SFI Conservation Grant Supports Ducks Unlimited Wetland Research


WINNIPEG, Manitoba, April 6, 2011 /CNW/ -- Ducks Unlimited Canada, in partnership with Louisiana Pacific Canada Ltd. and FPInnovations, will use a Sustainable Forestry Initiative® (SFI®) conservation grant to determine best practices for designing and building forestry roads that protect wetland ecosystems in the western boreal forest.

"The SFI conservation grant means Ducks Unlimited Canada biologists, wetland ecologists and GIS specialists can share their expert knowledge about boreal wetlands with forestry professionals, then work with them to identify and test ways to build forest roads that maintain the unique ecological characteristics and functions of different classes of boreal wetlands," Chris Smith, manager of industry and government relations for Ducks Unlimited Canada's Western Boreal Program, said today.

The project will receive a total of $180,000 over three years through the SFI Conservation and Community Partnerships Grant program. SFI Inc., an independent third-party forest certification program, launched the grant program in 2010. The forestry road research will be led by Ducks Unlimited Canada and Louisiana-Pacific Canada, a certified SFI program participant, with resource road and engineering expertise from the Forest Operations division of FPInnovations, the world's largest private, not-for-profit forest research institute. In 2009, Ducks Unlimited Canada and Louisiana-Pacific Canada (Swan River Forest Resources Division) received an SFI Leadership in Conservation Research award for activities leading to long-term conservation of important wetlands and watersheds in west-central Manitoba.

The new conservation project will identify existing or develop new best management practices most compatible with minimizing impacts on the different wetland types found in the western boreal forest. The results will be field tested, and the knowledge transferred back to project partners with the intent to provide information to modify planning and construction techniques as needed. During key stages of implementation, government representatives responsible for forest practices will be consulted regarding the feasibility of integrating recommendations into forest operations guidelines.

"This research will help program participants operating in the boreal region better implement our SFI standard requirements, such as protection of water resources and biodiversity," SFI President and CEO Kathy Abusow said. "This is a wonderful example of why SFI launched the conservation grant program last year - it will bring together conservation and forest engineering expertise, foster collaboration, and build knowledge to improve practices and protect special areas."

Last year, SFI Inc. created the Conservation and Community Partnerships Grant program to build upon the more than $1.1 billion Program Participants have contributed for research activities, including forestry research, science and technology since 1995. This partnership project is the first SFI Conservation and Community Partnerships Grant awarded for 2011, and brings the total for all of the grants awarded to-date to more than $850,000. Through the involvement of partners, these forestry research projects will leverage additional resources, achieving a total investment of almost $3 million.

The SFI 2010-2014 Standard is based on 14 core principles that promote sustainable forest management, including measures to protect water quality, biodiversity, wildlife habitat, species at risk, and Forests with Exceptional Conservation Value, and encourages community involvement. The SFI program is the only forest certification standard in North America that requires participants to support and engage in research activities to improve forestry forest health, productivity and sustainable management of forest resources.

About SFI Inc. (www.sfiprogram.org).

SFI Inc. is an independent 501c(3) non-profit charitable organization, and is solely responsible for maintaining, overseeing and improving the internationally recognized Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) program. Across North America, more than 180 million acres/73 million hectares are certified to the SFI forest management standard, making it the largest single standard in the world. SFI chain-of-custody certification tells buyers how much of the fibre in a product is from certified forests, certified sourcing and/or post-consumer recycled content. The SFI program's unique fibre sourcing requirements promote responsible forest management on all suppliers' lands. SFI Inc. is governed by a three-chamber board of directors representing environmental, social and economic sectors equally.

Ducks Unlimited Canada (www.ducks.ca)

Ducks Unlimited Canada (DUC) is a private, non-profit, habitat conservation organization founded in 1938. It works with private landowners, governments and industry to conserve, restore and manage wetlands and associated habitats across all regions of Canada. In recent years, there has been an increasing focus on public land conservation with a key area being the Western Boreal Forest, including the commercial forest zone. The forest industry has been an important partner in helping Ducks Unlimited Canada fill important knowledge gaps related to boreal wetlands and wetland dependant wildlife, and is working toward enhanced practices related to wetland conservation.

Louisiana Pacific Canada Ltd.

Louisiana-Pacific Corporation (LP) is one of the leading manufacturers and distributors of premium building products in North America. Headquartered in Nashville, Tennessee, LP produces building products that are manufactured at facilities throughout the United States, Canada and Chile. Natural resources are critical to LP, and , good environmental stewardship is vital to the strength, profitability and sustainability of the company and the communities where it operates. LP Manitoba has and continues to establish conservation partnerships with organizations such as Ducks Unlimited Canada, to pursue and be successful at achieving conservation goals and ensuring forest resources managed by LP are sustainable for generations to come.

FPInnovations (www.fpinnovations.ca)

FPInnovations is a world leader that specializes in the creation of scientific solutions in support of the Canadian forest sector's global competitiveness, and responds to the priority needs of its industrial and government members. FPInnovations mission is to help the Canadian forest industry improve its value chain by developing new products based on the unique attributes of Canada's forest resources and with a sustainable development approach. FPInnovations is dedicated to addressing issues of global importance to the Canadian forest industry and its customers.




		

		For further information: Sue McMillan, Director, Marketing, SFI Inc., +1-250-508-8323, sue.mcmillan@sfiprogram.org or Chris Smith, Manager of Industry and Government Relations, Western Boreal Program, Ducks, Unlimited, +1-204-620-0328, C_Smith@ducks.ca Web Site: http://www.sfiprogram.org