) system. Wetland inventories are essential to wetland and waterfowl conservation on many levels. They allow mapping of key habitats which sustain waterfowl, and these targeted wetlands can then be managed accordingly to maintain healthy waterfowl populations. Working collaboratively, DUC and LP have developed maps showing distribution of wetland types across the region, new management practices to better conserve wetland and waterfowl habitats, developed wetland classification training sessions for employees and contractors, and published multiple reports and research papers.
Notably, the two groups have collaboratively developed a novel method of estimating carbon stores in boreal wetlands. Within a portion of LP's Forest Management License Area, where wetlands are present, 250 million tonnes of organic carbon was estimated within the soil and was measured using this method. Determining the carbon capture and storage capacity of boreal wetlands is critical to understanding its role in mitigating global climate change.