Nooksack Dace and Salish Sucker Draft Action Plan Consultation Summary
The Nooksack Dace and Salish Sucker are listed as Endangered on Schedule 1 of the Species at Risk Act (SARA). As aquatic species, they fall under federal jurisdiction, and are managed by Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO).
DFO and the Province of British Columbia cooperated on the development of this document. Processes for coordination and consultation between the federal and British Columbian governments on management and protection of species at risk are outlined in the Canada-British Columbia Agreement on Species at Risk (Government of Canada, 2005).
Consultations on the draft action plan occurred between February 6 and March 12, 2012. Consultation activities included:
- online posting of the draft action plan, a fact sheet on critical habitat protection and comment form;
- letters, emails and faxes with information on the draft action plan consultations and offering opportunities for bilateral meetings sent to 30 First Nations and Aboriginal organizations;
- letters regarding the draft action plan consultations sent to over 3,000 private landowners;
- emails regarding the action plan consultations sent to more than 300 stakeholders including agriculture associations, the agricultural industry, industry (e.g. the aggregate mining industry), utility companies, environmental non-government organizations, community stewardship groups, and representatives from municipal, provincial and federal governments;
- four face-to-face workshops held in Chilliwack and Burnaby with agriculture, local governments, stewardship groups, utility companies and federal and provincial government representatives;
- four community open house sessions held in Burnaby, Chilliwack, Aldergrove and Harrison Hot Springs;
- public notices of the community open houses and action plan consultations published in local papers; and
- distribution of feedback forms and fact sheets on critical habitat protection at workshops and open house sessions.
Approximately 160 people participated in the community open houses and face-to-face workshops held in Burnaby, Chilliwack, Harrison Hot Springs and Aldergrove. Twenty-two people submitted comments and feedback on elements of the draft action plan via email, mail and the online comment form. Seven people or organizations submitted comments and expressed their thoughts via letters to the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans.
Key concerns or issues raised during consultations included the desire for pilot ‘showcase’ projects and financial incentives for landowners to promote stewardship actions such as habitat restoration; suggestions for how the action plan might be implemented; the desire for involvement in action plan implementation; the desire for more specific guidance and information on critical habitat protection and various concerns related to ditch and drainage maintenance. All comments received were considered in the finalization of the action plan. Comments that were outside of the scope of the action plan, such as general concerns related to ditch and drainage maintenance, were shared with relevant DFO staff.
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Between 1951 and 2013, not a single North Pacific Right Whale was seen in Canadian waters. It is estimated that there are currently less than 50 of these Endangered whales in the eastern North Pacific Ocean. But on June 9, 2013, a DFO biologist had the experience of a lifetime, sighting a North Pacific Right Whale off the west coast of Haida Gwaii.
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