Grant – Fraser Basin Councilsfiprogram2020-07-31T07:16:16-04:00
FRASER BASIN COUNCIL SOCIETY
Teaming up to Conserve Steelhead through Improved Forest Management
Monitoring Water Temperatures and Flows for Steelhead in Relation to Forest Management Practices
Why this project matters
Steelhead are an endangered species in many parts of North America and they are at risk of becoming endangered in the Fraser Basin in British Columbia. Steelhead trout (aka steelhead salmon) are an iconic symbol of the Thompson River and region in British Columbia. Having long sustained Indigenous people, steelhead are also central to the region’s world-class recreational fishery. Unfortunately, this species is in decline, and today Thompson steelhead are classified a species of extreme conservation concern by the provincial government.
How the project helps steelhead conservation
In order to build understanding of the relationship between steelhead and forest management practices, the project will monitor water temperature in portions of the Thompson watershed, where steelhead spawn and rear. This will ultimately help identify areas of groundwater influence, allowing researchers to compare and contrast the relative need for different forest management retention practices around small, upper elevation streams. These findings will complement work underway in the Deadman and Nicola watershed. Outcomes will help forest managers adjust activities in locations that may provide the greatest aid to steelhead habitat, and to manage flows and temperatures for steelhead.
This work will also address climate change adaptation through the identification of habitat enhancement or restoration opportunities in small, lower-order, upper-elevation streams, which could improve habitat for fish and other aquatic life experiencing changes to water temperatures. These ecosystems now receive less precipitation as snow and more as rain, increasing the need for sustained water flows during longer lasting summer droughts.
This project represents a continuation of SFI engagement in steelhead conservation, building on a past grant from the SFI Conservation and Community Partnerships Grant Program in support of the Thompson Steelhead Working Group. This multi-governmental collaborative initiative formed in 2014 to bring together representatives of the Nlaka’pamux and Secwepemc First Nations, the Province of BC and the Government of Canada to develop a recovery and management plan for Thompson steelhead. The working group also hopes to gain wider community commitments for steelhead recovery, and to return wild steelhead populations to levels that produce sustainable ecological, social, and economic benefits for all.
How the project helps forest managers
The project will quantify the impact of SFI Program Participant activities relative to improving stream habitat and water quality by comparing water temperatures between areas of greater and less retention, and between areas with and without underground flows. The project will evaluate the hypothesis that more regular flows and cooler water temperatures may be expected in forests with a diversity of age classes, structure and, most importantly, retention around wetlands. Because steelhead are an indicator of the biodiversity values within a watershed, analysis of these metrics will help build understanding regarding the contribution of sustainable forest management to conserving species at risk.
This partnership includes academics, conservationists, researchers, Indigenous peoples and SFI Program Participants.
Project lead: Fraser Basin Council Society
Sustainable Forestry Initiative
West Fraser (SFI Program Participant)
British Columbia Timber Sales (SFI Program Participant)
Secwepemc Fisheries Commission
Simon Fraser University
BC Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development
The Fraser Basin Council is a charitable non-profit society that brings people together to advance sustainability in the Fraser Basin and across British Columbia. Established in 1997, the council is a collaboration of four orders of government (federal, provincial, local and First Nations), along with representatives from the private sector and civil society.
The council helps people learn about sustainability, resolve conflicts, and roll out partnership initiatives with a focus on climate change and air quality, watersheds and water resources, and local sustainability and resilience. It supports leaders in government, business and community organizations in finding collaborative solutions to tough issues and promising opportunities.
Dear SFI Community,
I’d like to share an update from SFI on our strategies to ensure smooth operations as well as some adjustments we have made with regards to upcoming events in light of COVID-19. The following reflects our best efforts to keep our teams and our interactions with our community as safe and healthy as possible, and to provide you with some certainty with regards to upcoming events and dates.
REACHING SFI STAFF
SFI staff continue to be fully operational and able to support any needs or questions you may have about SFI programs. In order to ensure the health and safety of our team, all SFI employees are currently working remotely and we have the systems in place to allow us to be fully accessible by email, phone, and video call. You can find contact information for staff on our website or can send general inquiries to email@example.com.
SFI AUDIT GUIDANCE
SFI has issued updated guidance regarding audit restrictions due to COVID-19. We recognize that other requirements related to implementing the SFI Standards, such as logger training, may be disrupted while travel and gatherings are restricted. SFI will issue further guidance as warranted. Questions about audits or standard requirements should be directed to Gregor Macintosh, SFI Senior Director of Standards, at Gregor.firstname.lastname@example.org.
SFI/PLT MEETINGS AND WORKSHOPS
In order to prioritize the health and safety of our community and prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus, SFI is canceling all scheduled in-person meetings and workshops through June, with alternative virtual arrangements being developed, as follows:
PROJECT LEARNING TREE CANADA GREEN JOBS SUMMIT
The planned March 23-24 Summit has been redesigned as an e-summit on March 23, bringing youth together from across Canada to discuss green career pathways.
CONSERVATION IMPACT SOUNDING BOARD WORKSHOP
The planned May 20-21 workshop will be redesigned as a webinar on May 20 focused on the intersection of Conservation Impact research and the developing 2022 SFI Standards, with a particular focus on carbon and climate change.
PROJECT LEARNING TREE COORDINATORS’ CONFERENCE
The planned June 8-12 conference in Bremerton, WA, has been postponed until 2021 at the same location. In lieu of the 2020 conference, plans are underway to host a one-day virtual event on June 10 or 11 offering professional development and networking to the PLT Coordinators and partners.
STANDARD REVISION WORKSHOPS
These May/June workshops were designed as regional opportunities to comment on proposed revisions and enhancements to the SFI Standards. SFI still plans to release the next draft Standards by May 1 and conduct a 60-day comment period through the end of June. Instead of the in-person workshops, we will conduct dedicated webinars focused on specific themes and requirements in the Standards, as follows:
Logger Training and Education
Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation
Conservation of Biological Diversity
Chain of Custody, SFI Labels and Claims, and Controversial Sources
SFI IMPLEMENTATION COMMITTEE REGIONAL MEETINGS
These May/June meetings were planned to coincide with the Standard Revision Workshops and were designed to provide opportunities for SIC members to engage on bi-national SFI priorities and share best practices across committees. These will instead be conducted as regional webinars, with dates coming soon.
Join SFI’s E-Summit, Growing Solutions, to share ideas about how sustainably managed forests, and products sourced from those forests, are great tools in moving towards shared sustainability goals.
This year, SFI is hosting a one-day E-Summit on October 22 to bring our network together to engage around the work SFI is doing across its 4 pillars to achieve our mission of advancing sustainability through forest-focused collaborations.
We appreciate your continued support of SFI and look forward to connecting with you through one of these many opportunities.