Alberta land trust 2009 03 5 of 6-beneficial management practices


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Alberta land trust 2009 03 5 of 6-beneficial management practices

  1. 1. MODULE #5Beneficial Management Practices Training Module April 2010This project is made possible through a grant from the Alberta Real Estate Foundation Prepared by: Sue Michalsky, Paskwa Consultants Ltd., Tel: 306-295-3696 Email:
  2. 2. Beneficial Management Practices Training Module 1Learning Outcomes: 1. Know the current beneficial management practices associated with land management or where to look to find relevant management recommendations 2. Understand how beneficial management practices change over time as our knowledge of ecology and threats to conservation increases 3. Understand that conservation beneficial management practices may differ between ecoregions and know which beneficial management practices apply only in certain ecoregions 4. Understand that beneficial management practices designed to address different resources or different species sometimes conflict and know how to make choices between conflicting practices
  3. 3. GLOSSARYBeneficial Management Practice(s) - the term used to describe a land use or managementpractice, or system of practices, designed to benefit natural resources. 2
  4. 4. BACKGROUNDThis training module presents a compilation of current beneficial management practices applicableto Alberta’s ecology. Most land trusts use the Natural Regions and Subregions of Alberta (see figureon page 4) to define the ecoregions where they work. It is important to recognize that many arespecific to an ecoregion or a habitat type within an ecoregion, and that beneficial managementpractices that apply to one Subregion may not be applicable to another. For example, there are welldeveloped methods for establishing native grassland that work successfully in the Dry Mixedgrassand Mixedgrass subregions. However, these same methods are less successful in grasslandsdominated by rough fescue such as the Foothills Fescue, Northern Fescue, Central Parkland andFoothills Parkland ecoregions. Research is currently underway to find restoration techniques thatwork for fescue grassland.It is also important to recognize that beneficial management practices designed for one type ofhabitat or one wildlife species may conflict with beneficial management practices for other habitator species. For example, many endemic grassland wildlife species avoid tall vertical structuresincluding trees. Therefore, establishing trees can fragment habitat for these true prairie specieswhile at the same time can enhance habitat for wildlife species that benefit from trees in their 3habitat. Land trusts are often in a position to make choices in management. Be aware that you aremaking trade-offs and make an informed and justifiable choice. In order to make such choices, landtrusts should have clear goals for the conservation values they are protecting on a property.It is not possible to outline and summarize all the beneficial management practices that could beused in different situations in a training module. Many organizations have compiled documentsaddressing beneficial management practices for specific issues. A number of high quality, credibledocuments are referenced in this resource and are listed by category. When facing a managementissue land trusts need to research the appropriate practices and determine an approach that willmeet their goals successfully. This module provides resources which help guide such decisions.
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  6. 6. BENEFICIAL MANAGEMENT PRACTICES FOR DEVELOPMENTThe documents and information sources listed in the following sections represent some of theleading edge thinking around beneficial management practices relevant to Alberta’s landscape.Readers should keep in mind that as research and monitoring provide more information on impactsof human disturbance and success of restoration and management practices, beneficialmanagement practices will evolve.BENEFICIAL MANAGEMENT PRACTICES ASSOCIATED WITH ENERGYDEVELOPMENT • Alberta Energy and Utilities Board. 2001. Petroleum Industry Activity in Native Prairie and Parkland Areas: Guidelines for Minimizing Surface Disturbance. Native Prairie Guidelines Working Group. This document addresses management practices around siting, access management and reclamation for the exploration, development and production and pipeline phases of petroleum activities. The goal of the recommended practices is to reduce the amount of native 5 habitat disturbed and to minimize impacts to wildlife. • M.Griffiths, C. Severson-Baker, T. Marr-Laing, 2004. When the Oilpatch Comes to Your Backyard: A Citizen’s Guide. 2nd Edition. The Pembina Institute. Available from the Pembina Institute. $$ This document is a comprehensive guide to dealing with petroleum activities on privately owned land. It deals comprehensively with all aspects of exploration, oil and gas wells, pipelines, facilities such as compressors and batteries, emergencies, abandonment, reclamation and compensation for surface rights access. It lists questions to ask during negotiations and recommends conditions to place on surface access agreements. Environmental recommendations address setbacks, air emissions, drilling wastes, water well protection, water issues specific to coalbed methane, odours, flaring, spills, noise, capping of wells, and reclamation. It addresses dispute resolution mechanisms specific to Alberta. • Molvar, E.M. 2008. Wind power in Wyoming: Doing it Smart from the Start. Laramie, WY: Biodiversity Conservation Alliance, 55 pp. Available online at This document contains recommendations for siting and management of wind turbines to reduce impacts on birds of prey, bats, sage grouse, sharp-tailed grouse, big game, other sensitive species and aesthetic values. The maps and planning discussion is specific to Wyoming but demonstrates the type of planning that should be undertaken for responsible siting of wind farms. Recommended guidelines for minimizing impacts to wildlife are relevant to Alberta. • MULTISAR. Industrial Guidelines for Privately Owned Lands. Describes recommended setback and timing restrictions for sensitive habitat and species at risk specific to southeastern Alberta. • Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) - Alberta Region. 2006. NCC’s Environmental Assessment Process for Reviewing Seismic and Oil and Gas Development Proposals in
  7. 7. Alberta. DRAFT. This document outlines the process NCC undertakes to determine siting and to negotiate conditions for exploration and development with petroleum companies. Categories addressed include avoiding environmentally sensitive areas, minimizing disturbance and the development footprint, conserving topsoil or strippings, conserving rare plants and native vegetation, conserving water and air quality, minimizing noise and aesthetic impacts, protecting and minimizing impact to wildlife and fisheries habitat, avoiding disturbance of historical resources, conserving grazing capacity, promoting and facilitating reclamation / restoration of native habitats, and preventing the spread of weeds. • Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) - Alberta Region. 2006. Conditions for Oil and Gas Wellsites and Access Roads on NCC Land in Alberta. DRAFT. This document describes the conditions NCC places on conventional oil and gas wellsites and access roads. It addresses minimal disturbance techniques, methods for conducting operations to minimize environmental impact, including seasonal timing and scheduling, protection and conservation of surface and sub-surface water sources, protection and maintenance of air quality, minimal disturbance of wildlife and avoidance of sensitive wildlife periods, avoidance of unique or rare plants or plant communities, avoidance of historical resources, minimal disruption of the current land use, and the use of equipment and technology with the least residual environmental impact. • Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) - Alberta Region. 2006. Supplemental Information and Conditions for Coal Bed Methane Wellsites on NCC Land in Alberta. DRAFT. 6 This document deals with the conditions NCC places on coalbed methane wells and the impacts especially associated with this type of gas recovery including water protection, flaring and noise.BENEFICIAL MANAGEMENT PRACTICES ASSOCIATED WITH AGRICULTURE • Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development, Environmental Stewardship Division 2010. Beneficial Management Practices: Environmental Manual for Livestock Producers in Alberta. Agdex 400/28-2.$department/deptdocs.nsf/all/ipc13132 This guide covers practices that minimize impacts to water quality, soil health, odour and pest control. • Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development, Environmental Stewardship Division 2004. Beneficial Management Practices: Environmental Manual for Alberta Cow/Calf Producers. Agdex 420/28-2.$Department/deptdocs.nsf/all/epw8724 This guide covers practices that address impacts to water, soil and air quality, and biodiversity. It addresses minimizing impacts from pesticides, pharmaceuticals and pathogens. It also has a section outlining BMPs for building community relations. • Alberta Sustainable Resource Development. 2009. Measuring Rangeland Health. The Rangeland Health Assessment Protocol: An Ecological Tool for Land Stewards. Pub No. I/337. ISBN No. 978-0-7785-8209-0. ip.aspx This document describes the benefits of healthy rangelands and the five indicators of rangeland health. It provides assessment sheets for landowners to determine the health of
  8. 8. rangeland. • Alberta Sustainable Resource Development. 2007. Grazing Lease Stewardship Code of Practice. zingLeaseStewardshipCodeofPractice_signed_Dec2014-07.pdf This document describes the management principles and code of ethics that promote sustainable grazing. It also describes how to monitor range health. • Alberta Sustainable Resource Development. 2005. Rangeland Health Assessment for Grassland, Forest and Tame Pasture. Pub. No. T/04. ISBN Number: 0-7785-2848-01. ge_Health_Field_Workbook.pdf This document contains the worksheets and rationale behind Alberta’s rangeland health assessment for forests, native grasslands and tame grassland. It describes the benefits of each component of healthy rangeland. The methodology described in this document is the standard for Alberta and should be used when assessing rangeland health. • Fitch, L. and N. Ambrose 2003. Riparian Areas: A User’s Guide to Health. Lethbridge, Alberta: Cows and Fish Program. ISBN No. 0-7785-2305-5. This document describes the benefits of riparian health and the methodology of riparian health assessment for Alberta. The methodology described in this document is the standard for Alberta and should be used when assessing rangeland health. • Over and Under the Range: A Mini Guide. 2006. In Saunders, E., R. Quinlan, P. Jones, B. Adams and K. Pearson, 2006. At Home on the Range: Living with Alberta’s Prairie Species at 7 Risk. Alberta Conservation Association and Alberta Sustainable Resource Development, Lethbridge, Alberta. Available from the Alberta Conservation Association. A summary of what landowners can do to benefit species at risk in the Grassland Natural Region. This document provides a special section on grazing practices that are beneficial. • Paige, C. 2008. A Landowner’s Guide to Wildlife Friendly Fences. Landowner/ Wildlife Resource Program, Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks, Helena, MT. 44 pp. How to build permanent or temporary fencing that addresses wildlife problems including fences that are too high to jump, are too low to crawl under, have loose wires that wildlife get tangled in, have wires spaced too closely together, are difficult for animals or birds to see or create a complete barrier to wildlife movement.BENEFICIAL MANAGEMENT PRACTICES ASSOCIATED WITH FORESTRY • Alberta Agriculture; Food and Rural Development. 2006. Woodlot Management Guide for Alberta: SECTION III: Non-timber Resources in the Woodlot.$department/deptdocs.nsf/all/apa11065 This document primarily describes timber harvest systems and techniques that create or enhance wildlife habitat. • Canadian Model Forest Network. Private Woodland Owners —Meeting the Stewardship Challenge. ISBN 0-662-38221-8 Cat. no. Fo52-3/2004E-PDF. d=3360 This document describes the management practices being undertaken by woodlot owners
  9. 9. across Canada to benefit the environment. • Manitoba Model Forest. 2005. Best Management Practices Manual for Manitoba’s Private Woodlots. 56 pp. tml This document describes the beneficial management practices that promote environmental stewardship. It covers topics including harvesting, forest protection and reforestation. • Ontario Woodlot Association. 2009. A Landowner’s Guide to Careful Logging. 89 pp. This guide offers a clear, practical overview of careful logging practices both for the novice and professional logger. Careful logging practices include a range of techniques and practices used by landowners and loggers to minimize damage to the forest, soil, wildlife habitat and water. Examples of logging practices outlined in this guide include directional felling of trees, erosion control measures on skid trails, tree protection for wildlife and the establishment of buffers near water.BENEFICIAL MANAGEMENT PRACTICES ASSOCIATED WITH RECREATION • Grasslands Conservation Council of British Columbia. 2004. Best Management Practices for Recreational Activities on Grasslands in the Thompson and Okanagan Basins. In partnership 8 with British Columbia Ministry of Water, Land and Air Protection, Ecosystem Standards and Planning, Biodiversity Branch. This is a unique guide that addresses the impacts of recreational activities on natural grasslands and recommends beneficial management practices to avoid or offset the impacts. The document addresses motorized vehicles, horseback riding, mountain biking, rock climbing, hiking and many other activities. Although the guide is specific to grassland impacts, many of the practices recommended are applicable in other ecoregions.BENEFICIAL MANAGEMENT PRACTICES FOR HABITAT RESTORATION • Ducks Unlimited Canada. 2008. Wetlands On My Lands: A Landowner Guide for Restoring and Maintaining Wetlands in Alberta This guide provides step by step advice on planning, implementing and maintaining a wetland restoration project. It also provides an introduction to the benefits of wetlands. • Ducks Unlimited Canada. 2006. Rebuilding Your Land with Native Grasses: A Producer’s Guide. %20Grasses.pdf This guide is a summary of the practices described in Revegetating with Native Grasses in the Northern Great Plains. Topics covered include site preparation, preparing a seed mix, planting equipment, seeding, fertilizing and post-planting weed control. • Ducks Unlimited Canada. Revegetating with Native Grasses in the Northern Great Plains. Native Plant Materials Committee. Available from Ducks Unlimited Canada.
  10. 10. This guide describes the practices necessary for successful native grassland revegetation. It addresses topics including site preparation, preparing a seed mix, planting equipment, seeding, fertilizing and post-planting weed control. • Gerling, H. S., M. Willoughby, A. Schoepf, K.E. Tannas and C.A. Tannas. 1996. A Guide to Using Native Plants on Disturbed Lands. Alberta Agriculture, Food and Rural Development and Alberta Environmental Protection. Available from Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development. $$ This guide lists the native plants suited to the various natural regions and site types across Alberta. It also provides detailed information about the ecology, reproduction, habitat and availability of 130 native grasses, 260 wildflowers, 80 shrubs and 13 tree species. Other features are tips on seeding rates, timing, and methods to help reduce costs and seeding failures. • Native Plant Society of Saskatchewan. 2003. Prairie Roots: A Handbook for Native Prairie Restoration. Available from the Native Plant Society of Saskatchewan. This guide describes in detail how to choose a seed mix, when to seed, methods of site preparation and erosion control, and management of the seeded grassland. • Native Plant Society of Saskatchewan. 2006. A Guide to Small Scale Prairie Restoration - How to Grow Your Own Patch of Native Prairie. This guide describes the steps and actions required to organize a community restoration event, from fundraising to finding volunteers to the actual site preparation and seeding. • Smreciu, A. H. Sinton, D. Walker and J. Bietz. 2002. Establishing Native Plant Communities. Alberta Agriculture, Food and Rural Development, Alberta Environment and Alberta 9 Sustainable Resource Development. Available from Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development. $$ This document contains information on planning, field operations, site management and assessment. The planning section features information about setting goals, disturbance types, site location and conditions, land use planning, revegetation methods, salvaging materials, the availability of materials and purchasing materials. The field operations section deals with site preparation, seeding, planting and ensuring establishment. The management section looks at weed control, maintenance and site protection, while the assessment section looks at record keeping, rare plant mitigation and evaluating site success.BENEFICIAL MANAGEMENT PRACTICES FOR HABITAT MANAGEMENT • Fisheries and Oceans Canada. 2003. Working Around Water Fact Sheet Series for Alberta. A series of fact sheets developed for Alberta conditions and designed to help protect fish habitat. Fact sheets address docks, boat launches, building materials, building beaches and shoreline stabilization. • Native Plant Society of Saskatchewan. 2001. Acreage Living: A Conservation Guide for Owners and Developers of Natural Habitats. This guide deals with practices recommended for acreage owner who want to enhance the
  11. 11. environment on their acreage. It addresses vegetation management, livestock grazing and water conservation. • Pearman, M. and T. Pike. 2000. NatureScape Alberta. Red Deer River Naturalists and Federation of Alberta Naturalists. Available from the Federation of Alberta Naturalists. $$ With this step-by-step guide, learn what plants attract birds, butterflies and pollinators, find out what supplemental foods can be offered to backyard wildlife, learn how to install a water garden that will attract frogs and other wild creatures, find out how to make homes for birds, bats, ladybird beetles and toads, discover how you can create safe spaces in your yard for beetles, spiders and myriads of other tiny creatures that support and sustain the earths ecosystem, and find out how to co-exist with wild creatures and what to do should you find sick or injured wildlife. • Thompson, William H. and Paul L. Hansen. 2002. Classification and management of riparian and wetland sites of the Alberta Grassland Natural Region and adjacent subregions. Bitterroot Restoration, Inc. Prepared for the Alberta Riparian Habitat Management Program-Cows and Fish, Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada. 416 p. This document classifies the riparian and wetland sites of Alberta’s Grassland Natural Region and discusses management recommendations for grazing, logging, soil management and rehabilitation, recreational uses and wildlife. • Thompson, William H. and Paul L. Hansen. 2003. Classification and management of riparian and wetland sites of Alberta’s Parkland Natural Region and Dry Mixedwood Natural Subregion. Bitterroot Restoration, Inc. Prepared for the Alberta Riparian Habitat Management Program-Cows and Fish, Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada. 340 p. 10 This document classifies the riparian and wetland sites of Alberta’s Parkland and Dry Mixedwood Natural Regions and discusses management recommendations for grazing, logging, soil management and rehabilitation, recreational uses and wildlife. • Valastin, P. 1999. Caring for Shoreline Properties: Changing the Way We Look at Owning Lakefront Property in Alberta. Alberta Conservation Association and Alberta Fish & Wildlife. www.ab- orelineProperties/Caring_for_Shoreline_Properties.pdf This document describes management practices that can be adopted on lakeshore properties to help protect or restore the shoreline and preserve the water quality of the lake. It also includes information on permits: who to obtain them from, why, and what happens if you don’t.BENEFICIAL MANAGEMENT PRACTICES FOR SPECIES AT RISK • Manitoba Habitat Heritage Corporation. 2009. Prairie Species at Risk Beneficial Agricultural Management Practices Pilot Project - A State of Knowledge. Report, Fact Sheets and Databases. In partnership with Agriculture & Agrifood Canada, Environment Canada and Department of Fisheries and Oceans. www.crossingthe This document includes agricultural practices that can be used to benefit prairie species at risk. It includes detailed recommendations for 13 species and advice on how to choose what species to manage for. • Rangeland Conservation Service Ltd. 2004. Beneficial Management Practices for the Milk
  12. 12. River Basin, Alberta: A component of the Multi-Species Conservation Strategy for Species at Risk in the Milk River Basin (MULTISAR). Unpublished report prepared for Alberta Sustainable Resource Development, Fish and Wildlife Division and the Alberta Conservation Association. Airdrie, Alberta, 369 pp. MULTISAR-ConservationStrategyForSpeciesAtRisk-3yrReport-Mar-2005.pdf This document summarizes ecological and habitat requirements for select management species in the Milk River Basin and recommends range management systems that are compatible with species requirements.• Blouin, F. 2006. The southern headwaters at risk project: a multi-species conservation strategy for the headwaters of the Oldman River. Volume 4: BMPs and land use guidelines for focal species. Alberta Sustainable Resource Development, Fish and Wildlife Division, Alberta Species at Risk Report No.106, Edmonton, AB. MultiSpeciesConservationStrategyForTheHeadwatersOldmanRiver-Vol3-Mar-2006.pdf This document describes the major impacts to 12 focal species at risk in the headwaters of the Oldman River. It recommends land use guidelines and beneficial management practices relating to such issues as grazing, woody vegetation encroachment, habitat fragmentation, predation, hunting, disturbance and climate change. 11
  13. 13. OTHER SOURCES OF INFORMATION ON BENEFICIAL MANAGEMENT PRACTICESAlberta Agriculture and Rural Development$department/deptdocs.nsf/all/aesa5826 – Agriculture and WaterQuality: Beneficial Management Practice (BMP) ResourcesAlberta Fish & Game Association - - information on beneficial practicesfor parkland and grassland.Alberta Invasive Plants Council - - information on identificationand management of invasive plantsAlberta Sustainable Resource Development - Information on range health assessments and grazing practices.Cows and Fish - www.Cows and - Riparian Health Assessment methodology,manuals, forms and management information. 12Prairie Conservation Forum- - information on grassland issues,research and inventories.Saskatchewan Watershed Authority - - information on managing all types ofwaterbodies and riparian areas as well as native prairie management and invasive plantspecies management.