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Shallow Water Wetlands

This is a partnered project initiated in 2015. We are developing and in 2016 will implement prescriptions developed for shallow water wetlands within areas of continental significance to waterfowl as identified by joint ventures. We have studied riparian vegetation and historical beaver dam building locations and found that where the interval between natural disturbances (fire) has been long, aspen and other deciduous species in the adjacent upland are depleted and the communities become dominated by coniferous species. Beaver dam building activities are reduced resulting in fewer and smaller ponds, and reductions in ecosystem services associated with the presence of beaver colonies.

Project objectives will promote deciduous structure growth within habitat previously used by beaver. Our goals are to promote waterfowl habitat, increase groundwater recharge, reduce freshet volumes, increase late season water flows downstream, increase sediment capture and moderate stream temperatures. Primary locations are shallow water, graminoid or non-vegetated wetland types adjacent to streams with historic beaver presence.

In 2016 we will establish monitoring plots (photography and fixed radius vegetation monitoring) and initiate manual mechanical treatments and prescribed fire treatments. Sowing or vegetative propagation of aspen seedlings will be initiated in the fall for areas that are not expected to have successful natural suckering. These seedlings will be planted in year 2 (spring 2017). Suckering and plantation success will be measured in 2018. Further monitoring requirements or treatment requirements will be assessed at this time. Best management practices policies will be developed in conjunction with MFLNRO staff and forest licensees for forest harvest activities adjacent to riparian areas to promote beaver habitat and shallow water wetlands.

2015

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Library

Kaffanke, T. 2016. Improving the prospects for shallow water wetlands through upland vegetation management in the Stuart Nechako Resource District. 13p
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