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Issue 6 | December 2016

New monthly webinar series!

The Wetland BMP Knowledge Exchange is introducing a new monthly webinar series!  Our first presenter will be Ducks Unlimited Canada's Best Management Practices Team to provide a background on the work they do and why the Wetland BMP Knowledge Exchange was established.
Join us for the first in this series,
January 25 2017 from 12:00-1:00pm MST
Register here
If you are interested in giving a webinar on research, a pilot project, experience developing and applying wetland BMPs, or any related topic, we would love to hear from you contact us!

Ducks Unlimited Canada is expanding the Enhanced Wetland Classification to the North

Since the 1990’s, Ducks Unlimited Canada's (DUC) boreal program has been using satellite imagery to map wetland ecosystems across Canada’s western boreal region. This has led to the mapping of 67 million hectares of land, predominantly across the Boreal Plains Ecozone. DUC’s wetland inventory has been used to support land use planning, industrial impact mitigation through BMP activities, wetland policy development, and other key wetland protection efforts. DUC is now expanding its mapping efforts into the Northwest Territories (NWT). Using a combination of satellite radar and optical imagery, DUC’s team of Remote Sensing Analysts are developing wetland mapping products for the Dehcho (20.5 million hectares; Taiga Plains Ecozone) and South Slave (27 million hectares; Taiga Shield Ecozone) regions of the NWT. A key component of this work will involve overhead helicopter collection of field site information which will be completed in summer 2017.  The information collected in the field allows the Analyst to accurately relate satellite imagery to wetland types.  For more information contact Michael Merchant.

Linear disturbances in boreal peatlands: Hotspots of methane emission

Linear features criss-cross Canada's boreal forest creating grid link patterns.  Many of these features traverse peatlands which cover a large proportion of the boreal landscape.  Peatland ecosystems are very susceptible to compaction from heavy machinery that combined with vegetation removal can lead to alterations in local thermal properties, hydrology and ecology.  To determine the extent of the alterations, Strack (2016) studied carbon dioxide and methane emissions along transects of a winter road that traversed a poor fen near Peace River, Alberta.  While both the winter road and the adjacent peatland acted similarly as a carbon dioxide sinks, the winter road emitted significantly more methane than the adjacent peatland.  While other linear features may have a lesser methane efflux than roads, linear disturbances through peatlands in Canada's boreal forest could potentially induce a land-use change emission of 0.05 Mt of methane per year based on a 150 day emission period. View an abstract of this work here and for more information contact Maria Strack or visit her website.

Performance of road embankments on seasonally-frozen peat foundations with and without corduroy bases

Peatlands make up 38% of the provincial land base in Manitoba creating challenges during road construction and maintenance.  Roads built in peatlands often lead to settlement which can result in safety implications for workers and can alter the hydrology of the area.  A new paper by Guzman and Alfaro (2016) reviews the performance of two sections of a road embankment construction southeast of Thompson, Manitoba over a large bog with peat depths averaging 4 meters.  One section was constructed using only geotextile while the second used geotextile and timber logs to create a corduroy base.  Settlement of these two sections were monitored over 9 months with the greatest settlement occuring within the first month on both sections.  Comparatively, the section of embankment that was constructed with corduroy resulted in 30-45% less settlement than the section constructed with only geotextile.  View the paper's abstract here.

About the Knowledge Exchange
This is a venue for sharing boreal wetland best management practices information with the goal of raising awareness, increasing information transfer, and fostering collaboration amongst industry, government, academic, consulting, and other interested stakeholders.

For more information, visit our website. For past issues visit our archive.

Join the conversation

Please contact us if you have upcoming events, new and ongoing research, opportunities for collaboration, new publications, or any other wetlands BMP related work that you are interested in sharing.

Upcoming events

In the news

FSC Released Draft 2 of
Canadian Forest Management

Western Canada has crossed
into an entirely new hydro-
climatic cycle, scientist says

Climate Change:  Potentially
good news on methane and
peat carbon

Global Peatland Initiative
Tackles Climate Change


Did you know?

Wetland crossings are often
best constructed in winter
when the ground is hard and
potential impacts can be
minimized. Best management
practices for winter wetland
crossings include:
- Only use clean compacted
  snow and ice to construct
  winter crossings that will
  protect the wetland and its
  vegetation (Government of
  British Columbia, 2009)
- Walk tracked machines
  along the crossing to help
  drive down the frost (Gillies,
- Stop use of the road when
  nighttime temperatures are
  above the freezing point.
  (Government of British
  Columbia, 2009)
- Remove all snow fills and
  other material from the
  wetland before spring melt
  and place above the normal
  high water mark to prevent
  contributing to erosion and
  sedimentation (Government
  of British Columbia, 2009)

Government of British Columbia.
2009. Wetland Ways: Interim
guidelines for wetland protection and
conservation in British Columbia.
Chapter 7: Oil and Gas. Accessed
December 18 2016 from

Gillies, C. 2011. Water management
techniques for resource roads in
wetlands: A state of practice review.
 FPInnovations. Accessed
December 18 2016 from

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